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Group Discussion (Love in the Time of Cholera)

Posted by knittenkitten on 2006.10.30 at 14:21
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: Matt Kearney—What's a Boy to Do?
Questions behind the cut...Collapse )
Feel free to answer any or all of the questions in the comments section or in your own post. Remember, this is the book through the month of November, so read leisurly and enjoy! :)

The October Book!

Posted by knittenkitten on 2006.10.12 at 13:34
Run, don't walk to your nearest book store or library to get:
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez!
I have read this book several times (it is one of my favorites) so please feel free to discuss as you go along.
I wanted to make a suggestion, and you all can let me know what you think. As we are staring this book in the middle of the month and most of you have expressed that the timing could have been better...maybe we could make this the "1/2 of October and all of November Book"? Let me know what you think...but in the meantime, read read read!

Happy to Oblige....

Posted by knittenkitten on 2006.10.09 at 12:58
Current Location: work
Current Mood: coldcold
Current Music: none
If it is alright with everyone else, I will take trp4life's suggestion and do the books for October. Please have your votes posted by Wednesday the 11th.

You may notice a theme in this months selections...I have gone for all "Classics." Some of these I have read, some I have not, but I am sure I would enjoy all of them.


Option 1: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Description:
The ironic vision and luminous evocation of South America that have distinguished Garcia Marquez's Nobel Prize-winning fiction since his landmark work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, persist in this turn-of-the-century chronicle of a unique love triangle. It is a fully mature novel in scope and perspective, flawlessly translated, as rich in ideas as in humanity. The illustrious and meticulous Dr. Juvenal Urbino and his proud, stately wife Fermina Daza, respectively past 80 and 70, are in the autumn of their solid marriage as the drama opens on the suicide of the doctor's chess partner. Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, a disabled photographer of children, chooses death over the indignities of old age, revealing in a letter a clandestine love affair, on the "fringes of a closed society's prejudices." This scenario not only heralds Urbino's demise soon afterwhen he falls out of a mango tree in an attempt to catch an escaped parrotbut brilliantly presages the novel's central themes, which are as concerned with the renewing capacity of age as with an anatomy of love. We meet Florentino Ariza, more antihero than hero, a mock Don Juan with an undertaker's demeanor, at once pathetic, grotesque and endearing, when he seizes the memorably unseemly occasion of Urbino's funeral to reiterate to Fermina the vow of love he first uttered more than 50 years before. With the fine detailing of a Victorian novel, the narrative plunges backward in time to reenact their earlier, youthful courtship of furtive letters and glances, frustrated when Fermina, in the light of awaking maturity, realizes Florentino is an adolescent obsession, and rejects him. With his uncanny ability to unearth the extraordinary in the commonplace, Garcia Marquez smoothly interweaves Fermina's and Florentino's subsequent histories. Enmeshed in a bizarre string of affairs with ill-fated widows while vicariously conducting the liaisons of others via love poems composed on request, Florentino feverishly tries to fill the void of his unrequited passion. Meanwhile, Fermina's marriage suffers vicissitudes but endures, affirming that marital love can be as much the product of art as is romantic love. When circumstances both comic and mystical offer Fermina and Florentino a second chance, during a time in their lives that is often regarded as promising only inevitable degeneration toward death, Garcia Marquez beautifully reveals true love's soil not in the convention of marriage but in the simple, timeless rituals that are its cement.

Option 2: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Description: Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover.

Option 3: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Description:
There was a time when reading Joseph Heller's classic satire on the murderous insanity of war was nothing less than a rite of passage. Echoes of Yossarian, the wise-ass bombardier who was too smart to die but not smart enough to find a way out of his predicament, could be heard throughout the counterculture. As a result, it's impossible not to consider Catch-22 to be something of a period piece. But 40 years on, the novel's undiminished strength is its looking-glass logic. Again and again, Heller's characters demonstrate that what is commonly held to be good, is bad; what is sensible, is nonsense. Yossarian says, "You're talking about winning the war, and I am talking about winning the war and keeping alive."
"Exactly," Clevinger snapped smugly. "And which do you think is more important?"
"To whom?" Yossarian shot back. "It doesn't make a damn bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead."
"I can't think of another attitude that could be depended upon to give greater comfort to the enemy."
"The enemy," retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, "is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on."
Mirabile dictu, the book holds up post-Reagan, post-Gulf War. It's a good thing, too. As long as there's a military, that engine of lethal authority, Catch-22 will shine as a handbook for smart-alecky pacifists. It's an utterly serious and sad, but damn funny book.

Option 4: Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
Description:
Tyrone Slothrop, a GI in London in 1944, has a big problem. Whenever he gets an erection, a Blitz bomb hits. Slothrop gets excited, and then (as Thomas Pynchon puts it in his sinister, insinuatingly sibilant opening sentence), "a screaming comes across the sky," heralding an angel of death, a V-2 rocket. The novel's title, Gravity's Rainbow, refers to the rocket's vapor arc, a cruel dark parody of what God sent Noah to symbolize his promise never to destroy humanity again. History has been a big trick: the plan is to switch from floods to obliterating fire from the sky.

Slothrop's father was an unwitting part of the cosmic doublecross. To provide for the boy's future Harvard education, he took cash from the mad German scientist Laszlo Jamf, who performed Pavlovian experiments on the infant Tyrone. Laszlo invented Imipolex G, a new plastic useful in rocket insulation, and conditioned Tyrone's privates to respond to its presence. Now the grown-up Tyrone helplessly senses the Imipolex G in incoming V-2s, and his military superiors are investigating him. Soon he is on the run from legions of bizarre enemies through the phantasmagoric horrors of Germany.

Option 5: A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Description:
In the preface to A Moveable Feast, Hemingway remarks casually that "if the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction"--and, indeed, fact or fiction, it doesn't matter, for his slim memoir of Paris in the 1920s is as enchanting as anything made up and has become the stuff of legend. Paris in the '20s! Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, lived happily on $5 a day and still had money for drinks at the Closerie des Lilas, skiing in the Alps, and fishing trips to Spain. On every corner and at every café table, there were the most extraordinary people living wonderful lives and telling fantastic stories. Gertrude Stein invited Hemingway to come every afternoon and sip "fragrant, colorless alcohols" and chat admid her great pictures. He taught Ezra Pound how to box, gossiped with James Joyce, caroused with the fatally insecure Scott Fitzgerald (the acid portraits of him and his wife, Zelda, are notorious). Meanwhile, Hemingway invented a new way of writing based on this simple premise: "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know." Hemingway beautifully captures the fragile magic of a special time and place, and he manages to be nostalgic without hitting any false notes of sentimentality. "This is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy," he concludes. Originally published in 1964, three years after his suicide, A Moveable Feast was the first of his posthumous books and remains the best.


October Book?

Posted by knittenkitten on 2006.10.05 at 10:48
I think it is attackkitten this month? Am I right?

Posted by boreter on 2006.09.28 at 13:50

Just finished Broken for You this past weekend. 

My thoughts under the cut...Collapse )


Broken for You

Posted by knittenkitten on 2006.09.18 at 11:04
UGH, I am LOVING this book!
It is weird and heartwarming and, well, real. I really like it and all the characters! I am about 3 chapters from being finished...but don't know the protocol for "discussing" a book, as I have never done it before. Do we just post and comment? :)

sweetred

novelnewlyweds September Book

Posted by sweetred1 on 2006.09.06 at 07:14
RUN!!!! Don't walk... to your nearest bookstore and pick up this month's novelnewlyweds selection:

Broken for You
by Stephanie Kallos




When we meet septuagenarian Margaret Hughes, she is living alone in a mansion in Seattle with only a massive collection of valuable antiques for company. Enter Wanda Schultz, a young woman with a broken heart who has come west to search for her wayward boyfriend. Both women are guarding dark secrets and have spent many years building up protective armor against the outside world. But as the two begin their tentative dance of friendship, the armor begins to fall away and Margaret opens her house to the younger woman. This launches a series of remarkable and unanticipated events, leading Margaret to discover a way to redeem her cursed past, and Wanda to learn the true purpose of her cross-country journey. Along the way, a famous mosaic artist is born, a Holocaust survivor is reunited with her long-lost tea set, and a sad-eyed drifter finds his long-lost daughter.

Funny, heartbreaking, and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, Broken for You is a testament to the saving graces of surrogate families, and shows how far the tiniest repair jobs can go in righting the world's wrongs.


Let's plan on starting the discussion on September 28th. Be sure to have the book finished by then!

