Book Club - Paris discussion

Next Book > 2014 Book #3 : Press play

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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments Hi everyone,

The topic of our next book has been chosen by the committee gathered last night at the Apparemment café.
And it's not so much a topic as it is a form a literature.

Book #3 is going to be a play!

What kind of play? you might ask.
Well, we almost decided on reading a Russian book instead, so maybe a play written by a Russian author, or a play about Russia, or a play which contains a Russian character, or maybe none of those things, feel free to nominate any play you'd like to read.

So please submit your book proposals. The submitting process ends next tuesday.

message 2: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments Yay, twas a great night t'other night.

Right, I'm going to recommend Top Girls by Caryl Churchill.

Churchill is a ridiculously important British playwright and somehow I've never seen any of her plays, nor read them... Top Girls is probably her most famous and here's what wiki says: "The play is contemporary and examines the role of women in society and what being a successful woman means."

message 3: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
My old acting teacher put on Top Girls a few years ago and I thought it was just amazing. I'd love to read it, so I'll just second that proposal.

message 4: by Viviane (new)

Viviane | 172 comments Hello !

I ve seen a play from Harold Pinter a long time ago, don t remember which, but always wanted to read more..I ve just checked on him on Wikipedia, and, though he is english, he comes from a russeian family, so right in the «double theme» :)

I nominate «the Homecoming» about a not very cheerful family meeting Italie seems..

message 5: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments My pick is The Pillowman

I know nothing about it, apart from the blurb I read on Flavorwire, where it is part of their "10 contemporary plays that should be on your shelf"

message 6: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments It's a tough choice already! The Pillowman sounds great - I loved his In Bruges film and I'd heard he was a great playwright. And always need some more Pinter in my life…

message 7: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
Martin McDonagh also scripted the Seven Psychopaths, which had that story-within-a-story-within-a-story that we refer to as the ... RUSSIAN DOLL MODEL. The Russian connection is established!

message 8: by Katerina (new)

Katerina | 496 comments hi all! i want to propose something what is part of Russian classics : Revisor by Gogol. its The masterpiece which shows the Russian mentality and I think is not far from the humanity description in general. I would feel like I'm back to school since we had almost had to leant it by heart , but I think it will be very interesting to you. and I'd like to know your opinion on it.

message 9: by Danbi (new)

Danbi | 30 comments I propose The Weir, by Conor McPherson.

message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments Katerina, The Revisor is also known as The Government Inspector, right? I know of that one - not read it, but would love to.

message 11: by Soraya (new)

Soraya | 11 comments Hi,
I'd love to read the Revisor. I know it but I never read it or seen it on stage.

I tried to find a contemporary play that echoes Chekhov work that I love. From my research, I am impressed by the vitality of contemporary Russian theater. I read this interviewed (, which let me propose: You from Olga Mukhina.

message 12: by Alan (new)

Alan | 172 comments Mod
Since I've not been for ages, and I (insert sweary adverb) detest reading plays I shouldn't really make a suggestion but since it would force me to read something on a required reading list I have, why not Dancing at Lughansa by Brian Friel? Apart from the fact I must at one point read it, it's supposed to be great. But seriously, if you're interested in a play go see it, don't read the how to manual :-)

message 13: by René (last edited May 10, 2014 10:17AM) (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
I like f**king.
As a sweary adverb, I mean.
And, because I replaced two letters with asterisks, it could anything.
Edit: But I won't argue with the Scottish guy.

message 14: by Maria Pilar (last edited May 10, 2014 04:44PM) (new)

Maria Pilar Gomez (mariapilargomez) | 68 comments I won't mind to read any russian play your proposed since I have always found russian culture, history, politics and society "fascinating?", (although not for good reasons, hein? ;)), and russian classics have always been at the top of my bookshelf.

Nevertheless, I won't be able to find the time to read any play, so I won't vote this time.

message 15: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments Hey, Pilar, you should still vote! Don't be silly. It's all part of the fun.

message 16: by Katerina (new)

Katerina | 496 comments Soraya, i was thinking also about Chekov and about fining somehting fresh for myself too, since all russian classics are taught in our schools til lthe point that you start to hate it. But i took the responsibility (as i am Russian) to propose something which is really very true and funny - with Chekov we can pas the days crying ...

And yes our politics is very special ... especially recently ... like always.

PS but i will still take the list of all nominates and read them - I love theater

@Justin - I am surprised to know but yes it is also names as The inspector general.I hope that in english translation it would be good. If you dont mind ill keep up with the russian version - we could do some comparaison after !

message 17: by Maria Pilar (last edited May 11, 2014 03:48PM) (new)

Maria Pilar Gomez (mariapilargomez) | 68 comments Yes! Great! I can still play, then.

I needed four months but I think I finally got it : the essence of belonging to this club is participating to the extraaaaa loooong voting process, being the reading and the discussion of the book the optional part of the whole process, is that right?

Shall we rename the club "The Poll Paris Book Club" to avoid any confusion?

@Justin : I am so happy that I will just back up your vote, to help your choice win.

