Our August book was Pope Joan. It was a great book based on the "unknown" of whether or not a woman was really elected Pope in the 9th Century (the 800's)
As a group, we discussed the fact that the historic evidence leads to the fact that Joan probably really existed, but that the Catholic church truly did erase her from history. It's an awesome thought, for a book club of women, that one singular, strong and educated woman could rise to such a position of power. It sucks that she had to pretend to be a dude to do it, but still.
The general consensus was that we liked the book, and that living in this time period - of crazy beliefs in God(s), poor health and super unsanitary conditions - we're happy to be where we are now as women and members of society.
Though our June club attendance was low (isn't it so hard in the summer?) we had a great meeting last week and we had a new member attend. Thanks for coming, Carrie! I hope we didn't scare you away.
We talked and talked and talked. The group consensus after reading, "lost on planet china" was that though the people of China may be good, the machine of China is not. And, who wants to live in a place where you truly cannot breath the air, drink most of the water, and might get bird flu. SARS!
That aside, the smores were yummy using the worlds biggest marshmallows, thanks to the local grocery store and going to bed smelling like smoke is awesome. A sure sign that summer is here.
For July, we'll be reading, "Where the Heart Is" by Billie Letts. It's also a movie. You can read the book and watch the movie and I bet you can get both at Wal-Mart. Wouldn't that be a nice homage?
For July, I think we'll be at Rika's house but I'm not sure. Or maybe it was Melinda's? Either way, we'll work it out and look forward to seeing everyone at the end of July.
Tonight we talked about AJ Jacobs, "The Year of Living Biblicaly". We liked the book. We liked Mr. Jacobs initiative and dedication to his cause - living the rules of the Bible for a year - something that none of us felt we could truly to - commit to such a radical life change for an entire year. I mean, it's hard enough to make sure we shower every day, let alone find someone to stone for violating Mosaic law.
I do wear skirts most days and don't shave my legs but once a week....maybe I'm closer than I thought.
As with most of our book club meetings, if Robyn doesn't bring a set of discussion questions, our conversation wanders. Lately, it seems to wander ahead a month to our next book. June is about China and we are all a little bit excited about that.
Oh, I love book club. I really, really do. I was just telling my husband when I got home last night that I feel very lucky that we've all found each other over the last five years. What a great group of brilliant, funny, witty, beautiful and talented women I get the chance to talk with.
And eat great treats with.
Here are the details for the next little while:
Makayla's House (or Heather's if they decide to switch)
"A Year of Living Biblically"
"Lost on Planet China"
Melinda's House (Melinda, are you okay with that?)
I joined the conversation late last night, but it was interesting.
It seems that we all enjoyed the book though a few of us found Ms. Kingsolver to be a tad bit (okay, a lot bit) self-righteous in her bold endeavor to live off the land and scold those of us who oh, drive cars to the local market and eat food. Sorry - I'm not a farmer, I'm a consumer.
We all agree though that her idea is a good one and that there are many ways that we can take small to large steps that can translate into huge (and positive) changes in our lives and the lives of the food we consume, like: Buy local products from local stores
Visit farmers markets regularly and buy fresh produce and products
Go herbal when possible Have a small garden Buy from friends and family who have connections to locally grown items (eggs, vegetables, meat) Donate money to organizations like Heifer International (heifer.org) to provide livelihoods for peoples in remote and often sad places of the world. Be a stay at home mom and have no life. Then, you don't have to drive your car and kill the environment.
A few other items that were discussed last night: herb email@example.com;
holistic club/group in the neighborhood. Amy Jones is a doula and herbalist and she's the moderator. Amy Jones firstname.lastname@example.org;
Thank you all who came to book club this month! As I said in the email, I adored The Help. It was recommended to me and right after I read it I wanted us to read it as a book club, and apparently someone else did too because it was thrown into the mix.
If you haven't read it, I would suggest you do so. The story follows the lives of several different women in the 1960s, predominantly young white women and the African-American (let's be PC here) women who are employed as their maids (hence the name of the book "The Help.") The main character, Skeeter, writes a book about the lives of these maids, and in doing so ends her relationship (I didn't like him anyways) and her friendship with her childhood best friend (the uppity white woman.)
The racial issues in the book brought out great discussion for our little book club. I think we can all agree that racism is blatantly wrong, but can all admit to prejudging others or possibly even practicing reverse racism. It was interesting that even in our time we were still able to discuss people in our lives who were or are racist, and the effect that has had on us. We also discussed how people generally tend to form social groups based on similarities, like we in book club like reading, talking over each other and probably look down on people who don't read!
To summarize book club this month, the majority liked the book, I made homemade cookies that were edible, racism is wrong, although still exists and most of us have had some experience with it, Diana's last name is German, the only STD you can get from a toilet seat is crabs and Robyn now knows what crabs are, things made in China are bad, and free Tibet. I look forward to seeing you all next month!
It seems that at most of our BC meetings, we always end up talking about things other than the book we've read.
We always read the book, and talk about it at some point, but lately our book club seems to be a bit more cathartic and social in nature. I'm not sure about the rest of you girls, but I look forward to our one evening a month all month long. It's the one night - the few hours - where I get to socialize with a bunch of women who are my friends, who are like me, and who like me.
That being said - we always seem to end up talking about food. Oh, how I love to eat really good food.
We all love Guy Fieri and his DDD and in light of our food addictions, we've started sending lists around of some of our local favorite places to dine.
For the sake of posterity, here they are.
3- Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
4- San Gelato
5- Rocky Mountain Chocolate
7- The Corner Office-thecornerofficedenver.com
8- Rockin' Baja Lobster-www.rockinbaja.com
9- Isabella's Catering for catered events only
Rio Grande (this is my absolute most favorite place to eat....ever)
Neils FIsh Place in Draper (Good chicken fingers and fantastic fries)
Lone Star Taqueria
Salt Lake BBQ
Q for U (BBQ in WVC - very authentic and yummy)
Red Butte Cafe (Foothill)
Desert Edge pub/brewery (Trolley Square)
In and Out
Mazzas (meditteranean and middle eastern) http://www.mazzacaf e.com/
India House in Midvale (80th south and state?)
The Original Pancake House in the sugarhouse area.
1 container of sour cream (8 oz)
1 cup chocolate morsels
1 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
spray crock pot with nonstick cooking spray.
mix cake mix, sour cream, chocolate morsels, water, egss, oil
and pudding mix in a bowl by hand.
pour into crock pot.
cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours
NOTE: I've made this cake a couple of times. It was best with little dove dark chcolate squares and chocolate chips because they got all ooey and gooey. I also recommend watching it closely and "undercooking" it. I've got a fast, hot crock pot and on low, it cooked beautifully in about 3.5 hours.
Thanks everyone that could come tonight to "discuss" The Mysterious Benedict Society. Although we really just chatted and ate delicious chocolate cake (Annie can you post the recipe!?) I wanted to say that I really did like this book. I thought it was creative and cute and I can't wait until my boys are older because this is the type of book I can see reading aloud to them chapter by chapter at bedtime. I've got the 2nd book on hold at the library and can't wait to read that one, either. Thanks Melinda for bringing it to the Christmas party so that we could read it!
Next month is discussing "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett at Michele's house on March 25th, and then we're discussing "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver at Rika's house on April 22nd. Makayla volunteered to host for May 27th but the book is still being decided. Wow, are we really planned this far in advance?!