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Due to everyone being busy during the holiday season, there is no December book. Let's have lunch, and have a book exchange instead. Please bring a wrapped book. We will have a book exchange much like a "White Elephant" gift change, only the gift needs to be a book. The book can be your favorite book, the worst book you have ever read, an old book on your shelf collecting dust, a brand new book, or anything in between. Just make sure the book is wrapped.
If you would like to join, but do not want to bring a book. Feel free to come and eat and socialize. However, you won't be able to participate in the book exchange.
This month, we will be reading "Cloud Cockoo Land" by Anthony Doerr, which has a multiple ratings, and a high rating. This book is long, so start in December. We will be having lunch at Open Kitchen, so come hungry.
"Cloud Cockoo Land" by Anthony Doerr
4.28 stars with 117,101 ratings. 626 pages.
In the 15th century, an orphan named Anna lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople. She learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds what might be the last copy of a centuries-old book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the army that will lay siege to the city. His path and Anna’s will cross.
In the present day, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno rehearses children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege.
And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father.
It was brought to my attention by a fellow member that there is a museum exhibit at the Hammer Museum for Joan Didion, who is a well known writer. The exhibit ends on 2/19/2022, so it might be fun to read a book and go to the museum. She has multiple books, however, I have chosen her most well known book, and the book that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, "The Year of Miracle Thinking". This is an autobiography and a play, and it is about grief and loss.
"Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion'
195,484 ratings, 3.92 stars, 227 pages
Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later–the night before New Year's Eve–the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.
This powerful book is Didion's attempt to make sense of the "weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself."