Swagbucks Book Club – Grab Your Passport
Happy Mega Swag Books Day (as I like to call Friday) and welcome to this week’s Swagbucks Book Club post. I hope you are enjoying this month’s title, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Make sure you come back on Friday November 18 for our discussion. And next Friday I plan to have some cool trivia based around the book. You never know, there might even be a Swag Code involved next week… But let’s get down to today’s business, choosing our next selection!
We recently ran a poll regarding what makes a good Book Club selection and the majority responded they wanted something that was new to them, that they may not have otherwise read. I’ve selected a handful of books that focus on transporting the reader to a foreign land. I’ve included a short summary of each. At the bottom of this post is a poll for you to make your choice known. Where should we go this month?
If you have suggestions you would like us to consider in the future please add those to the comments section.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxane Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening—until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds, and people from different continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion . . . and cannot be stopped.
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
In 1939, as Hitler casts his enormous, cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams–which are nothing compared to what life actually has in store for him. He embarks on an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice where he will learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the power of one.
Novel by Mary Webb, published in 1924. The story is set in the wild countryside near the Welsh border and is narrated by Prudence Sarn, a young woman whose life has been plagued by her harelip. Prudence’s defect forces her to develop an inner strength that supports her when she is betrayed both by her own brother and by the townspeople, who believe she is a witch. Critics noted Webb’s use of dialect, her powerful descriptions of nature, and her depictions of rural life, with its abundant legends and superstitions.
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
Here is the dreamy and bittersweet story of a family divided by politics and geography by the Cuban revolution. It is the family story of Celia del Pino, and her husband, daughter and grandchildren, from the mid-1930s to 1980. Celia’s story mirrors the magical realism of Cuba itself, a country of beauty and poverty, idealism and corruption. DREAMING IN CUBAN presents a unique vision and a haunting lamentation for a past that might have been.