P.S. If there's anyone who would like to read and discuss on the side later this month choice #5... The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother... I have a feeling I'll be reading that too :)

sweetred

September Votes are Due!

Posted by sweetred1 on 2006.09.05 at 08:19
There are 49 members in novelnewlyweds. 8 people have cast votes for this month's selection. You do the math.

Thank you to those who have voted this month!!! There's still time to cast your vote and get back into the swing of things with novelnewlyweds.

September's selection will be announced tonight.

#1: Broken for You
by Stephanie Kallos

When we meet septuagenarian Margaret Hughes, she is living alone in a mansion in Seattle with only a massive collection of valuable antiques for company. Enter Wanda Schultz, a young woman with a broken heart who has come west to search for her wayward boyfriend. Both women are guarding dark secrets and have spent many years building up protective armor against the outside world. But as the two begin their tentative dance of friendship, the armor begins to fall away and Margaret opens her house to the younger woman. This launches a series of remarkable and unanticipated events, leading Margaret to discover a way to redeem her cursed past, and Wanda to learn the true purpose of her cross-country journey. Along the way, a famous mosaic artist is born, a Holocaust survivor is reunited with her long-lost tea set, and a sad-eyed drifter finds his long-lost daughter.

Funny, heartbreaking, and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, Broken for You is a testament to the saving graces of surrogate families, and shows how far the tiniest repair jobs can go in righting the world's wrongs.


#2: Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man
by Fannie Flagg

Here is Fannie Flagg's high-spirited and unabashedly sentimental first novel, the precursor to the bestselling Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.
Taken from the pages of Daisy Fay Harper's journal, this is a coming of age story set in rural Mississippi that is by turns hilarious and touching. It begins in 1952 when Daisy Fay is a sassy, truth-tellin' but lonely eleven-year old, and ends six years later when she becomes the flamboyant, unlikely — but assured — winner of the Miss Mississippi contest. Along the way, we meet some of the raffish and outrageous town locals, including her own Daddy, who comes up with a mortgage scheme that requires Daisy's "resurrection." This is a thoroughly entertaining comic novel with a heroine who is bound to capture your heart.


#3: House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros

Here is Sandra Cisnero's greatly admired and best-selling novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children and their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics even as it depicts a new American landscape. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong - not to her run-down neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become. The San Francisco Chronicle has called The House on Mango Street "marvelous... spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisnero's storytelling is evident. She communicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world." It is an extraordinary achievement that will live on for years to come.


#4: Little Bitty Lies: A Novel
by Mary Kay Andrews

In a suburban Atlanta neighborhood where divorce is as rampant as kudzu, Mary Bliss McGowan doesn't notice that her own marriage is in trouble until the summer night she finds a note from her husband, telling her he's gone—and taken the family fortune with him.
Stunned and humiliated, a desperate Mary Bliss, left behind with her seventeen-year-old daughter, Erin, and a mountain of debt, decides to salvage what's left of her life by telling one little bitty lie.

At first, Mary Bliss simply tells friends and family that Parker is out of town on a consulting job. Then the lies start to snowball, until Parker turns up dead. Or does he?

Mary Bliss's formerly staid existence careens into overdrive as she copes with an oversexed teenager, a mother-in-law with Ethel Merman delusions, and the sudden but delicious shock of finding herself pursued by two men: the next-door neighbor who's looking for a suitable second wife, and a dangerously attractive ex-cop who's looking for the truth about Parker McGowan.

Little Bitty Lies is a comic Southern novel about all the important things in life: marriage and divorce, mothers and daughters, friendship and betrayal, small-town secrets, and one woman's lifelong quest for home—and the perfect recipe for chicken salad.


#5: The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
by James McBride

As a young black boy in Brooklyn, James McBride wondered why his mother looked different. When he asked her if she was white or black, she would answer, "I'm light-skinned." Finally, when he had become an adult, she told him her story. She was a rabbi's daughter, born in Poland, raised in the American South. McBride's tribute, now published in a 10th anniversary edition, has become a classic in healthy race relations, a topic we are all apparently still learning.

sweetred

September Selections are Here!!!

Posted by sweetred1 on 2006.08.29 at 07:20
I know for many of us bibliophiles, September has always been a time of excitement... finding out what books were ahead during the school year or maybe discovering more juicy novels now that you've satiated your need for beach reads. Come recapture some of that excitement and jump into this month's novelnewlyweds discussion!

