Monthly Archives: May 2008

Cafe Parlez for May

This month, we had a “twofer”: Reading Lolita in Tehran, and Persepolis.  After an explanation of graphic novels, we are starting in talking about Lolita.   Not everyone loved this book, and many couldn’t finish it.  MC read this book a long time ago, and says that it’s better if you’ve actually read the books the author is talking about.  She assumes you’ve read the books she references.  Some felt it was too much work, and that she wasn’t a good writer.  Too many people involved, and they were not very well drawn.  The author jumped around too much.  LW was not impressed or “edified”.  MC was motivated because she knew an Iranian woman at the time.

People felt that the characters weren’t individuals.  The book didn’t flow, you couldn’t “dance” to it.  PB felt that the women never got out of the confines of the home. 

Most liked Persepolis better.    MC read Persepolis 2  and loved it.  She has likened it to Peter Sis’ The Wall, whick she is showing everyone.  Now people are discussing Majane’s reaction to living in a Western society, and why she moved back to Iran.  

People are discussing the Koran and the treatment of women.  This is being done in the name of religion.  There is much discussion on the culture that creates this treatment, and there is comparison with other orthodox religions. 

Next month’s book is The Professor and the Madman, by Simon Winchester. We meet on June 26.  Y’all come! 

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Cafe Parlez for April

This month we read “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen.  Everyone loved this book!!

SPOILER ALERT!  If you haven’t read this book, do not read this post.

Everyone made the same assumption about who killed August.  And everyone agrees that he deserved it.

A big question is, why does Jake take offense at the other gentleman at the nursing home when he says he carried water for the elephants.  Maybe because Jake alone knew what that really meant.  He got very frustrated when no-one would believe him, and this started his reminisences.

Why did August keep inviting Jacob to those drunken parties?  He may have wanted to throw Jake at Marlena.  He could have had bipolar syndrome.  He could have wanted to associate with someone who was a “doctor”.  Everything August did was down to money and power.

Why did they kill both Walter and Camel?  Was it to leave no witnesses.  G thinks it was to make us hate Uncle Al. 

Someone asks why did Jake leave the knife on August’s pillow instead of killing him.  Maybe this was to show August that he could have easily been killed.  Everyone is glad that Jake didn’t kill him after all; this kept Jake pure.

Overall, this is an uplifting book, very hopeful, with a good ending.  The circus family sticks together at the end.

Next month’s books: “Reading Lolita in Tehran”, and “Perepolis”.  Happy reading!!

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