Tuesday, January 14, 2020

JANUARY 2020 BOOKERS MINUTES & MUSINGS, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, Robert Dugoni

“Two eyes, two ears, ten fingers, ten toes, and a nose, Perfect…” in a 2020 world at least.

20 Bookers met at the home of Beverly Dossett to discuss this month’s selection led by Ann Ireland. It appears this one hit a home run as everyone read it, all liked it, and many of us loved it. Bookers’ send our continued thoughts and prayers to Sheri Green as she goes through another clinical trial…the bad news is the chemo makes her extremely nauseous, but the good news is that her pain level is better…things may be turning upward for our friend. Our own Ann Ireland will be undergoing major back surgery on January 27. She doesn’t need anything, but maybe take a few prayers out of the piggy bank for a successful operation and a short recovery period.

As we’ve filled our schedule for this year (see below) we all would like to thank our book selection committee, Pat Faherty, Katherine McDonald, and Melanie Prebis, for an extraordinary two years of service! There’s an old Turkish saying, measure a thousand times, cut once. That’s what they did when choosing a Bookers’ book and we benefited from their tireless efforts!

A worn-out cliché is that our eyes are the windows of our souls, but at certain intervals in our lives we all suffer from acute blindness closing our eyes to the unpleasant, having sight but no vision. Sam, born with “red pupils,” ocular albinism, struggled through many trials and tribulations because of his condition, but it was his mother with her 2020 vision who gave her son the tools he needed to deal with his extraordinary gift. She knew he was destined for greatness, after all it was “God’s will” and He had a divine plan for Sam. If he had been named a Pope, it would not have surprised her in the least. By not coddling him, Madeline and Max Hill handed their son an invaluable lesson – you must learn to stand on your own as your parents will not always be there to protect you. Sam spent a lifetime getting to know himself, but it took a young girl in dire need of a hero to prove to Sam his mother might have been right. The novel captures the nuances of growing up, of community, of fairness, of bias, of bullying, of a Catholic school education, of fitting in, of loyalty, of lifelong friendships, of faith lost and recaptured, of enduring love, and hope.

Our discussion included personal “David Bateman” bullying stories, what group we identified with in school, the standing ovation moments in the story (Father Brogan’s truths about Sam’s bike accident, the trip to Lourdes, Fernando, Mickie and Sam FINALLY), Ernie’s success on the field and in business, David Bateman’s propensity for abuse from his childhood experiences, and one criticism was the length of time – ten years – that Sam spent overseas seemed too long given his father’s health issues – he turned his back on friends, his hometown, and the life he’d always known.  

As readers, we are grateful Mr. Dugoni’s agents and editors for rejecting his five-week first draft leading him to this extraordinary novel with a connecting thread pulling us through the story – it’s what everyone wants…to believe.   
On the business side:
Bookers is officially a BookTrib book club and we will receive our first shipment in April. Our commitment is simple, we take a photo of the group with the books, I email it to their editorial director; if you want, please post on social media about the book and/or the BookTrib program. Also, please visit www.booktribcom to subscribe to their free weekly newsletter.

We are all aware the impact book clubs have on sales…just out, book clubs bought 45% of all adult fiction in 2019. We’re awesome…but we knew that!

RED:              CHALLENGING
February 11:               Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
A scrawled sign peddling young siblings on a farmhouse porch captures the desperation sweeping the country in 1931. A struggling reporter snaps a photograph which changes his life with consequences he never expected.
                                    PINKISH RED
Home of Daryl Daniels
Discussion Leader: Rokhshie Malone
March 10:                   The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo
A debut novel set in a house in an olive grove in Northern California, a touching story bringing to life five generations of women, including an unforgettable 112 year-old matriarch determined to break all Guinness longevity records – the secrets and lies that divide them and the love that ultimately ties them together.
Home of Patty Evans
Discussion Leader: Beverly Dossett
April 14:                     Beloved by Toni Morrison
In honor of the late Nobel Prize laureate’s finest achievement which stares unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery transforming history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby…filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope.
                                    Home of Jean Alexander
                                    Discussion Leader: Katherine McDonald
May 12:                      The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
One-hundred and four-year old Ona tells the eleven-year-old unnamed boy who has been helping her out every Saturday morning, “The story of your life never starts at the beginning.” A heartwarming tale of love, loss, and friendship.
                                    Evening Wine & Cheese meeting
                                    Home of Melanie Prebis        
                                    Discussion Leader: Jean Alexander
Summer reads:            The Giver of the Stars by JoJo Moyes and
                                    The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
                                    Much has been made of the similarities of these two books, some calling it plagiarism. They were published five months apart; they both take place in Kentucky and deal with the Pack Horse Library Project tasked with bringing books to remote areas of Appalachia between 1936 and 1943.
                                    Bookers is reading both because of the controversy…will be a fun meeting in September 2020.

“The true meaning of success can be found in the quiet moments of life – when your heart is filled with love.”
Robert Dugoni
Happy Reading,

No comments:

Post a Comment