Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Pairings

I recently went to an event at Women & Children First that was a discussion group about book groups for people in book groups.  It was a very fun evening and if they do it again I highly recommend it.  Lynn, who leads the Women's Classics group, and Linda, one of the owners and leader of the Women's Book Group, ran the discussion.  They talked about new books coming out and also about books that had been good discussions for their groups.

Those of us at the event also went around the circle and shared a book that we had read with a book group that had been a success.  I talked about "Stepford Wives" which was the first selection for the Novella group back in 2007. 

Lynn had a great suggestion about pairing books with similar topics or different versions of the same theme.  We read "Passing" by Nella Larsen in 2008 for the Novella group but it must have been before I started putting up posts.  "The Girl who Fell from the Sky" has a lot of similarities to "Passing".  The author even includes a quote from Larsen at the beginning.  This book also reminded me of "Coffee Will Make You Black" by April Sinclair. 

In "The Girl who Fell from the Sky" the main character is not trying to "pass" as white on purpose.  She began life not thinking about race and then after a terrible event was moved into a home and community that was very concerned with her hair, her eyes and her skin.  Navigating these subtle differences is challenging and confusing.  I thought the author did a good job of presenting a modern tale of race and discrimination and misunderstandings.  This would be a good pairing with "Passing".  It's a fast read.  Another book that has some passages you read really fast to get through them.  I thought the different narrators were very well done. 

Happy Friday from a still chilly Chicago.  Oh, well, can get under some blankets and read and that's not so bad!

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