Author Topic: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online  (Read 5068 times)

Jonathan

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #120 on: July 26, 2016, 07:49:23 PM »
The Book Club Online is the oldest  book club on the Internet, begun in 1996, open to everyone.  We offer cordial discussions of one book a month,  24/7 and  enjoy the company of readers from all over the world.  Everyone is welcome.
July Book Club Online
Start date: July 18 Discussion Leader: Ella Gibbons 

Our Souls at Night
by Kent Haruf



Only 149 pages but not one of them wasted.  Haruf writes simply, beautifully, exploring human relationships; all the myriad emotions of life.  An original writer, I think it a wonderful book, best book I've read in a long time, and I want to discuss it with others, share and explore our own emotions.  Addie makes a proposal!

Join us, you'll be shocked at the first page, but do keep reading.

Read the entire book and then we will begin our discussion on July 18th.




I find it impossible to rate this perplexing story. But my five stars go to all the participants in this discussion. I could tell from the posts that it was 'close to home' for all of us.

Thank you, Ella, for making it possible and how nice to hear that you're back home again. We missed you, sorely. 'Loved this book' you say. So did we all, I beieve. And it's Addie that caught your imagination, and your admiration. And ours too. Addie and aging. For her it was all in the oncoming darkness and finally, in her last words to Louis:

'Dear, is it cold there tonight?'

Hold me, please, my darling.

so P bubble

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #121 on: July 27, 2016, 03:46:36 AM »
I cannot rate the protagonists in the book because for me this book constitutes a single whole creation. It is perfect as is for me and deserve a 5! Even a 10!

Not about the book but a general observation: big towns, small towns, people are getting more and more egotistical, self involved and thus isolated.  When I first came to live in Israel in the early 60s, neighbors were friendly, caring, and there was lots of interaction like inviting a new tenant to have tea or coffee the first week, so as to allow them to meet the other neighbors. Baby sitting for one another was not rare.
These days, there is barely a nod of the head when meeting in the stairs or at the lift door!  Is it an influence of the internet, or...?  I find the lack of interest (except for gossips!) in the others to be very sad.

And yes reading a book like this one helps clarify  our own personal understanding on how or why we react the way we do.

Thank you all for this insightful discussion. Ginny  you are so kind in analysis and answer :)
 For sure I'll mull over this book for many more days.

***** for SeniorLearn Book Club!

so P bubble

  • Posts: 98
Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #122 on: July 27, 2016, 03:51:10 AM »
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent, unresolvable, and necessary. -Kathleen Norris, novelist and columnist (27 Jul 1880-1966)

(in A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg)

ginny

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #123 on: July 27, 2016, 09:49:03 AM »
Oh wow, thank you for those stars, I agree totally, Jonathan and SoaPBubble, you all  have made it  a great experience, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I really did, too.

 When I first came to live in Israel in the early 60s, neighbors were friendly, caring, and there was lots of interaction like inviting a new tenant to have tea or coffee the first week,

Oh I am sorry to hear this has changed, and I wonder if it's like that everywhere  in big cities? I went home one Christmas in the early '60's to the NJ area  from college  and had a New Years date with an old high school sweetheart who lived in a high rise in NJ. There  we were on New Years Eve in this high rise  and here came a knock at the door and it was (to me, at that age)  an "elderly"  friendly  heavily accented Jewish gentleman  who wanted us to come to their party two floors down.  Oh we said no, we couldn't intrude, and he was most persuasive and after he left  my boyfriend wanted to go. Oh no no shrink back, this introvert, I won't know anybody there! Shrink shrink.  Yes, he said, why not,  let's just look in and it was marvelous, just absolutely marvelous, the most wonderful experience!  That "elderly" man whom today I would probably consider a youth,  and his wife and their friends made it literally one of the best New Year's Eves I've ever had in my life,  and we definitely  were the only people under 60 in the room.

 I'll never forget it, and let me tell you no New Years at my house to this day  goes by without herring in sour cream with onions which I had never seen before.

The point of this long thing is that now, living here somewhat isolated on a farm in the south,   I often think of that and how "lucky people ARE in cities"  when their neighbors come in such manner and include them and  call on them. I grew up in a big city and I well remember the closeness of the neighbors, and  a rich mixture of people.  Even when we moved out in the countryside, it was the same. But it was a different time, wasn't it? It looks like that's not happening any more?

Our discussion is over but how it it where you live? Are the neighbors close?  If not, how do you account for this? Do you think it's fear? Or electronics replacing relationships? Or?

