The afternoon book group meets next Tuesday, April 5, 1:00 at Pat’s. Linda will be reviewing “Dead Wake” by Erik Larson. I’m halfway through the book and find it quite interesting. Pat reminded us the other day that a documentary of the Lusitania will be on the Smithsonian channel (Comcast 915 or 124) Monday 8-9. Will try to watch.
Diane Rehm had a few good book interviews this week.
The Midtown Cinema will be showing “Hello, My Name is Doris” with Sally Field. Saw the promos and it looked funny. Check website for schedule.
We have a few suggestions for next year’s afternoon group:Lillian: “The Lifeboat” by Charlotte Regan, “Winter Men” by Jasper Bugge. Lorraine: “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante, “Circling the Sun” by Paula McClane, (sp), “The Witches” by Stacy Schiff, “Austerlitz” by W.G. Sebald (morning group).
The HD Live presentation of Madame Butterfly will be at The Camp Hill Cineplex, 2 April at 1:00. Can’t wait to see the staging, and of course, the singing.
Hope everyone has a healthy and Happy Passover and Easter.
Hope to see you soon.
“I don’t avoid housework for reading. In fact, I see it all the time. We’re just not speaking to each other right now”
Thoughts shared by Helen:
I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s performance of “Hamlet.” It was a 21st-century, highly modernized, very dynamic production. Dorothy called it “gripping”, and I think it is a wonderful way to describe it. I think Benedict Cumberbatch succeeded in creating his own outstanding Hamlet. Ophelia, Claudius, Polonius were also excellent. Claudius’ soliloquy was probably the most powerful I have ever seen. He appeared to be crushed by the weight of his sin, by the burden of guilt and impossibility of repentance. The most admirable feature of this production, in my view, was that they focused their main attention of the brilliant text itself; they highlighted every word. And another good news: there were quite a few people in the audience, many of them young, even though it was a week-day, late performance. I found it very exciting.
On another matter: Lillian asked if any of Svetlana Alexievich’s works were available in English. Yes, they are – “Voices from Chernobyl” and older “Zinky Boys” (about Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan) and “War’s Unwomanly Faces” (about women in WWII). Her works are similar in genre to Studs Terkel’s “Working” if you remember it: it’s s series of interviews on an issue. She is a courageous and gifted journalist, but the Nobel Prize? I wish it were not so political…
Thank you for sharing!
The Morning Book group met Thursday at Joyce’s. We had an interesting discussion of Toni Morrison’s “A Mercy”. Next month Helen will be reviewing “Anna Karenina” at Pat S’s home. Can’t wait for that!
Helen should be at the Hamlet simulcast (starring Benedict Cumberbatch) at the Regal Theater tonight. Sorry to have missed it. Helen, if you have a few free moments can you do a little review?
Pat R’s son Marty will be reviewing Orhan Pamuk’s upcoming book for the NY Times soon.
Colm Toibin’s book “Brooklyn” was made into a movie and will be coming out next month. Two popular Irish actors will be the leads. I recognized them from previous films. Helen did a wonderful review of the book two years ago.
Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel is our next book for the Tuesday afternoon group on Nov. 3. It will be reviewed by Marcia at Carol N’s home. It was a book I never would have chosen on my own, but I’m glad I read it and will discuss with friends.
Take care, Bookhound
“May all your days be filled with open books”
Hope you are all well and enjoying your summer. Both reading groups had successful planning pot lucks and it seems we’re all set for the new season.
Please note, the Afternoon Book Group’s selection for Feb. has 2 titles. I have a used hardback book “Daughters” and the newer title is “Three Daughters”. The important name is the author CONSUELO SAAH BAEHR. It can be ordered on Amazon.
Have you been reading any good books this summer? Most of you know I really enjoyed “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown and can’t wait until Kathy’s review in March. I also read “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George which reminded me a bit of “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”. I’m re-reading it almost back to back. I bought Donna Leon’s “Through a Glass Darkly” for my Amtrak book on my way home. By page 20…”did I read this book already?”….by page 100….”I may have read this book…” and then comes the murder… “I DID read this book!” Oh well, it was an OK Amtrak read. “Station 11” is available at B&N. I’m trying not to read our book club selections too early. The new Harper Lee book is getting a great deal of publicity. It may be good for discussion next year.
Have a good summer. I miss the book group. Feel free to post recommendations.
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them” Lemony Snicket
“Books…a nice change from reading prescription labels”
The Afternoon Book Group:
Oct 6 A Spool of Blue Thread, By Ann Tyler
Nov 3 Station 11, by Emily St. John Mandel
Jan 5 Norah Webster, by Colm Toibin
Feb 2 Daughters, by Consuelo Saah Baehr
Mar 1 Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
Apr 5 Dead Wake, by Erik Larson
May 3 The Nightingale, by Kristen Hannah
This group meets the first Tuesday of the month. See the Branch Calendar for details.
The Paperback Book Group:
SEPT 17 The Keeper of the Bees, by Gene Stratton-Porter
OCT. 15 A Mercy, by Toni Morrison
NOV.19 Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
JAN. 21 Children of the Arbat, by Anatoli Rybakov
FEB. 18 A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Mara
MAR. 17 An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabin Alameddine
APRIL 21 Orhan’s Inheritance, by Aline Ohanesian
MAY 19 How To Be Both, by Ali Smith
This group meets the third Thursday of the month. See the Branch Calendar for details.
I left out some important info from our meeting! We decided it was at the discretion of the host and reviewer as to whether to cancel book group due to snow. Considerations were:location of meeting, parking available close to location, no BIG HILLS, and reviewers ability to attend. The hostess or reviewer would notify me, preferably by phone, and then I would send out a group e-mail with the info. Remember to check your e-mail on a questionable day before leaving the house.
