Thursday, July 17, 2014

Corrie Goes Boom!

Keeping this update on the Mother-Daughter Dim Sum Book Club short and sweet, I boil down for you a few bullet points:
  • BOOM! The Hiding Place received an average rating of 8.5 of 10, compared to poor Emily of Deep Valley's showing. Why so high, you ask? "More happened." Which answers the question of whether this small sample size of modern-day teenagers reads for character development or plots that go boom! Poor Emily's Psyche knot and frog-leg parties just could not compare with Nazis. As I've noted before, everyone loves a good Nazi.
  • Awesome discussion of the symbolism of Mr. ten Boom's watch-repair profession and the quirky "Beje" the family lived in in Haarlem.
  • Equally awesome discussion of the importance of point of view in the book. How would it have changed our response to the story, if it had been told from Betsie's POV?
  • Equally equally awesome discussion of the place of moral ambiguity in the face of evil.
This time we ate at King's Chinese Restaurant on NE 20th, where I tried subtle and delicious Fish Congee for the first time.

On we go with the book club! Our final book of the summer will be Dickens' Great Expectations. Absolutely cannot wait to re-read this old favorite, and I did my best to sell its wonderfulness to the girls and bias them in its favor...

In the meantime, I finally got through Doris Kearns Goodwin's predictably wonderful and fascinating The Bully Pulpit.

I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads and mention it here, though solely to connect it to Betsy-Tacy.

Did you know that President Taft's wife Nellie advocated for women going to college in 1908-9, when Betsy and her generation were nearing high school graduation? They were the first generation of women to go in any numbers. No wonder poor Emily of Deep Valley felt so left-behind and out of touch with her generation when she graduated!

Did you know that, when Roosevelt broke off from the Republican Party to form the "Bull Moose" Party in 1912, one of his supporters was Jane Addams? As Addams was a hero in Emily of Deep Valley's eyes, no wonder Lovelace speaks of Emily's support for Roosevelt in the election!

That's all for now. If any of you out there happen to be church librarians, I hope to see you at this weekend's conference. I'll be speaking on "Raising Readers" this Friday at 4, plugging Betsy-Tacy, and signing my own books...

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