I’ve only been to one book club meeting in the last couple of years, because of my job. It was at my house. We read, something about a Jewish person. I think it was by Chaim Potok—dang, I can’t remember the book! Anyway, this is what I remember: I made yummy chicken salad and green salad and brie baked in phyllo and shrimp cocktail. We had assorted cookies. I’d bought this really pretty china set at a yard sale and I set the table all pretty and we had a tea party in my new dining room filled with light. It was so fun.

I’m doing the book club again next month. This year, we’re reading Kathy Soper’s “The Year My Son and I Were Born.” It’s out in paperback!! I picked this book not because of the theme of raising a child with Down’s Syndrome, but because of the honest way Kathy approaches the subject. I was talking to a friend about it just this morning and she was thrilled when I told her that. She said books like that make her feel more human and normal. Yup. That it does.

I’ve read some really good books this year and I’m listing a few for those looking for good books to read or to share with your book club.

1. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett I think this is just a fantastic look into the hearts and minds of the black maids in the south in the 60’s. The writer, a southern white woman, captures their voice perfectly and I just delighted in her accomplishment. Great book.

2. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski I can’t say I enjoyed this book. It was painful and I hated the ending. But it haunts me. I’ve read the reviews comparing the story to Hamlet and I guess those comparisons are apt. But there’s something lyrical in the writing that will capture you. Not a pleasant book. But worthy.

3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, by Mark Haddon The funniest book I’ve ever read

4. The Host, by Stephanie Meyer Better than Twilight in plot and writing

5. John Adams, by David McCullough I haven’t read this. But I feel guilty about it.

And there’s a new book out, called Devotion, by Dani Shapiro. I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard enough about it to believe it’s worth my time. It’s on my list. I think this would be a good exploration of spirituality for Mormon readers. If your bishop will let you.

Lastly, I loved “Eat, Pray, Love.” For one thing, I love to read about food. But I learned stuff from this book. About spirituality and learning to love and forgive yourself. I’ve read a lot of criticism of Elizabeth Gilbert and I think her husband is writing a counter-punch to her book, I guess she cheated on him. But this is a book I bought, and read twice. I might read it again.