Merle has chosen July’s book, the wonderful Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It was winner of the Man Booker prize in 2002, so plenty of copies available in library. This is my dog-eared copy. Having seen the beautiful 3-D film adaptation recently, I am looking forward to re-reading the novel.
‘Some books defy categorisation: Life of Pi, the second novel from Canadian writer Yann Martel, is a case in point: just about the only thing you can say for certain about it is that it is fiercely and admirably unique. The plot, if that’s the right word, concerns the oceanic wanderings of a lost boy, the young and eager Piscine Patel of the title (Pi). After a colourful and loving upbringing in gorgeously-hued India, the Muslim-Christian-animistic Pi sets off for a fresh start in Canada. His blissful voyage is rudely interrupted when his boat is scuppered halfway across the Pacific, and he is forced to rough it in a lifeboat with a hyena, a monkey, a whingeing zebra and a tiger called Richard. That would be bad enough, but from here on things get weirder: the animals start slaughtering each other in a veritable frenzy of allegorical bloodlust, until Richard the tiger and Pi are left alone to wander the wastes of ocean, with plenty of time to ponder their fate, the cruelty of the gods, the best way to handle storms and the various different recipes for oothappam, scrapple and coconut yam kootu. The denouement is pleasantly neat. According to the blurb, thirtysomething Yann Martel spent long years in Alaska, India, Mexico, France, Costa Rica, Turkey and Iran, before settling in Canada. All those cultures and more have been poured into this spicy, vivacious, kinetic and very entertaining fiction.’
Due to difficulty sourcing copies of ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ by Belle De Jour our book for May will now be ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Tracy Chevalier. At least three book club members have already read it, but I for one will be re-reading. It was my chosen book for World Book Night 2013 and I gave away most of my 40 copies yesterday. Great turn out for World Book Night Book Club meeting, seven members attended.
We gave away copies of Girl with a Pearl Earring to the hotel receptionist, and some hotel guests, and fellow lobby loungers. They were mostly well received. One girl said she hadn’t read a book for more than two years, so she was a perfect target audience. A man grumbled that there was no horse racing in it and his wife grumbled the print was too small, but they went off with a copy anyway. It was lovely to give away a book I had enjoyed so much when I read myself. I will be finding my own copy and re-reading it for May.
We discussed Gone Girl, everyone gave it 3, 4 or 5 stars, and the girls who hadn’t ready went home with borrowed copies, wanting to read it after our good reviews.
Sinéad chose our June book which will be The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Merle is up next to choose the book for July.
Happy reading folks.
Sinéad chose ‘Solace’ by Belinda McKeon for November’s book.
From the back cover:
Mark Casey has left home, the rural Irish community where his family has farmed the same land for generations. He is a doctoral student in Dublin, a vibrant, contemporary city full of possibility. But to his father, Tom, who needs help baling the hay and ploughing the fields, Mark’s pursuit isn’t work at all, and they are set on a collision course, while Mark’s mother negotiates a fragile peace.
To escape the seemingly endless struggle of completing his thesis, Mark finds himself whiling away his time with pubs and parties. His is a life without focus or responsibility, until he meets Joanne Lynch, a trainee solicitor whom he finds irresistible – and who he later discovers happens to be the daughter of a man who once spectacularly wronged Mark’s father, and whose betrayal Tom has remembered every single day for twenty years.
Joanne too has escaped the life circumscribed by her overbearing father, and she is torn between the opportunities to succeed in this new wealthy Dublin and the moral dilemmas it presents. But for a brief time Mark and Joanne are able to share the chaos and rapture of a love affair, an emotional calm, until the lightning strike of tragedy changes everything.
Fresh, sensitive and genuinely brave, Belinda McKeon is a startling new talent in the great Irish mould, and Solace is a work to be admired equally for its spare, intense lyricism as its range, understanding, and deeply compassionate portrayal of life as it is lived now.
Laura M has chosen October’s book, ‘Boxer Beetle’ by Ned Beauman.
Taking it in turns to choose books is working well I think. The next few turns are:
Laura M – October
Sinéad – November
Siobhán – December
The previous choices were:
Anne Marie – Birdsong
Merle – Pigeon English
Jennie – Fifty Shades of Grey
Laura K – The Housekeeper and the Professor
Remember books chosen two months ahead so Laura M you up next. 🙂