Oct 17, 2007

Great Gustation, Garth!

Yesterday Garth proved, with his keyboard AND his kitchen, that he will not be outdone. While his achievements were man(l)y, mine were not. It was my arm-twisting that yielded the literary watercress, as Garth noted in his gloves-off email last night. Mea culpa.

So, we thank Garth for nicely-paired cioppino and vino, not to mention the salad, bread and a mouth-watering dessert dusted with...yes, it's true fellows...HAND-GRATED BELGIAN CHOCOLATE!! All of this on a white tablecloth. (What I feared has come to pass: certain men--OK, me--will not be able to climb over the bar set by Peter, and re-set by Chris and Garth. Why couldn't you all have been happy with sandwiches!?)

For many of us, John Banville's The Sea produced an unlikeable narrator, a confusing chronology, and a frequent retreat to the dictionary. But the insights on memory and mortality and grief had many pushing through to the end. (Stan again joined us late because he was still reading the book at 7:00, and Jack--bless the newbie!--awakened at 5:00 a.m. so he could add a notch to his belt.) Even Terry, once our neighbor and now just another carpetbagger from LA, seemed intrigued by the material (or else delighted by a home-cooked meal--it was hard to tell with the cioppino all over his face).

For those who didn't or couldn't finish The Sea (John and Chris and Dan, you were awfully quiet), our next selection promises to draw us into and through a seminal moment in US history, the battle of Gettysburg. Thanks to Larry, we have selected The Killer Angels, the 1974 Pulitzer fiction winner by Michael Shaara. We meet on Nov 6 (Election night) at Larry's home. With only three weeks to the Election, get your copy soon.

Dan has promised to provide us with a few book suggestions at our next meeting. His threats notwithstanding, I am confident he will surprise and delight us with quality offerings that meet our selection criteria.

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