One does not simply walk into a book club… A note from the Iowa City Well-Read Mom group

Mary TeckYear of the Pilgrim

The ‘Year of the Friend’ book list concluded with J R R Tolkien’s  The Fellowship of the Ring, a wonderful example of friendship.  Kim Nuxoll from Iowa City, IA and her Well-Read Mom group made the most of it with their special Lord of the Rings family get-together. We’re grateful to Kim for sharing her reflections on this great event!   When it was announced that Well-Read Mom would be reading The Fellowship of the Ring as our ultimate book for the Year of the Friend, I found that my husband and boys (age 8-13) were more enthused than I was.  A shout rang out, “Mom, is finally going to read Tolkien!” During the first month, as I reluctantly trudged into Middle Earth, there was often a set of eyes glancing over my shoulder and an attempt to act casual as they asked, “What part are you at?”  Even though my husband was reading it out loud, for the third time, to my three boys I found myself retreating to my room to try to tackle the text on my own.  Finally, I gave in. I contacted the others in my group to see if I was the only one experiencing this level of enthusiasm at … Read More

Is Reading Selfish?

Mary TeckYear of the Pilgrim

By Rachel Digman As an avid reader since childhood, I was the type who was never without a book and felt a little bit lost whenever I finished a great book. Even after having kids and encountering sleep deprivation, busier schedules, and more people demanding things from me, reading was one habit in my life that was unalterable, until this spring. When our family said yes to a new job for my husband in a town four hours away, putting our house on the market and looking for a new home ate up most of my spare moments. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t reading regularly. There was so much to do that I felt as if stealing moments away just to read a book was not helping my family in any way. In this new set of circumstances, I wondered whether my reading habit was a bit selfish. Particularly now that I have children who watch my every move and ask everything of me, this hobby of mine has become more and more costly. Just today as I settled down to power through Frankenstein, encouraging my 5-year-old to find something quiet to do while I read, … Read More

Three Perspectives on Well-Read Mom – Part 2

Mary TeckYear of the Pilgrim

Earlier this week we began an interview with three Well-Read Mom group leaders. Here is the continuation of the discussion on the joys and difficulties of leading a WRM group. Beth Nelson: What have some of the struggles been in leading a WRM group? Megan Vera: Before our gatherings, I sometimes get a little nervous. I know that these ladies who attend are busy, tired mother, and I know that the time spent at our gatherings (8:00pm – 9:30pm) is a precious time slot that could be used as quality time with their husbands or catching up after a hectic day. I sometimes worry that I won’t be able to facilitate the discussions well and that some of the ladies will wonder if it was worth their evening. However, once we begin, the discussion takes off, and my “discussion-leading” skills become entirely unnecessary and irrelevant. I love how, after a few minutes, I’m able to slip into the background of the conversation and simply reflect on the perspectives of the other women. Kristee Flynn: The only thing that comes to mind is the sadness I have felt when a member decides to quit. I can’t help but think of all … Read More

Three Perspective on Well-Read Mom – Part 1

Mary TeckYear of the Pilgrim

This article was originally published in the ‘Year of the Spouse’ Journal. Well-Read Mom team member Beth Nelson asked three WRM group leaders, from three different states, to reflect on their experience in WRM over the years. Megan Vera writes from South Bend, IN, Kristee Flynn leads a group in Stillwater, MN, and Holly Peterson joins us from Sacramento, CA. Beth Nelson: How did you decide to lead a WRM group? Megan Vera: I first heard about Well-Read Mom from a friend. She brought up the idea to start up a group because she knows I love to organize events. I jumped at the opportunity. I had just finished my graduate studies and was longing for a way t o continue delving into rich, beautiful, and intellectually-stimulating literature. I didn’t have the courage to put together a group on my own, but with Well-Read Mom providing the structure and community support, I was given the courage to start one up. Kristee Flynn: I had recently moved to Stillwater, MN and joined St. Michaels’ Church and was eager to get to know my new community. Through a group of women from St. Michael’s, I discovered that they were reading a book called, The … Read More

Where Are We Going So Fast?

Mary TeckYear of the Pilgrim

Welcome to the Well-Read Mom Blog! We are very excited to bring you a new way to connect with Well-Read Mom, and we hope you will find this a place of help and encouragement in your daily living.  To kick off our new Blog, we’ll share a word from Well-Read Mom founder, Marcie Stokman. This letter comes from our ‘Year of the Pilgrim’ Reading Companion. If you are interested in more great information and reflections, become a Well-Read Mom member and receive your own Reading Companion! “You go too fast.” Pete cautioned me, “Slow down coming into the driveway.” “Hurry up kids,” I’d order when we’d stop at a gas station. “You have five minutes to be back in this van. Go fast!” Once, with six kids in tow, I pulled into Dave’s Pit Stop. As the kids tumbled out, so did a bottle, a few books, and more miscellaneous clutter. “We’re going to make this fast!” As the baby wailed in the car seat, I filled the tank, conscious of the scene we were making. In record time, we were buzzing down Highway 210. Frantically, a man passed us on the road indicating that something was wrong. I pulled … Read More