One year of the Read & Seed Book Club…………..

It’s been a year since our book club –  Read & Seed Book Club – was formed and during the past 12 months we’ve read and discussed some wonderful books, enjoyed great food and enlightening company. Even though the initial idea was to meet once a month, it hasn’t worked out exactly that way but we’ve managed to meet and discuss seven books in the first year of the formation of our Book Club.

The first book that we discussed was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini,(on December 4,2011)  a universally loved book ,   which tells the story of an extraordinary friendship that is ripped apart due to social differences and by war.

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The next book that was discussed was The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, a story set in post Second World War Germany, told by a young man whose association with an older women leads to the discovery of the ugly truth about her past as a war criminal.

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The Waiting by Ha Jin took us to a time in communist China where a military doctor’s love for a nurse remains unconsummated for years as he struggles to divorces his wife living in a remote village.Waiting_a_Novel_Book_Cover

One book all of us found fascinating was The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Pakistan writer Moshin Hamid particularly the style of writing with the entire story told through a monologue.

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Our next read, The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier is a story woven around the famous painting of the same name by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer .Though not biographical, the author tells a convincing story that could or could not be real.

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We decide to read a book by a Sri Lankan author and picked Chinaman by Shehan Karunatillake which is  “cricketing novel”, a local  story which many of us could relate to even though the extensive sport content in it drew mixed reactions.

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We wound up for the year with The Help by Kathryn Stockett which tells of  the life of black housemaids and their white mistresses in the Southern US state of Mississippi. The story is told through three of the main characters, two of the maids and one white woman and helped us to understand why some deep divisions in race relations still exists in the USA.

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Even though our book club discussions largely revolved around the contents of the book, we also used the discussions to share our personal experiences related to the subject, particularly about the countries where the stories are set in and their customs and attitudes so it has been a great learning experience.

With our next meeting scheduled for January, there will be many more exciting books we will discuss in the year ahead. So till next year, with special thanks to our most generous host Layla , Happy Reading everyone.

Galle Literary Festival 2013 cancelled

The Galle Literary Festival (GLF) ,held each January for five consecutive years has been cancelled for 2013, the festival organizers announced.

This is the cancellation  notice posted on their official web site  http://www.galleliteraryfestival.com/.art-1

“We wish to advise all friends of the Galle Literary Festival that following a number of unforeseeable cancellations, and given the rigid

time constraints in the organisation of a festival of this size and stature, we have decided to take a break for the Festival in 2013.”

“The Festival Team are currently working with our valued sponsors and partners towards creating a stimulating and inspirational

programme for GLF 2014.   We are planning a different format for the 2014 festival with an exciting list of authors.”

“We are sorry for any inconvenience caused but we very much hope you will be able to make the festival in 2014. The dates for the 2014 festival will be posted on the website shortly.”