Thursday, July 24, 2008

Celebrating the Chinese Olympics with our book!

In order to follow the theme of Chinese Olympics, we'll be reading the book "The Diary of Ma Yan" by 13-year-old Ma Yan, a peasant in the drought-scarred province of Ningxia, China.

Here's a summary of the book:

In 2001, while a French journalist was visiting remote Ningxia province in northwest China, a Muslim woman wearing the white headscarf of the Hui people thrust the diaries of her daughter into his hands. The three small notebooks described the girl's struggle to get an education despite extreme poverty.

Each week Ma Yan and her younger brothers walked seven miles to school where they stayed until Friday night when they returned home. Ma Yan studied hard, but she did not feel successful unless she was number one in her class. When she didn't rank first, she was berated by her mother and made to feel guilty for her lack of effort.

While this book will not hold the interest of average readers because of its overly didactic tone, it does paint a vivid portrait of the daily life of a child in a part of the world seldom visited.

Join us for a great conversation at the Royal Ground Coffee in the Outer Richmond neighborhood on Sunday August 24 at 2pm (Geary & 17th Ave),

Get your 10% discount at BookSmith on our book when you say you're a WOW book club member!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Future Book and Coffee shop Suggestions!

Hi everyone!

It's time to suggest books and coffee shops for future meetings. We've had some great book suggestions already such as:

a) A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini
b) The Saturday Wife by Naomi Ragan
c) Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Please comment with suggestions for a book you'd like to read and what good coffee shops you want to go to in San Francisco!


Fighting for our Rights!

We had a great conversation last Sunday where we discussed Sarah Weddington's book on Roe v Wade and its meaning in our present lives. For everyone, we appreciated being shown how it was before the Roe v Wade decision and how frighteningly close we are to having it been overturned.

We were all pro-choice members so there weren't any ugly scenes at the coffee shop!

Because abortion is legal, more activism has emerged from the anti-abortion activisits. It hasn't been as loud of an activism in the past decade, but fatal consequences and extreme violence has happened. The message we took was that we should be actively aware of what type of laws related to abortion are being presented and take an action in your state as a way to participate in the legal system.

We also talked about our experiences with sex ed classes and the different types of activities we went through when we were young.

Although the book was written in the 1990s during election year - it felt very relevant, as the abortion issue still continues to be controversial.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Our next book for July 2008 is "A Question of Choice" by Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who won the Roe vs. Wade case.

Here's a brief summary of her book:
A milestone in the ongoing battle for abortion rights was achieved more than 20 years ago before the Supreme Court by the then 27-year-old Texas lawyer Weddington who won the Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion in the U.S.

Here she recounts with clarity and fervor the remarkable story of how she, her husband and a few other lawyers, supported by a handful of doctors and pro-choice advocates, researched and prepared briefs invoking the "right of privacy" defense as a main argument to challenge the Texas anti-abortion law. However, certain conditions--trimester viability of the fetus, etc.--imposed by states, limited funding and services, along with well-organized, occasionally violent pro-life factions supported by conservative administrations and their court appointees, threaten to overthrow the 1973 decision.

Join us for a discussion on Sunday July 20 at 2 pm in the Mission Bay/SoMa neighborhood, near the AT&T ballpark at Philz Coffee. You can take the N Judah Muni all the way to the 4th and King street station (next to Caltrain).