November Book Discussion: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

We will be meeting at Cafe Allegro again this month. We have reserved the upstairs, which is accessed from the alley behind Magus Bookstore. Cafe Allegro is not charging us to rent the room. Please purchase a beverage if you can, to help support the establishment and keep it free. Brownies and fruit will be provided :-) See below for information about parking.


This month's book selection is:

 

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

 


Piscine Molitor Patel, nicknamed Pi, lives in Pondicherry, India, where his family runs a zoo. Little Pi is a great reader. He devours books on Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, and to the surprise of his secular parents, becomes devoted to all three religions. When the parents decide to emigrate to Canada, the family boards a cargo ship with many of the animals that are going to new zoological homes in North America, and bravely sets sail for the New World.

Alas, the ship sinks. A solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the surface of the wild blue Pacific. In it are five survivors: Pi, a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.

With intelligence, daring and inexpressible fear, Pi manages to keep his wits about him as the animals begin to assert their places in the foodchain; it is the tiger, Richard Parker, with whom he must develop an inviolable understanding.

Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is a transformative novel: a book to delight in, to talk about and treasure. It will convince the most jaded among us – and remind the rest – that something grander is afoot in our lives than we may have realized.

PRAISE FOR LIFE OF PI:

"Life of Pi could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life." The New York Times Book Review


"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction." Los Angeles Times Book Review


"A gripping adventure story . . . Laced with wit, spiced with terror, it's a book by an extraordinary talent." San Jose Mercury News


"A terrific book . . . Fresh, original, smart, devious, and crammed with absorbing lore." —Margaret Atwood


"An impassioned defense of zoos, a death-defying trans-Pacific sea adventure a la Kon-Tiki, and a hilarious shaggy-dog story . . . This audacious novel manages to be all of these." The New Yorker

 

"Readers familiar with Margaret Atwood, Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje and Carol Shields should learn to make room on the map of contemporary Canadian fiction for the formidable Yann Martel." Chicago Tribune


MOVIE:

The film adaptation is going to be in theaters on Nov. 21. Here is a link to the movie trailer: http://www.lifeofpimovie.com/

 

About the Author

Yann Martel is a Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi. He was born in Spain in 1963 of peripatetic Canadian parents. He grew up in Alaska, British Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Ontario and Mexico, and has continued travelling as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India. Martel refers to his travels as, “seeing the same play on a whole lot of different stages.” After studying philosophy at Trent University and while doing various odd jobs -- tree planting, dishwashing, working as a security guard -- he began to write. In addition to Life of Pi, Martel is the prize-winning author ofThe Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, a collection of short stories, and of Self, a novel, both published internationally. Yann has been living from his writing since the age of 27. He divides his time between yoga, writing and volunteering in a palliative care unit. Yann Martel lives in Montreal.

 

Parking and Getting There: When classes are in session at UW, parking can be difficult in the U. District. Please allow extra time for parking and for finding our meeting room which is accessed from the alley behind Magus Bookstore. If you can't find parking on the street, keep in mind that parking on campus is free on Sundays, including the Burke Museum, which is only a short walk away. The Burke Museum is at the corner of 17th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street.

Waiting List: If this meetup is full and you really want to come to the book discussion, go ahead and get on the waiting list and start reading the book. We almost always have room for everyone who wants to come, but you might not be notified until the last day or two. If you have signed up and later find that you will not be coming, please be considerate and CANCEL your RSVP as soon as possible (at least one week ahead if you can) so that those on the waiting list will have more notice. If you are on the waiting list and meetup notifies you that you got in but you have since made other plans, please cancel your RSVP immediately to free up your spot for someone else.

No-Show Policy: Seattle Book Club has implemented the three-strike policy. Members will only be allowed to no-show to three events before they are removed from the group. Please see the "Pages" tab on our website for more details.

