Naive.Super by Erlend Loe at Jane’s

Definitely a quirky little book that was enjoyed by everyone. As you will see, the book sparked interesting discussions during the meeting and amazing contemplations afterward. Interesting note: This book was chosen because of the antidote that Pete Buttigieg enjoyed this book so much that he taught himself Norwegian to read the other Loe books that had not been translated from Norwegian. Thank you also to Jeanne for bringing us all some of her fantastic pears.

From Karen:

To borrow a quote from “what makes a successful book club”… 

Good books and good friends are two of the yummiest things in my life. I treasure them both. My book club of 30+ years combines these two loves–a gathering of friends who share a love of reading…  Through the highs and lows of life, a constant for all of us has been our book club meetings. Month after month, year after year, these book-loving friends have fueled my tank and rekindled my spirit over and over again. “

These words sum up how I feel about our time together.  We are very lucky to have this club which provides an opportunity to read interesting books and discuss them amongst friends.  Last night’s meeting was delicious, fun and informative.  I would never have found Naïve.Super on my own.  Thanks Jane for introducing us to a deceptively simple story about figuring out how best to live.  The Norwegian meal, music and author’s video rounded out the evening PERFECTLY.

From Jill:

I found it hard to sleep last night, rethinking the evening, the interesting conversations, the delicious Norwegian style delicious lobster bisque and smorgasbord. Above all, our friendship. We come from all walks of life and backgrounds, and I so value and appreciate being part of this inspiring gathering of women, as we share our thoughts and feelings. Naive.Super gave me a perspective into my own life, what is meaningful to me, how I have dealt and continue to, deal with every day life. 

From Jeanne:

I am grateful for our bookclub, it is special and we are blessed to all be part of it. All “good” friends, this is a list that your names will all be on the top:-)It might be fun to do our lists like the ones in Naiive Super. Jeanne has some amazing suggestions for lists and I have written them down in my journal to start compiling.

1. a list of what we have and what we don’t have 2.. a list of qualities for an object that will make us think about nice things, or preferably just smile. 3. a list of what used to excite us when we were younger

4. A list of who we look up to.5. A list of what we know a lot about. 6. A list of animals we’ve seen lol with or without insects this could take a long time!7. A list of what we would paint if we were a painter 8. A list of qualities for something that would redress the damage done by a “bad” friend 9. A list of things we have in our room/house of things we are not using 10. A list of things that should never be animated in a commercial context 11. A list of things we appreciate 12. A list of things that make us happy 13. A list of things that are big and long and tall in a city/ place we visit 14. A list of things we remember from the day 15. A list of companies and products we love

From Erin:

For some reason all these emails reflecting on last night and our many blessings reminded me of Sam, my counselling internship supervisor’s advice to me as I started my new position as therapist at CATC in 2000.  We had become friends following my graduation, and his daughter Alice and wife ‘Ruthie’ became extended family support.  
It was Sam who gave me a reference that landed me the job after staying at home for 13 years with my young children.  One day over lunch, as I described my overwhelmed state with work demands,  Sam suggested I journal using these 3 questions from Rachel Naomi Remen’s ‘Growing New Eyes’ in reflection each day:

  1. WHAT SURPRISED ME TODAY? It surprised me that I found myself thinking about a group of women in book club as supporting and nourishing me in a similar way to the support I received from Sam and his family.
  2. WHAT TOUCHED MY HEART TODAY?  It really touched me to realize how each one of you has crept into my heart
  3. WHAT INSPIRED ME TODAY? As a result I am inspired to begin journalling again.

Here is a link:
“Sam” is Dr. Sarge Horwood, MD … who preferred to be called ‘Sam’ … as he thought it suited him more.  He is an unassuming man although a Harvard educated paediatrician who grew up in Cambridge with the background that implies. Later, his daughter told me, Dr. Benjamin Spock invited him to collaborate on a new edition of his book… which Sam declined… not sure why?  Later, Sam chose to work in the far north of Newfoundland near Gros Morne National Park as lone paediatrician to mostly fly-in communities.  Sam was/is an avid environmentalist…. I would visit him at his house in Westdale, often finding him in overalls mixing his compost piles which he had in big bins in his back garden.  When I first met “Sarge” (still Sarge at that time) he was still doing grand rounds at McMaster Hospital as he had been head of the NICU there prior to branching into counselling… all of which I found out much later after completing my internship. Anyway, needless to say we really connected… and I have countless stories of our families together… and looking back am so appreciative of the special interest he, then Ruthie and daughter Alice (mother’s helper living up the street when we lived in Hamilton)  took in our young family.

Like the Horwood family… our book club has become a place that fosters reflection, appreciation, and provides support and reflection… all of which help me deal with what life brings… the heartaches, the worries, and the gratitude and joy.

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