Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dressing Up, Dressing Down. Dressing Gowns!!

Comfy slippers, fluffy gowns and a teddy or two set the scene for bookclub this week when we surprised our hostess by arriving in sleepwear! We all agreed that Bookclub in our Pyjamas was a jolly good idea! We lamented that there was a time when we went out in ball gowns and not dressing gowns but warm slippers were very welcome on an August evening.
 After our usual catch up and book returning - new books purchased for the month were announced.
They were Jane Raphaely's autobiography - Unedited; As well as being the autobiography of this doyen of the Magazine industry in South Africa - this book records the political and social changes in the country as it emerged from apharteid and the experiences of women from the late 60s through to today. I am a true fan of Mrs Raphaely and started to read this when I arrived home - I had to force myself to put it down an hour later and can't wait to get stuck into it again. 
The Cats Table by Michael Ondaatje. (author of The English Patient)
In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England - a 'castle that was to cross the sea'. At mealtimes, he is placed at the lowly 'Cat's Table' with an eccentric group of grown-ups and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys become involved in the worlds and stories of the adults around them, tumbling from one adventure and delicious discovery to another, 'bursting all over the place like freed mercury'. And at night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner - his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever.This book comes as a recommendation from another bookclub and promises to be a GREAT read!
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. (Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011) We are usually a bit suspect of books that have won awards but a couple of us have read this short book and we agreed it was a fascinating story.
Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.
Home by Toni Morrison: This is a stunning new novel, by the author of Beloved. An angry and self-loathing veteran of the Korean War, Frank Money finds himself back in racist America after enduring trauma on the front lines that left him with more than just physical scars. His home -- and himself in it -- may no longer be as he remembers it, but Frank is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from, which he's hated all his life. As Frank revisits the memories from childhood and the war that leave him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he thought he could never possess again. Toni Morrison's deeply moving novel reveals an apparently defeated man finding his manhood -- and, finally, his home.

Great eats; Great Wine; Great Company and Great Books!