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Archive for the ‘Book Club’ Category

Holy Moly–it’s that time again! Our next book club pick is Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. We’ll be meeting at Katie’s new(!) house at noon on Sunday, July 12th.

Here’s a description from Booklist:

Today they would be called fashion models. But in early-twentieth-century China, sisters Pearl and May were known quaintly as “beautiful girls,” whose sophisticated cover-girl images set the standard for young Chinese women and exemplified the hopes of an ancient nation catapulted into anxious modernity as it balanced on the brink of war. Paradoxically, Pearl and May were also the products of a traditional upbringing in which their father controlled their destiny, selling them into marriage to Chinese men from America to settle gambling debts to a depraved Shanghai mobster. The tortuous route they take to first avoid, then accept, and finally embrace their abrupt fall from grace is rife with the most heinous tragedies—rape and murder, betrayal and abandonment, poverty and servitude. Through it all, one thing ensures their survival: the sisters are tenaciously devoted to each other, though time and events will strain this loyalty nearly to the point of destruction. Examining the chains of friendship within the confines of family, See’s kaleidoscopic saga transits from the barbaric horrors of Japanese occupation to the sobering indignities suffered by foreigners in 1930s Hollywood while offering a buoyant and lustrous paean to the bonds of sisterhood.

Mary says it’s a great read, so grab a copy at your favorite local bookstore and get those pages turning!

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Ladies, our next book club pick is Siddhartha, a simple yet thought provoking book, by Herman Hesse. We’ll be meeting at Brook’s house for brunch at noon on Sunday, June 7th. If you need directions, post a comment!

Here’s the book description from Amazon.com (since the Indie Bound website features only a one-liner):

In the shade of a banyan tree, a grizzled ferryman sits listening to the river. Some say he’s a sage. He was once a wandering shramana and, briefly, like thousands of others, he followed Gotama the Buddha, enraptured by his sermons. But this man, Siddhartha, was not a follower of any but his own soul. Born the son of a Brahmin, Siddhartha was blessed in appearance, intelligence, and charisma. In order to find meaning in life, he discarded his promising future for the life of a wandering ascetic. Still, true happiness evaded him. Then a life of pleasure and titillation merely eroded away his spiritual gains until he was just like all the other “child people,” dragged around by his desires. Like Hermann Hesse’s other creations of struggling young men, Siddhartha has a good dose of European angst and stubborn individualism. His final epiphany challenges both the Buddhist and the Hindu ideals of enlightenment. Neither a practitioner nor a devotee, neither meditating nor reciting, Siddhartha comes to blend in with the world, resonating with the rhythms of nature, bending the reader’s ear down to hear answers from the river.

I picked up a copy at the Boulder Bookstore for only $5.95–check the Indie Bound Store Finder to find your copy.

Speaking of Indie Bound, check out their Top 10 Spring/Summer Reading Group Suggestions!

Enjoy and see you soon!

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Our next book club pick is Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay. According to Mary, it’s an easy read, which is exactly what we need at this point! We’ll be meeting at Shannon S.’s house for brunch at 11am on Sunday, March 29th. See below for details about the book and click here to find your favorite indie store. Feel free to post a comment if you need directions.

Here’s the starred review from Publisher’s Weekly:

De Rosnay’s U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d’Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél’ d’Hiv’ roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself. Already translated into 15 languages, the novel is De Rosnay’s 10th (but her first written in English, her first language). It beautifully conveys Julia’s conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah’s trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down.

See you then!

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Sorry for the delayed post, ladies!

Our next book club pick is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. We’re scheduled to meet at Shannon H’s house at 7pm on December 10th. If you need directions, post a comment.

The Boulder Book Store is listing the price at $14.00—visit Indie Bound to find your local, independent bookstore!

Here’s the description from the Indie Bound website (HTML text errors removed courtesy of moi!):

The most talked about and praised first novel of 2007, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who, from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister, dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the
fukú curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere and risk it all in the name of love.

See you then!

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Our next book club pick is Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris. We’re scheduled to meet at Mary’s house on October 23rd at 7pm. If you need directions, feel free to e-mail me or post a comment.

The book is available for $13.95 at Borders, but how about supporting your local bookstore?

Here’s the description of the book from the Boulder Bookstore/Indie Bound website:

In her bestselling and critically acclaimed novel “Chocolat,” Joanne Harris told a lush story of the conflicts between pleasure and repression. Now she delivers her most complex and sophisticated work yet, an unforgettable tale of mothers and daughters, of the past and the present, of resisting and succumbing — an extraordinary work of fiction lined with darkness and fierce joy.When Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous woman they hold responsible for a tragedy during the German occupation years ago. But the past and present are inextricably entwined, particularly in a scrapbook of recipes and memories that Framboise has inherited from her mother. And soon Framboise will realize that the journal also contains the key to the tragedy that indelibly marked that summer of her ninth year….

Happy Reading!

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Welcome Book Club…

The Boulder Maven blog is now also the home of our local Book Club.

Book Club Members: Feel free to check the “Book Club” category of this website for updates about which book we’re currently reading, the date and location of our next meeting, any dining themes, etc.

I also plan to add a few comments about our collective or individual reactions to each book (in case anyone is interested in looking back) or you can add your own comments.

Stay tuned for details about our next meeting!

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