Reading notes: Our November book selection, Animal Farm by George Orwell, was subtitled, “A Fairy Story” by its author. This factoid launched our discussion of this classic essay, which although published in 1945, offers some enduring truths for today. Part book club and part history lesson (once a teacher, always a teacher), the evening’s leadership by Bob Thesman enlightened readers to whom the major characters referenced: The protagonist pig Napoleon represented Stalin, Snowball was Trotsky, and the visionary pig Old Major was Karl Marx. The cynical, taciturn donkey Benjamin represented “the will of the educated people.” Well! This led inevitably to parallels to modern times and revisiting a political question: Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?
Read with us for December: A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg. For the final book club meeting of the year, we lighten up a bit with a holiday-based read. Fannie Flagg’s characters are predictably Southern (at least in origin, even if expatriate) and undeniably quirky. We meet them through the eyes of Oswald, who leaves a wintry Chicago to return to the warm welcome of Lost River for what he believes would be his last Christmas. Any holiday story worth its salt culminates in a Christmas miracle, and Fannie Flagg doubles down to make sure this heart-tugging story delivers on that promise in the wit and humor of this hometown narrative.
How the First Lutheran book club works: Books (fiction, nonfiction, contemporary and classic) are chosen by the members of the club. The members take turns hosting the book club in their homes. If you love to read, you’re welcome to join us for a single meeting or on an ongoing basis. Note: It is at the December meeting that we begin choosing the books for the upcoming year.
December 18, 6 p.m. Potluck (moved from our usual 7 p.m. start time)
Hosting – Melanie Stevens
Discussion Leader – Claire Bolton
Book – A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
Note: The December meeting is when we will be compiling our reading list for 2019.
The year’s earlier reads:
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
The Winter of our Discontent by John Steinbeck
Sargent’s Women by Donna M. Lucey
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan
Code Girls by Liza Mundy
Reliance, Illinois by Mary Volmer
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
As One Must, One Can by Rochelle Fields
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Animal Farm by George Orwell