Our selections are five books from five different corners of the U.S. Please vote by this Monday, September 4th. This month's book will be announced next Tuesday.

If you've been looking for a time to get more involved with novelnewlyweds, now is your chance to do it :)

Broken for You
by Stephanie Kallos



When we meet septuagenarian Margaret Hughes, she is living alone in a mansion in Seattle with only a massive collection of valuable antiques for company. Enter Wanda Schultz, a young woman with a broken heart who has come west to search for her wayward boyfriend. Both women are guarding dark secrets and have spent many years building up protective armor against the outside world. But as the two begin their tentative dance of friendship, the armor begins to fall away and Margaret opens her house to the younger woman. This launches a series of remarkable and unanticipated events, leading Margaret to discover a way to redeem her cursed past, and Wanda to learn the true purpose of her cross-country journey. Along the way, a famous mosaic artist is born, a Holocaust survivor is reunited with her long-lost tea set, and a sad-eyed drifter finds his long-lost daughter.

Funny, heartbreaking, and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, Broken for You is a testament to the saving graces of surrogate families, and shows how far the tiniest repair jobs can go in righting the world's wrongs.


Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man
by Fannie Flagg



Here is Fannie Flagg's high-spirited and unabashedly sentimental first novel, the precursor to the bestselling Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.
Taken from the pages of Daisy Fay Harper's journal, this is a coming of age story set in rural Mississippi that is by turns hilarious and touching. It begins in 1952 when Daisy Fay is a sassy, truth-tellin' but lonely eleven-year old, and ends six years later when she becomes the flamboyant, unlikely — but assured — winner of the Miss Mississippi contest. Along the way, we meet some of the raffish and outrageous town locals, including her own Daddy, who comes up with a mortgage scheme that requires Daisy's "resurrection." This is a thoroughly entertaining comic novel with a heroine who is bound to capture your heart.


House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros



Here is Sandra Cisnero's greatly admired and best-selling novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children and their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics even as it depicts a new American landscape. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong - not to her run-down neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become. The San Francisco Chronicle has called The House on Mango Street "marvelous... spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisnero's storytelling is evident. She communicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world." It is an extraordinary achievement that will live on for years to come.


Little Bitty Lies: A Novel
by Mary Kay Andrews



In a suburban Atlanta neighborhood where divorce is as rampant as kudzu, Mary Bliss McGowan doesn't notice that her own marriage is in trouble until the summer night she finds a note from her husband, telling her he's gone—and taken the family fortune with him.
Stunned and humiliated, a desperate Mary Bliss, left behind with her seventeen-year-old daughter, Erin, and a mountain of debt, decides to salvage what's left of her life by telling one little bitty lie.

At first, Mary Bliss simply tells friends and family that Parker is out of town on a consulting job. Then the lies start to snowball, until Parker turns up dead. Or does he?

Mary Bliss's formerly staid existence careens into overdrive as she copes with an oversexed teenager, a mother-in-law with Ethel Merman delusions, and the sudden but delicious shock of finding herself pursued by two men: the next-door neighbor who's looking for a suitable second wife, and a dangerously attractive ex-cop who's looking for the truth about Parker McGowan.

Little Bitty Lies is a comic Southern novel about all the important things in life: marriage and divorce, mothers and daughters, friendship and betrayal, small-town secrets, and one woman's lifelong quest for home—and the perfect recipe for chicken salad.


The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
by James McBride



As a young black boy in Brooklyn, James McBride wondered why his mother looked different. When he asked her if she was white or black, she would answer, "I'm light-skinned." Finally, when he had become an adult, she told him her story. She was a rabbi's daughter, born in Poland, raised in the American South. McBride's tribute, now published in a 10th anniversary edition, has become a classic in healthy race relations, a topic we are all apparently still learning.

justthe3ofus

august choices...

Posted by littlecindy on 2006.08.06 at 17:41
uh oh, we've got 2 for #1 (a long way down), 2 for #2 (annie dillard) and 2 for #5 (the meaning of wife).

i'm thinking we should have 2 choices - #1 or #5. i.e. we could all just pick one of these two to read adn discuss both.


1.



a long way down
by nick hornby


5.



the meaning of wife
by anne kingston


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