27 January 2000
1709 Conestoga Dr SE - In 4-Hills, turn right on Stagecoach, past Rio Arriba, past Catron
|The Perfect Storm:
A True Story of Men Against The Sea
by Sebastian Junger
meeting was the reconvening of the November 1999 meeting, postponed due
to personal request by the host.
We learned of the Perfect Storm Foundation, working to educate the children of commercial swordfisher men. Book received grades from A- to C+.
24 February 2000
|Tom Genoni (292-4985)
1616 Catron SE
of the Artist as a Young Man
by James Joyce
"James Joyce's supremely innovative fictional autobiography is also, in the apt phrase of the biographer Richard Ellmann, nothing less than "the gestation of a soul." For as he describes the shabby, cloying, and sometimes terrifying Dublin upbringing of his alter ego, Stephen Dedalus, Joyce immerses the reader in his emerging consciousness, employing language that ranges from baby talk to hellfire sermon to a triumphant artist's manifesto."
|Somewhat disappointing to many of us who had heard of this book all our life but never read it. Certainly disjointed. All of us were captivated by descriptions of scenes such as the Christmas Dinner (with adults arguing about Parnell), the 'unfair punishment' for Stephen and his brave visit to the school prefect. I was a little surprised that Joyce's description of Hell was all taken from Piermonti's sermon, which you can learn from the Notes version of the book. Grades ranged from B to C-, with one A.|
30 March 2000
|Rob Easterling (298-7083)
7800 Northridge NE
by Leslie Marmon Silko
| Well crafted story
of 'battle fatique' in a young Indian returning from WWII. Received grades
from A to C; some thought it had anti-white sentiment; most felt it was
very well done.
Apparently this book is assigned within schools to young readers - some love it, some hate it!
27 April 2000
|Don Benoist (296-2533)
7709 Harwood Ave NE
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)
The 'bookjacket' shown above is actually a portrait and link for the audio cassette version, read by Garrison Keillor, for under $15.
|THE American Novel. Everyone loved the humor and the humorous descriptions; grades ranged from A to B; criticism is that of many 19th century novels: story hinges on highly inplausible events. Example: when Huck drifts down the river, and is about to give up, goes ashore and is welcomed at a farm - just happens to be the farm of Tom Sawyer's Aunt.|
25 May 2000
|Vern Gibbs (281-3639)
Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
One of our best selections: mostly A grades. Harper Lee only wrote one novel, but it was a classic.
|"When he was nearly thirteen,
my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow....
When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out."
29 June 2000
|Mike Blackledge (294-6030)
14321 Stalgren Ct. NE
From Tramway & Copper, go east 5 streets, turn right, then left.
|Tuesdays with Morrie:
An Old Man, a Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson
by Mitch Albom
Polarized the club, thus provided some excellent discussion. Grades ranged from one A- to two D's. Some felt it validated the best of American virtues in an age when life seems to be de-valued by school shootings and hate crimes. Even in June 2000 it was still in the top 5 on the non-fiction list. The book has sold over 4 million copies; the Jonathan Livingstone Seagull of the 90's.
Inspired Poem of the Month.
|This true story about the
love between a spiritual mentor and his pupil has soared to the bestseller
list for many reasons. For starters: it reminds us of the affection and
gratitude that many of us still feel for the significant mentors of our
past. It also plays out a fantasy many of us have entertained: what would
it be like to look those people up again, tell them how much they meant
to us, maybe even resume the mentorship? And finally we are privy to intimate
moments of Morrie's final days as he lies dying from a terminal illness.
Even on his deathbed, this twinkling-eyed mensch manages to teach us all
about living robustly and fully.
Available thru Amazon.com for less than $11 copy.
27 July 2000
Gary Ganong (298-4731)
801 Rio Arriba SE
| Citizen Soldiers:
The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender
of Germany, June 7, 1944 to May 7, 1945
see also speech by Gen. Patton
| It is not short,
but gives people a real appreciation for the lives of W.W.II soldiers in
Europe. Even if people only read a few pages, they will learn something
of our parents generation in W.W.II.
