October meet

I’m running  late, but before the new meeting is upon me, just a quick note regarding our last meeting in October.

Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford was not every one’s cup of tea. I certainly enjoyed it. For one, some of the characters are modeled after her family members. The Mitford sisters (six of them, after which there came one boy) seem to have been a crazy bunch, often referred to as ‘Mad, Mad Mitfords.’ Their own mother, seemingly the inspiration for Sadie in the novel, lamented: “Oh, why do all my daughters fall for dictators?” (The reference is to Diana, who took up with Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of Britain’s fascist party; Unity, who became a close friend of Hitler’s, whom she worshipped. She shot herself in the head when Britain declared war on Germany but survived with some brain damage, Hitler paying her German hospital bills, according to Time Magazine from 20 April 2002. Jessica, a would-be-communist, eloped with Winston Churchchill’s nephew. Who needs novels with such a family?

In any case, here are some of my favorite lines:

  • I, Albert Edward Christian George Andrew Patrick David take thee, Leopoldina…
  • Polly on her dress: ‘Mine is liver lamé, it smells like a bird cage when it gets hot but I do love it.’
  • They all… had a thousand questions to ask about mutual acquaintances in Paris, fashionable foreign ladies with such unfashionable English names as Norah, Cora, Jennie, Daisy, May and Nellie. ‘Are all Frenchwomen called after English housemaids’? Lady Montdore said, rather crossly.
  • ‘The old French tart was telling me the whole system last night.’ Lady Montdore was famous for picking up words she did not quite understand and giving them a meaning of their own.
  • She said that the duke of Barbarossa (this may not be the name, but it sounded like it) had told her the inside story, in which case he must also have told it to the Daily Express, where I had read word for word what she now kindly passed on to me, and several days before.
  • Her curtsies, owing to the solid quality of her frame, did not recall the graceful movement of wheat before the wind. She scrambled down like a camel, rising again backside foremost like a cow…

I better stop there! Onto upcoming meetings:

21 November Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

19 December suggestion: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

See you there, hopefully!

 

A new year

We’re off to good start. This past Monday, 26 September, saw six of us discussing the summer read, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. The premise of this book is certainly an interesting one – the birth of the main character and narrator coincides with the independence of India, and the partitioning into two countries, India and Pakistan.

Rushdie’s novel falls into the genre of magical realism (the book has been compared to Garcia Marquez’s  A Hundred Years of Solitude, with respect to that). It is thus that all the children born within the hour after the birth of India (1001, to be exact, one of many references to the Arabian Nights, though only 581 are still alive by the age of ten) have special powers.

I won’t attempt to even summarize the plot, but if you paid close attention to my previous sentence, you will notice how it digresses more than once. This is probably the main problem I had while reading the book – the digressions made it hard for me to follow the plot at times.

All in all it was an interesting but tough read. Make sure you have some time on your hands if you haven’t read it and wish to do so. It is a read that I probably would not have chosen on my own. However, I think it is one of many pleasures of a book club, to read outside of one’s comfort zone. As usual, we had a fun time discussing the book and other topics.

upcoming books:

24 October Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford mitford

21 November Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

19 December  up for discussion

Please note our next meetings this term are not on the last Monday of the month. 31 October is school-free, so we decided not to have it that day, since people might opt for a long holiday with All Saint’s Day on 1 Nov. I then decided on 4 week intervals, because the December meeting is always early due to the holidays. I hope this suits everyone.

See you next month, and happy reading!

 

 

September 2016

Dear all,

A quick post before I leave to go on holiday. We met in June, I think a record 9 members, and had great fun discussing A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Upcoming:

26 September Midnight’s Children by Salmon Rushdie

Come ready for some conversation, catch-up and bring suggestions for books to read in the new school year.

All the best, Marlisa

 

The Big Sleep

We had a wonderful time – in an intimate circle – talking about The Big Sleep. Raymond Chander’s plots are at times overly complex, but his tone is just too funny.

…there was a broad stainedglass panel showing a knight in dark armour rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn’t have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair.

“Tall, aren’t you?” she said. “I didn’t mean to be.”

Hair like steel wool grew far back on his head and gave him a great deal of domed brown forehead that might at a careless glance have seemed a dwelling place for brains.

I won’t spoil things by mentioning more – it bugs the heck out of me when I see a trailer and the movie seems sooo funny. But then it turns out that the trailer contained every single funny scene in the entire film!

Mar, who is a bit of an expert on Chandler, also recommended The Lady in the Lake and the Long Goodbye by the same author.descarga

On to the next meeting:

6 June at 8:30pm: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Husseini

summer readMidnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. This is a long read (over 600 pages), so don’t leave it to the very end!

 

Three Men in a Boat

The month of March was skipped because of Easter vacation, so we met the first Monday of April for Three Men in Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. It really is a hysterical read and at oftentimes one forgets how long ago it was written (published in 1889!). The paperback copy I bought some time ago before I had my e-reader includes a second book, Three Men on the Bummel, with the same three friends on a bike tour through Germany. I shall read it sometime, hoping to get as many laughs out of it as I did out of this one.

Upon popular request we decided to do a detective novel and the choice fell on hardboiled fiction. Please notice the change of day of the week:

Tuesday, 3 May The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.

Until then.

 

1984

On 29 Feb we met for 1984 – I enjoyed our evening immensely. For one, we were eight people, record attendance. Secondly, our discussion was very interesting. Lots of it evolved around how much of ‘Big Brother’ is or has been a reality, be it here or in other parts of the world.
Our book for March – beware, we are not meeting until the first Monday in April, though – is a lighter one. I hope you enjoy it and get some goods laughs out of it.
4 AprilThree Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (download here for free from gutenberg.org)
I hope to see you then.

February book

Dear all,
Things are hectic for me at the momoment, so just a quick update. We met last week for ‘March’ by Geraldine Brooks, liked by most of the group. It is the story of Mr. March from ‘Little Women,’ who is away at war (American Civil War) for most of the latter. ‘March’ gives his side of the story as well as his background. The character is modeled after Louise May Alcott’s father.
Next month, we will meet on 29 February to talk about 1984 by George Orwell. See you then, and happy reading!

1984 email image