Saturday, February 28, 2015

March 2015 - When the Ground Turn in its Sleep

Our next book discussion will be set in Guatemala through the book "When the Ground Turn it in its Sleep" by Sylvia Sellers-García. 

Here's the Book Summary:
Nítido Amán knows he was born in Guatemala, but he doesn't know where, or why his family left. Raised in the United States by his immigrant parents, he never asked them about his homeland as a child-and they never talked about it. When Nítido loses his father to Alzheimer's disease, his despondent mother grows increasingly silent. Realizing that his only links to the past are disappearing, he travels to Guatemala, against his mother's wishes, to see what he can uncover for himself.

He arrives in the tiny town of Río Roto, where he suspects his family came from, prepared to ask questions, and perhaps find work teaching there. But when he is mistaken for the new local priest, Nítido decides to play the part, thinking that the confessional confidences of the townspeople will prove more fruitful than ordinary conversation in leading him to the answers he seeks. What he finds in Río Roto, though, is a place shrouded in silence and secrets, a place that can neither escape nor give voice to the unnamed horrors it has survived. Nítido is at once determined and frightened to unearth these horrors-even as they force him to reevaluate his own haunted past. 

In elegant, hypnotic prose, Sylvia Sellers-García delivers a story of divergent cultures and
divided identities, of conflicts between generations and civilizations, of mourning, and, finally, of healing. When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep marks her arrival as a distinctive and powerful new voice.


Looking forward to meeting once again in Oakland, near the 12th Street BART station at the Awaken Cafe!

Next Book to Read:
April - Shanghai Girls - Lisa See

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 2015 - Finding Nouf

Hi everyone! We are going to try something different and meet in the East Bay, near 19th Street Bart in Oakland at a cafe called Tierra Mía. We are also meeting an hour later at 3pm. We will be discussing the book Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris.

Here's a Book Summary:

In a blazing hot desert in Saudi Arabia, a search party is dispatched to find a missing young woman. Thus begins a novel that offers rare insight into the inner workings of a country in which women must wear the abaya in public or risk denunciation by the religious police; where ancient beliefs, taboos, and customs frequently clash with a fast-moving, technology-driven modern world.

The missing woman is Nouf Shrawi, one of several sheltered teenaged daughters of a powerful local family. Hired to track her and her potential abductor is Nayir, a solitary, pious desert guide of dubious origin, and a friend of the family. As Nayir uncovers clues that only serve to deepen the mystery behind Nouf's disappearance, he teams up with Katya, a liberated Saudi woman who is engaged to one of Nouf's brothers.

In a land of prayers, purity, and patriarchy, the dreams of mere mortals often go unrealized, and the consequences of misbehavior for both men and women are disastrous. The final revelation of the truth forces Nayir to confront his own attitudes about women and society and in his deepening relationship with Katya, to face up to his own long-denied yearnings for love and intimacy.

See you on Sunday February 15th (after Valentine's Day) at 3pm in Oakland at Tierra Mia Coffee, near 19th Street BART station.

Next Books to Read:
March: When the ground turn in its sleep by Sylvia Sellers-García
April: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy New Year! January 2015 - Leela's Book

Hi everyone! Happy New Year for 2015! We will start our reading club with "Leela's Book" by Alice Albinia with a story centered between New Delhi, India and New York City, US.

Here's a Book Summary:

Bold and entertaining, Leela’s Book weaves a tale of contemporary Delhi that crosses religious and social boundaries. 

Leela—alluring, taciturn, haunted—is moving from New York back to Delhi, where her return will unsettle precariously balanced lives. Twenty-five years earlier, her sister was seduced by the egotistical Vyasa. Now an eminent Sanskrit scholar, Vyasa is preparing for his son’s marriage. But when Leela arrives, she disrupts the careful
choreography of the wedding, with its myriad attendees and their conflicting desires. Gleefully presiding over the drama is Ganesh—divine, elephant-headed scribe of the Mahabharata, India’s great epic. The family may think they have arranged the wedding for their own selfish ends, but according to Ganesh it is he who is directing events—in a bid to save Leela, his beloved heroine, from Vyasa.


We will be meeting in the West Portal neighborhood at the Greenhouse Cafe on Sunday January 25th at 2pm!

Happy Reading!

Next Books to Read in 2015:
February: Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris
March: When the ground turn in its sleep by Sylvia Sellers-García
April: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

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 Kazancı 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 Kazancı 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