Book Donations: We participate in the DonorsChoose.org website which allows teachers in the US to solicit tax-free donations for materials and supplies for their classroom. You can help by going through your bookshelf and bringing any books you no longer need to our monthly book club. Your books will be going to classrooms that do not have access to adequate reading materials in addition to being in areas where school budgets have been slashed. Books can be fiction, non-fiction, kids cookbooks, classics (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc) modern quality literature titles for upper high school/college prep, (Maya Angelou, Half-broke Horses, Lit, Room, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Water for Elephants, etc), graphic novels- just about anything you'd like to see in a school classroom. All reading levels, from kindergarten to college are welcome. The only books we can't use are ones that are falling apart, coloring books, mass market paperbacks (supermarket books), textbooks, outdated reference books, or encyclopedias. Joy will have an empty tote bag for your donations at our book club meeting. Thank you so much for helping - together we can have a positive impact on many, many classrooms! For more info or to give feedback, please see our discussion board: http://www.meetup.com/seattle-bookreaders/messages/boards/thread/22789402/#[masked]


Goodreads.com: We've set up a Goodreads group for  Seattle Book Club members to connect with each other online. Here is the link:
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/68709-seattle-book-club

Meetup Donations: Please bring a donation of $1-2 to help with the meetup expenses and keep this group going. Of course, it isn't a requirement for participation. Pay if you can and if you can't, that's okay too! We hope you find this group worthwhile.

Next Book: Bring book ideas for our next meeting so that we can vote. You can bring the actual book and we'll pass it around, or just print out a synopsis and read it to the group.

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  • Joy

    The January meetup is now posted, for those of you who want to RSVP: http://www.meetup.com/seattle-bookreaders/events/91406882/

    November 15, 2012

  • Joy

    I forgot to ask the group about seeing the film. Do you want to go soon after it opens (i.e. Thanksgiving weekend)? I'm thinking Sunday 11/25 late afternoon or early evening...

    November 12, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      The 25th would work for me too, if later in the day.

      November 12, 2012

    • Sherry

      I could go on the 25th.

      November 12, 2012

  • Janet

    The 25th would work for me.

    November 12, 2012

  • Martin

    This was an excellent book to discuss because it evoked so many interpretations.

    November 12, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Extremely entertaining.

    November 12, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Enjoyed meeting everyone. It was particularly interesting to hear the views of members who had reread the book, having had significant life changes in between. (if that statement makes sense?)

    November 12, 2012

  • Joy

    It was great to hear all the different ideas people had about this book. What a great discussion! Special thanks to Janet for facilitating our vote, to Heather and Sherry for bringing fruits and veggies, and to Allegro for the brownies and for hosting our group :-)

    November 11, 2012

  • Christina

    Very lively and thoughtful discussions.

    November 11, 2012

  • Joy

    We are going to choose two books tonight (Jan/Feb) so be sure to bring your ideas! Anyone can nominate a book... those present will vote.

    November 11, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry guys. I could have gotten and read the book if I was able to RSVP sooner but the waitlist thing didn't work out for me. Hope it's ok anyway. Look forward to next month.

    November 9, 2012

  • Joy

    Just another quick reminder.... we have a long waiting list for this discussion. If you aren't going to make it, be sure to change your RSVP to "no" so that someone else can take your spot. Please don't wait until the last minute.... the meetup is only 6 days away!

    November 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great! I'll keep an eye out for updates..

    November 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just joined and added my name to the wait list for the upcoming meetup...Life of Pi is one of my favorite reads. Is anyone planning to see the movie when it comes out?

    November 4, 2012

    • Ellis P.

      I definitely want to see the movie. I saw the trailer a couple weeks ago and I thought it looked amazing. I'm pretty excited about it.

      November 4, 2012

    • Joy

      It would be fun to see the movie together. Maybe we can schedule a date at our book discussion meetup.

      November 4, 2012

  • Joy

    Hi Ellis -- some members read the physical book, others use e-readers, and some listen to audiobooks. Do whatever is most comfortable for you! We sometimes read non-fiction -- see http://www.meetup.com/seattle-bookreaders/pages/Our_2012_Books/ for a list of this year's books. Welcome to the book club :-)

    October 28, 2012

  • Ellis P.

    I just joined today and I'm so excited. I'm interested to know how many members buy the book on their Kindle or Nook versus a physical book? I tend to buy books on my Nook, but am open to doing what everyone else does.
    Also....does the book club ever read and discuss any non-fiction?

    October 28, 2012

  • Joy

    We have quite a few on the waiting list for Life of Pi. If you will not be attending, please remember to cancel your RSVP to free up your spot for someone else. Thanks!

    October 20, 2012

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