Sunday, October 21, 2012

Next 5 Books for WOW Book Club (Dec 2012 - April 2013)

For our wonderful readers who would love to have time to read books in advance, we have selected the next five books for WOW Book Club:
Dec 2012 - Travels in West Africa by Mary Henrietta Kingsley
Originally published in 1895, and never out of print, "Travels in West Africa is Kingsley' s account of her dauntless travels, unaccompanied but for African guides, into Africa' s most dangerous jungles, where the tribes were reputed to be ferocious and cannibalistic.
Jan 2013 - The reeducation of Cherry Truong by Aimee Phan (Vietnam)
A young woman journeys back to Vietnam to uncover family secrets. Cherry Truong’s older brother has been exiled to live with distant relatives in Vietnam. As Cherry journeys from Los Angeles to her family’s homeland to bring him back, she embarks on a quest to uncover the mysteries and lies in her family’s past—hidden loves, desperate choices, and lives torn apart by the march of war and currents of history.
Feb 2013 - Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)
Set in colonial Rhodesia during the 1960s, this book centers on the coming of age of a teenage girl, Tambu, and her relationship with her British-educated cousin Nyasha. Tambu, who yearns to be free of the constraints of her rural village, especially the circumscribed lives of the women, thinks her dreams have come true when her wealthy uncle offers to sponsor her education. But she soon learns that the education she receives at his mission school comes with a price.

Mar 2014 - Equal of the Sun - Anita Amirrezvanni (Iran)
In Equal of the Sun, Anita Amirrezvani’s gorgeously crafted tale of power, loyalty, and love in the royal court of Iran, she brings one such woman to life, Princess Pari Khan Khanoom Safavi. Iran in 1576 is a place of wealth and dazzling beauty. But when the Shah dies without having named an heir, the court is thrown into tumult. Princess Pari, the Shah’s daughter and protégé, knows more about the inner workings of the state than almost anyone, but the princess’s maneuvers to instill order after her father’s sudden death incite resentment and dissent.
Apr 2014 - An American Radical: A Political Prisoner in my own country - Susan Rosenberg
More than just a powerful memoir, "An American Radical" is also a powerful indictment of the U.S. prison system, in which Rosenberg recounts her journey from the impassioned idealism of the 1960s to life as a political prisoner in her own country.

Happy Reading!

Please post a comment if you have other recommendations for this book club.

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

From ancient bibilical times to the 1960s in Dominican Republican, we'll be discussing the book In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.

Here's a Book Summary:

Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.

From the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents comes this tale of courage and sisterhood set in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo dictatorship. A skillful blend of fact and fiction, In the Time of the Butterflies is inspired by the true story of the three Mirabal sisters who, in 1960, were murdered for their part in an underground plot to overthrow the government. Alvarez breathes life into these historical figures--known as "las mariposas," or "the butterflies," in the underground--as she imagines their teenage years, their gradual involvement with the revolution, and their terror as their dissentience is uncovered.

We'll be meeting in SOMA Neighborhood on Sunday November 18, 2012! Post a comment if you want to join us or have input on this book!

Dinah - the sole daughter of Jacob, finds her own way when she cuts off her own family

I've been told number of times to read this book for the WOW Book Club, and finally it happened and no regrets!

We all enjoyed The Red Tent, which highlights the story of Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob, son of Issac and grandson to Abraham (the one who almost sacrificed his elder son Issac to prove his loyalty to God). Dinah is raised by her mother and three sisters - all of them married to Jacob, and spends her time in the red tent, exclusively for women who have their menstruation (hence the name). But with Dinah they make an exception and we get to see her perspective of her family from child to young woman.

She becomes visible to Jacob and her brothers once the prince Shalem of Shechem falls in love with her and she loves him back. Jacob and her brothers afraid to lose their control over Dinah, who they hadn't even cared for before, sets upon a horrific tragedy that leads Dinah to curse her family and escapes to Egypt.

It is in Egypt where Dinah's life becomes more optimistic and empowered, where she finally finds her own way to become the best midwife in town.

Of course many more things happen throughout the whole story, such as the character of Werenro, a redhead eccentric messanger of Dinah's grandmother, whose life is heartbreaking and yet the saviour of Dinah in Egypt; Meryt, Inna and Rachel - all midwives who influenced Dinah to set her on a path to become the best midwife she can be; Benia - a beautiful man who gives Dinah a chance to love freely and find peace in the rest of her days.

It was powerful to see this one character who's mentioned 8 times in the bible, a complex and resilient woman of her times in Anita Diamant's incredible book.