Our monthly book club will take the summer off and start back up again in the fall with a new focus: the American experience, fiction, non-fiction and poetry with a range of voices and perspectives. We’ll look to the past, to various regions, and to voices that represent an array of experiences and expectations.
We also looked to our visiting writers for titles, and there are several. It is a unique pleasure to hear an author read, and then to read and discuss the author’s book with other readers.
We made a quick switch for our last book selection in our food-themed series, and decided to discuss the first section of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Pollan traces a single fast-food meal back to its source in a giant cornfield in Iowa, and forward until it is pulled steaming from the bag. Along the way, we learn about contemporary agricultural practices and consumer choices, and their implications for our landscape and health.
Thursday June 8, 5:00-6:00 at Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St. We will talk about our next book series, which will begin in September.
This month we will read and discuss Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. According to the New York Times:
Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel is all about sex, and she doesn’t waste much time on foreplay. As the book opens, Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist on the far side of 40, is patrolling the woods on Zebulon Mountain, a wild patch of southern Appalachia where she works as a ranger. ”Here and now,” Kingsolver writes, ”spring heaved in its randy moment. Everywhere you looked, something was fighting for time, for light, the kiss of pollen, a connection of sperm and egg and another chance.”
This month we will read and discuss Julie & Julia by Julie Powell. You may wish to watch the movie after reading the book, to compare. According to the New York Times:
It was one of the best ideas yet hatched in the still-young history of blogging: in the space of one year, try to execute each and every recipe in Julia Child’s landmark 1961 cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1,” and write about it. Julie Powell, a bright young woman frittering away her late 20’s as a low-level drone at a government agency in New York, hit upon this concept in the summer of 2002, when she was racked with anxiety about turning 30 and desperate for some distraction “to pull myself out of a tailspin of secretarial ennui,” as she later put it. To Powell’s surprise, her blog, which she called the Julie/Julia Project, struck a chord with legions of readers who followed her triumphs and travails as she attempted Child’s straightforward but labor-intensive recipes for Homard à l’Américaine (lobster simmered with wine, tomatoes, garlic and herbs) and Bifteck Sauté Bercy (pan-broiled steak with shallot and white-wine sauce). Continue reading →