Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Club

A few months back well maybe like six I joined a book club.  It all started when we first joined a small group through church.  I met a gal who was fairly new in town and she had joined a book club through meetup.com and invited me to tag along.  (this is the same gal of course who we ended up going on our Colorado rafting adventure with)  Anyway,  since I have joined the group we have read Love in the Time of Cholera, The Help, Jerusalem Maiden, and I just finished The Violets of March. I thought I would do my own little synopsis of the books and ratings for those who are looking for books to read this fall/winter.

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez

First of all,  a little on the author: 
Gabriel García Márquez is a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. He is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, and is the earliest winner of this prize to be still alive.
He pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism.  His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularizing a literary style labeled as magical realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations. Some of his works are set in a fictional village called Macondo  (the town mainly inspired by his birthplace Aracataca), and most of them express the theme of solitude.
This book was on Oprah's list as well as this book has been made into a movie, which I haven't yet seen. 

My take on the book:

These are not meant to be plot spoiling just an overview of my thoughts.
Basically I thought this was the book that would never end.  "Gabo" is known for being very descriptive, and that he was.  I appreciated the detail with which he described the setting; however, the plot just wasn't one I got into. Well actually, I guess I got into it and then I got sick of it.  I loved the idea and the first part of the book and the end, but for me, the middle was a drag.  The main character Florentino drove me crazy.  He needs a therapist.  And his coping style was obnoxious.  Gabo created an elaborate story with so many characters with small parts it is almost impossible to remember them all  - let alone correctly.

Okay so that isn't a raving review but I'm glad I read the book.  I feel a little more cultured.

The Help, 
Kathryn Stockett
So again I will start with about the author,  
Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. The Help is her first novel. 
So of course I found this quite intriguing because in so many ways she is writing her story.  Many have seen the movie so I don't really need to talk about the plot but I enjoyed the book immensely and I was pleasantly surprised at how closely the movie followed the book with only a few changes which I understand for movie purposes.  As far as characters, I adored Minny she has the stubbornness yet faithfulness I find within myself.
I never cease to be amazed that such hatred and racial turmoil that took place not very many years ago -- not even a lifetime ago (and let's be honest it still happens today) 

Jerusalem Maiden, 
Talia Carner
I have to admit I don't know much about this author but the novel was very intriguing to me.  Several people I talked to said they had a really hard time getting into the book and my personal thought on this is because they aren't "religious" people.  I found this book so interesting because it depicts the life of a Hasidic Jew in the early 1900's.  Her inner turmoil of her creative passion fighting against her strict religious society and her desire to honor God the way she had been taught creates a battle and a dynamic worth considering.  The first few chapters are kind of smack-you-in-the-face religious sterility but the story that follows is far from stale and definitely crossed bounds from what I expected. 

Violets of March, Sarah Jio
I read this book so fast!  I don't know how many pages it has cause I didn't look it up and since I read it on my Kindle I never see that but I read it in about 3 sittings which was unreal!  It was certainly a fluff book compared to the others.  Just a life book - about hurt, love, betrayal, secrets, forgiveness, all that good stuff.  Can't say my life was changed by this book it was a bit predictable but since I read it so quickly I didn't mind, I mean everybody can use a little soap opera in their life whether they are daytime soap's or Gray's Anatomy.... this book hit the spot for an easy read.   

Well that's it for book club reads so far.

Some other books of interest I have read:
Water for Elephants, which I loved and can't wait to see the movie. 
Same Kind of Different as Me, I cried - so will you.
Kite Runner
Confesssions of a Shopaholic
 If you want a review let me know I'll be glad to share my take.

And more...  if you like to read and what to keep up with what your friends are reading a great site that I use is www.goodreads.com

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