Winter’s icy chill had not yet abated, and yet eight brave book warriors still made the trek to my home, where they’d be warmed by close quarters and heated conversation. Here’s the down-low from our latest (themeless) meeting in Toronto.
Sarah recommends . . .
This American Drive, Mike Holmes
- a hybrid b/w novel and graphic novel.
- Drawings of food! Which can be a little bit distracting but “it’s not like War and Peace, right?”
- Kind of a diary of a road trip from Halifax to Texas – make or break relationship moment
- couple eating their way across America
- light reading
- The ultimate endorsement: “It made my heart happy.”
Natalie recommends . . .
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechel
- a literary graphic novel
- memoir/ coming of age and coming out (for herself and her dad)
- family runs a funeral home
- JK wants to be adopted by Natalie’s family so she can be a part of their brainy family discussions
- named one of the top books of the year by just about everyone
- a really really rich experience
- Ed. Note: I’ve already received my hold notice at the library for this one. Go TPL!
Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
- short story collection
- Lots of dark sexuality *collars in the room are unbuttoned*
- Unflinching eye, an honest writer
- “Secretary” turned into a Maggie Gyllenhaall movie.
- Dark, ironic humour
Reeder recommends . . .
Unsweetened, Jodie Sweeten (aka Stephanie on Full House!)
- Reeder drove all over Las Vegas trying to find the book
- made Reeder keep a People Magazine (with the headline “From Meth Addict to Mom”) for two years
- A 2 day read
- How Full House is a fast track to ruin (something we all secretly suspected)
- Missing info: how to do meth (much speculation ensues)
- Reeder also found the chapel where Jodie got married in Vegas
- Jodie was burned by Dancing with the Stars 4x
- a great photo section shared with the group (including mullet pictures!)
Bronwyn recommends . . .
Under This Unbroken Sky, Shandi Mitchell
- story of Ukranian immigrants trying to build a life together in Canada
- Extremely depressing and brutal, but still strangely uplifting
- comparison 1930s prairie literature used as an endorsement (!!! — Specifically cited: Wild Geese and As For Me and My House)
- book has cinematic feel because Shandi is a filmmaker
- caused some B. tears!
Tennile recommends . . .
Payback, Margaret Atwood
- A rare non-fiction foray for Tennile
- focuses on debts between people, concepts of owing and balance
- Margaret Atwood probably had a glass of wine while writing, since it “just flows from one ludicrous idea to the next” (in a good way)
- the idea for a t-shirt that says “What Would Margaret Atwood Do?” emerges. People on twitter confirm they’d buy it.
- Discussion of Atwood not being an economist lead to the spontaneous reco: The Undercover Economist
JK recommends . . .
Bitten, Kelley Armstrong
- smart, sassy, sexy werewolf story (more in my review)
- has solid review cred and a dedicated fan following
- refreshing to have a series you can look forward to once again
Mike recommends . . .
Under the Dome, Stephen King
- Mike reads this 1100-page beast standing up on the subway (it must be good!)
- Same basic plot as The Simpson’s Movie
- Mike admits to King’s “marked drop off in quality after he got hit by the car”
- takes place in a small town (which is under a dome) and then takes the shit out of the small town
- lots of meth (much like Unsweetened, similar story I’m sure)
- Tennile once moved into a place where she discovered stash of Stephen King books, making “every week a new nightmare.”
- NO JACKET COPY WHATSOEVER (which is basically the equivalent of writing, “Just buy it, I’m Stephen-fucking-King.”)
Ron recommends . . .
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
- The kind of book that hits you upside the head
- about a nerdy Dominican boy growing up in New Jersey
- It’s cool to read about other nerds – but here bringing it out of the white middle class experience
- Diaz nearly went crazy writing the book
- Writing like a force of nature
- Gripped within the first 5 pages
- Spontaneous Reco: Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann
- Makes men cry
- Makes you a bigger nerd just by reading it
Loretta recommends . . .
Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
- about man who is in prison in Australia and he escapes and he flees to Bombay where joins an Afghan mafia lord
- recommended to Loretta by an Indian friend, who praised its authenticity
- the first time Loretta has EVER cried in a book. I’m ordering IT IMMEDIATELY
- Based on a true story
Didn’t make it to this meeting? Never fear! The KIRBC will be back a month (hopefully with more chairs). New members are always welcome!
Tomorrow I’ll also be announcing a project for April that will be bringing the KIRBC and its members from near and far, to a computer near you!