Sorry for the delay - the scribe has had a busy summer and fall. Not that getting married and moving should be an excuse.
So, here's what you missed.
The Measure of a Man, a spiritual journey by Sidney Poiter.
To be perfectly frank, this book did not receive high praise from our group. We were not taken in by the tone of the book, felt Mr. Poiter needed a better editor, and were frankly irritated by things he chose to gloss over.
This book was not intended to be a study of his life in hollywood but because that life is how we know him, we felt that the book could have followed a more traditional type of timeline.
The book encourages you to separate the persona of Sidney Poiter and his true self - however, he seems to grasp onto that spiritually elevated perception of himself and when he deviates we didn't really like him. His spiritual journey wasn't quite clear enough and we didn't 'get it.'
The Fate of Africa
Oh my... never let the gal who is moving and getting married in the same month try to pick a book on the fly. This seemed like such a great pick, smart, educational and according to the book jacket and reviews "accessible" to the non-academic reader.
I was wrong. It seems like a fantastic book, and now that we all own it, I'm sure we will use it as reference when preparing our speeches on African nations.
One week in, we switched to "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." A much lighter work of fiction that was about a 4 hour read from beginning to end. Set against a post WWII occupied Great Brittan this little book tells of the German occupation on the Channel Islands (one in particular) and the fate of a few characters.
Consensus among the book group was that it was an enjoyable read, that the format (letters and telegrams) was a bit contrite and limiting, that some of the characters were more developed than others. Some were nothing more than devices to move the story along.
We enjoyed the historical nature of the book and the portrait of an idyllic little community that was transformed overnight. We were thankful that the author(s) didn't completely take the easy way out about the story resolution, but were not overly involved in the primary love story.
One of our astute members did draw a comparison to the archetypes in an Emily Bronte / Jane Austin story and the characters in this tale. We had the dark moody man, the seemingly perfect but totally wrong guy, and the "maligned hero".
Did we enjoy the book, yes. Did we love it? Don't know. Next meeting is our final year end gathering and our next set of books may (or may not) eke out the 2009 Book(s) of the year.