December, 2014: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

(Book #56) Geri hosted a full house but despite the bonanza of members, there was a shortage of book discussion because some of us were unable to read or finish the book.   I mentioned that I gave very high marks to the book’s title which comes from the advertisements for ceramic tiles that will stay “beautiful forever” plastered along a concrete wall outside the airport. The wall’s purpose is to hide Annawadi from the rich travelers arriving at the airport. We discussed that though the book is nonfiction, its characters are so absolutely foreign to us that it seems fictional. Perhaps one of my favorite moments is the outrage over the treatment of the zebra horses when they could be considered the most lovingly cared for of any being in Annawadi.

We enjoyed a scrumptious spread of appetizers that represented many of the locations of our travels throughout the year. Sharon told us that she was retiring and as we congratulated her and talked about what she would do with her free time, Linda said “I don’t do anything but it takes me all day to do it!” I gave out this year’s book ornaments, and next year’s booklist and then it was time for the exchange of 22 different kinds of cookies!