Tuesday, May 16, 2017

June 2017: Wenjack by Joseph Boyden

Image result for wenjackMeeting Details: 
Thursday, JUNE 8th at Tamara's place!

Discussion Questions: 
 - coming soon

Menu:
- coming soon

Thursday, April 20, 2017

May 2017: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

May Book Club Selection








May Book Club
Theme: Children's literature
Book title: The One and Only Ivan
Date: Thursday May 4th, 7:30pm
Location: Sherrie's home



Harper Collins Discussion Guide

Discussion Questions:
1. Did you enjoy the book?  Why or why not?
2. What does Ivan mean when he says, “In my size humans see a test of themselves” (p. 4), and “I am too much gorilla and not enough human” (p. 7)? Why does the sign for the Big Top Mall show Ivan as angry and fierce?
3. What are the characteristics of Stella and Bob that make Ivan call them his best friends? Why is each of them important to Ivan?  What characteristics do you value when forming close friendships?
4. What does Stella mean when she says, “Old age is a powerful disguise (p. 31)?
5. Discuss the special bond between Julia and Ivan. Why is she different from all the other children who come to see his shows?
6. What is the importance of the television in Ivan’s cage? What does he learn from watching the television (Westerns and nature shows)? What do you learn from television? What would you say is the most important thing television has taught you?
7. Why is Bob so independent? What makes him trust Ivan enough to sleep on Ivan’s stomach? What events in Bob’s life have shaped his personality? How does Bob’s experience with humans compare to Ivan’s?
8. Compare the personalities of Mack and George. How are they alike, and how are they different? What is the meaning of “family” to each of them? What are the contradictions in Mack’s character?
9. What does Stella mean when she says, “A good zoo is how humans make amends” (p. 64)? What is the importance of the story that Stella tells about Jambo (pp. 63-66)? What does it tell us about gorillas?
10. What is Ivan’s initial reaction to the arrival of Ruby? Compare Ruby’s arrival with that of a new baby in a human household. How does her arrival affect all the other animals at the mall? When and why do Ivan’s feelings about Ruby change?
11. Why does Ivan promise Stella that he will take care of Ruby when he knows how hard it will be to keep that promise? How does Ivan know that Stella is gone before anyone else does?  Have you ever made a promise that you knew would be hard to keep?
12. What is the turning point in the story - what events come together to change Ivan's acceptance of the situation and to help him grow into his own strength and wisdom? When does Ivan start to believe that he will be able to help Ruby, and perhaps himself as well?
13. How does Julia convince her father that Ivan’s picture has a very important meaning? Why does George agree to help Julia display Ivan’s art on the billboard, even though he knows it might cost him his job? Discuss the meaning of the word “principle.”  Have you ever stuck to your "principles" even though it would cost you?
14. Why is Ivan reluctant to join the other gorillas when he arrives at the zoo? What does he need to do to be accepted by the others? How do you feel when you are in a situation with others you don’t know?
15. Discuss the theme of belonging in this story, from the point of view of each of the characters. What is the meaning of belonging for each of them? What does the idea of belonging mean to you?
16. Would you recommend the book to others?  Why or why not?

Because the silver-back gorilla is a plant eating animal from Africa, we'll be feasting on a vegetarian-African inspired menu for the evening...with recipe links provided
Starters:
Baked Plantain Chips
Spicy Bamboo Salad
East African Mango-Cucumber Salad

Main:
Coconut rice (note: maggi cubes = bouillon cubes)
African Vegetable Curry

Dessert:
Lightened Monkey Bread (only because of it's name!  A great "light" version recipe that is equally delicious, as I've made this many times)
Mandazi (these sound delicious:  "East African Doughnuts made with grated coconut ,  spiced with cardamon, nutmeg and fried to perfection."  Yum!)

Assorted "fruity" tea/drinks: Sherrie
Yogurt covered raisins: Sherrie



Friday, April 7, 2017

Looking Ahead July-Dec 2017

We had some time and a full house (9 out of 11!), so we discussed some of the upcoming books and narrowed down a few of the months.  Hopefully, we can decide the remaining months at the may meeting!

July - Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams 
Hostess: Tessa

August - Mystery Night - STILL UNDECIDED...
Hostess: Emily
  1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  2. Jane and the Canterbury Tale by Stephanie Barron
  3. The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman
  4. Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
  5. mysteries for thinking women list from Oprah
  6. any other suggestions?

September - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Hostess: Danielle

October - 
Library Kit - TBD depending on availability
Hostess: Chandra

November - Trafficked by Sophie Hayes
Hostess: Erica

December - Get Cooking - STILL UNDECIDED
Hostess: Karen
  1. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
  2. Sous Chef by Michael Gibney. 
  3. My Paris Kitchen Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz
  4. A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson
  5. The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson
  6. other suggestions? We looking for good food with a bit of a "story" to it :-)


February Couple's Meeting 
Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice

Red Notice by Bill Browder






Tuesday, March 28, 2017

April 2017: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Image result for the wonder by emma donoghueMeeting Date: Thursday, April 6th at Shelagh's house; meeting @ 7:30 with plans to start discussion by 8pm.















Discussion Questions

1. Did you like the book? Why or why not?
2. How would you describe Lib Wright (consider the name, perhaps)—especially when we first meet her? How does she approach her move to Ireland, the people, superstitions, the food?  When does it become evident that there is part of Lib's past she is not revealing to us? How reliable of a narrator is she?
3. Describe the Ireland that confronts Lib, the way in which Emma Donoghue presents the country in the 19th Century after the devastation of the infamous potato famine.
4. How does Anna O'Donnell differ from expectations, both yours and Lib's? When Lib first sees her, what is the state of Anna's health—does Lib find her as healthy as everyone claims she is?
5. Is Anna too young to understand her reasons for fasting? What responsibility do the family and the church have for Anna? What about the doctor's role? 
6. As the days pass and Anna's condition deteriorates, Lib begins to feel she may be complicit in girl's demise. Is she?
7. How does Lib change from who she was when she first ventured into Ireland? How would you describe her as you progress through the novel?
8. The novel brings up basic philosophical and religious questions, one of which is what it means to give up the most vital necessity of life in the name of something greater than yourself. Is it admirable, mad, selfish, narcissistic?
9. What is the role of an outsider, like Lib? Does she have the right to intervene or an obligation to do so? What would you say or do to Anna?
10. The novel has a gothic feel to it: spooky, menacing, even harrowing. What makes for the sinister atmosphere that pervades the novel?
11. Do you find interesting the clinical detail regarding the descriptions of Anna's symptoms and the theory and practice of nursing in the 19th century?
12. Discuss the book's title. What are the multiple meanings of "The Wonder"?
13. Would you recommend this book?

Menu Ideas 
Many of the meals which Lib had contained oats, fish or was in the form of a stew. If you wanted to expand on this?  -I will make corned beef and Irish soda bread as well as provide the beverages on Thursday. 


Reminder: next month we'll be choosing books for the next 1/2 year; 
don't forget to look over the choices!

Options for July-December books

Here's our master list moved forward.. please do add your additional suggestions/suggestions for books to take off the list in the comments below!

July - Travels to Remember... a travelogue from anywhere around the world

Hostess:
  1. Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach
  2. Are We Nearly There Yet? by Ben Hatch
  3. Travelling with Pomegranates: A Mother Daughter Story by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
  4. Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams 
  5. Here's an amazing list of travelogue options! 
  6. other suggestions?
August - Library Kit
Hostess:
- see HPL book club kits on the side bar for options

September - Reading the Classics 
Hostess:
  1. The Invisible Man by HG Wells
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  3. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  4. here's a great (but short) list of classics... have you read all these?
  5. other suggestions?

October - Mystery Night 
Hostess: 
  1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  2. Jane and the Canterbury Tale by Stephanie Barron
  3. The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman
  4. Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
  5. mysteries for thinking women list from Oprah
  6. any other suggestions?
November - Muckraking Madness 
Hostess: 
  1. American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales
  2. Welcome to Shirley by Kelly McMasters (a memoir about growing up in a town polluted by nuclear waste and chemical spills)
  3. The Saturday Night Special by Robert Sherril
  4. I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali, Delphine Minoui, and Linda Coverdale
  5. here's a helpful list of best muckraking books ; and other list of muckrakers
  6.  other suggestions?
December - Get Cooking 
Hostess: 
  1. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
  2. Sous Chef by Michael Gibney. 
  3. My Paris Kitchen Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz
  4. A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson
  5. The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson
  6. other suggestions? We looking for good food with a bit of a "story" to it :-)

Please pop into the comments (or the post itself) and add any suggestions that you may have.  

If you are unable to make the May meeting, please add a comment with your preferences here so we can take them into account.  Thanks!