"Stephen E. Ambrose combines history and journalism to describe how American GIs battled their way to the Rhineland. He focuses on the combat experiences of ordinary soldiers, as opposed to the generals who led them, and offers a series of compelling vignettes that read like an enterprising reporter's dispatches from the front lines."
Grades ranged from A- to C+
31 August 2000
|Keith Gilbert (265-8122)
913 Parkland Circle SE
take Zuni to Carlisle, go south on Carlisle. When median splits, take a left to Keith's.
or the Children's Crusade:
A Duty Dance With Death
by Kurt Vonnegut
|There are 25 copies in the Rio Grande Valley Library System. Book inspired
a 1972 movie.
Extra Credit: Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut
The three main protagonists are the author, Kilgore Trout* (the unappreciated, long out of print science fiction writer who is KV's alter ego), and a dysfunctional world. You learn a lot about (the now 74 year old) KV from this book, and it ties up many loose ends from his life and work.
* "Trout was the only character I ever created who had enough imagination to suspect that he might be the creation of another human being. He had spoken of this possibility several times to his parakeet."
28 September 2000
.. Loma Linda SE
between Carlisle and Washington, take Montclaire south.
|Of Love and Shadows
by Isabel Allende
(approx. 220 pp, 1987). The niece of the former Chilean president, Allende (1942- ) writes in Spanish and trusts in the excellence of her translators. Characters seem to flow freely from her pen; some LTBC criticism on juxtaposition of maggots and humans mating.
|From the Publisher---
Isabel Allende transports us to a Latin American country in the grip of a military dictatorship, where Irene Beltran, an upperclass journalist, and Francisco Leal, a photographer son of a Marxist professor together discover a hideous crime. They also discover how far they dare go in search of the truth in a nation of terror ...and how very much they risk.
Very good discussion. Grades ranged from A- to C+, avg: B+
|LTBC Field Trip: [Note: trip was
solo by the host]: Left Friday,
27 October 2000
29 October 2000
by Charles Frazier
|We were not in time to reserve this Friday destination: 3 pm tour of Georgia O'Keeffe ranch/home near Abiquiu. [Tours are reserved months in advance; $20 donation per person requested at least 30 days in advance. Only on Tues, Thurs, Friday.]|
30 November 2000
[Thursday after Thanksgiving]
3918 Solano Pl, NE
Go one long block EAST on Consitution from Carlisle to Morningside. Turn left and go one block north and turn left on Solano Place.
From the Flashman Papers, 1839-1842
by George MacDonald Fraser
Fun! The median grade was a B+, with range from A- to B. Many marveled at the clever concept of fiction set within obscure historical events. Host recommends 'Flashman at the Charge' (set in Crimean) as his pick of the series.
"Flashman" is the first of what became a series. It is available in a new paperback edition at most bookstores and BN and Amazon on the net and might even turn up in some of Albuquerque's used book stores since it has gone through several editions. Do not expect to obtain a Library copy!
It is hard to believe that this first book of the Flashman series is now nearly 30 years old. Written as if it is an actual published memoir (later books put "a novel" on the cover, probably to protect the publisher from receiving annoying letters of shock and outrage from the truly ignorant and profoundly clueless). This is a book for lovers of historical fiction, military fiction, or British history, but will be enjoyed by those who otherwise would never read in these areas. They are books of humor, following a knave and poltroon -- Harry Flashman -- as he stumbles into many of the great events of the 19th century (often fleeing irate husbands).
28 December 2000
[Thursday after Christmas]
|Tom Genoni (292-4985)
1616 Catron SE
by Ralph Ellison
Expected guest: Genoni's old English teacher.
classic from the moment it first appeared in 1952, Invisible Man chronicles
the travels of its narrator, a young, nameless black man, as he moves through
the hellish levels of American intolerance and cultural blindness.
Extra credit: Approaches to Teaching Ellison's Invisible Man
Despite Washington Post critic Jonathan Yardley's listing of Ellison's book as 'perhaps the finest American Novel' [in his Misfit], our Club did not find it so. Grades ranged from B+ to B-. The first three chapters are definitely worth reading, consensus by all.
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