St. James Book Club: Wed, 5/3/17

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MyItalianBulldozer
Thanks to everyone who came out last time. We had a great discussion of the issues raised by The Sympathizer.  Although a little brutal at times, it’s a good read. If you haven’t yet read it, put it on your list.
For our next selection, we agreed to do something light–My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith. (Some of you may know him from his wonderful series, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.)
Here’s the Amazon review:
https://www.amazon.com/Italian-Bulldozer-Alexander-McCall-Smith/dp/1846973554
“When writer Paul Stewart heads to the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his already late book, it seems like the perfect escape from stressful city life. Upon landing, however, things quickly take a turn for the worse when he discovers his hired car is nowhere to be found. With no record of any reservation and no other cars available it looks like Paul is stuck at the airport. That is, until an enterprising stranger offers him an unexpected alternative. While there may be no cars available there is something else on offer: a bulldozer. With little choice in the matter, Paul accepts and so begins a series of laugh out loud adventures through the Italian countryside, following in the wake of Paul and his Italian Bulldozer. A story of unexpected circumstance and lesson in making the best of what you have, My Italian Bulldozer is a warm holiday read guaranteed to put a smile on your face.”
Following that light read, we will return on June 7th to our immigration theme with Exit West by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid.
From Amazon:

“When Nadia and Saeed fall in love in a distant unnamed city, they are just like any other young couple. But soon bullets begin to fly, fighter jets streak the sky, and curfews fall. As the spell of violence spreads, they flee their country, leaving behind their loved ones. Early in Exit West, the author Mohsin Hamid explains that geography is destiny, and in the case of his two young lovers, geography dictates that they must leave. Hamid offers up a fantastical device to deliver his refugees to places: they pass through magic doors. Rather than unmooring the story from reality, this device, as well as a few other fantastical touches, makes the book more poignant and focused, pointing our attention to the emotions of exile rather than the mechanics. Surrounded by other refugees, Nadia and Saeed try to establish their places in the world, putting up different responses to their circumstances. The result is a novel that is personal, not pedantic, an intimate human story about an experience shared by countless people of the world, one that most Americans just witness on television. —Chris Schluep , The Amazon Book Review”

As always, you can borrow these books (typically available in several formats) from your local library (or follow this local library link), or purchase them from your local independent book store or on-line from sites such as Amazon, where they are no doubt available in different formats and editions.