Monday, October 27, 2008

While we're on the subject of mini-tarts in Husted homes....

We finally had our first book club meeting, which went well and was very fun. In the morning, there were about 9 people coming, then by the afternoon it was down to 6. That actually worked out to be the perfect number discussion-wise, but we had way too much food because I had already purchased scones, bought cream cheese for pumpkin cheesecake mini-tarts, and emotionally invested in three kinds of adventurous, British-y finger sandwiches. So I made it all, and it made for a glorious spread, and for some glorious after-party feasting for John and me... although mostly for me, I have to admit.

The book discussion was also fun, and I'm looking forward to reviving it at the Christmas gathering, so everyone brush up on your Waugh before we get there. I thought picking a Catholic novel would be a good way to get a bunch of Catholic ladies into the idea, but as it turned out it did not ease discussion the way I thought it might. We all had a hard time sticking to the text because it was so easy to get off track, talking about faith/Catholicism in general rather than in regards to the book, and still feel like we were on topic. So that was probably my one complaint - not really a complaint by any means, just something that made us accomplish less book analysis than might have been done otherwise.

I loved the book, and want to talk about it with people! I think I might actually re-read it while it's still fresh. While we decide on our next pick, do you guys have any recent must-reads?


Emily said...

Hey Kate, save some tea cakes for me! My Catholic book club has historically been kind of afraid of challenging Catholic books like Waugh's or Flannery O'Connor's or Graham Greene's (loved End of the Affair -love it! - but the adultery theme scared some of the ladies in my group). If your friends are more open to lit about sinners, go for it. Despite the tame fare, our book club is working on 10 yrs in existence. I think part of the success owes to the fact that the hostess does not have to cook, so no one burns out on making hors d'oeuvres. Also, we try to keep to a schedule: 30 mins chitchat, then about an hour on the book (and its relevance to our lives - so there's some flexibility to talk about issues), followed by unlimited chitchat around the dessert table (whoever wants to brings something). Also, you're supposed to commit to reading 75% of the books 75% of the time. So you can skip 3 meetings and not finish 3 books - an idea if your book club survives awhile; you don't want to scare anyone away yet.

So do you think Sebastien repented in the end and gave up the homosexual lifestyle? The new movie made it seem like Charles and he really had a relationship, but did it seem to you that Charles was only fascinated by Sebastien and not in love with him. The movie also left out Cordelia's role as mediator.

Kate said...

We had some disagreement as to whether or not there was homosexuality - are you taking it as a given? I thought there was at most one time - an indiscretion, it sort of seemed to imply - and that the rest of the relationship was fascinated, but Platonic, intimacy (Britimacy?) At least half of the other women thought nothing had happened at all, and that thinking the relationship went sexual is just a result of our hyper-sexualization of everything these days, especially relationships. I intend to keep this question in mind when I reread it.

Excited to try GGreene - I keep hearing about him lately! I need to read P&G first, though, I think.

Emily said...

This conversation is probably over, but I thought I might warn you that Power and the Glory is kind of a downer - but redemptive. Heart of Matter and End of the Affair I liked better. And on BR - I didn't mean that Charles and Seb had a hs reltnshp - implied in the movie - but that Seb was drawn into the lifestyle by his friends. Not explicit in the book, except maybe the scene where Seb is taking care of the friend in Morocco?