Friday, December 14, 2012

What the Library Book Group Read 2012

The library's Tuesday night book group just finished discussing their last 'assignment' for 2012: Holy Cow, a memoir of Australian reporter Sarah Macdonald's two years in Delhi from about 1999 - 2001. At first the author is so overwhelmed by the crowds and noise and unfamiliar smells and food of her new home that she seems to collapse from a sensory overload. In fact, she contracts serious pneumonia for which she is hospitalized and traumatized by weight loss and subsequent hair loss. After this bad beginning though, the author begins to explore some of India's many religions and tries to learn Hindi. An atheist, she is skeptical about the spiritual benefits of going to a retreat for Vipassana meditation where she must maintain complete silence for ten days. After studying at various other ashrams, bathing in the Ganges, visiting the Buddhists at Dharamsala and the Christians in southern India at Velangani, she becomes more open to the idea that there can be "millions of paths to the divine." (319) Most readers enjoyed the book and felt that it gave a taste of the diversity of India.

What we read in 2012:

The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair
The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson
Troubles by J.G. Farrell
Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Holy Cow, an Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald

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