TedG's blog

Review: "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt

  • Posted on: 5 June 2016
  • By: TedG

Reported by Adrian Wydeven

Four of us met to discuss The Goldfinch on May 5; additionally, one person sent some notes before the meeting and one sent some after. We were lucky to have Bill Bauer join us because he was the only one in attendance who had finished the book. John and I had completed only about 1/3 of the book and Chuck had not read it. Art had finished the book and through his notes (sent before the meeting) was our fifth member.

Review: "The Martian" by Andy Weir

  • Posted on: 19 April 2016
  • By: TedG

We discussed The Martian, recommended by Scott Smith. Though six of us attended, only three of us read the book. Excuses ranged from travel schedules to “I saw the movie.” However, the discussion was lively. (Three others who could not attend, but had read the book, sent their comments by email. Those are woven into the following review.)

Review: "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot

  • Posted on: 20 March 2016
  • By: TedG

With eight folks present, we had a lively, far reaching discussion of The Immortal.... The discussion ranged from WOWEE!! medical facts, medical ethics issues, to questions of racial and class discrimination, to personal experiences dealing with power relationships in the medical community.  The book was very highly rated by the group---an average of 4.8 out of 5 for readability and interest combined.  But I digress.

Review: "A Moveable Feast" By Ernest Hemingway

  • Posted on: 27 February 2016
  • By: TedG

A Moveable Feast is some of Hemingway’s earliest writing, a memoir of life in 1920s Paris with his first wife, Hadley, and their son Jack, whom he refers to as Mr. Bumby. He writes of how he struggled for money, but lived quite well on what little he made. He writes of his friendships with other literati such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. We see a man who worked diligently every day on his writing, then spent his afternoons and evenings with friends or walking around the city.

Review: "Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie" by O.E. Rolvaag

  • Posted on: 14 January 2016
  • By: TedG
Jack reporting
We met Thursday night, January 7th. The turnout was large—10 members including Ron, Adrian, Ed, John, Angelo, Mark, Art, Irv, Chuck and Jack.  We had a broad ranging discussion focusing largely on immigrant stories from our own experience (parents, grandparents, ourselves) and on what it took for people to leave their families, homes, communities, everything familiar, to emigrate—fear, optimism, hope, guts, and some undefined spark that allows one to risk everything and embrace the unknown.  

2015 Book of the Year

  • Posted on: 13 December 2015
  • By: TedG

Almost to a person, the book that would be voted our favorite of the year was not one any of us thought we would like. It is not really a pleasant story, but it is a moving one and something of a paradox. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Review: "The High Divide" by Lin Enger

  • Posted on: 10 September 2015
  • By: TedG

It began like this: “Recently, I had to read the two worst books ever written,” Ron told us. “Fortunately, this wasn’t one of them. I enjoyed this book.”

And off we went into one of the most in-depth discussions we’ve had in some time. In fact, not having read the book myself, this discussion convinced me that I need to read it.