Monthly Archives: November 2007

Cafe Parlez for November

Tonight we’ve discussing “Until I Have No Country: A Novel of King Philip’s War” by Michael Tougias.  For refreshments, we’re using the “Three Sisters” of Northeastern Native people: corn (corn bread and corn chips), beans (bean dip), and squash (pumpkin muffins),  cider and tea.

J is greeting everyone and going over the titles for 2008, and the packet that was handed out to the group.

Everyone loves this book.  We’re looking at the maps and wondering how the people involved in the books walked the distances marked on the maps.

First question: Why didn’t we learn about this in school?  History is written by the winners and most of what we learn in history class is slanted.  M brings up the fact that people everywhere need more room, more space, and take it.  How does religion play into this?  It makes anyone else “other” and subject to persecution.  When another culture is unknown to us, we don’t understand, and can’t appreciate the differences. 

Most of the plaques and roadside memorials about the War are about the whites and J is asking why.  By now there should be, at least in honor or memory of the people that lived in a place.  There is the Wampanoag cemetary on Rte.105.  The dead were buried facing the sun, says J’s mom.  She says they have arrowheads in their yard.  Anyway, MS says it may have to do with how people think of themselves and their place in the world.  The native people had a different view of ownership from whites.  White people wanted to buy the land, but the natives didn’t feel that they owned it to sell.  The cultural differences were a large part of the problem.  It took thousands of years of living close to the land to develop the methods of farming that the native people used. 

How much have we lost in our modern life?  Instructions aren’t being passed down verbally for more people.  There is much discussion on how our culture is getting away from family. 

What would have happened if the other tribes had not turned against the Wamapanoags?  The consensus is that they would have been overwhelmed by the number of whites.  LS says that Roger Williams had the right idea, to try to live alongside in peace.  MS wonders if women had been in charge instead of men, would it all have happened.  Everyone (all women) says no, that women would have talked it over.  They think about sending children off to war.  Maybe it’s hormonal.  Maybe it’s that men are more physical and women are more verbal.  The Natives had nothing to lose, and would gain nothing by negotiating, so could lose nothing by fighting.

The author is white and writing about Native people.  How accurate can he be?  Did anyone think about this while reading.  LR likes that we could see both sides of the story.    Comments about the writing style being kind of stilted and simplistic.  Most people were frustrated by the ending and wanted more, felt it ended rather abruptly. 

Some characters were too bloodthirsty and enjoyed the fighting too much.  It can’t be black and white.  “All wars should be fought on paper”, says MS. 

Why aren’t we seeing more books by Native authors?  Is it a cultural thing?  Are they too angry and don’t want to share?  Why are we still letting that happen to the Natives?    Are our differences working against understanding each other? 

That’s all for now.  See everyone on December 27th to discuss “Night” by Elie Wiesel.


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Cafe Parlez Titles for 2008

Café Parlez Book Club Selection List 2008


January: Dark Tide: the great molasses flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo


February: Giant’s House: a romance by Elizabeth McCracken


March: In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez


April: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen


May: Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books by Azar Nafisi plus

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


June: The Professor and the Madman: a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester


July: select a title by Carl Hiaasen


August: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini


September: 1984 by George Orwell


October: Wild Card


November: Wild Card


December: Wild Card


Selections for the last three months will be made sometime during the summer months.  Titles that we are drawing from include: The Glass Castle ; Eat, Pray, Love ; In the Heart of the Sea ; American Bloomsbury ; The Road ; Interpreter of Maladies

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Two upcoming programs

November 26, 6:30 p.m. We’ll be having a Family Game Night. We’ll provide the games and goodies, you provide the players. Try out a new game before you purchase it for the holidays. Some of the games will be: Parcheesi, mancala, chess, checkers, Lord of the Rings Risk, Apples to Apples, Careers, Monopoly, Life, and Scrabble. Pre-registration is required, and you might want to reserve a game ahead of time. Take a break from the holiday rush and come play!

December 8, 3:30 p.m. We’re starting a new monthly program, Tea and Titles. I’ll put the kettle on for tea with a snack, and we’ll explore some of the new titles just out. We’ll use the Book Pages that we receive each month, plus any new books just in, and any new titles you’ve heard about and want to suggest. VERY informal. So come on over for a cuppa and a new book suggestion .tea-and-books.jpg

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Just catching up

We had a great presentation last night from Mr. Edward Lodi, who talked about his new book about haunted cranberry bogs, and read some eerie tales from that book and some past ones.  26 people listened intently.  You could’ve heard a pin drop!  Thanks to all who came, and many thanks to the Friends, who sponsored this and all of our programs.

A reminder to all crafters: the Friends need items for the silent auction coming up during this month.  If you have a project that you’d like to donate, call us here at the library and we’ll come pick it up.  Be prepared to give a starting bid price.

We’re starting a deposit collection of large print titles at the Council on Aging.  Starting next week, I’ll bring over 10-12 titles that will stay there for about 6 weeks.  There will be a sign out sheet at the COA, just put in your name, phone number, and the date you borrow the book.  When you return it, put in the date.  You can return the book to the COA or to the library.

The winner of the cookie vote is (drum roll, please)…. chocolate chip!  Oreos came in second.  This month, we have a bulletin board listing everything we’re thankful for.  Please add to it when you come in during November.

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