Author: Marinka

The Life and Death of Book Club Attempts

I have been in my current book group for almost eight years, and although I love the books and the company of smart women, what I value most about it is that it did not disband as soon as I joined. Like the other two book groups did. Really, it was enough to give this reading woman a complex. I joined my first book group several months after I graduated from college because I believed that’s what people who graduated from college did, along with living in too-small, overpriced apartments and bemoaning “adulthood.” A woman I met in a writing class at the local Y invited me, and I found myself surrounded by 40-something goddesses who were smart and well-spoken and had read more books than I’d seen in my life. I liked all the women in the group, unusual for a misanthrope like me, and they seemed to like me. All of the women were married (or divorced!), and some had children. Several women belonged to another book group, in addition to ours, although …

Reconnecting with Lenny from Leningrad

The other night I was nestled in bed like a snug bug in the rug, or some other insect facing imminent extermination, about to drift off to sleep, when suddenly I had a thought. This in and of itself was not remarkable, as I often have thoughts, and the ones before visiting slumberland tend to range from “I wonder if I have an undiagnosed and incurable disease” to “I hope that North Korea putting Austin on the To Attack List isn’t giving Austin NYC-type delusions of grandeur.” But that particular evening, I had a different thought. See, after spending time working on my masterpiece I wondered why I never bothered to look up Lenny from Leningrad on Facebook. In case you hadn’t yet hacked into my computer to read a draft of From Russia With Baggage (working title), from the age of zero to 9, when my parents and I left the Soviet Union, Lenny was my boyfriend. That was in 1975. Or 1976, I’m not great with dates. I liked Lenny because he did …