I just realized that we went to that party because HE reached out, just like Addie did.


marcie

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #124 on: July 27, 2016, 11:57:56 AM »
Thank you everyone for this wonderful discussion. Ginny, you are always a most gracious, thoughtful and perceptive host. I appreciate the careful thoughts of everyone who participated. I hope that our newcomers to our book discussions will continue in future discussions.

ginny

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #125 on: July 28, 2016, 08:37:37 AM »
Why thank you, Marcie, how kind of you. It was a wonderful experience to me because of the great perspectives of the group.  I enjoyed it immensely, myself.

This discussion is now concluded and I agree, we hope to welcome all of you, new and old, to our next book club discussion.

Jonathan

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #126 on: July 28, 2016, 03:05:15 PM »
Ginny, you're just the greatest. Marvellous, standing in for Ella, on a moment's notice.

I'm sorry it's over. The book has left a lasting impression on me. Addie and Louis will forever remain the aging couple looking for warmth and companionship in their closeness. In bed. The sex, however, soon took second place to their shared memories. Louis's account of his wife Diane's death and his musing on their marriage and his shortcomings had an absolute pathos and honesty about it that left me shaken.

ginny

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #127 on: July 28, 2016, 08:20:00 PM »
Well thank you very much. :)

Yes it was a GOOD book and a GOOD discussion thanks to everything you all saw in it!

I really appreciate everybody's pitching in.

PatH

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #128 on: July 29, 2016, 11:01:11 AM »
This was an inspired discussion.  Thanks, Ginny, for picking this book and leading it so ably.  It certainly affected us all, and brought out so many different viewpoints, and I would never have read it otherwise.

Annie

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #129 on: July 30, 2016, 08:54:17 AM »
Ginny, thank you so much for taking over for Ella and leading in your usual gracious way. 
The book was inspiring and all the opinions so thought provoking. 

I live in a small condo complex and the friendliness of my neighbors is awesome!!!  They are always offering help to those who need it.  We are so lucky to live in what we call our little village. Recently, when I was ill,  one of my friends here brought me a lovely small bouquet of flowers and reminded me that they were available for any help that we needed.  Just call any time, she said.  Makes me feel so blessed.  And my other blessing has been to be a part of this wonderful group on SeniorLearn and SN since 1997.  It's been so much fun making friends with folks from all over our world.  We are so lucky.

Congratulations  Soapbubble and Radioman! May your new life together be a joyous journey!💕💕😋💕

Hope to see you all in our next discussion!😋😋💕

Just had a new title recommended to me!  A Man called Ov!  It's a humorous story about an old man and his friends.  Sounds good to me!  I will let you know.
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

Ella Gibbons

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #130 on: July 30, 2016, 10:32:56 AM »
And I add my thanks to our wonderful DL, our host, Ginny, for pitching in and finishing this discussion for me while I was in the hospital.  This is a SENIOR site and we are apt to have physical problems from time to time and we all need to help one another. 

Thanks to all participants who also liked the book and added their thoughts.   We have a discussion once a month, so check us out daily!


marcie

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #131 on: July 31, 2016, 12:21:31 PM »
Annie, your living facility sounds wonderful.

It's great to see you here, Ella. Thank you very much for recommending this book.

ginny

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Re: Our Souls by Kent Haruf ~ July 18 ~ July Book Club Online
« Reply #132 on: August 01, 2016, 10:17:52 AM »
What a surprise to come in and see such great remarks!!! I've been out of town to some family reunions of my husband's family and am excited to see what's here.

I'm sorry it's over, too, Jonathan, I tremendously enjoyed it and I think you put your finger there on what resonates in the book. It's been a real pleasure.

Thank you Ella,  and you're right, we all do pitch in for each other, and that makes it doubly enriching. I hope you are coming along well, that was scary! So glad to have you back!

Ann, thank you and thank you for telling us about your situation where you live now, the support and kindness of your neighbors. I am so happy to hear this because you deserve it, you've always been so supportive of everybody else!  That's great good news.

That book sounds good, I've heard of it somehow. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. And honestly, we're not teenagers here, what can it HURT to occasionally read a book about somebody our age?!?

Thank you, Pat, I would not have read it, either, but I was surprised at the depth of the book when our readers got  hold of it. The depth of our readers and their opinions never  cease to amaze me.  :) Loved the entire thing. Ella always picks the best books to discuss, it's her special knack, I guess.

We here ARE all so fortunate  to have experienced this unique site and the benefits it has offered over the years, not only here but on SeniorNet as well.  Very satisfying experience, all around, and so many lately  who are new to our boards who add  such wonderful thoughts. Doesn't get much better than that, how lucky we ARE, thanks to you all.

Hope to see you all in the next one, TBA.