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BOOK CORNER: Library Book Club
Joanne Sharp | Umatilla Street and Virginia Lawrence | Caminito Del Rocio

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On Saturday, November 15 the DM Library’s book discussion group met to consider MONSTRESS by Lysley Tenorio, this year’s choice for the annual One Book One San Diego project. It is a collection of eight short stories centering on Fillipino culture, tradition, and the immigrant experience. Although the discussion group was small, the differing opinions of the participants made for lively conversation. One reader who loves this genre found the stories to be beautifully written with great characters and emotion, in situations ranging from absurd to heartbreaking, and reminiscent of stories by Alice Munro. Two others preferred the more immersive experience of a novel. And one of them felt the stories were merely average.
Loneliness and the search for identity loom large throughout the book. Many of the characters feel lost in their new Paradise (San Francisco) and want to return to the “life [they] knew and the person [they] were.”

In each story one of the characters is revealed as a Monster or Monstress. Participants in the discussion group did not reach consensus on who was the worst. Several voted for one of the women in MONSTRESS, who was clearly the goriest. Another felt the monster in Save the I-Hotel was the most heartless, though the most tragic.

Hosted by the library, the book discussion group is an offshoot of the Summer Book Club, hosted jointly by the Library and the DMF. At the first meeting of the new group on October 18 the book under discussion was a selection of the California Reads Program - WHAT IT IS LIKE TO GO TO WAR by Karl Marlantes. The next book discussion is scheduled for Saturday, December 20; the selected book is LEAN IN by Sheryl Sandberg.

The Book Discussion Group meets at 10am on the third Saturday of the month. For info please call: 755-1666. All are welcome to attend.


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