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How I became a Fan-Girl in one fell swoop

I’ve never been in a book group before. That seems a little strange because I love to read and I love to talk about books.

I finally organized my life to be in a book group and now I’m in TWO! Not only am I in the Perfect Avocado book club, but I’m also in a local group, so I’m reading two books at once - breathless! I’m attempting to read one and listen to the other. If need be, I can do both in order to make it through on time! For our last book, I finished about 20 minutes before the meeting - whew!

It’s now the last week of January and the Perfect Avocado Book group has met twice and my expectations have been blown out of the water. What’s so cool about the PA group is that we meet with the AUTHORS! I’m not the kind of person that gets all atwitter because of celebrity sightings, nor do I follow them on social media, and I don’t pursue autographs. BUT, discussing a book with it’s author is a completely different experience! And that’s what I want to share with you - because I had a moment in our last book group that turned me into a true fan-girl!

When we met with Lisa See, we had lots of questions, and she was so patient and indulgent with us. She shared how long she takes to write a book (1 to 3 years). She told us how she came up with the idea for The Island Of Sea Women - an article from Scientific American almost eight years ago while she was in a doctor’s waiting room. She shared details from her research that didn’t make it into the book - like that Koreans of Jeju Island are crazy about all things Swiss - what? Yes, they actually have chalet’s, they have swiss restaurants, and they like to brag about how many times they’ve been to Switzerland! She delighted us with stories of her research including the breath holding records - while the characters in her book can hold their breath up to 3 minutes while diving up to 65 feet deep - she astounded us with the fact that the record holder for breath holding is 24 minutes!

But by far, my favorite thing about our time with Lisa See was when she told us about her next book. She told us the whole saga about how she’d had a TV interview and, of course it’s COVID so she was interviewed remotely from her home. But they wanted her to rearrange her books and objet d’art on the shelves. After the whole ordeal was over and she was putting everything back together, she noticed an old book of hers on Chinese female medical practitioners. In short order, she decided to write a novel based on the first published female practitioner in China, Tan Yunxian, who published her book in the 1400s!

And here’s the fan girl moment...