07 December 2015

“Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....”

OK so I missed last months blog post but today's post has double the excitment as I reveal our 'not so' secret santa gift giving from the Christmas party.

First though, a brief review of American Sniper from Novembers meeting.  Carrie and I took the lead for this group and we decided to change things up a bit by breaking the group into two distinct groups and giving those groups 7 minutes on a question.  In the time we had we managed two questions each and a brief get together at the end to have a general discussion all together.  We decided to do this as we wanted to focus on the questions the book could raise and not so much on the topic of the Iraq (or any) war.  It went well and keeping a time limit and focusing on one question at a time generated a lot of discussion.  Also we brought chocolate and that always helps :)

The questions we focused on were:
  • How did Chris come across as a person?
  • How did the book show his relationships, with his wife, with his team?  
  • Did you like having the wife's insight throughout the story? 
  • Do you view Chris as a hero?
  • Did you come away with a different perspective of war?
In general though we weren't all that enthused by the book and felt the pacing was all wrong.  Some of us had also seen the film adaptation with mixed reviews.  Both are available in the library if you want to give them a go yourself.

Each year we have a Christmas get together to enjoy Alice's mulled wine and talk about our different reads throughout the year.  This year we decided to do a secret Santa, here's a list of books given away on the night:
Image CC NUC Christmas Tree S Calhoun
  • Thursday Afternoons by Monica Dickens
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Tam O’Shanter: a Tale by Robert Burns
  • Tree of Crows by Lewis Davies
  • Transformation by Mary Shelley
  • Unless by Carol Shields
  • Alwena’s Garden by Mary Oldham
  • Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skoot
  • A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving
  • The Lorax by Dr Seuss
  • The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
  • Winter in Madrid by C J Sansom
  • H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
  • The Lady from Tel Aviv by Rabi’i Al – Madhoun
  • Let it Go by Dame Stephanie Shirley
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day by Winifred Watson
  • The Last Dance by Victoria Hislop
  • How to Felt by Anne Belgrave
  • Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka

Everyone seemed pleased with their reads, with only one person getting a title they had already read which isn't bad going!  I got The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skoot which I'm looking forward to starting tonight.
I have plenty of time to read it as we're not due to meet again until Wednesday February 3rd to review Salley Vickers The Boy Who could See Death.  

Until then enjoy the festive period and I'll see you again in 2016 :)

(The title of this post is a quote from Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!)