Enjoyed seeing Mary Linn’s enthusiasm over Patrick O’Brien. My husband has been encouraging me to read a few, but it wasn’t until Mary Linn’s recommendation that I considered it. But I won’t tell HIM that.
Some ladies mention surprise on the brutality during the French Revolution. I have a good coffee table book called ”Voices of the French Revolution”. Good pictures with good historical descriptions.
I also have “The Orientalist” by Tom Reiss, his book before “The Black Count”. Don’t have “The Count of Monte Cristo” but do have “The Black Tulip” by Alexandre Dumas. It was his last major historical novel. All available.
Have a good week,
“When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before”. Clifton Fadiman
Another informative and enjoyable book group for all 19 of us! Special thanks to Beth for hosting. Her “long” living room gave us the space. No rears on rugs.
Lillian did an outstanding presentation on “The Black Count” and the Dumas family. Mary Jean shared her excitement on “The Count of Monte Cristo”. I know I have the book SOMEWHERE. Simpson Library in Mechanicsburg will have their book sale Friday, Feb. 13, 6-8 P.M. for members, Sat. Feb. 14, 9-2 P.M. and Sun. Feb. 15, 1-3 P.M.
Cheryl asked about a new book by the reclusive Harper Lee. Came home and there was a blurb on my blogs about a new book in July “Go Set A Watchman” by Harper Lee written in the 1950’s. Keep an eye out for it. Will probably have a great deal of interest. Carol L was unable to attend, but recommended “Florence Gordon” by Brian Morton. Disappointed she missed the group after having enjoyed the book. Looking forward to reading “The Good Lord Bird” for March.
Chalkboard sign outside a book store: “COLD? Buy a book. You’ll still be cold but you’ll have a book”.
Last call for RSVP’S to Beth for book group on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 1:00. Lillian will be reviewing The Black Count by Tom Reiss.
B&N alert…. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny hardback is on 50% sale table. Also All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr hardback is on sale for 40% off by the front entrance. I’ll be leading the review for this book in March for the morning group. Doesn’t come out in paperback for a few months.
Wolf Hall will be on PBS in early April. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain is on now on TV in the UK and may come to us in a few months. I have a number of her books for borrowing. She’s a very interesting woman at a significant time in European history. I have Martin Walker’s second French countryside mystery novel The Dark Vineyard for borrowing. Will start Boris Akunin’s second mystery The Turkish Gambit this evening.
We will need to discuss a “snow policy” for our group. When to cancel or make-up. It could also apply to the morning group if agreed upon.
Stay safe in this challenging weather,
“Interrupt my reading again, and even Miss Marple won’t find your remains”.
Hope you’re all enjoying the beauty of the snow and not the headaches today. This is your first reminder of our next afternoon book group: Tuesday, Feb. 3, 1:00 at Beth’s home. Lillian will be reviewing The Black Count by Tom Reiss. Please RSVP to Eakennedy4@gmail.com. Further info next week. Everyone says I’ll like the book because of the “French connection” and I do.
I finished the book I’ll be leading at the morning group in March. It’s The Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. He did a beautiful job of inter-weaving the characters and setting the scenes in St. Malo, Paris and Germany. It was a fairly intense read, so I thought I’d read one of his lighter previous books. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World.” It’s an enjoyable read. He won a fellowship to research and write a book for a year. The book he was working on is The Light We Cannot See!
I also recommend An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine. It centers around the long life of a Lebanese woman surviving civil wars and single life in Beirut. I also had The Hakawati (Storyteller) for future reading. I came across articles about the Pen Writers’ concern about the imprisonment and threats against writers in Turkey and Russia. There were quotes from Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak. I discovered her book in my basement library (pile) and finally read it. The Bastard of Istanbul. You can check her out on YouTube and she’s very interesting and informative about the lives of women and Turkish history.
After reading The Winter Queen and enjoying Carol N’s outstanding review, I now have “used copies” of the next 4 books available for borrowing.
USE LIBRARIES AND LEARN STUFF A few ladies from our book group and about 40 others, are attending the 2 sessions of Understanding Islam at the Frederickson library. The second session is this Sunday at 1:30 in the community room. Very informative afternoon.
Check out www.peter-pho2.com and read outstanding postings, maps, and background of the Paris attacks of early Jan. He normally has beautiful pictures and postings about Paris. He has local day walks through the city for tourists. It is a VERY well-developed blog and has received many awards.
Take care, Bookhound
KEEP WARM AND SNUGGLE UP WITH A BOOK
What a good time at the afternoon book group this month! It was one of the most interesting and informative I’ve experienced. Special thanks to Lee for setting a beautiful table with Russian treats. Lee and Helen found some wonderful candies, cookies, tea, etc. at Goldy’s Market in New Cumberland. I plan a visit along with Oxford Hall next week. Carol N. did a wonderful presentation about the Russia of the 19th century (the book period) and of 20-21st. century. Many of us were busy taking notes for follow-up reading and “Googling”. I listened to Boris Akunin on you tube. He spoke at the British Centre for Translation, Sebald Lecture 2013. He was interesting and showed a good sense of humor.
“He was happy to speak about his translation days there in England since there wasn’t a Russian who’d be interested!” Thanks to Geri, I set up an account with ABE Books. I will be ordering The Turkish Gambit.
Keep warm. I may try to hibernate.
“True literature can exist only where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy officials, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels and skeptics.” Yevgeny Zamyatin