Archive for February, 2013

Anna Karenina

sonya-tolstayaLeo_Tolstoy_in_uniformWhen Tolstoy was 34, he courted and married 18-year-old Sonya Andreevna Behrs, the daughter of a former friend.  Most readers of Anna Karenina are interested to learn that many of the details of Kitty and Levin’s romance, courtship and marriage are drawn from the author’s relationship with his wife Sonya.

Like Levin’s love for the Shcherbatskys, which first drew him to friendship with the older brother, then admiration for Dolly and finally marriage to Kitty, Count Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy picked out the family he would marry into before he actually chose his bride. He had always planned to marry one of the daughters of his childhood sweetheart, Liubov Behrs. Although the family expected him to choose the eldest daughter, Lisa, Tolstoy found himself captivated instead by the middle sister, Sonya. He began to fall for Sonya when she was still a child of 14: “If she were four years older, I would propose to her now,” he wrote to a friend. Four years later he did propose.


Read Full Post »


Book Summary

On Monday, February 4th the Booked for the Day book group met to discuss Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, while sipping Snapple and munching on trail mix.

We started the discussion talking about our hiking experience or lack there of.

Everyone agreed that they enjoyed the book.

Parts of the book made the group angry. Cheryl made poor decisions after her mother died, leading her to a road to destruction.  But we also appreciated her honesty about her weaknesses.  She was not afraid to admit her bad decisions about sex, heroin, chewing opium and she did not seem ashamed or afraid to admit what she did. She was honest but did not over-dramatize the situation.

We also think she did not plan well enough for the trip which added to her hardships.

A good book will make you love some parts and drive you crazy in other parts and this book definitely did that. We all thought she was a wonderful writer but some thought she was too wordy in parts.

Many people were generous to Cheryl on the PCT. We talked about the different reasons – her physical appearance, that she was a very pretty girl, her spirit and her determination, the comradery the other hikers felt towards her, and the simple admiration for what she was doing.

Each of us came away with different lessons from the book:

  • You can bear the unbearable.
  • Keep getting up every day, no matter what, and face your obstacles.
  • You can be afraid; it’s doing the scary stuff anyway that makes you courageous (I can do this chant).
  • You can keep up with the men.
  •  Accept situations that cannot be changed

We thought the book was part adventure story, and part a confession and that walking the PCT brought her back to the person she once was: a strong, responsible, driven, ethical and loving person. We would definitely recommend this book to others.

Read Full Post »

wildMonday, February 4th
11:00 am
Meeting Room B

Join us to discuss…

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed

Traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.

Read Full Post »