9th September 2019- AM Book Group ‘In the Garden of Beasts’ by Erik Larson

Morning Book Group meets on the 2nd Monday of the month — 10:15 am for a 10:45am start. Please ring or email the hostess or the supplier of goodies ON OR BEFORE THE FRIDAY BEFORE BOOK GROUP CONVENES. Check your calendar: if the second Monday of the month is open, do consider joining our group. We actually talk about the selected book but also discuss travel, movies and other topics. Haven’t read the book? Don’t let that stop you from attending!

Seven of us met at Christine’s on 9 September to discuss In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. Thanks to Christine for hosting as well as providing goodies. Larson does extensive research for his books and perhaps could have let some of those details slide…but, it was interesting to see how the naive William Dodd became the ambassador to Germany in 1933 (and actually thought he would have time to finish his beloved books of the antebellum American South!). In addition to his wife, his two adult children (24 and 28) also accompanied Dodd to the posting. Dodd seemed ill suited for the job in many respects and was even admittedly anti-Semitic. “The new ambassador was the fuddy-duddy, the man whose favorite way to end an evening was with a glass of milk, a bowl of stewed peaches and a good book. “I can never adapt myself,” he complained to Carl Sandburg — who was one of Martha’s many gentleman friends, and whose language in writing to her is one of this book’s many unexpected treats — “to the usual habit of eating too much, drinking five varieties of wine and saying nothing, yet talking, for three long hours.” But Dodd was forced to attend, host and pay for such events with his dutiful wife, Mattie. A great deal of the book dealt with Martha, the daughter, who was “an indiscriminate flirt who looked at a stint in Germany as a glamorous lark, and whose own abundant writing fills the book with outre’ remarks.” After he returned to the USA, Dodd did give speeches at various places about the dangers of Germany and Hitler.

We will be going to Lynette’s home on 14 October to discuss Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Please forward titles and authors to Marjean for consideration for next year’s reading. Remember, you need to have read the book yourself in order to recommend it. We shall be choosing titles in November.

Remainder of the year:
• 14 October @ Lynette’s, goodies by Betsy
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
• 11 November @ Marjean’s, goodies by Judy
(early start to choose 2020 titles)
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

And looking ahead to 2020:
• 10 February
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Please bring a gold coin or two for SPINZS.

Happy reading,
Marjean

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