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."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Good Soldiers: Radio Version

In February, the Book Club read David Finkel's The Good Soldiers. NPR's This American Life recently broadcast a version of one the chapters of the book -- in which the soldiers recount their experiences home on leave, read as monologues by actors.

Ever wondered what you might do with 18 days of rest after serving 15 months in combat? Reporter David Finkel followed one group of soldiers in Iraq for 15 months, and reported all of it in his book The Good Soldiers. Here is our radio version of one of the chapters in his book, where we hear actors read aloud what soldiers and families of soldiers told David about their break. (21:42 min)
Listen now on the This American Life site:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/429/will-they-know-me-back-home (Begins at 3.00)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The Alexandria Book club turns to a play for the spring. We'll be reading Proof by David Auburn.
The Book Club will meet Friday April 1 (no fooling!) for snacks and discussion.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good Soldiers -- stay in touch too much?

Picking up on one of the themes discussed at the Feb 4th book club meeting, the New York Times today ran an article discussing the pros and cons of a fighting force that is almost instantly connected, 24-7 with home:

"They can partake in births and birthdays in real time. They can check sports scores, take online college courses and even manage businesses and stock portfolios.

But there is a drawback: they can no longer tune out problems like faulty dishwashers and unpaid electric bills, wayward children and failing relationships, as they once could."

And the pros and cons go both ways:

"The easy communication can relieve fears — but also stoke them. Once families become used to hearing from troops daily, lapses in communication can send imaginations racing. "

Read the article on the NYT site. Or from the Library's ProQuest database (log-in required from off-campus).

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Good Soldiers

The Alexandria Campus book club met on Friday Feb 4 to discuss David Finkel's The Good Soldiers. Fortune magazine called the book "the most honest, painful, and most brilliantly rendered account of modern war I've ever read." Book club members agreed to book was a compelling, if harrowing read.
Finkel writes for the Washington Post and is married to Alexandria campus faculty member Lisa Hill.