Monday, July 23, 2012

Hunger Games - Book Club Review

The average age of The Hunger Games readers bumped up ever so slightly as our Third Tuesday book club took it on for it's mid-summer selection. Of course, this title was not without controversy, it's violent premise of a fight to death among a group of selected teenagers was a bit too much for some of our members. A few members opted out of reading the book, but most decided to give it a try. For those that decided to take the plunge, they were, to a person excitedly fighting over the copies of the next book in the trilogy, Catching Fire

I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins several years ago for a young reader's book club. I was riveted by the dystopian story and completed the trilogy in a matter of days. Reading it for a second time, I found the book even more compelling. Suzanne Collins gets so much right. The action is fast-paced; the world she has created is terrifying, but believable; and she doesn't skip over the psychological effects of the games. Katniss, thinking about her first "real" kill in the games thinks, "Numerous animals have lost their lives at my hands, but only one human. I hear Gale saying, 'How different can it be, really?' Amazingly similar in execution. A bow pulled, an arrow shot. Entirely different in the aftermath."  
Violence is in no way glorified in the pages of The Hunger Games.

It is this attention to the moral questions which turns the savage premise of The Hunger Games on it's head. As narrator, Katniss transports us from her familiar world of "the Seam," an impoverished Appalachia coal mining district where "starvation" was not an uncommon end, to the capital, Panem, where citizens live an oppressively lavish lifestyle of gluttony and self-adornment. Their obsession with the Hunger Games, a reality show designed to keep the outlying districts in submission is truly revolting.

Katniss, like all well-drawn heroes is flawed, blinded by her need to depend only on herself. Finishing The Hunger Games, the third Tuesday book club was ready to be carried with her into Catching Fire

How about you? Was this a book you couldn't put down? We'd love your input.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Doctor & The Diva - Book Club Review

Many thanks to Ruth Heaney for this guest post.

The city is Boston. Erika von Kessler is unable to conceive after six years of marriage. She is a talented mezzo-soprano whose life is changed without her consent. Peter Myrick, her husband, is a prosperous businessman whose enterprises require frequent travel. He has the means and determination to father a child with his wife by artificial insemination. Dr. Ravell is an almost thirty year-old obstetrician whose reputation is on the rise owing to his success with the newest medical techniques. The medical decisions he makes will forever change his life and the lives of Erika and Peter.

Here is the twist. The Doctor and The Diva is set in 1902, not 2012. In many respects, the character’s dilemmas in 1902 are like those faced by couples today who yearn to have a family but are unable to do so without medical assistance. How many tests are necessary or appropriate? How will a child affect the careers of the partners? How long do you let the biological clock tick, or do you resort to every available medical option? How does a couple balance a career and a family?

The Doctor and The Diva is a story of science colliding with human desires. The results may not be what a reader wants, but they are what happens when the heart and not the mind rules the day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Are you interested in joining a Luncheon Cookbook Club?

Roasted Beet Salad

How does it work?

Once we have enough members to begin, we will meet on the Second Tuesday of each month at 12:30 p.m.

Quarterly, each member purchases the chosen cookbook from Hattie’s Books. Each month, the members make a recipe from the “Cookbook of the Quarter” assigned from a rotating category. Food categories are assigned by Marcia, you decide on the recipe from the Cookbook!  Make one recipe only.

Coordinate the dish you are making with others in your category to avoid duplicate dishes (email addresses provided). Refer to the menu from previous dinners so that we can enjoy different recipes each month. Paper goods are provided (donations requested periodically) or some members bring their own tableware.

Bring your own wine, beer or beverage of choice.  


Join us for a great lunch each month. . . eating, socializing, making new friends and having fun!


Please contact Marcia at 554-8677 or for details.