It's that time of year for me to host our book club! We are a flexible group and since we had several scheduling challenges in September, also a flu bug (we never get the flu but this year it hit my usually healthy hubby hard) so we rescheduled for the first week of October.
We selected the “The Goldfinch” as a summer vacation read because as Rosemary reminded us it is 771 pages, we love Ro and she has a memory that beats everyone in our group.
The best way I can explain the book is in terms of food, the words read like a long leisurely meal, the story is disturbing but so brilliantly written. Just when you think the meal is over the host brings out another delicious dish. The author takes on a journey through the streets of NYC, the dry desert of Las Vegas and the ancient streets of Europe.
The story of Theo and his buddy Boris is disturbing, haunting and yet you want to keep lapping up the book like amazing gravy. It is a story filled with references to great works of art, the lost art of furniture makers and pulls us into the world of antiques. This was another tale of nurture versus nature and it reminds us that there are so many children lout there who raise themselves, living in unimaginable conditions.
As usual with our group some of us loved the book, some the writing more than the story, others not so much and several just did not have time to read it. But hey that is why we are called “Have you read the Book? Book Club”.
Ann brought up the subject of what constitutes literature versus a good book or novel. We talked about how a good book makes us feel like we are there, in the experience. However in literature there is something more, sometimes we might not love the story or the characters; however we love the writing style, which compels us to continue to turn the pages. In the “The Goldfinch” this is a perfect example of literature, the writing is beautiful and complex, the words create an image so complete you feel that you are there in the Antique shop or the dry deserted housing development in Las Vegas or in a hotel room in Amsterdam.
As I read the book I had the feeling that the story was written by someone from Europe. I thought maybe Donna Tartt was raised in Europe; however I discovered that she was raised in Greenwood, Mississippi. She attended the University of Mississippi then transferred to Bennington College and her writing style is considered “neo-romanticism”. Per Wikipedia “This prose style is relatively unique in contemporary American literary fiction, particularly given a present tendency by fiction writers and literary critics to favor a more brief and to-the-point prose style.” This explains why we would consider “The Goldfinch” literature and it won the Pulitzer Prizefor fiction in 2014.
Sometimes when we host book club we try to set the mood of the book through the meal that we prepare. I was trying to decide what to cook for our book club that would compliment the book. The weather in the Carolinas had turned cool and my best bud Karin suggested something French like Beouf Bourguignon, I could brown the beef the day ahead, chop the
veggies then toss it all in the crock pot for a
slow simmer all day long. Easy and always delicious, the only way to make beef
|Beouf Bourguignon in the Crock Pot|
The night of book club the distinct aroma of Beof Bourguignon greeted the ladies as they arrived. As it turned out the cool weather disappeared and here I was with a heartwarming dish on a very warm day.
We all love a cool salad, however I was trying to think of veggie’s to serve as an appetizer. So I visited my local market and picked up my favorite roasted red pepper and pine nut hummus, a couple of cucumbers which I peeled and sliced and served with a side of crackers for a little something to nosh on while sipping a glass of vino before serving up the main dish.
As we discussed the book we finished the evening with vanilla ice cream and my homemade chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips, which is always a hit!
We definitely recommend that you read “The Goldfinch” , a great discussion book, enjoy the enjoy!
Here's a quote from Donna Tartt…"I believe, in a funny way, the job of the novelist is to be out there on the fringes and speaking for an experience that has not really been spoken for.
To really be centered and to really work well and to think about the kinds of things that I need to think about, I need to spend large amounts of time alone.
Everything takes me longer than I expect. It's the sad truth about life."
Did you read the book and what meal would you prepare for book club?
Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~