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book club party ideas

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

August 10, 2010 | by Lisa | book club party ideas

The Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown, is the hotel at the corner of bitter and sweet. In 1986, Henry Lee hears that the belongings of 37 Japanese families interned during WWII are found in the basement of the Panama Hotel. This event sends Henry, a Chinese-American, on a journey back to the 1940s when his best friends were a Japanese-American named Keiko Okabe and a local Jazz musician named Sheldon. Henry was 12 years old and was struggling with his relationship with his father, his feelings for Keiko and the events taking place in wartime Seattle.

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The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

August 7, 2010 | by Annie | book club party ideas

“The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whomever cared to listen…”
The setting is a grim and spooky 1920’s Barcelona. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a mystery filled with secrets, betrayal, obsessions and possession. David Martin is commissioned to write a great book for which “people will live and die.” He moves into a decrepit house in the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) and finds his book eerily connected to the old house.

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That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo

July 24, 2010 | by Lisa | book club party ideas

That Old Cape Magic is a story about a man’s journey to lay his father, and then his mother, to rest while reflecting on his upbringing. His fondest memories include that one month of happiness his family would have when they crossed the Sagamore Bridge into Cape Cod. To commemorate the event, they would sing That Old Black Magic, substituting Cape for Black.

Joy, Griffin’s separated wife, sums up the story well when she says “out of sight isn’t out of mind. You think you don’t let your mother into your life-into our lives-but you blame her when a bird craps on you.”

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

July 7, 2010 | by Lisa | book club party ideas

Narrator Nick Caraway tells the story of Jay Gatsby’s pursuit of wealth, and of his long lost love Daisy during the Jazz Age. Everybody who is anybody is seen at Jay Gatsby’s glittering parties. Day and night his mansion on West Egg buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby – young, handsome, fabulously rich – always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, although no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.

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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

June 8, 2010 | by Annie | book club party ideas

The Story of Edgar Sawtelleby David Wroblewski is set in Northern Wisconsin in The Chequamegon National Forest and surrounding area. Remote and heavily wooded, teeming with wildlife and lakes, The Chequamegon National Forest is the ideal wilderness hideaway for a boy not wanting to be found.

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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

June 6, 2010 | by Annie | book club party ideas

In Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie two young boys, the narrator age 17, and his best friend, Luo, age 18, are sent to a remote village in the mountainous Szechuan region of China in the 1970’s as part of Chairman Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution of China vilified intellectuals. Schools were closed and many of the educated-class were imprisioned or sent to live in the country for hard manual labor and re-education by the peasant-class. The two exiled friends meet the Little Seamstress, a young illiterate peasant girl, and, ironically, discover a secret cache of Western literature, which has a profound affect on both boys and the Little Seamstress.

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