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Spirited Women
I’ve counted approximately 1500 +++ emails in the last 15 hours—messages of doom; heralds of apocalypse or revolution; urgent, plaintive pleas for my time, my interest, my dollars, my soul. It’s election day – mid-terms eliciting the fervor of 19th century religious revivals! Unlike those steely-eyed, great-voiced reverends who once preached the good news to gathered Americans, today’s pundit/politicos/prognosticators have no direct channel to the higher power (no matter what they think/say). Unlike the Trueba family in this month’s novel, I likewise have no access to what will be and so I’ll just wait till the dust settles to learn whether the spirits have smiled my way. I suggest you spend the day with a spirited cup and get a start on our book for November: THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS by Isabel Allende,[masked] pages The Truebas are estate-owners of independent wealth … Headstrong and conservative, Esteban is a piggish youth, mistreating his peons and casually raping his girl servants . . . until he falls under the spell of young Clara DelValle: mute for nine years after witnessing the gruesome autopsy of her equally delicate sister, Clara is capable of telekinesis and soothsaying; she's a pure creature of the upper realms who has somehow dropped into crude daily life. So, with opposites attracting, the marriage of Esteban and Clara is inevitable--as is the succession of Clara-influenced children and grandchildren. …Alba, the last clairvoyant female of the lineage, will end the novel in a concentration camp of the Pinochet regime. Allende handles the theosophical elements here matter-of-factly: the paranormal powers of the Trueba women have to be taken more or less on faith. … there's a comfortable, appealing professionalism to Allende's narration, slowly turning the years through the Truebas' passions and secrets and fidelities. She doesn't rush; the characters are clear and sharp; there's style here but nothing self-conscious or pretentious….it's uncommonly satisfying--with sturdy, old-fashioned storytelling and a fine array of exotic, historical shadings. (Kirkus Reviews) “The only cause The House of the Spirits embraces is that of humanity, and it does so with such passion, humor, and wisdom that in the end it transcends politics…The result is a novel of force and charm, spaciousness and vigor. (The Washington Post) New Orleans Public Library and Jefferson Parish library have multiple copies in several formats. Watching the film just doesn’t count! No meeting in December—you’ll be partying much to much for boozy books. But keep a lookout for a request for book titles to launch 2019…. if 2019 dare take flight. As always, I plead with you DO NOT RSVP UNLESS YOU PLAN TO READ THE BOOK AND ATTEND!

The Columns Hotel

3811 St. Charles Avenue · New Orleans, LA

    Past Meetups (104)

    • Wormtales

    What we're about

    I like to read--a lot. I also like to spend time talking with interesting, congenial people about the books I read. And quite often, it is a lot of fun to pursue these conversations with a drink in hand. I'm not saying we should get plastered, but let's relax in a gracious New Orleans setting, knock back a few, and discuss books that matter. Just a note here--it should be fairly obvious but in case not--this group is for the 21 and over set. Sorry kids--your time will come.

    Among the books we've read: American Gods, The Movie Goer, The Awakening, The Tragedy of Arthur, Quiet Houses, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Nine Lives,The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Goldfinch, The Sense of a an Ending, The Master and Margarita, Sacre Bleu, Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Piano Tuner, The Satanic Verses, East of Eden, Await Your Reply, The Clearing, Pale Fire, To Kill a Mockingbird, Seasons of Ash, Jitterbug Perfume, Snow, Water for Elephants, Babylon Rolling, Midnight in Peking, The White Tiger, The Handmaid's Tale, The Broom of the System, The Help, Of Human Bondage, A Movable Feast, Mercy of Thin Air, Little Bee: A Novel, Cat's Cradle, The World That Made New Orleans, Tenth of December, The Last Madam, Leaving the Atocha Station, To the Lighthouse, A Canticle for Leibowitz, The Ocean at the End of Lane.


    1. Read a good book (chosen by vote--our tastes are literary but eclectic)
    2. Meet up
    3. Drink liberally (or not)
    4. Talk about it

    What else is there to say? We'll meet at The Columns on St. Charles Avenue once a month.

    I don't care how old you are, your race, gender, religion, or whatever, but I do hope you are willing to read beyond Dan Brown, Stephen King and romance. I hope you're willing to talk intelligently about books too. I've come to enjoy reading as a collaborative process because the discussion enhances my understanding to such a great degree.


    Because you miss college ... or didn't go to college but like to read good literature and stay up late talking about it ... Because you think language and ideas are important ... Because book clubs should kick ass.

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