Vendela Vida's book Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name proved a popular pick! Although some members of the group were disappointed by the lack of resolution provided by the ending, overall this novel was appreciated for its storytelling and characters. Our discussion mostly focused on the characters relationships and attempting to figure out the patterns they chose to repeat by their actions. Another point of interest was the location of the book: Lapland or Sampi. This region has land in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia with most of the area being above the Arctic Circle. Not many people in the group had much exposure to the geographical area and it was very interesting to learn about the land and the people.
For April - everyone needs to hope for good weather as we are currently booked to be on the patio! On the 3rd Tuesday, April 21st, we will discuss Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Along with discussing the book, we will also incorporate a movie discussion.
"On the day of her father's funeral, twenty-eight-year-old Clarissa Iverton discovers that he wasn't her biological father after all. Her mother disappeared fourteen years earlier, and her fiancé has just revealed a life-changing secret to her. Alone and adrift, Clarissa travels to mystical Lapland, where she believes she'll meet her real father. There, at a hotel made of ice, Clarissa is confronted with the truth about her mother's history, and must make a decision about how—and where—to live the rest of her life."
Good news - everyone had agreeing opinions on 10:04 by Ben Lerner! Bad news - we all agreed that it was not a favorite by a long shot. His work seemed to leave many questions unanswered for the reader and many of our group questioned the point of this novel. It was interesting to have such a lively conversation about a book that sounded great in reviews and on the book jacket, but didn't quite seem to match up to that in reality. Since people were in attendance this month that had missed out on January's meeting, we then spent time discussing Quiet again. I believe that it says a lot for a book that we had two separate and in-depth conversations over a two-month period.
"In the last year, the narrator of 10:04 has enjoyed unlikely literary success, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal medical condition, and has been asked by his best friend to help her conceive a child. In a New York of increasingly frequent superstorms and social unrest, he must reckon with his own mortality and the prospect of fatherhood in a city that might soon be underwater. A writer whose work Jonathan Franzen has called 'hilarious...cracklingly intelligent...and original in every sentence,' Lerner captures what it’s like to be alive now, during the twilight of an empire, when the difficulty of imagining a future is changing our relationship to both the present and the past."
"At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled 'quiet,' it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
What fun we had last night! It was really nice to hear about what people had been reading outside of book group. Not surprisingly, the books brought in for reviews were just as varied and interesting as the people who selected them!
The white elephant book exchange was also a smashing success! So much so, that we had discussions of having another one in the summer! Check back in for details on that.
Click here to see a list of the books brought in by our group so that you have a list readily available for the holiday season.
Come to Jimmy's on December 9th at 6:30pm when we will have our final meetin of 2014! For this month, there is no official book to read. Instead, I'm asking you to bring two books to our meeting.
The first book will be one that you have read outside of Books on Tap and would like to share with the group. Be prepared to give a 2-3 minute blurb on the book - a little teaser to get people interested and possibly add to their own reading lists.
The second book will be put into a white elephant book exchange. Bring it already wrapped and we'll do a swap! It can be a book you love, a book you hate, something that will make people laugh or cringe. Nothing is off limits!
No matter what, it will be a fun night of wrapping up 2014 for Books on Tap!
Thank you to those who braved the cold to come discuss One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper! Most of our conversation focused on the characters and whether or not we agreed with their actions. People fell on both sides of the fence, trying to find the redeeming qualities in the main character, Silver, who was choosing to die and other people who were coming to terms with their own flaws. While the overall consensus was that no one appreciated the cliff-hanger ending, that led to a great discussion about what we thought happened afterwards. Readers seemed to appreciate the input of Silver's friends and family and their opinions of how he was choosing to deal with what might remain of his life.
For December we are doing a wrap up session and a holiday book exchange. Keep an eye out for a post on the details of this event.
**Also, remember to bring your summary of a David Sedaris book so that you can be entered to win tickets to his speaking engagement at the Wharton Center on October 26th.**
"Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now..."