Friday, January 29, 2010

Book Group Night

We met for the 1st time tonight since Peggy died, and you know what? She was missed terribly, but we were able to continue on like she expected us to. We laughed at all the joy she brought to us over the years and the books she shared. And she added a special surprise for all of us – she passed along her most hated book – The Shack – to a fellow member, Becca. As Becca was reading it last night, she noticed Peggy left a “book mark” in the middle of the book. Well, it wasn’t a book mark – but Peggy’s final thoughts on the book:
The Shack: A best seller, touted as a "new Classic". What a disappointment! I expected a poetic parable or allegory, but it is just silly. It tries to answer too many of life's questions in an overly simplistic & bumbling fashion. The author uses trite, repetitive phrases, especially in the dialogue, that are just poor writing. He has Jesus continually grinning & chuckling. He claims to want to preserve the mystery of God while describing Him in such excessively common terms as to deny the reverence, nobility & majesty of God. I found it not only not charming but offensive & foolish. Did I mention I did not like the book?
Peggy Jones

Thank you Peggy for leaving us this final treasure. You will be with us always.

Our book this month was “People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks.” I was in charge of the discussion, and I hate to admit it, but I totally phoned it in. I am so overloaded at the moment I can barely get my kids ready for school in the morning, let alone try to prepare a descent book discussion. Luckily, there was enough to talk about in this book, that once the conversation started, I didn’t really need to do much more. However, I take my book prep very seriously – but tonight, I’m lucky I made it to our meeting at all. Thanks ladies for carrying me through this one!

This was the 2nd time I’ve read it. I LOVED it the 1st time – the 2nd time around wasn’t nearly as enjoyable. I think Geraldine Brooks is a genius when writing historical fiction. But the magic was lost on the re-read. I will post my review of POTB separately, after I get some much needed sleep.

Or next selection is

Skin and Other Stories

Skin and other stories by Roald Dahl. Other than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I haven’t read anything by Dahl. This is the perfect choice for me for February – SHORT! I’m going to be MIA over the next 5 weeks – my fundraiser/silent auction is consuming my life – but I see the light at the end of the tunnel!


Booksnyc said...

I am glad your book group was able to share some happy memories of your friend.

I have People of the Book on my shelf and need to read it - I look forward to your review. Hav you read her other book, March?

Julie P. said...

I'm glad you guys still met -- it's what Peggy would have wanted. At least your February choices are do-able. We just read THE WITCHES for our mother-daughter book club.

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

I completely agree with dear Peggy's assessment of The Shack. I'm glad your meeting went well.

Bonnie said...

I was so touched by your post about Peggy as I am in a book club and can understand how hard it would be to lose a beloved friend. Wow, Peggy sent a strong message to you guys about her feelings on The Shack! I've avoided this book as it just feels wrong, even though it has both positive and negative reviews. I'm glad that your book club can move on and treasure the memories you have had with Peggy. I have People of the Book on my TBR shelf and look forward to reading it. Good luck with your fundraiser!

Just Mom said...

I had to smile at the fund-raiser silent auction taking over your life - that happens to me with our school and church events. It's so much work but so rewarding in teh end when it is successsful.
you have picked a Roald Dahl I haven't read. I lve all his children's books and his memoir, Boy, so I may have to check this out!

Amused said...

I'm happy to hear you were able to honor your friend and that she was able to still 'be there' through her notes in the last book she was a part of. That's wonderful!