September 21, 2011: Book Club Discussion: State of Wonder

PAGES READ SINCE September 3: 539
CURRENTLY READING: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
BOOKS SET ASIDE FOR THE MOMENT: Life by Keith Richards and The Steps Across the Water by Adam Gopnik
-4,966 PAGES

I read somewhere that bloggers should never bore their readers with an explanation of why they haven’t blogged lately unless the blogger has recently come out of a coma. I haven’t and so I won’t…

In an unprecedented and unlikely-to-be-repeated event, my book club actually discussed our chosen book, State of Wonder, at our most recent meeting. It was very exciting. To be clear, before we discussed the book, some members of the book club had to remind some other members that we are, in fact, a book club, and therefore, are entitled and in fact encouraged, by definition, to discuss the assigned book. Including the ending. Massive spoiler alert for those at the table who hadn’t read the book (or were only 25 pages in). What followed was a frenzied ten minutes of literary discussion of the critical plot points in excruciating detail, including a brief reading (by me) of a particularly pivotal and well-written bit of dialogue. We talked about the big themes, the subtle nuances, the brilliance of the character development and Patchett’s particular skill with dialogue. We debated the morality of the characters’ choices, their relative likability and speculated on their futures beyond the end of the novel. We even explored the similarities between State of Wonder and Bel Canto – a group of relative strangers bound together by circumstance, forming a community and finding belonging; a tremendous sense of anticipation for something undefined; the incredibly nuanced dialogue that captures the sense of disconnection and the experience of each character as an outsider. It was glorious.

Next up is The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje. I’m expecting big things, ladies.

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1 Response to September 21, 2011: Book Club Discussion: State of Wonder

  1. Pingback: December 24, 2011: A Personal Top Ten | 50pagesadayforayear

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