Thursday, November 27, 2008

Canada Reads!

Hey all!
If you have second, head over to www.cbc.ca/canadareads to check out the CBC Canada Reads picks for 2009.  All of the books selected look amazing, but we are especially proud of Brian Francis' Fruit, because it was edited by Sue's good friend Jen.  Find out more about Fruit by visiting www.ecwpress.com/66_readfruit (to be shortened to www.readfruit.com at a later date).  The way the competition works is outlined as well at the CBC website.
Fruit is a laugh-out-loud book written from the eyes of an overweight 13-year-old boy (Peter) who feels like his body is letting him down.  He knows there is something different about him, and doesn't understand why other boys don't have fantasies about neighbourhood men on his paper route answering the door in nothing but a red speedo.  As his older sisters constantly bully him, his mother over-mothers him, and his father is largely absent on the living room recliner, Peter begins to learn who he is.  Jen calls Fruit, "brilliant."
Everybody please head over to the Canada Reads site and check out all of the 2009 picks—and then vote for Fruit!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November

Hello All!
This month we met and discussed Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tail.  Wow.  What a fantastic book!  I think it's safe to say that the majority of us devoured this book!  Setterfield's ability to keep the ending a secret until the very end—combined with her uncanny understanding of gothic conventions—kept each of hanging on tight until the ride came to an end.  The hot topic of conversation last night was, "who was able to figure it out?" and, "when did you figure it out?"  I would never betray the ending for anyone who has never read this book—but for those of you who have—you KNOW what I am talking about.  We also discussed whether or not Vida Winter truly pulled Emmeline (the real Emmeline) or Adeline from the fire.  We wondered why she never went back for that baby, too.  We figured that Ms. Winter must have felt that he was safe where he was, and that he was receiving better care.  I wondered how Vida knew that Margaret had a back-story that paralleled her own, so we also discussed how Ms. Winter suspected Margaret's twin-ness by the paper she wrote, which was about two brothers.
I think the overall consensus on this book was that it was absolutely fantastic.
In other news, we also discussed a meeting time and date for a December dinner.  A time and place was selected, and Sue is going to make reservations.  Members, check your inboxes soon for details. 
We also selected the next four months worth of books.  In January we will be reading William P. Young's The Shack, in February we will be reading John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, in March we will be reading Chitra Divakaruni's The Mistress of Spices, and in April we will be reading Emma Donahue's The Sealed Letter.  There was some buzz about asking Emma Donahue to join us in April.  Darline, let me know if you are able to talk to her.  If not I will see if I can somehow contact her—maybe via email?  It would be so great if she could join us!
As always, we love hearing you opinions!  Whether you're a member or not, drop us a comment—we'd love to hear your thoughts.
Cant wait to see everyone in December.  We will be VERY unofficially discussing Stephanie Meyer's Twilight saga (Hahaha… sorry Sue, but you saw what happened at the last book club, and besides, the conversation needs that dissenting view—and you can also tell us all why Spike is better than Edward! *LOL*)
See you all in December.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

October

Hi everybody, and thanks for reading this late post.
When we met in October, we discussed Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  While this book didn't appear to generate the same level of discussion as its predecessor—The Friday Night Knitting Club—I think most of us enjoyed it.  I know that most of us agreed that one of the best things about this book was that it allowed us to learn something.  Not many of us knew what life was like for women in China in the past.   I was grateful that Lisa See allowed us to glimpse into the heartaches and happiness of women from different walks of life.  Some of us were quick to say that we'd never be able to endure the life that Lily had—being confined to the women's rooms with our feet bound.  However, it is easy for us to say such things; not one of us has walked a mile in a seven-inch silk slipper.
As I mentioned previously, this novel's major strength was its ability to weave the tale of Lily's life in its entirety, while opening the reader's eyes to the way of life in China during Lily's lifetime.  Lisa See writes a beautiful story that has all of the elements: friendship, love, pain, death, betrayal, redemption, and finality.  I think that the book was received generally well overall.  Page-turner this book is not, however, I think the general consensus was a positive one.
Since the winter season is fast approaching, we discussed a few other items.  We each should think of a place that we might like to o for dinner in December.  We will need to pick a place during our November meeting.  As well, we should be deciding on a book for January.  Stephanie Meyer's Twilight was brought to the table again.  I have read the entire saga now—while it is HIGHLY addictive, and quite delicious (sorry Sue)—I don't know if it's book club discussion material.  Darlene suggested William P. Young's The Shack.  I think it would certainly generate a strong discussion.  Let's all bring our final suggestions and be ready to choose in November.
Sorry once again that this post is so late.  And please, whether you are a member, or just someone who lurked upon this blog, leave us a comment if you agree, disagree, or would like to recommend a good book.
Can't wait to see you in November when we discuss Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale.