Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Club meeting

Woman in White: Everyone liked the book and the discussion was lively. Most were impressed with Wilkie Collins' life and his experiences and how he incorporated some of them in the book. There's a Wilkie Collins web site loaded with interesting information about the man...pdf files of most of his works including commentaries he wrote on various subjects - marriage, friends etc. I can't believe how much he wrote considering that they were using nib pens, ink and writing by candlelight in tiny script to save on paper. Think of what he could have done with a word processor?

Barbara had some documents from the same era, 1860, which she purchased in England.. one of them was a probate document for a spinster's will. It's written on sheepskin and in that beautiful penmanship that most educated people used - it was so interesting to see it and imagine the clerks in a law office on high stools scratching away creating public records. The advent of the typewriter must have thrown tons of people out of work. The documents added to the discussion of that time in history.

Women's rights issues were discussed and the fact that women were thrown into insane asylums when they caused "problems" - well I guess they are still doing that in India. Wilkie apparently was particularly sensitive to this and of course, incorporated many interesting and unusual (for the times) women into this story. He modeled Marion, after his good friend George Sands.

The menu: Stuffed shells, short ribs, crackers and cheese, pumpkin cakes and Halloween cupcakes. Kathy brought an interesting wine named, Pee no Evil.

The girls told another one of their hilarious stories. They were talking about being drunk in Mexico city and how someone fell out of the car onto the median in the road. They were trying to remember who it was, when one of them remembered that it was their mother!!! Apparently she was having some sort of mid-life crisis...and ended up going off that evening with an architect. I've got to hear more about her.

Vickie picked for January and besides the book we chose, Half Broke Horses - Jeanette Walls new effort, she had four others she'd picked- two of which I thought I might read: Baking Cakes in Kilangali (Rwanda) and The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver's new book.

We are going to donate collectively to a charity (Susan has been collecting information) for Christmas and the meeting will be at Roxanne's house again - this will be her third year as hostess.

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