We had a great bookclub on Friday. Thanks for hosting, Jed. Dan brought not four, but five great picks, and after a rousing vote, The Color Purple by Alice Walker came out on top by coin flip.
Our next bookclub will be at Tim’s place in Boulder on August 16th.
Here’s a link for my Colombia travel blog adventuresinbuca.com. Click the subscribe button on the right and keep apace of my family’s adventures in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Bookclub is at Jed’s house this Friday at 6:30pm. Address:
1063 Button Rock Dr
Longmont, CO 80504
To quote Jed: “Come hungry, bitches!”
Here are the picks for voting:
Kindred by Octavia Butler (287 pages)
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.
Little Bee by Chris Cleave (271 pages)
We don’t want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn’t. And it’s what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (588 pages!)
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (294 pages)
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to “Mister,” a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (336 pages)
After a staged terrorist attack kills the President and most of Congress, the government is deposed and taken over by the oppressive and all controlling Republic of Gilead. Offred, now a Handmaid serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Despite the danger, Offred learns to navigate the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules in hopes of ending this oppression.
- Club is at Erik’s house at 6:00 – get there when you can.1313 Short Ct
Louisville, CO 80027Here are Andre’s picks for Friday voting.The Girl Next Door370 pagesBecause “WARNING: For those of you that still have a tattered, fragmentary scrap of optimism for the inherent goodness of people, this book may well rip it from you and shred your faith in mankind.“Wild Cards (#1)432 pagesBecause GoT is done and this is the first of another George RR Martin series, Wild Cards.One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest305 pagesWe’ve all heard of this book, but I haven’t read it yet and it showed up in Goodreads “weirdest books ever written”.Born to Run
300 pagesI have heard from multiple people this is just a really easy, good book to read.
This will probably be El Jefe’s (Andrew’s) last club before he moves to Columbia, try and make it! RSVP
6:00 PM Friday, June 14th at Erik’s house in Louisville
1313 Short Ct
Louisville, CO 80027 (Map)
Currently Reading: Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Bring beer, Erik will provide food. Bonfire if the weather permits it. We’ll head downtown Louisville after for anyone who wants to go out.
Bookclub is THIS FRIDAY at Andre’s house in Louisville. 472 Catalpa Ct., Louisville, CO 80027 @ 6:30PM
Here are the picks for Friday voting.
- Short Walks from Bogota: Journeys in the New Colombia – by Tom Feiling
For decades, Colombia was the ‘narcostate’. Now travel to Colombia and South America is on the rise, and it’s seen as one of the rising stars of the global economy. Where does the truth lie?
Writer and journalist Tom Feiling, author of the acclaimed study of cocaine The Candy Machine, has journeyed throughout Colombia, down roads that were until recently too dangerous to travel, to paint a fresh picture of one of the world’s most notorious and least-understood countries. He talks to former guerrilla fighters and their ex-captives; women whose sons were ‘disappeared’ by paramilitaries; the nomadic tribe who once thought they were the only people on earth and now charge $10 for a photo; the Japanese ’emerald cowboy’ who made a fortune from mining; and revels in the stories that countless ordinary Colombians tell.
How did a land likened to paradise by the first conquistadores become a byword for hell on earth? Why is one of the world’s most unequal nations also one of its happiest? How is it rebuilding itself after decades of violence, and how successful has the process been so far? Vital, shocking, often funny and never simplistic, Short Walks from Bogota unpicks the tangled fabric of Colombia, to create a stunning work of reportage, history and travel writing.
- Breakfast of Champions – by Kurt Vonnegut –
Breakfast of Champions, one of Kurt Vonnegut’s most beloved characters, the aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. What follows is murderously funny satire, as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth.
- The Strange Bird: A Borne Story – by Jeff Vandermeer
The Strange Bird is a new kind of creature, built in a laboratory―she is part bird, part human, part many other things. But now the lab in which she was created is under siege and the scientists have turned on their animal creations. Flying through tunnels, dodging bullets, and changing her colors and patterning to avoid capture, the Strange Bird manages to escape.
But she cannot just soar in peace above the earth. The sky itself is full of wildlife that rejects her as one of their own, and also full of technology―satellites and drones and other detritus of the human civilization below that has all but destroyed itself. And the farther she flies, the deeper she finds herself in the orbit of the Company, a collapsed biotech firm that has populated the world with experiments both failed and successful that have outlived the corporation itself: a pack of networked foxes, a giant predatory bear. But of the many creatures she encounters with whom she bears some kind of kinship, it is the humans―all of them now simply scrambling to survive―who are the most insidious, who still see her as simply something to possess, to capture, to trade, to exploit. Never to understand, never to welcome home.
With The Strange Bird, Jeff VanderMeer has done more than add another layer, a new chapter, to his celebrated novel Borne. He has created a whole new perspective on the world inhabited by Rachel and Wick, the Magician, Mord, and Borne―a view from above, of course, but also a view from deep inside the mind of a new kind of creature who will fight and suffer and live for the tenuous future of this world.
- Ready Player One – by Ernest Cline
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2045, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
Bookclub is next Friday, April 26th at Andrejs’ house in Louisville. BE THERE! 6:30
RSVP (Ha, like you will!)
Andrew is bringing the picks! BOOM
- Hey boys,Katie and I have just accepted jobs teaching 2nd and 5th grade in Bucamarunga, Colombia starting August 1st. Its a two year contract. We finally signed up to do one of our crazy ideas. We’re moving the family to Colombia. Leaving in July.That brings up the Dictatorship. I need to pass on the iron throne. I met with the most of the Cabinet and we have a plan to break down the jobs and such. I’ll bring a plan of sorts to club this month. Book Club will live! And, of course, we should party hard, make shirts, hats, mugs, stickers, tattoos, branded condoms, or something particularly bookish, and etc. to celebrate the end of the dictatorship.Andrejs is allowing me to bring the picks this month. So, I’ll bring some awesome books. I will be able to come this month and in May, probably June too. I’ll plan to host in May.Be ready to own your club and bring ideas for moving forward.Next Book Club is April, 26th at Andrejs in Louisville. BE THERE.
Our new pick is Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke.
Next bookclub is Friday April 26th at Andre’s house in Louisville. Andre is bringing the picks.
Bookclub was great on Friday. Thanks for hosting Tim. Thanks for bringing great picks Austin.