Posts Tagged ‘book group’


Posted: 10/21/2004 in books, daily life

I have just got back from book group, yet another evening when I haven’t contributed enough.

Why am I rendered mute in group situations? It can be friendly, family or formal. The results are the same, if there are greater than six people present I turn into the eternal observer. It is not that I have nothing to say, I always having a passionate internal monologue going. Stop calling Mary Shelley a teenager you fool, when she wrote Frankenstein the concept wasn’t invented – 19 really was old then. It’s nature versus nurture. Did he become a monster, or reanimated organic entity (Roe), because he only encountered vicious hostility and therefore evolved into a murdering fiend rather than being born one? Isn’t it interesting the way in which Roe becomes fascinated by the every day lives of the family adjacent to his hovel – rather like a soap opera. And god forbid that you would think that I don’t like the sound of my own voice and I am nothing but a chatterbox in familiar company.

Then why do I dry up and nerves get the better of me??? Of course I have a theory – I partly attribute it to my mild dyslexia, a fear of looking stupid and a particularly insensitive foreign language assistant that I happen to cross paths with when I was fourteen.

I shall expand. My impediment manifests itself in wonky spelling, an inability grasp phonetics and a fear of pronouncing an unknown word or a familiar word that I can’t verbilise. In my world a word is whole, it has no beginning, middle or end. In class I dreaded being called to read aloud, already an outsider to the ‘normal’ peer groups (wouldn’t have had it any other way), I like everyone else didn’t wish to appear the fool as well. In hindsight of course I should have realised that since my classmates didn’t listen to the teacher they wouldn’t pay any attentions to my slaughtering of Shakespeare. When anyone spells a word out to me it takes more than one attempt for me to copy it down. A shout out to my mum, it frustrated me as much as you and I think it is down to my internal wiring. A little family trivia, my mother being the star family speller and all rounder when it comes to general knowledge used to dread when ever a crossword would appear in either my or my father’s hands. Let us not even touch family games of Scrabble, if we got a word over five letters then a victory lap was called for. Poor mum, must have been operating in the lowest gear to give us a chance. I think her room 101 fear would be an army of dyslexics equiped with an arsenal of word games. Then there was the incident with the young and impatient language assistant . Who when spelt out new words, used the French pronunciation of the alphabet, stumped me and angered her. At my young age it felt like a brutal humiliation in front of my friends. Though it did not bruise my ego for long, after all I muster the courage to appear in countless school production and of course I gave the sole speech at my our wedding. Off the cuff no less, see my ego really is fine 🙂 So I guess it isn’t quite as clear cut as I’d have hoped.


Spurred into action by Neatly Sliced’s post on TV Turnoff Week I am trying to follow suit. Hopefully it will turn me into a more of a discerning viewer – concentrating on dramas and ignoring trash/filler tv (but we will see).

Inspired by this months book group read, Death in Venice, I thought of a twist for Survivor….but first I must stress that I have never watched this show…back to my idea give them three wells and infect one with cholera and see what happens. Will the smart ones in the group notice the emerging pattern? A little gruesome but hey ho and then it really would deserve it’s monicker.

Oh my, what a busy few days – I was so glad when they let me finish my shift early so I could amble home and slump in front of the computer. Hard enough being a dynamic, multi tasking, 21st C gal but throw in a sick Alex and even I am struggling to keep up. I was v worried on Saturday as he only (half heartily) checked his email once, lucky it only seems to be a 24hr bug and he is now merrily programming away.

This months reading group proved to be another lively debate. I don’t think ‘Flowers for Algernon’ was to everyone’s taste. I feel that SciFi stories tend to date, so whilst I enjoyed it I had to keep in the back of my mind that it was written forty odd years ago. The general opinion was that Algernon was indicative of that decade, over time the themes become less powerful and maybe in twenty years time the same would be thought of ‘Lovely Bones’.

I guess I better return to tending to the sick….

A good day all round yesterday – finished off my second unit in English, I can now give Chaucer a rest for a few weeks and can start the units in Greek Art & Architecture and English Modern Prose 🙂 I perfected my recipe for tuna pasta bake. Last night I added sweetcorn, mozzarella and baby toms to the concoction – it was scrummy!

I took a break from all the depressing literature choices I have made in the past few weeks….’Jude the Obscure’ is proving v harrowing and this months book group ‘Flowers for Algeron’ had me reaching for the tissues by the final chapter. So during my break on Sunday I nipped to the book shop and picked up the 3rd instalment of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency – ‘Morality for Beautiful Girls’. It is proving to be a v absorbing read 🙂

I nearly forgot it has just started snowing…..