Tuesday, August 9

calling all bibliophiles

okay, guys. i need your help. way back in february, i joined a book club. i have been a little flaky about being a faithful contributor, but despite my inconsistencies, was asked to host the october meeting. gulp. on the outside i said "absolutely! i'm thrilled!" on the inside i cried a little bit and panicked. that's a lot of pressure. what if the group doesn't like my book? what if they think i am ignorant and shallow and hate reading all month long? what if they don't like me after this? so i need you. help me choose. here are the top six contenders:

the red tent this is a first person narrative which tells the story of Dinah, a talented midwife and proto-feminist. the book's title refers to the tent in which women of Jacob's tribe must take refuge while menstruating or giving birth and in which they find mutual support and encouragement from their mothers, sisters and aunts.
a tree grows in brooklyn  a story about Francie, avid reader, penny-candy connoisseur and observer of human nature, having much to ponder in a colorful, turn of the century brooklyn. she grows up with a sweet, tragic father, a severely realistic mother, an aunt who gives her love too freely to men, and a brother who will always be the favored child. Francie learns early the meaning of hunger and the value of a penny. 
ella minnow pea Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on a fictional island of Nollop. Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island's council which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet. the result is a hilarious and moving story of one girl's fight for freedom of expression as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere.
the history of love a hauntingly beautiful novel about two characters whose lives are woven together in such complex ways that even after the last page is turned, the reader is left to wonder what really happened. the novel spans a period of 60 years. at the center of each character's psyche is the issue of loneliness and the need to fill a void left empty by lost love. 
the wednesday wars this story knits together the cultural uproar of the 60s, the internal uproar of early adolescence and the timeless wisdom of shakespeare's words. the character's unwavering, distinctive voice offers a gentle, hopeful, moving story of a boy who, with the right help, learns to stretch beyond the limitations of his family, his violent times and his fear, as he leaps into his future with his eyes and heart wide open. 
the alchemist a magical story of Santiago, a boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. the story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams. 

i want something that will stimulate deep and thoughtful conversation, but that will also be a quick and enjoyable read. i have already read the red tent, a tree grows in brooklyn and the alchemist. loved them all. i am very torn.
so now that you are fully informed voters, you may cast your ballet here. you have the power to decide! be proud and vote today! the winner will be announced once all votes have been counted. thank you for partaking in your patriotic duty. 

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