If one of your goals for this year is to spend more time reading than you did in 2020, joining a local book club might be an ideal way to do that. For the most part, book clubs in Louisville and beyond have moved online in order to keep their members safe, holding their meetings on Zoom or other platforms. Participating in an online book club is also a great way to find social interaction.
The Long Before the End Book Club, which used to meet at Safai Coffee, has managed to continue its monthly meetings online throughout the past year and is always eager to welcome new members. In January, the group read The Undying: A Meditation on Modern Illness by Anne Boyer. One group member, Justin Magnuson, spoke about the group’s perspective on the selection and about what it’s like when a pandemic forces your book club online.
What is The Undying about?
The author of The Undying, Anne Boyer, is a breast cancer survivor, and the book is ultimately about her experience. But, it is also about a healthcare system that is set up to fail anyone without the financial means to work around it. As such, it is sometimes angry, but also has moments of laughter and hope, and above all, love.
What themes did the group focus on when discussing this book?
Our conversation of The Undying, like most of our meetings, was all over the place, regarding life, the cessation of it, and how it related to the book. In my experience, this book skewed deeper into the territory of poetry and metaphor than most of our selections, lending to a conversation that was more amorphous than usual, even for us.
How has the group managed to keep going strong while social distancing?
We have maintained a small core group throughout the pandemic. In the warmer months we met outside, socially distanced, wearing masks, but now we have transitioned to Zoom. Using Zoom might have been difficult if we hadn’t known each other for so long, but honestly it hasn’t really changed the depth of our conversations.
What will the group be reading next?
Next month we’re going to view a film instead of reading a book. We’ll discuss Kim Ki-duk‘s 2003 film, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring.
Anyone interested in participating in the Long Before the End Book Club can visit the group’s Facebook page for information.
What other groups are reading:
By Vanessa Hutchison
P.S. Check out other book reviews and clubs here.