Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Brown Bag Book Club will next read...two books!!!!

Hi everybody,

For the month of September, The Brown Bag Book Club will read, not one but two books!

 The Heart Specialist by Claire Holden Rothman.

Publishers Weekly Review
Rothman, the author of two story collections (Salad Days and Black Tulips), movingly depicts the life and career of Agnes White, inspired by real-life doctor Maude Abbott (1869---1940), one of Canada's first female doctors, in her brilliant first novel. When Agnes Bourret is four years old, her father, an eminent Montreal physician who teaches at McGill University, abandons his family in the wake of a scandal and disappears. Agnes is adopted by her grandmother, who changes her last name to White. In thrall to her father's memory, Agnes later turns to Dr. William Howlett, who becomes her mentor, as her father was once Howlett's. After entering medical school in 1890, Agnes earns her M.D., but finds little acceptance among her male colleagues. Agnes's heroic journey takes her through the cataclysmic events of WWI and the 1918 influenza outbreak, which ironically opens greater opportunities for her. Rothman's heartbreaking portrait of this trailblazer will long linger with the reader.
As an extra special bonus, we are going to read  On Gratitude.

Publishers Weekly Review
In a fashion similar to a Thanksgiving toast, journalist Jensen uncovers the so-called "gratitude lists" of 50 celebrities ranging in profession and fame. Actors, artists, musicians, authors, cartoonists, athletes and others reveal lists that delve deeper into their lives than the average acceptance speech at any given award show. Each chapter focuses on a single celebrity beginning with a short biography vaguely explaining his or her significance, followed by confusingly titled paragraphs consisting of cumbersome quotes that essentially form this "list." Insights from truly compelling figures such as Coppola, Updike, Lynch and Vonnegut carry the book to its abrupt end. Little about the nature of gratitude is discussed but much is learned about the subjects' lives and relationships.

As usual, everyone is invited to join us at our next meeting on September 20, 2011 at the Central library at noon.

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