Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Bookies Discussion: The Buddha In The Attic

Morning Friends!
The Bookies met this morning to discuss Julie Otsuka's The Buddha In The Attic. It's a brief, but interesting little book, and one for which Otsuka was nominated for a National Book Award. We had a great discussion! The novel is an interesting one, as its told in first person plural, which was really different! Many said they though it was like reading a poem or stream of consciousness writing. Ellen B. said the most interesting thing today, she thought the narrative reminded her of a Greek chorus, which is a cool idea because the whole point of the chorus was to give a voice to the people. The voices you hear are  largely those of Japanese women, that is until the book shifts to the internment camps. It's really a cool little book.
 We also talked about the differences in cultures and cultural groups as immigrants move into the country. A few Bookies brought up the obvious parallels between Muslim Americans during 9-11 and Hispanic immigrants today. Some novels that we discussed as having parallels to The Buddha In The Attic:

  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay which is about the roundup of Jews in Paris during WWII
  • The Hotel On The Corner of Bitter & Sweet by Jamie Ford which is another great story about the Japanese internment camps in the West during WWII. This is also a previous Bookies title which we all really enjoyed.
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck which always comes up when we discuss immigration and the West Coast. This is also another previous Bookies read and one we refer to all the time. 
  • Lisa See's novels, especially Shanghai Girls for its moving story of the immigration experience.
Last, but not least, The Bookies voted on our titles for the first half of 2012. Here's our list:

January 10, 2012
In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

February 14, 2012
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

March 13, 2012
Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie

April 10, 2012
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
*this month The Bookies and other library book groups will take a trip to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery on April 21st to see their production of the play*

May 8, 2012
The Greater Journey: Americans In Paris by David McCullough

June 12, 2012
On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry

July 10, 2012
The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

At today's meeting we had three new members, who added a lot to the discussion. So, if you're interested in joining a book group, please consider The Bookies, we'd love to have you!

For more information about The Bookies, please email me, Katie Moellering at kmoellering@bham.lib.al.us.

Happy Reading!

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