3rd March Book Chat

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This was our book of the month, a difficult read as the narrator was suffering from a bi-polar disorder. Beautiful, profound writing as he pulls apart several mainstays of society.

"It's the most fundamental thing I know about being alive: Everything that lasts is invention".

This was our February book club read, the discussion for this book was one of the liveliest to date. The story is told by a 30 something women in Switzerland who has the perfect marriage, family, job and house but wants more. Coelho uses his skill to take you to a woman struggling to find her way in the world. I found this book stressful as I found myself living her life. The writing may appear trashy on the surface but don't be distracted by the sometimes graphic descriptions of sex, the story is much deeper than that.

"We're always practicing self-control, trying to keep the monster from coming out of his hiding place. We aren't who we want to be. So we smother the best in us. Gradually the light of our dreams turns into the monster of our nightmares. They become things not dome, possibilities not lived".

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This is a beautiful story of an extraordinary family, how everything almost fell apart and how they were brought back together by the smartest family member - Enzo the dog. I guarantee you will never look at your dog, or any dog, the same way again. Seen through the eyes of someone that doesn't suffer from the normal human failures of character he presents an outstanding and innocent view of the world. Part philosopher, part fluffy animal destroyer he is a loyal member of this family that suffers as we are all destained to do in some way.

“To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.” 

A Victorian epic transplanted to Japan, following a Korean family of immigrants through eight decades and four generations. Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife. Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja's salvation is just the beginning of her story. Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival.

“Living everyday in the presence of those who refuse to acknowledge your humanity takes great courage”