Friday, October 31, 2014

November 2014: The Bastard of Istanbul

Hi everyone!

We will be celebrating our last book club meeting for 2014 next month in November by discussing the book "The Bastard of Istanbul" by Elif Shafak


Here's a Book Summary: 

In her second novel written in English, Elif Shafak confronts her country's violent past in a vivid and colorful tale set in both Turkey and the United States. At its center is the "bastard" of the title, Asya, a nineteen-year-old woman who loves Johnny Cash and the French Existentialists, and the four sisters of the Kazanc─▒ family who all live together in an extended household in Istanbul: Zehila, the zestful, headstrong youngest sister who runs a tattoo parlor and is Asya's mother; Banu, who has newly discovered herself as a clairvoyant; Cevriye, a widowed high school teacher; and Feride, a hypochondriac obsessed with impending disaster.  

Their one estranged brother lives in Arizona with his wife and her Armenian daughter, Armanoush. When Armanoush secretly flies to Istanbul in search of her identity, she finds the Kazanc─▒ sisters and becomes fast friends with Asya. A secret is uncovered that links the two families and ties them to the 1915 Armenian deportations and massacres. 

Full of vigorous, unforgettable female characters, the Bastard of Istanbul is a bold, powerful tale that will confirm Shafak as a rising star of international fiction. 

We will be meeting near Fisherman's Wharf at a wonderful coffee shop called Black Point Cafe with an incredible view on Sunday November 9th at 2pm. 

Stay tune for books to read in 2015!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

October 2014 - Americanah

Hi everyone!
Our next book to discuss will be "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Here's a Book Summary: 

A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun.
 
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

http://chimamanda.com/books/americanah/

We will be meeting in the Pacific Heights neighborhood on Sunday October 19 at 2pm. 

Next Books to Read:

November: The Bastard of Istanbul - Elif Shafak

Sunday, August 24, 2014

September 2014: The Rent Collector

We will now be traveling to Cambodia to discuss the book "The Rent Collector" by Camron Wright. 

Here's a Book Summary:

Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Meanchey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not working. Just when things seem worst, Sang Ly learns a secret about the bad-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money - a secret that sets in motion a tide that will change the life of everyone it sweeps past. The Rent Collector is a story of hope, of one woman's journey to save her son and another woman's chance at redemption.

http://www.therentcollectorbook.com/about.htm
 
We will be meeting at Mojo Bicycle Cafe in NOPA neighborhood on Sunday September 14th at 2pm, cross street is Fulton. 

http://www.punchbowl.com/parties/c0d51ea80ce4013b25a1

Next books to read:

October - Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

August 2014: Ghana Must Go

***Apologies for not posting this on the blog on time****


We will focusing August on reading and discussing the book "Ghana Must Go" by Taiye Selasi, released in 2013.
Here's a Book Summary:

Kweku Sai is dead. A renowned surgeon and failed husband, he succumbs suddenly at dawn outside his home in suburban Accra. The news of Kweku’s death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before. Ghana Must Go is their story. Electric, exhilarating, beautifully crafted, Ghana Must Go is a testament to the transformative power of unconditional love, from a debut novelist of extraordinary talent.

Moving with great elegance through time and place, Ghana Must Go charts the Sais’ circuitous journey to one another. In the wake of Kweku’s death, his children gather in Ghana at their enigmatic mother’s new home. The eldest son and his wife; the mysterious, beautiful twins; the baby sister, now a young woman: each carries secrets of his own. What is revealed in their coming together is the story of how they came apart: the hearts broken, the lies told, the crimes committed in the name of love. Splintered, alone, each navigates his pain, believing that what has been lost can never be recovered—until, in Ghana, a new way forward, a new family, begins to emerge.

Ghana Must Go is at once a portrait of a modern family, and an exploration of the importance of where we come from to who we are. In a sweeping narrative that takes us from Accra to Lagos to London to New York, Ghana Must Go teaches that the truths we speak can heal the wounds we hide.
We will be meeting in the Mission neighborhood at the Atlas Cafe (between Alabama and Florida Street) on 20th Street. 

