As our children grow, we as parents look for any and every excuse to spend more time with them. Realizing that our days with them become fleeting, and feeling the need to ready them for the world, particular at a time in when lots of poignant and informative experiences are occurring in the world, this becomes all the more present. One of the ways I cure this feeling in my own household is in the roll out of a family book club. Something I began a while ago – I decided it would be a wonderful way for us to connect on important issues and tap into interests across all the age groups we represent (well, my husband and I are in the same one, but still).
This means, that each person takes a turn suggesting a book and we then read it together and discuss. Sometimes it’s my 15-year-old, other times it’s my 11-year-old and at times it can feel more masculine and adventure driven, or sensitive to coming of age, but every time it feels good to help shape and influence our children’s thinking alongside their love of reading.
In the Saether family book club we tackle reads for a variety of ages even though we let the children generally take the lead on topics.
The process: we do a round robin on who picks the book (Atticus, Niela, Lieve, then Vidar). Then, we all read it and come together to discuss. It’s a pleasure thing; an educational opportunity. We may discuss it over dinner or as we hang out after an outdoor movie. For practical reasons, I buy one of the books and then I reserve the other three copies at the library and then when they’re in, I simply pick them up and distribute them for the kick-off to reading!
For me, as a language person it’s really important to understand QUALITY over quantity. Our book club is an opportunity for me to reintroduce classics into their lives, challenge and explain what is happening in the world and also keep in touch on what they’re interested in. Furthermore, this allows us to engage in more adult conversations with our children, so we can discuss real and important things in the world.
My idea here is that my kiddos are doing this in addition to their school readings. We don’t put a pressure on this, but instead provide encouragement for us to come together afterwards and connect on what we’ve read.
And just as I do this at home, I am also interested in what my dear Turnstyle family is reading. Here is what my team Turnstylists are reading:
The Diaries of Adam & Eve – Mark Twain
“Short, comical, and relatable, this book always manages to make me laugh no matter how many times I read it. Mark Twain is able to capture the existential turmoil that comes along with relationships, as well as examines (sometimes outdated) gender roles through humor and satire. Twain is able to reimagine the very well-known parable of Adam and Eve in a way that remains fresh and interesting over 100 years after its published date.” – Kara
Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It – Kamal Ravikant
“I learned of this book via the Aubrey Marcus podcast and find its message both timely and incredibly valuable for getting to the other side of hardship.” – Ashley
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy – Sheryl Standberg
“This book explores the stories of a broad range of people who have overcome challenges in their lives, identifies how we can best talk to and help others in crisis, and offers practical tips for creating resilient families, communities, and workplaces. This book has been very helpful in my efforts to work through past events in my life. I am learning to find peace with the present moment, even if it is not the reality I had expected.” – Alyssa
The Woman In The Window – A.J. Finn
“I really enjoyed this thriller! It had me guessing throughout the whole story.” – Jordyn
Of course as we continue to listen and learn more about the world and its current needs, here are a few important resources we’re currently exploring to help us with openness and understanding. xLS
Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Something I read long ago, this beautiful and poignant book of poetry helps break down understanding, serving as such a well-written unifier.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcom X
Proud to have been given this by my mother years ago – particularly since it was her original-pressing copy, this candid and thoughtful conversation, as told to Alex Haley, imparts such wisdom and insight into the social injustice experience.
The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America – Khalil Gibran Muhammad
New on my list of reads, this was introduced to me via a fascinating piece I recently heard on the radio. Eloquent and well-researched, Muhammad weaves his personal experience into ultimately what has become his life’s work.