I’m still not good about keeping up on the blog.
Here is a quick reel of highlights, as I remember them, for about the past year! We each have picked about two books since then. Keep in mind I’m going from oldest (where I remember little about our meals and conversation) to most recent (where, thank goodness, I still have some recollections). Family, please feel free to chime in in the comments!
- English Passengers – Evan’s pick. Everyone liked this book. That is all I can remember. Actually, I do surprisingly remember a lot from this book but not much from the meal or conversation.
- A Tale for the Time Being – Julia’s pick. Lordy, this was a long time ago. I remember liking the book a lot. It does a great job of weaving together different stories across time and place.
- Catch-22 – Matt’s pick. I remember great conversation. Thoroughly enjoying the book. And the movie is worth the watch.
- The White Spider – a climbing adventure from Judith. To be honest I was weirdly stubborn on this one and didn’t read it. I have a strange relationship with outdoor adventure books.
- Inherent Vice – Will’s pick. It was an entertaining read that I didn’t altogether get. And after hearing more from a friend who studied the book in college, I realized I “got” it even less. Then I watched the movie and still didn’t get it. C’est la vie. I can’t for the life of me remember what we ate.
- In the Shadow of the Banyan – my mom’s pick. It was a story I’m glad I read but we all agreed the execution, the writing itself, wasn’t that great. But an amazing and interesting story nonetheless. We had an amazing Cambodian meal, complete with as authentic of a Cambodian curry as Matt could find, generously given to him by the local Cambodian restaurant Cheng Heng (check them out, yum!).
- Rez Life – Evan’s pick. Everyone enjoyed this book in some way. By an author with Minnesota connections and a story with Minnesota connections. It was super interesting to learn more about the history of reservations in Minnesota and the United States.
- Love Medicine – my pick. Honestly I picked this because I thought everyone (especially Matt) would find it more interesting after having read Rez Life. Another Minnesota author and a Minnesota connected story. I have personally read Love Medicine about 8 times now, including aloud every night on a canoe trip (I highly recommend it). Plus, I wrote my favorite paper in college about the imagery of Mishipeshu and Nanabozho throughout the story.
- Dersu – Matt’s pick. This was beloved by all. A true account of one of the last native people in Siberian Russia, Dersu the Trapper. It was very interesting to see life a little bit through his eyes. Like how he knew the rain was done because the birds started to sing. Or would talk to the tigers in the woods and show them respect. We had our meal for this book at Will’s family’s cabin in Wisconsin. We all spent the night and spent an afternoon with a batch of us going mushroom hunting and collecting wild plums. Which was very fitting with the book. There is also a movie for Dersu, but unfortunately our copy from the library was so scratched we could hardly watch it. But from what I did see… it was good.
- Archangel – Judith’s pick. This was a collection of short stories that all took place at times when the scientific paradigm was shifting. Everyone loved the stories and had a favorite or two. I particularly liked the one that took place in Darwin’s time with a woman who was a huge follower of someone that was opposed to Darwin, but then came to understand Darwin’s theories and had to leave behind someone she had admired and respected since she was a child.
- Our Man in Havana – this was Will’s pick. This was a smart pick for this group because it is a satire on the spy novel and we have read spy novels as a book club, plus many of us read them otherwise. I liked the book but it was more fascinating to me to think of it as a book other people, maybe more so in another era, found hilarious because for the most part I really didn’t. And don’t bother watching the movie, which we all did after dinner. We had a great meal of spiced pork, fried plantains, a rum cocktail and a black bean salad to round out the Cuban meal. Then there was the failed ginger cake because our oven is apparently broken. Unfortunately Evan was sick and had to miss the whole affair.
- City of Djinns – Jean’s pick. This is what we are currently on. We plan to have an Indian feast on in a few days and the next day Matt and Cherie leave for India for 3 months!