Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Club

I've been meaning to write about my book club for a while now-we're in our 8th month so I thought I'd better do it before it was all consuming.
Our book club was started by about 8 of us ladies in our LARGE circle of friends.  Emails were flown back and forth, votes were cast and our 1st book selected:

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Woe

I began reading....slowly-painfully.....stumbling over the Spanish phrases tossed in.  I was not enjoying the book.  Sharing this with my friend Tara-another TBABL (Tampa Bay Area Bad Liberians) she had told me that she was enjoying it-and to just get past a certain point. "It gets better" she said.  (I've learned she says this a lot and 9 times out of 10 it does not.)

But we got together, had wonderful Dominican inspired food and a really good discussion.  I don't feel like a more enlightened person for reading the book, but I do feel good for reading a book that I would never  have chosen on my own. (Which is the whole point of book club)

I hosted the 2nd meeting in which we read:
Sarah's Key

This book was more along my taste and I read it pretty quickly and enjoyed the story.  There was some history, some drama and some mystery.  My only complaint was the contrived-almost forced last 30 pages.  It almost felt like the author was required to right xxx number of pages and finished the book short.  All in all though it did bring about a good discussions.

Our next book was a more light hearted choice-after reading a book about the Holocaust we needed it. We read Chelsae Handlers first novel:

My Horizontal Life: A collection of One Night Stands

Now, I enjoyed the book, but on a pure entertainment level.  I am not a wiser person for reading this-maybe the opposite.  But i did experience a bunch of gut wrenching laughs.  She is a very blunt women-who's had her share of "interesting" situations.  Needless to say there wasn't any deep discussion on this book-just a bunch of women getting together and enjoying some food and company.

This was our next book:

I bought the book (The library had NO copies-ever).
I did not finish this book. I could not finish this book. I would not recommend this book to my worst enemy.
If you want to borrow I have it-please don't give it back. 

Our next choice had a better outlook.....
Life List

It was short lived.
This book was like reading a biology book-written by a 10th grader-about a women who was selfish, cold, determined and down right uninteresting.  Most of the rest of the club agreed it was a dud.  The one who did enjoy it is a veterinarian.  Read it if you REALLY like birds.  (those who know me well, know I hate birds.)
However the "bird" food at this meeting was really good-lots of deviled eggs and yummy chicken :)

Our next book was - in my opinion- a GREAT book.  FINALLY!

The Help
It was a story-with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It made me happy, it made me sad, I laughed and I cried - I questioned humanity and our history.  If you have not read this book-read it.  My aunt had also read the book, and I think she put it best when she said, She didn't want it to end.  Neither did I.
And the food at this meeting wasn't bad either-Macaroni and Cheese, fried chicken, Okra and sweet tea vodka! mmmmm Those Southerns know how to fatten people up.

The next choice-chosen by a member (we'd switched from voting to the hosts' choice) was:

Bel Canto

It was an interesting read.  A slow read for me-but not for others.  I think the style it was written is was also supposed to play on the situation in which the characters were.  It was another one of those books that I would have never chosen, but read and feel slightly worldly because I did.  I would give it a 3 out of 5.  Not sure if i would recommend it, but glad I did finally finish it-even after book club told me how it ended.
The food (South American themed) was really good too!  My ceviche was a hit, but I  (the tomato hater) didn't care for it.

Our last book was chosen by my friend Tara, who had actually just finished the book, but thought we'd all enjoy it.  It was a non-fiction book about a man who grew up in the everglades and this was his life story:


I really wanted to like this book. I only got to page 45 and I'm not going to finish it.  My grandma wrote a memoir a few years back  and this read just like her memoir.  In 1930 I did this. In 1931 this happened....and so on....and so on. And as one person at book club stated "It was like going for a ride in a jalopy on a flat rode." There was now story curve, no climax, no big idea....just his life story.  Which I respect-and I'm sure a lot of fishermen and hunters might find it a bit more interesting than a girl who grew up in the woods with a hunting father and brothers...old news to me.  Luckily our Cracker style food was good, because our discussion was little to null....guess there really wasn't much to discuss.  And thank God no one brought coon.

Our next book is yet TBS-I'm hoping for a good one.....stay tuned.

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