Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class
I'm just home from 'my' book group. It's composed of about 10 women and one man who have been meeting at a local branch of the library for something like 20+ years. I'm a newcomer and definitely the 'kid' of the group who are all at least 15 years older. (How often does that happen these days?)
Very bright, articulate people to a person. And over the short time I've been attending, more and more outspoken. When I first got there people were quite demure and deferential hardly speaking or letting one or two people do all the talking and never contradicting. But now! Now there is vigorous debate almost from the moment we begin. Very intelligent, well considered debate, and one interesting point after another.
They are very serious about their books and the list they have accumulated over the many years is extremely impressive. I learn a lot each time I go, and often my entire opinion of a book will be changed after listening to the comments.
The books they choose must have enough copies in the library so that each group member can borrow a copy. This is a strict requirement because one of the purposes of the group is to support the San Francisco Public Library - as well as the library tradition in general. In fact one of the members was a former librarian of the branch where we meet. Other members are authors, writing teachers, travelers, and now one yoga teacher.
We meet the first Monday of the month 4:30 - 6. This month we read The Journey of Ibn Fattouma by Naguib Mahfouz. And they purposely take on at least one long classic each year, so next month we dive into Moby Dick. These are not books I would sit down with by myself, so the group definitely enlarges my consciousness in a variety of ways.