Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Book club selections for 2007-2008

In May our book club meets at Barb's lovely home. It has never looked more lovely that last night--almost like a park with trimmed beds and lovely perennials and potted flowers. Our final and fun selection for our book year was Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray, who published her first novel when she was 60. Then with one minute to lobby our choices, the members offered suggestions for next year's reading, with the absentees sending theirs with another. Here's what we'll be reading, although all of the suggestions sounded terrific.

September: Learning to Bow by Bruce Feiler. My caution would be that this is based on his teaching experience in Japan in 1987-88--20 years ago, and was published in 1991. We probably wouldn't want our culture evaluated by a just-out-of-college, one year visitor's first book.

October: Field work by Mischa Berlinski. A first novel by another American visiting a foreign country. A trained classicist, Berlinski worked as a journalist in Thailand where this story of two clashing American cultures--anthropologist and missionary--takes place.

November: 1776 by David McCullough. This is the title I threw into the mix. McCullough's use of diaries and letters and his ability to weave in the stories of the little people we never heard in our history texts is just awesome. George Washington managed to write almost 950 letters in that year, while running the war campaign.

December: Inside the Kingdom by Carmen Bin Ladin, Osama's sister-in-law (half brothers whose father had 22 wives), affords a peek into her life in Saudi Arabia. From the book jacket cover I thought she might use Michael Jackson's surgeon. Do you see a resemblance?

January: A tree grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is a 1943 classic that was made into a movie. It will be an interesting comparison with the immigrant life today.

February: We'll be doing something Shakespearean with a special guest, who actually taught my children when they were in elementary school.

March: Digging to America by Anne Tyler is a story about two families who adopt Korean children. Tyler is an excellent writer, popular with women, and I'm sure there will be enough stereotypes to go around.

April: Amazing Grace by Steve Turner, a pop/rock journalist, is the book [or part of it] about the hymn on which the movie was based.

May: I'm proud of you by Tim Madigan, yet another journalist, the story of Mr. Rogers.

Also suggested (but we only choose 9) was Unknown world by E. J. Edwards, Snow falling on Cedars by David Guterson, For the Glory of God by Rodney Stark, and Religious literacy by Stephen Prothero. I scored 100% on .Prothero's quiz, and 71% scored 80 or above

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