Seriously: I don't participate this time because I struggle too much during the book discussions, due to my current English abilities, which are not good enough to properly follow you.

message 18: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments Maria, your english is fine. It is better than mine. ;)

If we all agreed on everything, our meetings would be so boring.
I mean, i loved "a visit from the goon squad", where as rené and justin hate it with passion.
But talking about it was cool. I was not going to make them love it instantly. They didn't make me hate it. But we debated and it was fun.

As someone said : why so serious?

message 19: by Katerina (new)

Katerina | 496 comments Maria, well i never saw you but i am so looking forward into it. even the debate for the book is nice!

message 20: by René (last edited May 12, 2014 05:28AM) (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
There are, of course, correct and incorrect opinions. I'm the first to admit when I'm wrong, or at least I will be when the day comes, if ever.
Ben, are you putting up the vote doodle? I use the doodle pro version which allows one to buy votes.

message 21: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments @René : there are no incorrect opinions, as long as you agree with me.

message 22: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments The first rule of pro doodle is : you do not talk about pro doodle.

message 23: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments Pro-doodle AKA Poodle.

message 24: by Maria Pilar (last edited May 24, 2014 07:41AM) (new)

Maria Pilar Gomez (mariapilargomez) | 68 comments @Ben, @Justin : Be assured the reason why I am not participating this time is not disagreeing on books. It's lack of time.

I will do my best to come back to Book Club soon.

@Katerina: I am happy to hear that, we are meeting for "1Q84"!

message 25: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments Hi all,

The Poodle is up and it's right here:

Two votes per person as usual. More votes can obviously be purchased (PM René for bribe rates).

message 26: by Katerina (new)

Katerina | 496 comments I wonder what is that bribe rate :)

message 27: by Katerina (new)

Katerina | 496 comments First to vote )

message 28: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments Sorry Soraya, I forgot to add your book to the Doodle.
I just put it in.

By the way, if you haven't voted yet, or wish to change your vote, please do so by friday.

message 29: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
Who's Jannat? We don't want anonymous votes.

message 30: by Viviane (new)

Viviane | 172 comments «if I remember well, Jannat is one of the 2 members who went to the first, last minute cancelled, «war» meeting...Am I right ?

message 31: by Jan (new)

Jan | 4 comments Absolutely, Viviane. Thanks for remrmbering :)

message 32: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
Sorry, Jan. Welcome back!

message 33: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments Aaaaaand.... Top girls is our winner.
It´s a short read - just over a 100 pages - so how about meeting in sometime around June 15th?

message 34: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
Sounds good!

message 35: by Katerina (new)

Katerina | 496 comments Maria and I are having the French speaking club on 15th. The 14th ?

message 36: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
I call upon the Power of Doodle to be unleashed!

message 37: by René (last edited May 17, 2014 08:05AM) (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
Here's a taste of the play (French, sorry). It was directed by my old drama teacher:

message 38: by Ben (new)

message 39: by Maria Pilar (last edited May 24, 2014 07:43AM) (new)

Maria Pilar Gomez (mariapilargomez) | 68 comments Just a though: I am not sure "successful women" is an up-to date concept applicable to our modern societies nowadays. Is it different to "successful men"? I would replace it for "happy, blooming (épanouies?), comfortables with her feminity, accomplished women".

Otherwise, yes, I know the play was written and set up in the 80's.

Here there is a taste of a less dramatic version of womanhood emotion sharing, from a different and more attractive angle, by two brave top girls I know:

message 40: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments Last day to vote on our Doodle! If you haven't voted yet and plan to come, please do so.

So far, it's a three-way tie between:
Mon 16
Wed 18
Tue 24

message 41: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
@Pilar "More attractive angle"? The woman on the left can't decide if she wants to wear shorts or yoga pants. Also, not to brag, but I can dance better than that. Or stretch. Or whatever the heck they're doing in the video.

Seriously though, Top Girls is a fantastic play. Very much looking forward to next book club. I found a version of Top Girls on youtube by the BBC that looks good, here's the link:

To anyone watching it, don't be surprised at the people talking over each other. That's Caryl Churchill's genius, writing overlapping dialogues that are hell to put on but go over sooooo well.

message 42: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
Oh, I get the complicity-shared-joy-etc thing, I just call it goofing off. Those are professional dancers, really? It just goes to show, you can never tell.

So, who hasn't voted yet for Top Girls? Let's get this show started!

message 43: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments Wednesday the 18th it is!

message 44: by Viviane (new)

Viviane | 172 comments hello ! I m halfway through the book now, but not available anymore on the 18th :( Hope to be more available next time...

message 45: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
I shan't make it either - Wednesdays don't work for me.

message 46: by Ben (new)

Ben | 69 comments Hi all,
Do you guys still wanna meet up on the 18th or should we reschedule?
Do you need more time to read the book?

message 47: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod

message 48: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments I've read it... (and loved it) but it IS the World Cup at the mo! And Spain are playing a must-win on Weds! Or we could do book club in a bar with a screen!

message 49: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
How would that go? "Yeah, so... Top Good book..." Stares at screen, mouth agape "AWWWW idiots, need to be more aggressive!"

message 50: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments Basically... yes. Although we could discuss how better football would be if women played alongside the men, on equal (huge) wages. And how the cameramen could also pan to 'hot' men sat in the stadium and not just Brazilian women (as they do in EVERY World Cup)!

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