December, 2019: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

(Book 116) The December book is probably a bit cheated and we’ve discussed changing our format to forego reading a book in December and doing only our cookie exchange, but as the Fearless Leader I just can’t. Whether it’s my OCD, the uneven number 11, or the idea that a “book club” meets without reading a book, I just can’t bring myself to agree to such a proposal. We’ll talk again next year. The following is the email summary of our meeting with subject heading Merry (even though we were missing Mary)

Let me begin by thanking Linda for hosting us in her lovely new home! (I’m just going to go on record as saying that if I ever had a brand new space like that, I might not let you all in.) The new place is beautiful and smart — just like Linda — and offered a kitchen island for our appetizers and a dining table for all of our cookies!
Even though Linda provided plates, we all circled around the island of appetizers where we could remain in close contact with all the food. Our talk about the book was somewhat brief, and I was rightly criticized for slotting a book about a fanatically religious and abusive father as our December read. There was much talk of Catholicism and saying the rosary and Linda was able to pull out her First Communion rosary as a visual aid. (I’m attaching further explanation.)Interestingly enough, the Catholics among us were also the ones who wondered why both mother and son so quickly confessed to the poisoning murder of Eugene when it could have so easily been blamed on political operatives! I think that has something to do with the religion buffet concept — take what you like, leave the rest. I know that’s the religion I learned at my mother’s feet!
We discussed how the political setting in the book kept leaping off the page and finding frightening parallels in our country today — I know my ears were ringing with the explanation that “this is what happens when lives are meaningless.’ Luckily it was somewhere around this time that Marcia pointed out that we could sit down.
We gathered around the Christmas tree (brand new for the occasion, that will not go back into the box but into a special accessory bag) and I played Santa with the ornaments for 2019. I failed to explain last night that I chose a door because I wanted to relate the ornament to the Woman’s Day magazine that was this year’s book list. I was going to make mail slots in all the doors and have the magazines half pushed into the slot. I cut the first mail slot — I think it was on Susan’s (probably because she’s my favorite) and I decided I was not going to do that eleven more times. (Susan if you’re wondering why you don’t see it, it’s because I glued a covered slot over top of the whole so that none of the other doors would get ideas.) The Woman’s Day magazine had to be wrapped in plastic and placed over the doorknob to complete my original idea.
Then the new book list was handed out. Because Mary wasn’t there, we started with Karen, February’s host to find that this year’s book list conveyance is a calendar featuring my brother’s bird art. And the calendar was tucked between placemats for reasons I can’t begin to explain.(Oops I see that Chris has sent an email, beating me to the punch! Better push on.) Each of the girls opened her package in turn, being sure to show the placemats. If you wonder what next year’s ornament will be to accommodate a full size calendar (much to Melissa’s chagrin) and placemats, my guess is a brand new kitchen makeover!!!! No, wait, I’m not Oprah.
And then it was time for cookies. I think Geri took a picture of the cookies, which she might add to this, but Mary, you will see them soon. Just give me a date, I’ll deliver!
Merry Christmas to All! And can’t wait for new books in the new year,

Be sure to note the beautiful holiday centerpiece that Linda placed for the event.