The Cone-flower Book Club
Welcome to the Cone-flower Book Club, a new book lovers group here in Red Cloud, Nebraska. What follows is information about the club’s mission and organizational items. Come and join us.
Mission: The mission of the Cone-flower Book Club is to explore a variety of subjects through the reading of books and discussions led by various moderators. The club will regularly pick a theme and then create a list of books to be read that will explore it. The informal group will be hosted by The Moonstone Bookstore and Emporium.
Meetings: The club will meet once a month but twice on the same day, once in the late morning, once in the evening which will allow both retired and working participants to be a part of the program. There will also be online component which will allow people to participate online by offering input on books being read. Meetings will last approximately an hour with refreshments available for sale.
Meeting Day: Last Wednesday of the month, unless schedule requires changes – 10:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Membership: There are no membership requirements and people can attend sessions even if they have not read the book.
Moderator: Peter Osborne will provide moderation for the initial series and other members will be encouraged to moderate in the future.
Books: Participants can either purchase the books at the Moonstone Bookstore in advance of the session or borrow them from the Auld Public Library in Red Cloud.
Books About Life
Our First Series of Books To Be Enjoyed
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 – Hometown Memories by Bob Beardslee
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 -Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Album
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 – Ten Poems to Change Your Life by Roger Housden
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 – All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things by Robert Fulghum
Friday, December 21, 2018 – Christmas Readings at the Bookstore
Wednesday, January 30, 2018 – A River Runs Through It by Norman Macleann
Cone-flower Book Club’s Reading
Tuesdays with Morrie
Welcome & Introduction to Members, Visitors and Bob Beardslee
Beating A Dead Horse Deader
Reading by Bob – Introduction to Tuesdays with Morrie
1. Would you travel across the country to visit a mentor from say your college years, the military, professional mentor or a revered family member, and then do it for weeks at a time as they were dying? How would you feel visiting someone and building a friendship with someone whom you knew was dying?
2. If you were willing to make that trip, and did make the trip, would you be able to deal with this person’s physical needs as Mitch did? Would you kiss that mentor as Mitch did with such a display of deep affection?
4. Do you think Mitch would have come back to Morrie’s house the second time if he hadn’t been semi-idled by the newspaper strike?
5. Did your opinion about Mitch change as book went on? In what way?
6. Who do you think got more out of their Tuesday meetings, Mitch or Morrie? In what ways? How do you think each would answer this question?
7. Contrast Morrie’s ideas about life with your own. How are they similar? How are they different?
8. Morrie was seventy-eight years old when diagnosed with ALS. How might he have reacted if he’d contracted the disease when he was Mitch’s age? Would Morrie have come to the same conclusions? The same peace and acceptance? Or is his experience also a function of his age?
9. Do you think it’s possible to come to Morrie’s understanding of life while you’re alive and healthy?
10. Do you think Mitch would have listened if Morrie hadn’t been dying? Does impending death automatically make one’s voice able to penetrate where it couldn’t before?
11. If you were to find out, like Morrie, that you only had a few months left to live, what would you do? What would you change about your life and what would you want to be the same?
12. Most of us have read of people discussing the way they’d like to die, or, perhaps, have been a part of that conversation. One common thought is that it would be best to live a long, healthy life and then die suddenly in one’s sleep. After reading this book, what do you think about that? Given a choice, would Morrie have taken that route instead of the path he traveled?
13. Morrie said, “If you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward” (p. 118). Is this true in your experience?
14. On Nightline, Morrie spoke to Ted Koppel of the pain he still felt about his mother’s death seventy years prior to the interview. Is your experience with loss similar or different? Does what you’ve read in this book help ease any of that pain?
15. Should this book be on the list that all high schoolers should read? Why or why not?
16. Did you enjoy the book?
Readings by Bob – Tuesdays with Morrie
Cone-flower Book Club’s Reading
Introduction to Bob Beardslee, Members and Visitors
Reading by Bob
1. Do you think any of the stories could be expanded into a full-length book?
2. Are you new to this genre of memoirs? If so, what did you enjoy (or not enjoy) about it?
3. Did you connect with the subject matter? Did it make you want to read more? Did it make you uncomfortable?
4. Was there a story or passage that stood out for you or gave you an “a-ha!” moment about life?
5. Did this book change your perspective — or maybe even your life?
6. What did you learn from this book that you didn’t know before?
7. Would you like to read more of Bob’s columns in the newspaper? Why?
Readings by Bob
8. If you were to guess at a formative experience in the author’s life based on what he has written in this book, what would you guess it was?
9. Would you have read this book if it hadn’t been a book club selection? Would you recommend people read this book?
10. Did the book change your opinion or perspective about anything? Do you feel different now than you did before you read it?
11. Pretend you’re another famous author or publisher writing a blurb for the cover. What would you say?
12. If you were to sum up what you read of this book in one tweet, what would say in 140 characters?
13. If you could meet one of the characters in Bob’s book right now, which one would it be and what would you say to them?
14. If we were to make this book into a movie who would you cast as Bob Beardslee as a boy, a middle-aged man who was writing the columns and the community ambassador he now is?
15. What kind of snacks should we have at our next meeting?
Final Reading by Bob
Refreshments and Conversation