September 2002 Archives
We had some pretty heated discussing going on for The Poisonwood Bible. I would have loved to have kept up with it because it’s fun to beat Rich into a bloody pulp over his staunch "masculinism," but I ran out of energy because of having to work fourteen hours a day. Tripp also raised some interesting points about grace and sin, and the posts are still there in case anyone is still up to putting in their two cents.
The topics for discussion petered out after three days because Barbara went away at the end of the week. She sent me an e-mail about bringing up redemption/salvation as a topic, but I dropped the ball on it. Have I mentioned I work fourteen hours a day? Anyway, she didn’t actually complete her thought on it and I haven’t been fully coherent until now.
I’m also starting to get the impression that three days worth of discussion is enough. BookBlog has been going for four full months now and we’ve yet to talk about any books for five days. Anyone have any additional thoughts on making improvements/changes to our format?
Guilty as Sin
Thank you everybody for putting so much thought into this discussion. What a gifted group of writers you are. Your comments are so well stated and full of such lovely phrasing. And you play so well together. ; )
It seems there is still plenty of meat left in yesterday's comments upon which to gnaw. So continue on or...chew on this question: How do you measure guilt and sin in The Poisonwood Bible? Mary pointed out one fairly major failing: "why it took the death of a child to get Orleanna’s butt in gear." Sarah observed Orleanna's guilt and inability to forgive herself. Choose a character and name their sin. Do they feel guilty? Should they be forgiven?
Right off the bat...Rachel is a tapestry of justice. It's a women's provactive to change and yet she doesn't. She is guilty of not being moved enough by her experiences or growing more in her conciousness. And I don't forgive her. I don't think Leah does either.
Okay kids...you are on your own. I'm heading straight into the teeth of Isadore for a long weekend. I'll leave one more question for tomorrow, but I'll leave it to Mary to post. It may well be that your comments today will overlap the topic. (i wish this thing had spellcheck)
Atwood or Hawthorne?
HI again. Didja see that beautiful moon last night??
I had a topic in mind for today's discussion of The Poisonwood Bible, but after reading Rich's comments, I would really like to pursue one of his observations. You don't mind, do you Rich? I was very intrigued and think it is a great springboard for diving deeper.
Rich said; "...but to invent a fictional group of characters for the particular purpose of showing man's inhumanity to woman, and to spend so much verbiage lamenting the plight and exploitation of women...is anathema to me" And "it felt like one long radical-feminist sermon."
Rich's remarks go directly to the question of what it is the author is trying to say. Is she writing a rad-fem tome? Or is this social/politcal commentary drenched in sweat? Or is it mostly a fully fleshed indictment of missionary zeal? I will refrain from offering my opinion just now...because I am at work and just got handed a pile of crap to do before 5:00. doh!
Greetings. Happy Autumnal Equinox to you all. To start things off, how about we just ease into it with first impressions/ reactions of The Poisonwood Bible. Was this a good book? What hooked you into the story and kept you reading...or did you have to work at it? Was there anything in the story or writing style that rankled you or stuck in your craw?
Right off the bat, it's no secret that I like this author. One of the elements that really pulled me in was the setting. For me, part of the adventure of reading is experiencing new places, or witnessing a character's unique impression of the familiar. The descriptions and images of the Congo were so vivid. My only frame of reference other than Nat'l Geographic pictures would be movies: mere visual depictions. As I get older, my imagination is stiffening in tandem with my knees. So I need a lot of help getting a feel for a place. This is an author that really delivers. I could hear the squawk of Methuselah, smell the assorted acrid stenches, feel the steamy, sticky swelter, see the loud clash of clothing, and taste the goat stew and fufu. Texture everywhere. It is a sure bet that, after reading this, I won't be making any travel plans.
Last week, I officially became one of the estimated 100,000 residents of the State of New York who have burned through their entire nine months (!) of unemployment assistance without finding a replacement job in their field. I honestly never thought it would come to this. But since it has, I'm jumping in here before the next book discussion begins to let you know, with my sincere apologies to Barbara, especially, that I'm bowing out for this month (and possibly longer, but... at the very latest, I'm bound and determined to read Don Quixote with y'all).
I began The Poisonwood Bible, and I'll definitely return to it at some point, but I'm too pressed for time at the moment to continue. It's crunch time for me now, meaning that not only am I continuing to look for a job in my field (advertising/marketing copywriting, corporate communications), I'm also widening my net to consider just about anything. (Although not everything: since I look like a somewhat younger version of Frank Bielec from Trading Spaces, I don't think doing porn or selling my body on the street are really viable options for me, thanks. ;)
I've also begun packing in anticipation of moving, which I'll have to do if whatever job I find doesn't pay me enough to afford my current (NYC area) rent. My salary is almost certain to go down; what I'm hoping for is to make more than half of what I had been earning. And what I'm really, really hoping for is that I don't have to get roommates, because I've been on my own forever, and... I mean, cut me a break, I'm forty-fucking-two.
