I’d been threatening to have everybody read “Dreams From My Father” by President Obama, but now that I’m trying to be more peaceful and spiritual, I decided to choose “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriott. I have all five of that series and re-read them every few years. Always make me smile. James Herriott (this is a psuedonym) has a gift for seeing and interpreting the human condition with kindness and humor—and keenly. I don’t know how many times I’ve read his books, but re-reading “All Creatures Great and Small” still made me laugh, even in parts I already knew by heart.

The other sisters enjoyed it as well. But it was a Thursday night and I was tired. I served Orange pop floats with vanilla ice cream and a variety of Keebler cookies—last time we had full on tea with baked brie and shrimp and all kinds of good stuff. The other sisters seemed tired, as well. Not up to a full-on discussion of the book. One sister, who buried her father last month and whose stepfather died Sunday, was particularly weary. She’d brought a book she was reading about a female doctor who’d practiced in Saudi Arabia. Can’t remember the name.

We were all intrigued and despite our exhaustion, began to discuss the situation in the middle east, war in Iraq (one attendee’s son is in Afganistan and has served in Iraq, a Marine), the state of the world in general.

And it struck me how aware these women are. They’re all active members of the church, but keeping an eye on the world, the country, and their homes. Only two of us had degrees, but we are fairly well read and involved.

I wondered if a “fly on the wall” were to put the conversation on facebook or Oprah, would anybody guess we were Mormon women?
I’m so grateful to have friends like these.

Now I’m reading a book called “One Bullet Away” about a Marine serving in the invasion of Iraq. My next book club selection, though, is a book I read years ago called “On New Wings” by Gail Larsen Newbold. It’s ostensibly about Mormon women and codependency, but I found many other spiritual insights in this wonderful book. I think it probably didn’t sell very well back in the 90′s, but it was relevant then and it’s terribly relevant now. Here’s a nugget from the last two pages of the book: “I’ve learned . . .That we needn’t think we’re evil or must leave the Church if we’ve been hurt or angered by what we preceive as inequitable treatment of women. Our feelings and emotions have validity for us as individuals although we don’t always feel in control of them. We can work towards cleansing and healing our wounds, making peace, seeking or giving forgiveness, and moving on just as we would with any hurt.
Attitudes and perspectives can always be altered.”

Gail Newbold is a wise woman; James Herriott was a wonderful man. I’m so glad good writers decided to write.

Oh! PS…..I could have made this into a post about Kindle, etc., I suppose. I don’t think I would like Kindle. I like the feel of a book, the act of turning the page; I like the joy of bringing home a pile from the library and that Christmas feeling I get at least once a week with new books to read.