Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Books 'n Bars (October)

On October 26th we met for our fifth meeting of Books 'n Bars and it went great!

For those of you that are new (welcome, btw!) I crossed 'Start a book club' off from my bucket list this past summer and friends of mine, colleagues, class friends, and friends of friends have kept it going for almost six months now! I couldn't be happier and am so excited to see where it goes from here!

Since starting the club, I have received emails from authors (umm, wow!) and have discovered that there are WAY more readers than there are non-readers out there. We even had our first guy member join us a couple months ago! (I believe he is earning some major brownie points with his girlfriend ... ;) )

The books we have read so far are:

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
The Help

Secret Daughter

The Murderer's Daughters

The bars we have been to are:

Saints (in Beaverdale)
High Life Lounge

Last month we read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and met at Star Bar. Star Bar is the ultimate after work happy hour spot, located just west of downtown Des Moines on Ingersoll it's location is perfect for anyone working in the area. None of us work in the area, but that didn't stop us. Our goal is to check out a new bar each month, preferably a local bar.

We had great conversation about Middlesex and pretty much everyone had a different opinion. A couple of people loved it, a few were so-so, and most of us just didn't enjoy the content.

Middlesex is about a girl named Calliope that is a hermaphrodite. The first half of the book covers Calliope's family history and the incest that has created this abnormal gene that caused Calliope's condition. She doesn't know for sure that she is a hermaphrodite until very late in the book, when she finds out the truth her doctor wants to do surgery to complete her female organs but she doesn't want the surgery.

I wasn't a huge fan of the book, and struggled through most of it. The text is very dense and the description is over the top. Jeffrey Eugenides is a beautiful writer and I love the way he writes, I can see why he won a Pulitzer for it, but I felt several areas were over emphasized. I would have rather learned more about Callie as a girl, and then Cal as a boy. Instead, we learned more about the family history.

I didn't hate Middlesex. But, I didn't love it either. I'm glad I was able to finish it, but it's not a book I would recommend to others.

For November we are reading We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver and we're meeting at another downtown bar, this time at The Lift.

If you're in the area we would love to have you! We're meeting at 7:30 on Wednesday, November 30.

What books have you read lately? Do books that have won awards, such as the Pulitzer, make you want to read them?


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I never pay attention to whether books have won awards, so I am not sure if I have read any lately that have won awards!

Last night I finished a light read called "I'll never be French" which was a memoir about a guy who buys a house in Brittany, France. It was fun, entertaining read. Before that I read the Postmistress, which I loved. It was slow moving in the beginning, but sucked me after that. I am in the minority on loving that book though, as the two other people I know who have read/are reading it struggled with it...

Marisa A. said...

Oh darn, I probably have to work that night but regardless, I'm picking up this book. It sounds really good!

Anonymous said...

I've read both of those books! I didn't really care for either of them, so I'm excited to see what you have to say about the second one.

Stephany said...

I wish I could join!

I'm reading The Scent of Rain and Lightning now which had gotten some really great reviews on Goodreads so I was excited to read it...but I'm seeing more people who don't care for it than do right now so I'm worried it's going to skew my perception! Hopefully not. It has a pretty good premise so we'll see. :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I read Middlesex and kind of felt the same way that you did. I wanted it to give more detail about his choice and less about his family.

I have been eyeing that Kevin book. You will have to let me know if you end up liking it or not.

I just finished The Book Thief. It is written in a strange voice (the voice of death), but I ended up liking it. It is about WWII.

Anonymous said...

Just started the new book! Like it so far. Oh, and yes...the boo has scored some major points for joining the club :)

Other than the book club books (minus last month's book)...I've just been reading books for school. However, I did find time to read two of Chelsea Handler's books...so funny!! She's a hoot!