Ecstatic and thrilled are just a few of the feelings I’m experiencing having to wait for this Saturday to arrive. Once a month I’m blessed with the greatest company…….. well, besides my family.

Sitting in a warm little room, circular fashion, ready to discuss our current book. Professor Steve sets a carefree, relaxed tone. Eight inmates, seven students engaged in a two hour book-soaked conversation that always satisfies my deepest appetite.

Lots of laughter, but yet it can, and usually does get incredibly serious at times. The students are so warm and welcoming. They share their lives with us, free of judgment with a genuineness that I’ve never felt before. Their continued display of character is awe inspiring. What our book club does for me, is what the sunrise and fresh soil does for a flower. Complete nourishment.

Thank you, thank you, thank you UW book club for your authenticity, trust, deep connection, kindness, respect and acknowledgment. It has been an absolute privilege and honor to celebrate life with you.

I still giggle at times thinking back on my life. I would have considered maybe reading the directions for making a cheese cake, but never a book, and joining a book club……………..Absolutely Not!

Marshall Byers