Thursday, February 03, 2011

Book Club Meeting - February

Our hostess chopping vegetables in her gorgeous kitchen

Barb's delicious curry

Lori's wonderful salad

Roxannes hand is faster than the eye

Rox and Beth digging in

Discussing the issues

A sample plateful
The evening was chilly outside but toasty warm inside Susan's lovely home. Good company, good food and great conversation. 

Most enjoyed reading One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni; some had reservations.  Beth Deutsch didn't like it and I thought the writing was awkward in places. We all enjoyed the literary device used to tell the story: victims of a disaster - nine random strangers who happen to be in the Indian consulate in San Francisco where they are trapped by an earthquake - are facing either rescue or death. To quell panic, they decide to each tell their "story".  

Jane Ciabattari in her review for NPR puts it beautifully "Trapped strangers are transformed into a chorus of Scheherazades, offering up tales of loss and love, and betrayal and redemption, to illuminate the gathering darkness."

Did they live or did they die? Most of the group fell on the "half full" side and thought they probably were rescued. A couple of us saw doom descending quickly on the very next page, if there were a next page.

Smell-o-rama!! Our little group doesn't pretend to plumb any intellectual depth at these meetings. We plunge into the scatological (led by Beth C.) at any opportunity and a good one arose. Off the book topic, but on the subject of book clubs, we discussed what kinds of aromas Beth D. could create/capture and bottle to enhance a book reading experience for her grandson's book club. What a great idea to make the reading experience memorable! Proust and all that. The suggestions came fast and furiously.

While driving home, I thought about what story I'd tell if I had to pick a final one. For years I've been struggling over my "last supper"; now a new gauntlet's dropped and the Scheherazade challenge is on in my brain.

Next month's book: At Home: A Short History of Private Life, by Bill Bryson.


  1. Bill Bryson is fantastic. Love his travel tales of getting plastered in some north sea pub or stealing camper's shoelaces. Did you read my flaundry thing? What you think?

  2. I love your food writing. Not sucked in by an hype, your honest assessments are great to read. A fantastic food experience.

    We've eaten at a few of the "big show" places, most notably Alinea. I agree that it's too much too absorb. After 2 courses with the wine pairing I was pretty well shot. By the time the shrimp swinging on trapezes arrived, like you, we were screaming for mercy. And then you get the bill.

    I really enjoyed your observations about your fellow diners too.

    You might like reading in the New Yorker about Jordie Roca's dessert creation which attempts to duplicate the sensory experience of scoring a soccer goal. Someplace for you to go next.

  3. I think I have had it with this style of food. Give me an honest chop or something cheap and ethnic. I saw that the FL read my blog about an hour ago. Wonder what they thought? "Wonderful and terrible." I love the line even though I wrote it myself...