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Bookworms inch their way through titles

Created date

July 30th, 2015
Ann's Choice residents
Ann's Choice residents

What Pat McGlynn likes best about , Erickson Living’s retirement community in Bucks County, Pa., is that residents have the freedom to do what they choose.

She chooses to read. A member of two book clubs and the producer of a book-focused television show on the Ann’s Choice in-house TV station called The Wonderful World of Books, she takes her reading seriously.

Literary minds think alike

A former teacher, “My true love is literature,” she says. 

Pat joined the monthly book club in 2006, two years after she and her husband moved from nearby Huntington Valley. Now, she’s its unofficial chair. 

The club posts a list of its upcoming selections on the bulletin boards in the clubhouses to inform members and entice other readers.

The favorite title through mid-2015 was an oldie, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society. But Orphan Train, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Silent Wife also earned good reviews.

Members tend to be of like minds. They prefer books with substance—biographies, autobiographies, and novels. 

Books on audio and TV

Early this summer, Pat was reading four titles simultaneously—two for two different book clubs and an audio book in her car. The fourth was for her TV show, The Wonderful World of Books. The program features Pat and a guest reviewer evaluating a book’s plot, characterization, timeliness, and even the background of its author. 

The show was Pat’s idea. When she pitched it to the studio in 2009, she received an immediate green light and plenty of technical assistance. 

“I get to do the creative part,” she says. “Our extremely professional staff, Morgan Gioffre and David Rector, handles the technology.”

The review of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit spanned two show segments. At 800 pages, Pat knew few viewers would read it. But they could learn the exciting story of Theodore Roosevelt shafting William Howard Taft by simply tuning in.

A resident once told Pat he didn’t need to read any book she featured; he only had to watch the show.

That she’s producing and starring in her own TV program is another thing Pat likes about Ann’s Choice. “There are so many things to do here!” she says, then adds she currently has little time for anything but books.

A fellow English major and Ann’s Choice neighbor, Jo Farina was one of Pat’s co-reviewers on a four-book series about P.D. James, the English detective novelist who died last year at age 94. 

True bibliophiles, neither Jo nor Pat use an e-reader. They’d rather hold the actual book in their hands. 

Jo has even kept a list of every book she’s read since 1980. Her count exceeds 500 titles, and she’s always on the alert for another fascinating story.

So many books, so little time, and freedom to enjoy the pursuit.