Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Voyarism into two other book clubs

I'm currently reading Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens.  It is delightful, but I'm not quite ready to write about it as I've only just begun.  However, I would like to share with you a few other books that some other book clubs are reading and discussing.  It seems that everyone who reads is a member of a book club, at least within my circle of friends and aquantainces.  I spoke to two people yesterday (my friend B. and a female aquantaince at the pool), and this is what they are reading in their book clubs:

The Apothecary's Daughter would be a good choice for a feel good read, and would be my choice of these four books if I was to pick one of the four for a pleasent afternoon.

"Klassen blends her tale well; each ingredient—romance, friendship, healing arts, mystery" Publishers weekly.

My friend, B., really loved this book, so maybe you will also.

 Her group is also getting ready to discuss The Help.
Our group read this, and I consider this book to be one of the best discussion books we had last year.  The story, the setting and the topic of the ratial inequality in the south during the civil rights movement made for excellent discussion material.


My new friend at the pool is also a member of a group that is discussing
Skinhead Confessions: From Hate to Hope.  It has good Amazon reviews, and though the material is relevant to today's society, I find it so sad that people can be entrenched in a culture of hate.  On the other hand, this particular book club is also reading Bonk, so they are a group of people who really want to get into some serious topics.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

This is one of those books you just can't put down!  I finished this at 2 AM Friday night, even though I needed to get up early the next day (quite reminiscent of the Nancy Drew 3 AM middle school readathons).  This is not common for me.

This book would make an excellent gift.  The reading is light and the story compelling.  The characters and setting in a Hunan county in China during the 1800's is very interesting.  It would be a great book for any female reader, including a middle school or high school reader (reading at their grade level, which is not common at all where I live).  It would also be a book that I would highly recommend for a reading group discussion.  There are discussion questions at the end, but I would not find any of these necessary in a meeting.  This book needs no guidance into discussion!

There are many striking topics covered in addition to the rich social issues of Chinese culture.  One topic that stood out distinctly for discussion is the life long relationship between female friends.  The relationships, even in American culture, can be so strong that we also refer to each other as sisters or as Aunts (in the case of a strong bond between women of two different generations).  However, in Chinese culture this was formalized in written contracts.  Another topic I find interesting for discussion are the social ordering of people in Chinese culture compared to our own American culture.  The Chinese culture is extreme in this era, as evident in the foot binding (another amazing topic for discussion),  the education of the males vs females of this culture, the living arrangements of married women (ruled by their mother-in-laws outside of their natal home) and the strict requirements for respect and obedience.

I hope someone will tell me what they think of this book.   What did you think?