“On the same page” is a series featuring Utah book clubs that runs every other week.
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SALT LAKE CITY — James Parkin initiated a men’s book club about 15 years ago, inspired by what he observed from his wife’s women’s book club.
“I saw how much enjoyment my wife got from her book club and thought, ‘Why couldn’t men have a book club also?’” Parkin said.
Thus the Salt Lake-based group of retired men, self-titled the Weakly Readers, was born.
“It’s just great entertainment and gives retired people something important to do,” Parkin said.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Deseret News: Do you perceive a lot of differences between your book club and your wife’s?
James Parkin: Not a huge amount. In fact, she shares with me the books that her book group reads, and we men sometimes choose the same books that our wives are reading. Sometimes I tell her about books that we have read and she reads those and discusses them with her book group to see if that’s something they would read.
DN: What kind of books does your group usually read?
JP: The person who hosts the book club chooses the book. We’ve read a lot of World War II history books, a lot of biography and adventure books.
DN: What have you learned or gained from being involved in this book group?
JP: I have gained the appreciation of books that I normally would not choose, and reading books that others have chosen, I come to appreciate different kinds of literature.
DN: Which author, dead or alive, would you most want to attend your group and why?
JP: I think the author of “April 1865,” Jay Winik, to get a perspective on how he did the research for (it) and questions about his writing style. We all enjoyed that book a lot.
The Weakly Readers recommend:
“I’ll Push You” by Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck, Tyndale House Publishers, 304 pages (nf)
“Same Kind of Different As Me” by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent, Thomas Nelson, 256 pages (nf)
“The Peacegiver” by James L. Ferrell, Deseret Book Company, 240 pages (nf)
“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 592 pages (f)
“April 1865” by Jay Winik, Harper Perennial, 512 pages (nf)
“Flyboys” by James Bradley, Back Bay Books, 416 pages (nf)
“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 528 pages (nf)