Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Ladies' Book Club: September 2011

Book Read:

Bliss by Oz Livaneli

Ladies in Attendance:
6 regular members

Treats shared:
Chips & roasted red pepper hummus
Homemade Tabouli
Milano cookies
Samoa Cookies
Bread & cheeses (Drunken Goat Cheese, Mushroom Brie & Jarlsburg)
Cupcakes from "Cupcake"
Peach Salsa & Chips
Matys ~ a south african white wine

To Read or Not to Read:
2 Read it all, 2 read 1/2, 2 not at all

My Reaction:
I read about 50 pages or so and just could not get into it. I was unable to make it to this meet up and was bummed I could not see the ladies but because I didn't read the whole book, I did not have much to contribute to the book discussion. I am including a detailed description of the book so the comments from the other Ladies below will make some more sense. It was a strong pick by Rachele and a lesser known author, which I like.

Description from Google Books:
Fifteen-year-old Meryem lives in a rural village in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Her simple, conventional way of life changes dramatically after her uncle, a sheikh in a dervish order, rapes her and condemns her to death for shaming the family. Asked to carry out the honor killing is his son Cemal, a commando in the Turkish army. So begins a long, mystifying voyage for Meryem as her shell-shocked cousin ushers her to the shining metropolis of Istanbul where another troubled soul, the Harvard-educated professor Irfan, embarks on his own journey of transformation'one that catapults him into the heart of Meryem and Cemal's conflict. The crossed-paths and interwoven destinies of these three characters makes for an affecting, by turns brutal and life-affirming portrayal of traditional and modern-day Turkey that no reader will soon forget. Livaneli is an essential force in Turkey's musical, cultural, and political scene.

Ladies' Reaction:
Because I was not in attendance this month, my good pal, Kari, took excellent notes. So these are straight from their mouths. I always like to keep the notes as is because I find them to be pretty funny, honest and to the point, even if them come across as a bit choppy from translation.

Maria- noticed there are lots of outdated traditions still carried out
in that village!
Erin- Did the girls transformation on the train seem realistic in just
a train ride?
Rachele- Maybe not in that time frame, but could be realistic.
Maria- I would assume that here would be a transformation as she
experienced & saw more away from her village . It did seem unrealistic
that it could all happen on 1 train ride ... eating in front of men,
talking to men, uncovering her head ...
Erin- She was faced with life or death and she decided to go for it
and figure out who she wanted to be. That's brave for a girl from a
small village.
Maria- I am glad I read it, it was a good book, but I didn't like the
ending. I don't know what I would do differently had I written the
ending though. It just seemed like an unrealistic ending for how the
plot unfolded.
Rachele- The Prof. sounded like such a coward - other people have
problems too, some much worse problems than he has ... his story, and
he just moved so slowly.
Maria- There wasn't much of a plot climax to the professor's story
Erin- His plot just fizzles out where the girls has resolution to it.
Maria - I kept thinking ... "did I miss something in his story? is that it?"
Rachel - I like the 3 different journeys in one story
Maria- Good character development. Stories/journeys don't connect ...
paths cross but journeys don't connect.

Good Book Club Pick?
Kari- Overall ~ Glad we had the discussion about the book - I don't know how
I feel about the book. I learned a lot about Turkish culture but I
don't know if I would recommend it. It's a unique type of story.

Next Book Up:
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (yay! spooky zombie book!)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Gina said...

Sounds like it was a hard fit but you never know unless you try. Thanks for the share! ^_^

Tales of Whimsy said...

Bummer! But thanks for sharing :)

Lisa said...

Sounds like it generated a good discussion, especially considering only two people finished it! Sometimes that's all it takes to elevate a book to a good choice for book clubs even when it's not the best story.