The Book Club
Since the book club started meeting monthly in Oct. 1999 the members have read over 40 books.
The variety of books is reflected by the diversity of the members. Some folks like fantasy, some plays, others go for a good mystery, while another loves history. It helps everyone to expand their understanding of life and people. It exercises the intellect. Over the years we’ve read writers from Egypt, Czechoslovakia, Spain, England, Chile and Greece.
Since I started attending meetings, I’ve read books of many genre that I normally wouldn’t have considered, especially non-fiction.
There were two non-fiction books that I thoroughly enjoyed. One is The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down , written by Anne Fadiman. It is about a Hmong refugee family that comes to Merced, California from Laos after the Viet Nam war. One of their children has severe epilepsy. The treatment is complicated by the language barrier, the Hmong culture’s beliefs about epilepsy and western medicine, which eventually leads to the young girl becoming brain damaged. I easily related to this book because even though I speak English, I’ve still had trouble with different medical procedures.
The other non-fiction book I enjoyed surprised me. It was The Professor and the Madman, written by Simon Winchester. It is about the creation of the Oxford dictionary. Sounds boring, huh? You’d be pleasantly surprised! Previous dictionaries weren’t comprehensive, omitting socially unacceptable words, like “bloody”, which is a cuss word in England. The Oxford Dictionary staff decided to include every word in the English language, which had never been done before. They solicited the help of anyone who could find examples of word usages in any published material. The dictionary took several decades to compile and many of the entries came from a Civil War doctor of medicine, who having gone insane and murdered an Irish worker in London, was confined in an English asylum.
We have read the play Man of La Mancha. We each studied a part (or several) that we acted out at the next meeting, with a few simple props and era clothing. It made the story come to life.
We encourage any interested folks to come to the book club. We look forward to meeting new people and broadening our knowledge.
Call for meeting and