Friday, March 5, 2010

Slow Readers book club

I love to read. Hands down, favorite passive indoor activity.

And yet, as much as I love reading, I have a surprising confession to make – I’ve never been in a book club before. Up until a couple weeks ago, I’d never even heard of a blogger book club, until I spotted this on

I loved (LOVED!) Walls first book, The Glass Castle. I even posted about it here while I was reading it.

So I decided to take the plunge and a couple weeks ago I joined not one, but TWO book clubs. Right. Because with all my free time these days, MORE commitments are exactly what I need. Sure, ok. More about book club #2 to come…

I finished the book in a weekend, and I’ve been procrastinating writing this post since last Sunday because, well, first of all, I’m new at this. And, how exactly does one engage in a book club that is, by definition, pretty much confined to being a rhetorical conversation? (Unless someone comments on the post, I guess…)

I truly had no idea how to write this post.

So I cheated. I googled some book club discussion questions about the book. And finally, I figured out what to write about.

I’m not going to ‘summarize’ the book, because you can click over to Amazon as easy as I can. I’m not going to torture you with lengthy prose about how great the book is, or how nostalgic it made me for my US History classes. And I’m not going to compare and contrast it with The Glass Castle. I’m just going to answer one question:

“Discuss Lily’s husband Jim. How does his personality complement her strong nature?”

Quite simply, Jim is perfect for Lily. He is calm yet creative, non-plussed yet spontaneous. But most of all he is accepting. He accepts who Lily is and he knows better than to try and change her. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he loves everything about her. When I first realized this, I was puzzled. And then, relieved. And THEN, I had my lightbulb moment.

You see, a couple weeks ago, I went to see Valentine’s Day and the moral that I took away from it was that in a truly successful relationship, you have to accept the other person for ALL of who they are, not just the parts that are easy to like.

Which is exactly why Jim is perfect for Lily. She has flaws. We all do. Think about it. (I know, it sounds horrible.) The idealist in me thinks you should love EVERY.SINGLE.THING about your partner. But damned if that isn’t a high hurdle when you turn it around on yourself? I’d venture a guess that most people don’t love everything about themselves – because if we did, we’d never have any ambition to improve.

So, if we can’t love everything about ourselves, how can we expect someone else to? Better yet, how can we expect to love 100% of someone else? If that’s not setting an unrealistically high expectation, I don’t know what is.

What I'm trying to say, is that the moral of the story (for Lily and Jim, in the movie and I guess even in real life) is learning not to let the parts you don’t love bother you, and accepting one another despite (or maybe even because of) those bits that are a little harder to love.

Maybe it’s not the lightbulb moment for you that it was for me, but if you’re looking for some examples of Jim’s calm acceptance of Lily and her peculiarities, maybe you should consider checking out the book.

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