Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Book Club August 2011

Book Club meeting was at the Fallbrook library this month in the outdoor patio, Poet's corner. The weather was warm and we were quite comfortable out there until about 8 p.m. which is closing time (on Thursday) and when it was just starting to get chilly. We are so grateful to be living in California where we experience these wonderful cool summer nights in contrast to our friends in the rest of the country who are sweating night and day.

This month we read "State of Wonder" by Anne Patchett. The group has enjoyed most of her books (Bel Canto, Run) and so we were all eagerly anticipating this publication. For a change, we polled to see who liked or disliked the book. Three people loved it and would recommend it, two people thought it was so-so - they liked some parts of it and disliked others, one person (me) disliked it. 

Our discussion of the book was lively. We talked about the Amazon jungle setting and whether any of us could survive there...a couple said they definitely could, most felt they couldn't. The two principal characters, both female doctors were fodder for plenty of discussion and debate. We spent some time discussing medical ethics in particular caesarian section, as one of the characters gets pregnant at 73. Those who liked the book were able to enjoy the fantasy and wonder of the premise and the setting; for others, it was too much of a stretch. 

Food was excellent as usual. Laurie brought a delicious baked zucchini dish and marinated zucchini with basil and olive oil. Beth brought a dip of  black eyed peas, beans, avocado and onions and she brought fried plantains (in honor of the Brazilian setting). We also had gazpacho, fried chicken and another wonderful dip made of mangoes, avocados, cilantro, green onions and lime juice. Sobriety reigned as we were, after all, at the library and instead of the usual array of wine bottles, we drank soft drinks, water or lemonade. 

Next month we read White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. A 2008 Man Booker Prize winner - here's the Amazon summary:

The novel provides a darkly comical view of modern day life in India through the narration of its protagonist Balram Halwai. The main theme of the novel is the contrast between India's rise as a modern global economy and its working class people who live in crushing poverty. Other themes touched on include the corruption endemic to Indian society and politics, familial loyalty versus independence, religious tensions between Hindus and Muslims, the experience of returning to India after living in America, globalization, and the rivalry between India and China as superpower countries in Asia.

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