Saturday, March 26, 2011

Three Cups of Tea- March Read- plus the SECRET book

Well, we finished Three Cups of Tea (or most of us finished Three Cups of Tea) with a lot to say about it. We loved the story of Greg and his drive to accomplish his task- fulfill his promise to build a school after failing to climb K2.

We were amazed with some of the side notes of the life of a mountain climber. The months without showering, the cold weather climbs, and the mangy lifestyle off the mountain. But then again, the determination, the goal setting, the fearlessness of the lives is equally stunning.

His story is filled with obstacles and problems, enough to stop a regular person in their tracks- but not Greg. He makes it happen.

The biggest debate over the book was the writing. I felt like it was reading a really long report written by a smitten high schooler. Some of the members felt the writing was too scattered, and the absence of a first person narrative kept us fro really connecting with the main character. Some felt the writing wasn't great, and the author seemed to dollop just a little too much praise on the hero of the story. Others, however, had no problem getting caught up in the story and enjoying it for what it really was- a triumph of one person truly making the world a better place.

Our second book, also our secret book (no bashing allowed) was The Violent Bear It Away, by Flannery O'Connor.
Here is the advice form our book club on this book. Do your homework first. The book is littered with symbolish, types, and spiritual messages on different levels. If you read it straight as a Southern-Gothic (do I feel kind of cool saying that? Of course I do) you will miss what the author is trying to create.

You will question yourself on the many symbols of confession, baptism, Christ and the sacrament, and the call to destiny. It will not leave you unaffected as the violence of the novel will grab your attention as it whispers the message along the way. All of this being said, however, needs to be post scripted with another tip; don't take the book to seriously. When and uncle is telling his nephew to just roll his dead body down the stairs to get momentum to his future gravesite it is okay to laugh to yourself. There a lot of sarcastic and funny moments to be enjoyed.

My personal note is to remind you to read this with a friend. You will need to discuss it, pick their brains, and bounce off ideas form each other. I still find myself pondering this book and why the author chose to write it the way she did. When that happens weeks after I have finished a book I know I read something special. This is a departure fro your typical read, and we all appreciated that.
For next month: read Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls and our next secret book, The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve. (Chills just went up my spine).

Come ready to argue, cry, or cuss. But come ready to discuss.