Monday, January 28, 2013

Best of the Greeks

Despite the epic "snowstorm" of 25 January, the Alexandria Book club met to discuss Madeline Miller's novel The Song of Achilles.

We celebrated the funeral games of Patroclas, ate figs, drank wine and concurred that Achilles really was kind of a jerk.

Most of the club members found the book lyrical and moving, although some acknowledged that it was rather modish.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Club reads Song of Achilles

For January 2013 the Alexandria Campus Book Club will turn its attention the ancient Greece of heroes and gods, love and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal.

We will read Madeline Miller's modern re-telling of the the events of Homer's Iliad.

"Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller’s page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career."

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Book Club Revivat!!

Rumors of the Book Club's demise have been exaggerated!!
We took a break during some staff transitions & campus realignments.
But we'll be back in Spring 2013!!
Watch this space!!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Book Club Reads Geniuses

The authors of two of the Alexandria Campus Book club selections were named 2012 Macarthur Geniuses.

Congratulations to David Finkel, author of Good Soldiers & Denaw Mengestu, author of The BEautiful Things That Heaven Bears.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hello Wallander!

The Alexandria Campus Book Club met on February 4th to discuss Pyramid: The First Wallander Cases. Although some people found the bleak setting and curt prose challenging, others enjoyed the suspense of the mysteries and one of our number even developed a bit of a crush on Kurt Wallander (it's OK -- this is Wallander in pre-obesity and diabetes days). We struggled to detect the commentary the author claimed he intended about the state of the modern Scandinavian social democracy -- but perhaps the recurring theme of sickness had something to do with it (or maybe it's just all those sick days they have in Sweden).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stones & Pyramids

The Alexandria Campus Book Club met on September 16th to discuss Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone.

The Club also adopted Henning Menkel's The Pyramid: The First Wallander Cases for the next selection. Wallander may be familiar to readers from the recent PBS Series. The Club will convene again early in the Spring Term to discuss the book. Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cutting for Stone

The Alexandria Campus Book Club will read Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone (PS3622 E744 C87 2010) for its autumn selection. The book club will meet in an off-campus location sometimes in September.

For more information contact Sylvia Rortvedt.

"The story is a riveting saga of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone, born of a tragic union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, and bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.But it's love, not politics -- their passion for the same woman -- that will tear them apart and force Marion to flee his homeland and make his way to America, finding refuge in his work at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him, wreaking havoc and destruction, Marion has to entrust his life to the two men he has trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him."