Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 2009 Book Club Meeting

Summary: One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time. -- St. Martin's Press

A few days ago, my book club met to discuss ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN: THE JOURNALS OF MAY DODD by Jim Fergus. I think our group would agree that ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN was a fantastic discussion book. Everyone really enjoyed and appreciated the story, and we found so much to talk about. I'd say it was one of our top discussion meetings.

I knew it was going to be fun to dissect each of the characters and their actions, and it certainly was. I found it very interesting how each of us perceived their behaviors; and at times, there was even a little bit of disagreement -- nothing heated of course! I think everyone liked how the women managed to adapt to their new environment in different ways (although we did question how quickly they seemed to immerse themselves in the culture.)

Since ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN is historical fiction, I think it's natural that our discussion eventually led to the feasibility of the book. There were certain parts of the story that just didn't ring true to some of us. In addition, we talked about whether the author (who was male) realistically portrayed a female character and some of her thoughts.

I don't think you can read ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN and not be affected by what our country did to the Native Americans. We spend quite a bit of time shaking our heads and questioning how it all happened; and we even found it interesting that many of our kids are studying Native Americans and not getting the entire story.

I am so excited about our December pick MY LIFE IN FRANCE by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme. A few months ago, two of my book club friends and I went to see the movie Julie and Julia; and I have been dying to read MY LIFE IN FRANCE ever since.

Next month's meeting will also be our annual Holiday one where we each bring a wrapped book (new or used) and exchange them. I always enjoy seeing what books everyone brings, and I have been known to steal them from my friends!!!

Summary: Julia Child single handedly awakened America to the pleasures of
good cooking with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she didn't know the first thing about cooking when she landed in France.

Indeed, when she first arrived in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever. Julia's unforgettable story unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years. -- Anchor


Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

I haven't seen the movie, but I LOVED My Life in France!! J'adore Julia Child! On the other hand, I couldn't finish Julie & Julia...blech!

bermudaonion said...

Carl read My Life and France and talked about it the whole time. I had to keep telling him to stop because I want to read it too.

Michelle said...

I loved My Life in France. I actually had to read it for a law school class (I know, right?) and I'm so glad I did.

One Thousand White Women looks very interesting.

Heather said...

My Life in France is a great read. Julia Child was an amazing woman and a real pioneer not only in the cooking world, but in women's rights. It's a fantastic book and I'm jealous you get to read it and discuss it with a book group. Oh, how I wish I had one of those!!!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

My book club is discussing the Julia Child book on 12/1 - I look forward to seeing what you think about it!

holdenj said...

I told my family My Life in France is one of the book ideas on my Christmas list!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I have this book and have not gotten around to reading it but I picked it up in a neighborhood coffee shop that leaves books on a shelf for customers to swap in and out.