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Why a Book Club is as Healthy a Pursuit as a Personal Trainer

Roxanne reviews The Beginning of Spring

by Penelope Fitzgerald

Book club or no, I’m reading all the time and love the adventure of the ‘next’ book. However, let’s face facts; each and everyone of us can get into a rut or echo chamber of our own ‘likes’ whether it be Colleen Hoover or David Baldacci.

That’s why two recent book clubs have made me stretch my intellectual and communication skill set. For example, I just finished The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald, a simply covered white and black book that has stared at me from the Staff Pick shelf with a sweet note from our wonderful Elsie Souza who deftly entices shoppers to ‘read this!’. Had it not been for my condo’s book club’s rabbit hole into Russian based literature (the book previously had been Dostovevky’s Notes from the Underground), I would never have chosen Fitzgerald to read.

Penelope Fitzgerald was a Booker Prize winner and is considered one of the 45 greatest British writers of all time. Her literary rocket had been fueling for 58 years before she was actually published. The Beginning of Spring wasn’t her Booker Prize winner, but it was nominated and rightfully so. To say that it’s a delightful tale of a man left by his wife with three small children, sounds rather odd, but Fitzgerald’s writing brings you into their pre-Russian Revolution Moscow home and entertains you with three precocious children and their analytically flummoxed father. Her description of a spring birch forest ready to pop from its winter’s respite is also indescribably comforting.

I am blessed to have stretched myself into reading books outside my normal box. And even better, to be able to discuss the book with a community of fellow book lovers.

If you’re interested in joining a book club, check out our offerings here.

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