So... that's my update. Oh, and I had to have my dog put to sleep a month ago today after he went through a protracted and, ultimately, fatal illness. :( I'm having a banner year! No, actually, I think I'm doing pretty well. I mean, as long as I'm being forced into a life change, I'm trying to look at this as something of an adventure. Even the getting roommates part, if it comes to that. I'm open to moving cross-country (if I have to). Hell, I'm considering learning how to drive a tractor-trailer rig to work as a long-distance truck driver; like I said, I'm casting my net pretty wide in an effort to give myself options. (And if you have any ideas? I'm all ears. :)
This isn't "goodbye", merely "don't wait up for me." And I'm sure I'll be lurking here on and off; you can't get rid of me that easily. Thanks in advance for everyone's understanding, by the way; I really do appreciate it.
The Poisonwood Bible
Hi everybody. So here we are just ten days away from discussion of Poisonwood Bible. Guess I better hurry up & finish Cold Mountain and start reading the Bible. Just out of curiosity, who has read Ms Kingsolver before? Which titles?
And would anybody be willing to moderate the discussion for the 2nd half of the week...Thurs and Fri? I know I'm a big-loser-pain-in-the-ass for doing this...but I am going out of town the last weekend of Sept. I will not have access to a computer after Wed 5pm. (oh wow!! I just figured out the movable type tricks. I am sooooo slow)
apologies and hellos.
Hi, everyone. This post is a giant mea culpa for my extended absence. I especially want to apologize to Rich and Jeff for missing their book discussions. But I'm back and ready to dive into this month's book.
While I read the conversations, I wasn't able to read either July or August's book. The past three months -- June, July, and August -- have been probably the three most stressful months of my life. I finished my thesis, lectured, graduated, searched for and interviewed for academic jobs, got rejected, freaked out because my lease was expiring and had no place to go, moved myself and my drugged cat across the country in a 15-foot moving van, crashed in a friend's guest bedroom while looking for an apartment, negotiated and finally bought a car, and started teaching college for the first time.
But that's no excuse, and again, I apologize to both Rich and Jeff.
I did, however, buy The Poisonwood Bible this weekend, and I intend to start reading it tonight, so I'm definitely back in the game.
Finally, I wanted to say a belated hello to everyone who's joined since whenever I last stopped by. I've always been psyched about being a part of such a diverse group, and the new members definitely add to that diversity, so I'm excited about the next discussion.
Thanks for all of your understanding. It's good to be back.
So, 2 friends and I are reading a few of the Banned Books in honor of Banned Books Week ("in honor" such an odd word to use for such an event).
Because this year the reading choice was mine, I picked Beloved, Song of Solomon and The Color Purple. I adore Toni Morrison and will almost always pick one of her books to read should the occasion arise, and the choice being mine.
So our first read is Beloved. This is a re-read for most of us-all English majors. We have discussed the text pretty intensely, and the reasons we think it was probably banned from school readig lists, etc. I am sure there are some sites online where we could discover the actual reasons too, but that is too easy.
And of course as the reading has gone along, we have talked about the recent movie made of this book - and how dreadful it was. I rarely find a movie to be as good as the original text (well the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice is pretty good). I think in this case, the plot and characters were too deep and complex to be adequately depicted on the big screen-even under Spielberg's direction.
My question is - have you ever seen a movie based on a book, where the movie is actually better - or at least as good as the original text?
Anyone else catch the new Junkyard Wars? My 6 year old was so upset she was going to miss it. Paul taped the show for her.
Now That Discussion Week is Over
Wow. I think we had a really good discussion last month with really well-thought participation. For those of you who were able to read A Confederacy of Dunces, I’m sure you’ll agree it contained a lot of good material for debate. A hearty thank you to everyone who joined in.
I have noticed that participation has a tendency to fall off as the week goes by, and I think part of it is a symptom that the site isn’t a daily read for most people. There isn’t much that happens here during non-discussion weeks so it’s not a place that’s always on the mind.
As a means of trying to change that, I’d like to get a couple of things rolling. First, I’d like to have posts go up at the site every day. If you’ve stopped by and no one has posted yet, please feel free to contribute something. Although I’d prefer the subject matter here to be sort of bookish, I wouldn’t mind off topic stuff showing up every once in a while. We all have lives beyond what we read, so it’s only natural to want to share the other things going on in our lives. Kate, this means talking about Trading Spaces occasionally is okay. Just so long as this doesn’t turn into the Trading Spaces web log. :)
I’ve also finally done what I’ve been threatening to do and bought us our own URL: www.bookblog.net. Whenever I get an e-mail about the club, wording that’s always used is "your club." It really isn’t mine. Although I may be the webmaster, I’d prefer it if everyone thought of it as our space to talk about stuff we have in common, like our interest in literature or whatever book is being featured that month. The best way to do this is to get it off my personal site. I’m not thrilled about the time its going to take to move everything, but I believe you’ve turned BookBlog into something deserving its own space on the Internet.
I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.