Ilchester group has good start

Book club

January 02, 2003|By Pamela Woolford | Pamela Woolford,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

An interview with Sally Yoshioka, coordinator of The Book Club.

When did your club get started?

We had a first meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1. We just got started this year. We had tried before to have a book club at my school. I work at an elementary school.

Who are your members?

They are all staff members of Ilchester Elementary School, and there's 11 of us all together. Our principal and our assistant principal are part of it. It's just women. It's teachers and teaching assistants, and I'm a health assistant.

What book are members reading this month?

They are reading Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love by Dava Sobel.

How well did your first two book discussions go?

Very well, especially our first one, The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, because it was a very good book for a book club. It sounds kind of dull [because it's] about the Oxford English Dictionary, about how it got started, but it was very interesting.

What were some of the topics that came up during your discussion of that book?

One of the things that was interesting was we discussed whether the book was romantic. ... It was interesting because of the idea that these men came up with this book, you know. It was the first dictionary. Shakespeare didn't have a dictionary. It was interesting how they came up with the concept, and for them it was their love. ... This group of people, for some of them it was their whole life. And one of the main contributors was in an asylum, and working on this book kept him sane. There was this love of words. ... It was definitely a real passion.

Will your club continue to read mostly nonfiction?

No. For Galileo's Daughter and The Professor and the Madman, part of the attraction was that it said on one of the Web sites for book clubs that they were nonfiction, but they read like fiction. ... But we also read Cold Mountain. It was the first novel by Charles Frazier. ... It takes place toward the end of the Civil War, and it's this young man's journey back home. And it really is this odyssey. What he goes through is unbelievable. And it also has the counter-story of a young woman kind of waiting for him and her experience and growth. It reads like poetry almost. It's just very descriptive so that you can really picture what he's talking about.

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