Next Books to Read:
September - The Rent Collector by Camron Wright
October - Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 2014 - Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen

We are now heading over to Tibet in the month of July with a discussion of "Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom" by Yangzom Brauen. 

Here's a Book Summary:
A powerful, emotional memoir and an extraordinary portrait of three generations of Tibetan women whose lives are forever changed when Chairman Mao’s Red Army crushes Tibetan independence, sending a young mother and her six-year-old daughter on a treacherous journey across the snowy Himalayas toward freedom.

Kunsang thought she would never leave Tibet. One of the country's youngest Buddhist nuns, she grew up in a remote mountain village where, as a teenager, she entered the local nunnery. Though simple, Kunsang's life gave her all she needed: a oneness with nature and a sense of the spiritual in all things. She married a monk, had two children, and lived in peace and prayer. But not for long. The Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 changed everything. When soldiers arrived at her mountain monastery, destroying everything in their path, Kunsang and her family fled across the Himalayas only to spend years in Indian refugee camps. She lost both her husband and her youngest child on that journey, but the future held an extraordinary turn of events that would forever change her life--the arrival in the refugee camps of a cultured young Swiss man long fascinated with Tibet. Martin Brauen will fall instantly in love with Kunsang's young daughter, Sonam, eventually winning her heart and hand, and taking mother and daughter with him to Switzerland, where Yangzom will be born.

Many stories lie hidden until the right person arrives to tell them. In rescuing the story of her now 90-year-old inspirational grandmother and her mother, Yangzom Brauen has given us a book full of love, courage, and triumph, as well as allowing us a rare and vivid glimpse of life in rural Tibet before the arrival of the Chinese. Most importantly, though, ACROSS MANY MOUNTAINS is a testament to three strong, determined women who are linked by an unbreakable family bond.


We will be meeting in the Hayes Valley neighborhood at the Arlequin Cafe on Sunday July 20 at 2pm.

Next Books to Read:

August - Ghana must Go by Taiye Selasi

September - The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

Thursday, May 29, 2014

June 2014: Mayada, Daughter of Iraq

Hi everyone!
Let's travel to Iraq and discuss the book "Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman's Survival under Saddam Hussein" by Jean Sasson.
Here's a book summary:
A member of one of the most distinguished and honored families in Iraq, Mayada grew up surrounded by wealth and royalty. But when Saddam Hussein’s regime took power, she was thrown into cell 52 in the infamous Baladiyat prison with seventeen other nameless, faceless women from all walks of life. To ease their suffering, these “shadow women” passed each day by sharing their life stories.
Now, through Jean Sasson, Mayada is finally able to tell her story—and theirs—to the world.
We will be discussing this book on Sunday June 22 at 2pm in the Castro neighborhood.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

May 2014 WOW Book Club: The Memory of Love

Hi everyone!

We are now traveling to Freetown, Sierra Leone through the book "The Memory of Love" by Aminatta Forna.

Here's a Book Summary:

Since its publication in hardcover, Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love has been hailed as a book of rare beauty and importance, and has been shortlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and selected for the January 2011 Indie Next List. With astounding depth and elegance, it takes the reader through the haunting atmosphere of a country at war, delicately intertwining the powerful stories of two generations.

In contemporary Freetown, a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with secrets to keep. In the capital hospital Kai, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons that are beginning to threaten his livelihood. Elsewhere in the hospital lies Elias Cole, a man who has stories to tell from the country’s turbulent postcolonial years that are far from heroic. As past and present intersect, Kai and Elias are drawn unwittingly closer by Adrian, a British psychiatrist with good intentions, and into the path of one woman at the center of their stories.

We will be meeting in the SoMA area, near Market street at The Roastery on Saturday May 10 at 1pm (DATE AND TIME DIFFERS FROM USUAL TIME).

Next Book to Read:
June - Mayada, Daughter of Iraq by Jean Sasson