City of Thieves by David Benioff

As wise and funny as it is thrilling and original—the story of two young men on an impossible adventure A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won’t talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself “built for deprivation.” He’s small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building. When a dead German paratrooper lands in his street, Lev is caught looting the body and dragged to jail, fearing for his life. He shares his cell with the charismatic and grandiose Kolya, a handsome young soldier arrested on desertion charges. Instead of the standard bullet in the back of the head, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt to find the impossible. A search that takes them through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and the devastated surrounding countryside creates an unlikely bond between this earnest, lust-filled teenager and an endearing lothario with the gifts of a conman. Set within the monumental events of history, City of Thieves is an intimate coming-of-age tale with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

Since this will be a potluck, if you're planning to attend, please let us know what kind of food you plan to bring (side or main dish, salad, bread, dessert, etc.) in your RSVP. I'll send you the address about a week before the meeting. Also, please feel free to bring books you no longer need for a book exchange.

Note: if you sign up and don't get an email with the location and details within the week before, please let me know at [masked]. I don't have your contact information unless you give it to me.

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  • LAFriend

    Enjoyed the book & the discussion.

    February 20, 2013

  • Eunice K.

    Great group with lots of spontaneity in the discussion, great attendance and diversity. Worth the longer drive for me for a well rounded discussion.

    February 18, 2013

  • Margo R.

    Yes, it was a great discussion to which everyone there contributed wonderful, thoughtful, and insightful comments. Loved it! The people are wonderful, especially our lovely event host/organizer, Elaine.

    February 18, 2013

  • Karen K.

    Great group of friendly, thoughtful people.

    February 17, 2013

  • Henry

    Excellent discussion and a fun event.

    2 · February 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry! I haven't finished the book. See you next time!

    February 14, 2013

    • Elaine

      Sorry you can't make it, Alex. Thanks for letting us know. We'll miss you!

      February 17, 2013

  • Dara H.

    I'll bring veggies and dip.

    February 15, 2013

    • Dara H.

      Hi Group, Had to change my RSVP (need to make a last minute drive down to San Diego tomorrow). Looking forward to meeting you all next month. Dara

      February 16, 2013

    • Elaine

      Thanks so much for letting us know. We'll miss you!

      February 17, 2013

  • Karen K.

    Since Dara had to drop out last minute, I will bring veggie and dips!

    February 17, 2013

  • Dara H.

    My apologies, have to change my RSVP to no. Hate to miss out, but hopefully it is not too late for someone else to take my spot.

    February 16, 2013

  • Elena

    I'll come too and bring some fruit or/and desert

    February 15, 2013

  • Elaine

    If you're on the attending list at right, and didn't get the "details" email (but need it), please contact me directly at [masked]. Please put something about "Book Club" in the subject line.

    February 15, 2013

  • Lynn

    I have a crunch for work this weekend and while I might get through it in time, I think it best to cancel now while there is time for someonelses to read the book. Lynn

    February 13, 2013

    • Elaine

      Thanks, Lynn. We'll miss you. Hope to see you next time.

      February 14, 2013

  • LAFriend

    I'll bring cookies.

    February 13, 2013

  • Elaine C.

    Sorry to miss this wonderful book group in Feb, but I will be away.

    February 11, 2013

    • Elaine

      We'll miss you, Elaine!

      February 11, 2013

  • Eunice K.

    I'll bring bread. Looking forward to this discussion--first time for me at this meet-up.

    February 10, 2013

  • Robert C.

    I will bring drinks.

    February 10, 2013

  • Bob

    Sorry, wrong date. I'll make the next one.

    February 10, 2013

  • Elaine

    Thanks for updating your RSVPs, Mary & Gwen. So sorry you can't join us. Hope to see you next time.

    February 2, 2013

    • Margo R.

      Now that two people have dropped off, does this mean that I am able to move off the waiting list into their reserved spots? I and my guest were first on the waiting list, so I was wondering how this works.

      February 4, 2013

    • Elaine

      I'm sure you will, Margo. It will happen automatically and should be just a few more days at most.

      February 4, 2013

  • Mary Pat K.

    Unfortunately, I have a business commitment on the 17th. I look forward to the next meeting.

    February 2, 2013

  • Elaine

    Hello Dear Friends,

    As you can see, we have a waiting list for this meeting. If you're on the "yes" or "waiting" list, but you know now that you won't be able to attend, PLEASE UPDATE YOUR RSVP as soon as you can to "no." This will allow folks on the waiting list to move up and plan to attend.

    Some of you have noted that you can't come, but I don't want to take you off the list myself, since I'm not sure this information is current and don't want to exclude anyone by mistake.

    And to those of you on the waiting list: please hang in there. We nearly always have enough cancellations before the meeting date.

    Thank you all so much! I'll email you details and other information about a week before and look forward to seeing those of you who can join us on the 17th.

    Elaine

    February 1, 2013

  • Elaine C.

    Sorry to miss this wonderful book group in Feb, but I will be away.

    January 31, 2013

  • Gwen H.

    I'm bailing on this one so someone else can take my place

    January 15, 2013

  • Bob

    Sorry, wrong date. I'll make the next one.

    January 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will bring cupcakes

    January 7, 2013

  • Mary Pat K.

    Hope to to be free for the next meeting

    January 6, 2013

  • Kristin

    I'll bring a dessert!

    December 19, 2012

  • Teresa

    Entree

    December 17, 2012

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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