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Evening Group - Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

  • May 21, 2014 · 6:00 PM
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For May we will be discussing a daytime group selection:

Unfamiliar Fishes

by Sarah Vowell

Facilitator TBD

Book Description:

From Puritans to heathens-Sarah Vowell takes on Hawaii in this New York Times bestseller. 

Of all the countries the United States invaded or colonized in 1898, Sarah Vowell considers the story of the Americanization of Hawaii to be the most intriguing. From the arrival of the New England missionaries in 1820, who came to Christianize the local heathens, to the coup d'état led by the missionaries' sons in 1893, overthrowing the Hawaiian queen, the events leading up to American annexation feature a cast of beguiling, if often appalling or tragic, characters. Whalers who fire cannons at the Bible-thumpers denying them their god-given right to whores; an incestuous princess pulled between her new god and her brother-husband; sugar barons, con men, Theodore Roosevelt, and the last Hawaiian queen, a songwriter whose sentimental ode "Aloha 'Oe" serenaded the first Hawaiian-born president of the United States during his 2009 inaugural parade.

With her trademark wry insights and reporting, Vowell sets out to discover the odd, emblematic, and exceptional history of the fiftieth state. In examining the place where Manifest Destiny got a sunburn, she finds America again, warts and all. - Amazon.com

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Yes, I looked it up, too. It must have been a real joke that the men treasured when they said it was an acronym for "Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden". There are so many interesting words that are derived from acronyms, i.e. scuba.

    1 · May 22, 2014

    • Sharon R F.

      And I just learned a new one, scuba! Thanks, Nancy!

      May 22, 2014

  • Lynne N.

    Even when I don't like the book, I enjoy the discussion. Thanks all.

    1 · May 22, 2014

  • Sharon R F.

    Yes, Nancy, you knew I'd look it up! Golf: "Like most modern words, the word "golf" derives from older languages and dialects. In this case, the languages in question are medieval Dutch and old Scots.

    The medieval Dutch word "kolf" or "kolve" meant "club." It is believed that word passed to the Scots, whose old Scots dialect transformed the word into "golve," "gowl" or "gouf."

    By the 16th Century, the word "golf" had emerged.

    So why do so many people continue to spread the myth that "golf" is an acronym for "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden"? Like so many other myths (or what in modern times we might call "urban legends"), this is one that is very hard to kill off."

    But "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden" is much more interesting!

    May 22, 2014

  • Carol

    Darn, I was counting on coming Wednesday however I'm not going to be able to make it. Have a great chat:)

    1 · May 20, 2014

  • Sharon R F.

    Hey, Laura, do you have a moderator/facilitator for this week's evening discussion? If not, I don't mind stepping up.

    May 19, 2014

    • Laura

      No I don't, if you could do it that would be great.

      May 19, 2014

    • Sharon R F.

      Sure, Laura, I'll do it. See you Wednesday.

      May 19, 2014

  • Lynne N.

    Could I be a part of the evening group? It seems to fit into my schedule better. Thanks

    May 16, 2014

    • Laura

      Sure no problem I 'll switch you

      May 17, 2014

  • Theresa H.

    I'm sorry to have to miss the May meeting. I'm in CT visiting family. See you in June.

    May 17, 2014

5 went

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