Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 2009 Book Club Meeting and February Selection

Summary: In an age of wonderous beauty and terrible secrets,one man searches for his destiny...

In the majestic heart of Florence, a beautiful golden-haired boy is abandoned and subjected to cruelty beyond words. But Luca Bastardo is anything but an ordinary boy. Across two centuries of passion and intrigue, Luca will discover an astonishing gift—one that will lead him to embrace the ancient mysteries of alchemy and healing and to become a trusted confidant to the powerful Medicis…even as he faces persecution from a sadistic cabal determined to wrest his secrets for themselves.

But as the Black Death and the Inquisition wreak havoc on his beloved city, Luca’s survival lies in the quest to solve two riddles. One is the enigma of his parents and his ageless beauty. The other is a choice between immortality and the only chance to find his one true love. As Luca journeys through the heights of the Renaissance, befriends Giotto and Leonardo Da Vinci—140 years apart—and pursues the most closely guarded secrets of religious faith and science for the answers to his own burning questions, his remarkable search will not only change him…but will change the course of history. -- Delta

Last night, our book club met to discuss IMMORTAL by Traci L. Slatton. I really enjoyed the book (you can read my review here), as did a few other members; however, some had a difficult time with the more graphic parts of the novel. All of us did agree that Ms. Slatton told a fascinating story, and we most definitely appreciated the extraordinary amount of research she conducted while writing this novel. We also liked how the author incorporated real historical figures and events into the pages of this story.

We are one of those clubs who like to start our discussions with the readers' guide; however, we weren't able to find any discussion questions for IMMORTAL. My friend (the one who chose IMMORTAL) decided to e-mail Ms. Slatton to see if any were available; and I was just elated with her reply. Since there was not a formal discussion guide for IMMORTAL, Ms. Slatton actually sent us some questions that she wrote herself. In addition, she sent a Q&A from a prior meeting with a book club. The generosity (and accessibility) of authors will never cease to amaze me!

One other highlight of this month's meeting was sharing the box of books I received from the Read It Forward team. Because The Preschool Moms Book Club was featured as their December Group of the Month, they sent me an assorted box of ten books -- kind of like chocolate, only better! Each member of our group selected one book to take home with them. The general idea is that we will bring the books back to a future meeting so everyone has a chance to read them.

For February, we will be reading NEFERTITI by Michelle Moran. I absolutely loved THE HERETIC QUEEN, and I've heard that NEFERTITI is just as wonderful. I'm also really looking forward to our discussion because Ms. Moran will be joining us be telephone -- you know how I love those author chats. In the past few months, we've read a lot of historical fiction books (like four in a row), but I think we all enjoy this genre and agree that the books have been very interesting.

Summary: Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped that her strong personality will temper the young ruler’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods.

From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people but fails to see that powerful priests are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person brave enough to warn the queen is her younger sister, yet remaining loyal to Nefertiti will force Mutnodjmet into a dangerous political game; one that could cost her everything she holds dear. -- Three Rivers Press


Anonymous said...

Reading your post makes me wish I belonged to a book club.

Ti said...

I love the idea of sharing the books with the other members of the group.

So nice of that author to come up with those questions too. Maybe she can put them on her website so others can share in the wealth.

I'm having trouble getting the book for my next club meeting (The Bone People). I don't want to buy it and I am on a long wait list for it at the library. I may have to skip it.

Amy said...

Sounds like another interesting meeting! And yay for an author chat!

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like a great couple of months for your book club... I'm jealous!

Anna said...

I hope you enjoy Nefertiti as much as I did. I have another book to read after the one I'm reading now, and then I'll be starting The Heretic Queen>. I can't wait!

Diary of an Eccentric