Thursday, September 2, 2010

DC SLA Fiction Club, August Review and September Preview

by Barbara Folensbee-Moore

Everyone is coasting towards the last long weekend of the summer so we want to encourage you to read this weekend and hopefully join us on September 15th to discuss what you read. The topic for our September meeting is any book that takes place in New Orleans. There actually are books that take place there that aren't about vampires so hopefully we'll hear about some of those. The group voted on no date restriction so that makes choosing something even easier. There is plenty of time this week to swing by the public library or bookstore and pick up some fun reading for the Labor Day weekend.

Our August topic was books made into movies. We had a wide swing in books chosen and the discussion was fun. I think I have decided that seeing the movie first works the best for me - other members were on both sides of the issue.

The books/movies discussed included :
  • Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan - this was one that I think everyone agreed both the book and the movie were good and definitely recommended.
  • Small Island by Andrea Levy - a book that was featured on Masterpiece Theatre involving Jamaica/Britain and the era around World War II and after. The film version was seen first but the book was also recommended.
  • Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman - the movie was seen first and the book read later. The story involves two sisters being raised by their aunts - both of them witches. While both were enjoyed there was a great difference between the movie and the book.
  • The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Trapp - the movie Sound of Music was seen years ago (most of a generation could sing at least of few of the Julie Andrews tunes, I'm sure) but the book was read recently and there were a lot of differences in the stories. The real story of the family and their life in Austria and then in the United States made a great read, even if not fiction.
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - the book was read first and the movie seen later. The book was much better and more involved than the movie which definitely skipped over parts that had added to the complexity of the story. Seen first, the movie would have been better received.
  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler - both book and movie were good. The focus of the movie was much darker than the book but the mystery was conveyed much better in the book than in the movie. Both would be recommended.
  • Ghost World by Daniel Clowes - a story about two teenagers who have know each other growing up and finally come to the time in life where they are going to go their separate ways. This is a graphic novel made into an Indie film and recommended both in the print and movie version.


  1. Here are some recommendations for books about New Orleans, from Billie Gray:

    - Poppy Z. Brite books about the gay community, chefs in New Orleans. Titles include: Liquor, Prime, DUCK
    - J. M. Redman lesbian mystery series set in New Orleans. Titles include: The Deaths of Jocasta, Lost Girls, etc.
    - James Lee Burke – Dave Robichaux mysteries
    - Julie Smith – Skip Langdon mysteries
    - Nevada Barr – latest book set in New Orleans

    - When the Devil Came Down to Dixie: Ben Butler in New Orleans. Chester G. Hearn
    - The Night the War was Lost. Charles L. Dufour. Meeting near Farragut Square it would be only fair to read a book about Farragut’s battle for New Orleans.
    - Not Left Behind: Rescuing the Pets of New Orleans. Best Friends Animal Society. Photographs by Troy Snow.
    - The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katriana, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Douglas G. Brinkley. Available as audiobook.
    - The Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson and America’s First Military Victory. Robert Vincent Remini. Available as an audiobook.
    - The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf. William C. Davis

  2. Also John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces.