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When I'm wrong, I can admit it

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By Becky Cassell, Editor

I don't mind admitting when I'm wrong. And boy was I wrong last week.

Earlier this year, I wrote a column and a front-page story asking those who might be interested in starting a community reading club to contact me. More than 20 people responded, and we had the first meeting of the CKNJ Bookmarks in April.

Our first book was "Marley and Me" by John Grogran. The story of a family and its neurotic dog, the book was a great read and we're all looking forward to the movie based on the book, which is scheduled to be released in December.

Next up was "Change of Heart," by Jodi Picoult. This book was about a death row prisoner who wanted to donate his heart post-execution to the sister of his victim, who needed a transplant. We met in July to discuss that book.

Last Sunday, we met to discuss our third book, "Water for Elephants."

Here's where I was wrong.

I had put off reading this book until the week before our meeting. I was so sure that I was going to have to force myself to read it. The description of the book just didn't appeal to me. At all.

I had the book for three days before I even opened it, and even then I opened it with a sense of resignation.

However, by the third chapter I was hooked.

Of course, my husband teased me mercilessly. Every time he'd see me with it, he'd ask, "Good book, huh?" with a wink.

I ignored him.

At Sunday's discussion, I admitted to the entire group that I had dreaded reading the book. And then I cheerfully ate my words.

I adored the smart-alecky old man who told the story of joining a circus out of vet school in the early 1930s. I wanted that man as my grandfather. I also wanted to meet his elephant, Rosie. And I was not upset when two of the worst characters in the book met with untimely endings.

So, yes, I was very wrong. I so enjoyed the book and wish I hadn't waited so long to read it.

Now, the Bookmarks have chosen their next read, "The Shack," by William P. Young.

"When you close the back cover you will be changed," is what one review of the book reported.

"Mack is a grief-stricken father in mid-life about to have an extraordinary experience with God. His great sadness began four years ago on a weekend camping trip, when his 6-year-old daughter, Missy, was murdered. This compelling fantasy explores themes of love, loss and blame."

So if you enjoy a good book and would like the chance to talk to others who are reading the same book, we'd love to have you join us.

With help from the Taylor County Public Library and the Taylor County Extension Office, the Bookmarks meet once every three months. There is no membership or mandatory attendance; it's just a group of people getting together to talk about great books.

Here at the News-Journal, we hope those who might not have picked up a book in a while might be interested enough to join us for this event.

Elaine Munday, librarian at Taylor County Public Library, says she tries to have several copies of the group's book selections on hand. We also hope that those who buy the books will read them and pass them on to a friend, which will allow even more people to join in the fun.

If you're interested in joining us, just drop me an e-mail at editor@cknj.com.

Our next meeting is Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Extension Office. I hope to see you there.