The most recent Silver Strand “Books in the Afternoon Book Club” meeting was at Nora Nicosia’s house on Tuesday October 2nd at 3 pm. Our selected book was The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Have you ever read a book and it kept popping up in your mind for weeks after you read it? That’s this book. Have you ever read a book and suddenly you are interested in learning more about a new location? This book certainly made all of us want to know more about Alaska. One of us is now tracking the weather in Homer, Alaska. The themes of the book are survival off the grid, PTSD, and challenges as a female teenager in the 70’s.
The Great Alone has compelling characters like Large Marge. The primary character is the backwoods of Alaska. “There are so many ways to die in Alaska.” How people homesteaded and lived off the land is described in fascinating detail. There was also the clash within the community on whether or not to promote tourist or keep the area pristine. The two key story lines are 1) a Vietnam veteran with PTSD who physically abused his wife, and 2) his teenage daughter who falls in love with a local boy who is dealing with the loss of his mother. For those of us who read it on our Kindles, it was a “page clicker.”
We all agreed that it was a very visual book. Fortunately, someone researched it and found out the book has been optioned as a movie. We had fun casting actors in the movie.
We rated the book 4.8—some of us thought the ending was cheesy although great for the movie. (Woops, now you know it’s a happy ending after endless struggles and challenges…)
We need a better way to pick our next book. We decided each member will send a book recommendation to the group one week before the next meeting so we can be ready to discuss the choices. For our next meeting, we will read and discuss Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, October 30th at 3pmat Nora’s house. As an added incentive, if you haven’t read the book—come anyway because Kay will have stories from her soon-to-happen solo 5-day Amtrak adventure. Talk about a survival story!
Since we only discuss fiction in our book club, we’re starting a new section of the minutes: non-fiction books we’ve read and recommend. We have these three recommendations:
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Factfulness: Ten Reasons Why … Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham
The Silver Strand Homeowners Association Presents the End of Summer Silver Strand 7th Annual Party
When: Sunday, September 16, 2018 from 12 – 4pm Where: Quarterdeck Mall and Roma Court
Come and Enjoy the Fun, Food, Games and Music!
This year we will feature 9 hole mini golf, giant Velcro darts game, wine bar, live music, hamburgers and hot dogs of all types, vegan pizza, French fries, ice cream, face painting, candy bar, jumpy house, and balloon man!
The Best Fun For The Best Neighborhood!
Come meet your neighbors and enjoy this annual event! See you Sunday at 12pm.
The sixth Silver Strand “Books in the Afternoon Book Club” meeting was at Nora Nicosia’s house on Tuesday August 14th at 3 pm. Our selected book was The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. The book was described as a “forbidden love story set on a tropical island (St. Thomas) about an extraordinary woman who was the mother of the painter Camille Pissarro.” The book was a hit with the group. All the main events and names were based on historical facts. The book was so well written we thought we could smell the tropical flowers and hear the rain. The author included mysticisms and curses and magic herbs, which seemed to us to be Marquez-esque.
We enjoyed critiquing the [too?] lovey-dovey marriage, how the lead character honored the dead prior wife, and why the marriage was forbidden by the Jewish Synagogue. (Sorry—you’ll have to read the book to get the juicy details.) There were many topics in the book including mother and daughter relationships, servitude, slaves, art as a career, interracial marriage, religion, life in Paris, close female friendships (who were actually sisters), rejection, and more. And for a change, it wasn’t depressing.
When we weren’t analyzing the three generations of characters, we critiqued samples of Camille Pissarro’s paintings provided by Nora. No wonder we rated the book a perfect 5.0—it came with an art lesson. We also had chilled water from Nora and fresh cherries from Marilee. This group is very chatty probably because we aren’t eating. Or drinking.
Are we the only book club that spends almost as much time deciding our next book as we do discussing the current book? Seriously. We have lists, ratings, and many opinions. Eventually we decided on The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. We’ll be shifting from a Caribbean island and Paris to the isolated wilderness of Alaska. The book is described as raw and honest. Just like the club. Wear a sweater.