Thursday, October 16, 2008

Book club!


So I finally joined a book club, and last night was our first meeting. The club is called the Daughters of Abraham, and it's made up of Christian, Jewish and Muslim women. The club reads books on religion, alternating between the three faiths.

October's pick, The Ritual Bath, is about an Orthodox Jewish community which goes into upheaval when a woman is raped at the mikvah, the ritual bath of the title. I can't say I was crazy about it- it's basically a popular-fiction potboiler of a mystery, but it was engaging enough and had a lot of information about one type of Orthodox community and Judaism generally. At the meeting, the book was used as a jumping-off-point for us to talk about Judaism, ask questions and share insights. The discussion was terrific and I'm excited to find this group of women to share with.

November's pick is going to be a Muslim selection, Samarkand, by Amin Maalouf. It's a novel, a fictional history of The Rubaiyaat of Omar Khayyam. And then in December we'll read a Christian book.

If you're interested in the Daughters and what they do, you can visit their website for more information.

13 comments:

candyschultz said...

I read Faye Kellerman for awhile but I just want my crime novels without religion. I much prefer her husband's work.

Meghan said...

I read a different work by Amin Maalouf, The Crusades through Arab Eyes, and I found it really interesting and informative. I hope this one is good; I've heard about it but not read it for myself. I'll look forward to seeing what you think!

- medieval bookworm

bermudaonion said...

Sounds like a great book club!

Lisa said...

That sounds like a fascinating book club - there have got to be a lot of opportunities for great discussions.

Alyce said...

This sounds like an amazing idea! I'm sure there will be no lack of passionate discussions.

Sandra said...

What a great book group this sounds like. I hope it proves to be a good experience for you. I've read a Faye Kellerman or two in years past when I was ill and wanted something light. I like anything with Jewish interest to go deeper than just a murder case though. I'll certainly be following your reports on the groups future choices.

Shana said...

Yay, Marie! I'm so excited for you.

I'm sure you'll find some great books to recommend to us.

Have you read The Quality of Mercy by Faye Kellerman? It's the only one of her books I've read but I absolutely loved it.

Shana
Literarily

Andi said...

What a fascinating book group. I'm looking forward to hearing about your future selections.

Shana said...

Marie, I think The Quality of Mercy is more historical than her other works. The main character and her family are Spanish conversos posing as Anglicans in England. Her father is Queen Elizabeth's personal physician. Young, struggling Shakespeare is a character, the Spanish Inquisition and plague are part of the story line. There is a mystery but to me it was very secondary. I think Quality of Mercy sits firmly in the historical fiction category which I don't believe is the case with her other novels from the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series.

I must admit I have a penchant for novels set in medieval through Elizabethan England so maybe I'm biased :)

I picked up a stack of Kellerman's other novels at a library giveaway this summer but haven't been compelled to read them yet. I wish she'd write more historical fiction but I think in general her series is too popular for her to depart from it anytime soon.

Shana
Literarily

Carrie said...

That sounds like a wonderful and unique idea for a book club.

Amy said...

I remember reading that book! I love Faye Kellerman. But mostly I'm just jealous of such a fascinating book club. Wonder if I can start one like it!

ilanadavita said...

That sounds like an interesting book club.

Anna said...

Sounds like a great book club! I think it's neat that you're alternating books on each of the three faiths. I bet you'll be learning a lot!

--Anna
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com