April 07, 2006

Our block's book club for May and June

Please print out this message for future reference.

alice, uptown

For May, the book is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The meeting will be May 2 at L.'s, 16 blocks north of our block, tel. ###. Please note that L. will be out of the country from April 17 to April 27, and I will not return until May 2.

She and I will be in Prague and Budapest, then I'll stay in Paris for a few days. Photos to follow eventually. (Architecture, not animals, this year. Our safari was a year ago, and I've yet to organize those photos.)

At this meeting or in June, you may want to bring to the attention of the club a book you would like for the group to read in a subsequent month. It would be quite helpful if you suggest a book you have already read and think would be a good one to discuss. (It would also help if the book did not run more than 400 pages at most.)

For June, the book is In the Land of Dreamy Dreams by Ellen Gilchrist. The meeting will be at R.'s on June 6. four blocks south of our block, tel. ###

Please note: R. and B. do not have e-mail access. Therefore, if you are the person who brought them into the book club, please relay this information, as I will not be able to do so.

A few housekeeping notes:

Our book club meets the 1st Tuesday of every month at 8 pm, barring national holidays (i.e., July 4) and other holidays for which half the group will not attend due to religious observances. Those are the only times the date is negotiable -- i.e., pushed to the following Tuesday if necessary.

The hostess is responsible for providing refreshments -- in the past we have shown a distinct preference for dark chocolate, fruit tarts, and various cheeses. I personally favor the assortment of refreshments available at Citarella (three blocks south of our corner). Over the years I have noticed that no one every eats fruit or fresh vegetables, but if you're buying, it's up to you.

The person who suggested the book is responsible for providing some background about the author of the book and other relevant information. Sometimes, the hostess will be that person; sometimes not. In the past we have read both fiction and nonfiction, generally non-genre fiction unless the book is a classic in its genre, i.e., The Maltese Falcon.

We don't tend to read "best-sellers" or Oprah's book club picks, nor do we consider the fact that a book won an award a reason unto itself to consider it worth reading. That's why, when choosing a book, it works best if the person who suggests it has read it. We do read biographies and other narrative nonfiction.

A few important technical details about the book: it must be in print, in paperback, and should be widely available. If it's possible, we like to patronize neighborhood bookstores.

Someone has to keep them in business, and their staffs are knowledgeable, unlike, say, the cashier or "customer service" person at Barnes & Noble. If you are looking for a book to read for yourself, and you know your tastes, these are the folks to ask, or try your friendly local librarian.

If you cannot attend, please notify the hostess as promptly as possible, either by e-mail or telephone. If no RSVP is forthcoming for three or more months, you will stop receiving these e-mails.

Kindly respond to the hostess, not to me, except as a carbon copy to ask to be dropped from the list. All the e-mail addresses are given in the To line of this message.

Again, if you are relaying information to a no-tech person, remind them the telephone is a handy 19th century device, and computers are running cheap these days. Urge the no-tech to upgrade to the current century. If my mother can navigate cyberspace, so can anyone.

If you are new to the book club, you will find that it is rare for us to have a full complement of members, due to various travel schedules. In the past, we have, in certain summers, opted to take July and August off, depending on who will be around. H., L., Sz., and I have tended to have the most complex travel schedules.

Health issues, personal or of one's elderly parents, and sojourns to country houses also play havoc with attendance. Sz. and I also go to the Caribbean when we can, in the winter.

I don't know whether K. or either of the Sn.s will be continuing with the book club, which H. started in the late 1990s as our block's book club. We have since ventured off our block (L. moved), and now we have new members for whom we will brave the streets (only joking).

Here are the addresses (and phone numbers) to the best of my knowledge:

alice's building:


Sn P.

Sn J.

alice -- after 1 pm

H., across the street

G., next door to H.

L., formerly in G.'s building, now 16 blocks north

K., around the corner

B., six blocks south

R., four blocks south

Sa.,(no address or phone)

B., (no further info)

I will see you in June, if not before then.



Next up: Migraine, she wrote

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Blogger The Misanthrope said...

No wonder I never joined a book club.

10:59 AM  
Blogger scout said...

So nice to be able to relax with a good book and some good friends!

Can you please add me to the list?

Scout, 3,000 miles due west; willing to host anytime!

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really hope you enjoy The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as much as I did. One of the most helpful, as well as readable novels I read last year. Lydia

8:55 AM  

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