Choice of AAUW is `Ride with Me'

Book club

January 11, 2001

An interview with Carol McAuliffe, coordinator of AAUW Book Club. The club is sponsored by a branch of the American Association of University Women.

What book are members reading this month? It's called "Ride with Me, Mariah Montana" by Ivan Doig, and the book is about a woman who gets her father to go around the state of Montana [while she's] doing interviews and research.

Are there any books which members have especially liked? I would say that at least in the past three years our really best choice was called "My Own Country" by Abraham Verghese. ... It's a book about a doctor in the hill country in the Tennessee area in the early '80s when AIDS is first introduced in the area, so you would think it would be a very depressing book. But the way he describes the trees and nature as he walks to the hospital, you could actually smell the air. It was as if you were actually there. The descriptions in the medical ward and the way he draws the characters - it's essentially based on his own autobiography, and it is just so well-written that it makes the whole setting and the people seem much more understandable and real.

How many members does your club have? In the actual book group, probably a dozen - although anyone in the [AAUW] branch can come if they see in our newsletter a book that they may be interested in. ... We've actually got at least eight or nine core members, so in some way we've kind of become a support group for each other. So when the meeting begins, we go around the circle and catch up on what's been going on with each other in the last few weeks. ... We wanted to get to know each other, and that has become a thing that the members really look forward to.

Where do you meet? We rotate around from different members' houses, from home to home.

To whom is the association open? The association is open to anyone who has a baccalaureate degree. Also, we do have student membership. It's mainly organized for women, but there are men who are a part of it.

Information: McAuliffe at 410-381-7076.

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