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Archive for March, 2013

bigread_shoemakers-wife-197x300This riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny is inspired by the author’s own family history and the love of tradition. Join us as we meet to discuss “The Shoemaker’s Wife” by Adriana Trigiani, Monday April 1, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in meeting room B

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Book Selections

It is that time of year again to pick the books we will read for the 2013-2014 year.  Here is the list of titles you can choose from:

Classics

Doyle, Arthur Conon.The Hound of the Baskervilles. 246p.

Faulker, William.As I Lay Dying. 261p.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 172p.

Maugham, W. Somerset. The Razor’s Edge.314p.

Twain, Mark.Pudd’nhead Wilson. 303p.

Wharton, Edith.The Age of Innocence. 308p.

Wilde, Oscar. Picture of Dorian Gray. 268p.

Fiction

Bauermeister, Erica.Joy for beginners. 272p.

Cleave, Chris. Gold: A Novel. 324p.

Eggers, Dave. Hologram for the King. 336p.

Flynn, Gillian. Gone Girl. 419p.

Ford, Richard. Canada. 420p.

Jonasson, Jonas. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. 384p.

Jones, Sadie. The Uninvited Guests. 262p.

McEwan, Ian. Sweet Tooth. 320p.

Power, Kevin.Yellow Birds. 230p.

Smith, Zadie. NW. 539p.

Non-Fiction

Boo, Katherine. Behind the beautiful forever. 256p.

Crosby, Molly Caldwell. The great Pearl Heist: London’s Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard’s Hunt for the World’s most valuable necklace.288p.

Cain, Susan.Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. 333p

Kingsolver, Barbara.Animal, vegetable, miracle :a year of food life. 370p.

Larson, Erik. In the garden of beasts :love, terror, and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin. 448p.

Maitland, Leslie. Crossing the Borders of Time: a true Story of War, Exile and Love Reclaimed. 494p.

O’Reilly, Bill. Killing Lincoln: the shocking assassination that changed America forever. 324p.

Sheldrick, Daphne Jenkins. Love, Life and Elephants: an African love story. 352p.

Sotomayor, Sonia. My Beloved World. 315p.

Stashower, Daniel. The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder.326p.

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns. 538p.

Click here to look at a list of reviews for all the selections.

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Anna Karenina

On Monday, March 5th the Booked for the Day book group met to discuss Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, while nibbling Russian Tea Cakes and chocolates (provided by Julie!).

Everyone agreed that they enjoyed the book but unfortunately because of its length, not everyone was able to finish.

We talked about the characters in the story whom we sympathized with and the ones we did not.

  • The group had a hard time sympathizing with Anna, partially due to her reaction to Annie. We did not think she was a great mother. We had a hard time understanding how she could love her son but not her daughter, especially since Annie was the daughter of the man she loved. We also thought it was odd that she was going to get revenge on Vronsky by killing herself and could not understand how that would give her satisfaction.
  • Stiva, Anna’s brother, was another character that was not sympathetic.  Stiva was able to have an affair without consequences while Anna was ostracized. Stiva spent all of his and Dolly’s money on his needs without taking into consideration the family’s needs, especially the children’s. And when Stiva went to Karenin to talk to him about his and Anna’s divorce, he was more concerned about being agreeable to Karenin because he wanted Karenina to recommend him for a more lucrative position in the government.
  • Karenin we did not like because of his disinterest in his son until it suited his needs. He did not want to give Seryozha up mainly to punish Anna, and prior to that he was not interested in the child. We did like the way he forgave Anna and Vronsky when he thought Anna was dying. It was at this point that he said he would give Anna her divorce but later changed his mind under the influence of Countess Ivanovna. The situation with Ivanovna was also odd and somewhat bizarre.
  • Tolstoy made the character of Levin so likeable because Tolstoy based the character of Levin on his own life. Both Levin and Tolstoy had a spiritual awakening during their life. Levin was the heart of the story and represented all things good and right. Levin, who appeared to be a gentle man, always felt more at peace in the country than he did in the city. He was also the one who suggested that Kitty give Dolly her inheritance since Dolly and her children were in need and Kitty would never have to worry about finances.
  • The group as a whole did not care about Vronsky. We did not think that Vronsky cheated on Anna but that it was Anna’s imagination due to her morphine addiction.  Even though they had a perfect life in the country, both Vronsky and Anna seemed to need more. Love was not enough; it seemed that they both craved social recognition.
  • The group thought the book could have ended with Anna’s death and everyone thought that Tolstoy’s philosophy in the last few chapters could have been left out. But we all agreed it was definitely worth the read.

Please feel free to add any more thoughts in the comments section and don’t forget the DVD is coming out on March 19.

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