I just met Mary recently, over dinner, and learned she brought 3 books with her on vacation--this one, a book on Stoic philosophy, and something called Wolf Hall. She can't remember why she picked up that last one. (Maybe because it won the Man Booker Prize, Mary! It's historical fiction, by Hilary Mantel, about Henry VIII and the behind-the-scenes religious and class conflicts of the times.)
And she has Too Much Happiness, the new book of short stories by Alice Munro, waiting on the bedstand for her when she gets home.
I'm so glad I met Mary! (Yes, there's something about her!) She reads books simultaneously, as do several of us here. She reads books in hardback! (Though I just realized Too Much Happiness is indeed out in paperback! Making it fair game as book-group material! Yay!)
Like me, she gets a little embarrassed when she reads a bestseller "self help" or trendy book like Committed or Eat, Pray, Love, but, hey, I loved the latter. It was funny, revealed the author's vulnerabilities, and had great pizza. Plus, it reassured me. My current house number happens to be a really cool number of meditation beads.
And Mary keeps an Excel spreadsheet on the books she reads.
I hope my local book group will also read Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage. Some of us are married, some of us are not, and some of us are skeptical about the institution of marriage, even if we are in it. And even if we are committed to the ones we love.