Friday, August 19, 2011

Books and Bars (4)

Three months ago I checked something off my personal bucket list...

I started my own book club!

My friends and I decided it made total sense to combine books and bars, two of our favorite things. Each month we read a new book and we check out a new bar in Des Moines. From there Books and Bars - Des Moines, IA was born. (Inspired by the Books and Bars in Minneapolis).

At the beginning of summer two friends of mine and I started with the book, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and we are still going strong. We have even bumped up into the double digits in meeting attendance! You can read about our past meetings here, here, and here.

Ok, so enough bragging. (I can't help it, I'm excited!)

Last night our group met at a new(ish) bar in downtown Des Moines called Mullet's. It's a pseudo-dive bar behind Principal Park that totes the best patio downtown. The patio is an upper deck with tremendous views of the city and the river. Unfortunately, it started raining around 5pm and our plans of sitting outside were squashed. Just like last time!

Oh, well!

We sat inside the bar, and despite the loud noise level we discussed the book as best we could. All eleven members finished reading Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This book was about two couples. One couple that lived in India and another couple that lived in the US. The husband from the couple in the US is a native of India. They are trying to have a baby, but are struggling to conceive, so they decide to adopt a little girl from India. The Indian couple struggles conceiving as well, but they are struggling just to conceive with a boy. This is a book about the differences and similarities in American and Indian culture. It is about the universal aspects of motherhood and the true meaning of family.

The characters in the book, especially the American mother, are flawed but at times still lovable and your heart aches for them. The author did a good job at developing the characters but the group agreed that the American mother needed a little bit more developing. Everyone was in agreement that what she struggled with came across as selfish and her desire to have a baby was clouding her moral judgment.

We agreed that Secret Daughter was good, but nobody was raving. Personally, I enjoyed learning more about India. Despite having over the twice the population of the US, I know very little about this country. I'm sad to admit that what I did know was stereotypes and my opinion was not based on factual knowledge. After reading this book I am definitely interested in learning more and forming my own opinions.

I definitely recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about India and want some light reading. Despite the heavy issues, this book is still a great book to read sitting by the pool or on the beach.

Our September read is The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers and I have to admit, now that I have picked up the book and read what it is about, I am excited! I have noticed some of my Goodreads friends have it listed as "To-Read" so, please feel free to read with us!! We would love more members to add to our discussion!

Tell me in the comments below, what is the best book you have read so far in 2011? What book do you always recommend to friends/family?


Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

This is awesome! I would love to do a book club like that. I wish I had more friends in my city that were interested!

Alicia said...

My friend and I both love to read, but we live in different states. We started a book club with just the two of us on Facebook and have been going for over a year now! It's nice to have people to talk about books with :)

We read the Murderer's Daughters a couple of months ago and we both really enjoyed it!

Also, I just read This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park and it was amazing! Best book so far of 2011 for me.

pinkflipflops said...

I thinkthe best book ive read this year so far was The Blue Orchard and i always recommend The Help, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Little Women.

Shoshanah said...

I haven't heard of either of these books, but they definitely sound like something I would enjoy reading!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

The best book I have read this year is probably "The Art of Racing in the Rain" or "One Day". A book I always recommend to others is Tuedays with Morrie or Sarah's Key!