Books inspire and delight me. A good book takes me to another place or time and gives me a glimpse into another world that might not necessarily be mine. I think that variety is important for a good book club. By mixing non-fiction with fiction and including books with characters from different time periods, ages, and cultural backgrounds, every book offers something new.
Reading is so enjoyable, but it’s even better when it is shared with others during time spent together. Add some delicious food and drinks and it is the recipe for a perfect evening.
Book Club Picks
The Perils of Pauline is a hilarious romantic comedy about the trials and tribulations of motherhood and marriage. Life seems perfect for Pauline until she receives a termination letter one Friday. One event changes the course of everything in this witty and honest book that portrays a woman who does the best she can given tricky circumstances. It's a story of finding out who you ae and what's really important while answering the scariest question of all: "What now?"
I have read the book The Distance Between Us: A Memoir in English and Spanish. My Advanced Studies students read the Spanish-language version of the book and enjoyed Reyna Grande's brutally honest account of growing up in Mexico without her parents and her difficult journey to the United States. My students made dioramas to demonstrate understanding of the text. I love what the students made.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel is a hilarious look at Bernadette Fox. From Amazon, "To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic."
History buffs will love A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire. This interesting non-fiction book recounts the history of one of the world's most valuable commodities of past, cochineal, a vibrant red dye from Mexico that catapulted Spain's economy. With a story that reads like a spy novel and characters including pirates, explorers, kings, and cardinals, history comes alive with this book. I was particularly interested in this book because I visited a cochineal farm in Oaxaca, Mexico.
My daughters and I concurrently read two different books that have a similar theme and discussed them together. Natalia and Alexia read Trash and I read Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. Although the characters in the two books are on opposite sides of the world, both books portray the lives of young trash pickers. The three of us developed a deep appreciation for the lives and opportunities that we have and have tried to be more grateful for what we have. One of the most powerful quotes from the Behind the Beautiful Forevers relays this thought, "It seemed to him that in Annawadi, fortunes derived not just from what people did, or how well they did it, but from the accidents and catastrophes they avoided. A decent life was the train that hadn’t hit you, the slumlord you hadn’t offended, the malaria you hadn’t caught." So powerful.
The Husband's Secret is coming up on our book club list. I'm curious to learn what the husband's secret is in this New York Times Bestseller!
Do you participate in a book club? What books are you reading this year?