Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dixie Diva Book Club November Meeting

Tonight we met at Mikey's Grill for dinner, and then traveled to Barbara's house for dessert and book discussion.  November's book selection is Alice Munro's selection of short stories entitled Too Much Happiness.


Barbara served a variety of pies for dessert.  I tried the rhubarb and strawberry pie because there was a reference to rhubarb tarts in the story, "Free Radicals."  She also served some hot spiced apple cider that was yummy!

I was interested in hearing which story the ladies liked  best.  The consensus: "Free Radicals" was the favorite.  It is about a lady named Nita whose husband has recently died of a sudden heart attack; Nita is also a cancer survivor.  This story's brilliance is how Nita outwits a mass murderer to save her own life.

The Divas also enjoyed the title story, "Too Much Happiness," based on the real life story of Russian mathematician Sophia Kovalevsky.

Probably the story that elicited the most giggles and blushes is the story "Wenlock Edge." I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I do like the plot twist at the end of this one.

Munro's stories remind me a little of Flannery O'Connor's.  Munro definitely has a penchant for the "freak" as a character just like O'Connor, but without the Catholic angst.  As a matter of fact, Munro's characters tend to be agnostic hippies.  And I must say that I do prefer reading about freakish Southern characters in the Protestant South than Canadian agnostic hippies. However, this is probably an unfair comparison because I am very Southern and Flannery O'Connor is one of my favorite writers.  But even in saying that, Munro is an excellent writer, too.  I plan on reading more of her stories.  Also, the title is totally misleading.  There is not too much happiness in any of these stories.

I will not feature a book for Literary Friday this week because I will be spending the day decorating for Christmas with my family.  Have you read any good books lately?

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

4 comments:

  1. OK, so now you have 7 followers. Great discussion! Great insights!

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  2. How cool! I've always wanted to belong in a book club.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Ricki!
    -marie

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  3. I've read quite a few Alice Munro's, but not that one. She does tend toward being an agnostic hippy, but I can live with that - being Canadian and tending toward hippiness myself (not the agnostic, though).

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  4. The stories are all so good, Grace. I want to learn more about the real-life character in the title story (I am thinking about reading a biography). I am definitely a fan of Alice Munro's writing!

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