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August, 2014 > August 2014 Pre-Meeting Notes

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message 1: by Lily (last edited Aug 12, 2014 06:06AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 717 comments D, has suggested each member suggest at least one book for the group to read, making the suggestion before or at the August meeting.

Several book titles have been flying around in our emails since our July meeting. If any are missing here, please contact me or, better, add them as a post here yourself.

C: She Left Me the Gun My Mother's Life Before Me by Emma Brockes She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me by Emma Brockes

D: The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi Nadia Hashimi

E: Searching for Whitopia An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America by Rich Benjamin Searching for Whitopia by Rich Benjamin Rich Benjamin

F: On the Run Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman


message 2: by Janet (new)

Janet Williams | 38 comments Carol asked what people read in South Africa. They read much what Americans read. The books are just more expensive. The children like the Spud series, which may be popular in the US by now.

Two books with local interest. "Laugh Back the Sun" by Lan Reid. The author gave a talk at the Botanical Garden. Interesting family book, did her father commit suicide or was murdered? Historical spy background. Not well written, but interesting.

Attended the South African Book Fair. Much smaller than in US, but lots of local authors. "A Carrion Death" by Michael Stanley, set in Botswana a police detective book. There was a discussion about the legitimacy of writing about a foreign country as opposed to writing about your own country. The authors felt that in the post apartheid era, it was OK to write about other Southern African countries, with an outside perspective. Also how to deal with mass genocide in novels. The numbers don't count, you have to make it personal.


message 3: by Janet (new)

Janet Williams | 38 comments Read a history of the Boer War and "The Great Trek", which provides a lot of background for living in South Africa.


message 4: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 717 comments Great to hear from you, Janet!


message 5: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 717 comments Janet wrote: "Two books with local interest. "Laugh Back the Sun" by Lan Reid. The author gave a talk at the Botanical Garden. Interesting family book, did her father commit suicide or was murdered? Historical spy background. Not well written, but interesting.."

I don't find a Goodreads entry for this one, either the book or the author! Haven't checked other sources.


message 6: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 717 comments Janet wrote: "Read a history of the Boer War and "The Great Trek", which provides a lot of background for living in South Africa."

Is "The Great Trek" the name of a particular book you read, Janet? There appear to be numerous books with that name and I haven't searched the descriptions to figure out which might apply (likely not the one by Zane Grey!).


message 7: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 717 comments A Carrion Death (Detective Kubu, #1) by Michael Stanley A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley Michael Stanley

A bit on Carrion Death.


message 9: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 717 comments If anyone is interested, there is a strong discussion of Americanah happening here:

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

or more specifically:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...


message 10: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 717 comments http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/ta...

“Every moment of serious reading has to be fought for, planned for … A prediction: the novel of elegant, highly distinct prose, of conceptual delicacy and syntactical complexity, will tend to divide itself up into shorter and shorter sections, offering more frequent pauses where we can take time out. The larger popular novel … will be ever more laden with repetitive formulas, and coercive, declamatory rhetoric to make it easier and easier, after breaks, to pick up.”

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/...


message 11: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 717 comments Italo Calvino on why read the classics:

http://www.openculture.com/2014/08/it...


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