Thursday, July 20, 2017  

Book Club


Books clubs can be an enjoyable way to connect with friends over lively conversations about good books. Here are some reads recommended by two local book clubs:
“The Hustle Bas Bleu Book and Dessert Club” and “The Low Stress Book Club.”
The synopses were provided by author websites, Wikipedia or Amazon.com.

The Hustle Bas Bleu Book and Dessert Club
The Hustle Bas Bleu Book and Dessert Club is a small book club made up of good friends who have been meeting and discussing books for more than 17 years.

Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese

The story is a riveting saga of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone, born of a tragic union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, and bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. But it’s love, not politics—their passion for the same woman—that will tear them apart and force Marion to flee his homeland and make his way to America, finding refuge in his work at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him, wreaking havoc and destruction, Marion has to entrust his life to the two men he has trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.

The Low Stress Book Club
The Low Stress Book Club is a group of friends who are also busy moms. They meet once a month with the understanding that although not everyone may have had time to read the book selection, getting together for adult time is just as important!

Mrs. Kimble
Jennifer Haigh

Ken Kimble is revealed through the eyes of the women he seduces: his first wife, Birdie, who struggles to hold herself together following his desertion; his second wife, Joan, a lonely heiress shaken by personal tragedy, who sees in Kimble her last chance at happiness; and finally Dinah, a beautiful but damaged woman half his age. Woven throughout is the story of Kimble’s son, Charlie, whose life is forever affected by the father he barely remembers. Kimble is a chameleon, a man able to become, at least for a while, all things to all women—a hero to whom powerful needs and nameless longings may be attached. Only later do they glimpse the truth about this enigmatic, unknowable man.

Local author, Ellen Brown, recently published a book featured by “Friends of the Essex Public Library” at the annual Weekend With a Writer event. The book club decided this would present a great opportunity to revisit Gone with the Wind, and members have the option or reading Ellen’s Brown’s book or the original.

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind:
A Bestseller’s Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood

Ellen F. Brown and John Wiley, Jr.

This entertaining and informative account traces Gone With the Wind from its origins in the Civil War-era experiences of Mitchell’s relatives through its status today as a pop culture icon that still generates impressive profits for her estate. At the core of the story is Mitchell’s struggle to capture on paper the sights, sounds and smells of antebellum Georgia and how she dealt with her book’s stunning success. Mitchell had no affinity for the celebrity status or legal complexities associated with being a bestselling author but accepted them with resignation and went on to build an international publishing empire amidst the Great Depression and World War II. Brown and Wiley answer the question once posed by the author’s husband, “How in the hell did she do it?”

Gone With the Wind
Margaret Mitchell

Scarlett O’Hara is the spoiled eldest daughter of a Georgia plantation owner at the beginning of the Civil War. She is in love with Ashley Wilkes. Ashley seems to be in love with her, but is engaged to his cousin Melanie. Scarlett pronounces her love but Ashley turns it away for Melanie’s sake. Scarlett is mortified when another man who had been in the room makes himself known. Rhett Butler, a man with a scandalous reputation, overheard the scene and knew of her embarrassment.
Over the next twelve years Scarlett, Melanie, Ashley, and Rhett live through the Civil War, Atlanta burning, Reconstruction, Scalawags, blockades, marriages, babies, high taxes, starvation, Union prisons, abuse, and triumphs. Scarlett watches the Atlanta and Georgia citizens support their men and their Cause. She never quite identifies, but is able to play their game. The only people she respects are her mother and father. She often says she wishes she were like her mother, the gentle Ellen from a good Southern family, but usually acts like her Irish father, Gerald.