Escanaba, MI, The Upper Peninsula -- August 10, 2007

Reading The Art of Aging, by Sherwin B. Nuland. This book has taught her the compression of morbidity. It’s about how you should take good care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually and, when you do go down in old age, you go down quick if something gets you like a cancer, rather than having a lengthy process of degradation to your body.

When she retired from her job ten years ago she took a tap dancing class and is now part of a group called the Dancing Grannies. It’s like a sisterhood, she said. She also keeps herself active with her book club, her home life, and her church.

When she worked, she used to sit here, on the bay, eating her lunch, reading or balancing her checkbook and has just come back to sit and read for old times sake.

In her book club the last things they read were Thunderstruck and The Old Man and the Sea. In September they’ll read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

Their book club is not a big intellectual pursuit. They don’t read to learn, but they do learn along the way. When they started originally they had been alternating fiction with nonfiction but now it’s mostly fiction. They like a good discussion, but they don’t consciously try to raise arguments.

Sometimes they’ll go see a movie together—they saw the Ya Ya Sisterhood and had a hilarious time.

One of her favorite books of all time--The Little Lame Prince, by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik. One of the medical students gave it to her and when she read it the first time, she really tried hard to find deep meaning in it. If she were to read it again, she’d read it just to enjoy it.

Another good book--The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck.

Her favorite book of all time—Oh wow, was the response….then the answer--The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale and Awakening into Oneness: The Power of Blessing in the Evolution of Consciousness, by Arjuna Ardagh. One of the doctors who finished the medical school where she was working, gave Awakening... to her before he left, saying that she was meant to have it. It’s about giving out blessings to people as you go through life.

They will be reading The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett, for their One City One Book. She lives seven miles from Escanaba, in Gladstone.

Another favorite--To Kill a Mockingbird, for the beauty of the characters.

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