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The date chosen for a Global Climate Strike in The Netherlands was Friday, 27 September 2019 in The Hague. Since I live in Tilburg, my day started with a bike ride to the train station where I started off for The Hague. It was heartening to see I was not alone – trains to The Hague from across the country were crowded with climate strikers carrying signs. (more…)
21 Oct. 2019. It was a rainy autumn evening, when we gathered to discuss our latest book “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. We had a fruitful discussion while enjoying the drinks and tasty nibbles next to a warm fireplace.
All of us joining this book club session liked the book, even those, who were not very in favor of
3 Sept 2019. Our first gathering of the Book Club took place on September 4th – very early in the club year and prior to the tíc Welcome Event. That may explain why we were quite a small group, including 1 brand new member. We had all read the book – not hard since we’d had the entire summer and it was quite a short story.
As a young man and a prisoner of war, Kurt Vonnegut witnessed the 1945 US fire-bombing of Dresden in Germany, which reduced the once beautiful city to rubble and claimed the lives of thousands of its citizens. This atrocious act was (more…)
by Dagmara Gielen-Bernacka
1 May 2019. Reviewed by Anita James. The book is a deceptively easy and amusing read about a brilliant and creative architect, Bernadette, who suffers recurring traumas from the wanton destruction of her revolutionary architectural creation, the move to an alien city, and after repeated miscarriages, the dangerous surgeries on the infant that was finally born.
One can get PTSD for less, and indeed Bernadette shuts out the world except for her immediate family, and then devotes her life to raising her daughter, Bee. Bee is a bright child who sees in her mother not an eccentric woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but a fun and magical creature who will always have her back, and would never ever abandon her.
On this basic story line an unconventional and quirky book is developed. It is told in a multitude of voices through mediums from emails, letters, narration, phone calls and even secretarial and hospital bills.
Yet the author nevertheless keeps the tale flowing, guiding it through a bewildering number of topics: brilliance, creativity, eccentricity, high tech, Microsoft, agoraphobia, misanthropy, architecture, Russian mafia, Antarctica, psychiatric care, modern parenting, American education, snobbery, Seattle, Canadians, family relationships and even self-help groups such as the amazing VaV – Victims against Victimhood, not to mention adultery and leaking roofs.
After a hyperactive beginning, Bernadette disappears but Bee absolutely refuses to accept the vanishing and after assiduous detective work goes all the way to the South Pole to find her mother.
And there she is, happily involved in the challenges of polar architecture. Creativity, her raison d’etre restored, she can face life again and Bee gets her eccentric family back together. Kudos for Maria Semple for a vertiginous ride brought to a safe end.
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review by Anne van Oorschot
13 Feb 2019. Even though the weather outside was cold, the atmosphere at Book Club was warm and friendly. We were welcomed into the beautiful home of one of our members and offered warm drinks and tasty Valentine treats! 🙂
#bookclub #Tilburg #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #MaybeTomorrow
14 Jan 2019. Reviewed by Anita James. This book is a favorite of mine and I hoped to share it more widely but whether because of the season or because nobody liked it – we ended up with a small intimate group (any more intimate and we could have held it cozily in bed with baby, Eleanor! (note: Those could/could not attend who read the book, highly recommend it! It is an easy read and a great story so do keep it on your “to read” list 🙂
Gabriela the woman-child glides through the Brazilian town of Ilheus, capital of cacao country, at a time of profound change. The gun slinging ‘colonels’ who carved out plantations have had their day and modernity is here, with roads, street lights, bus services, a real port and even an elevator at the hotel…. No longer can a ‘colonel’ kill his wife and her lover and be a hero, nor can the old timers shoot their way to winning an election.
Jorge Amado serves up a rollicking historical tale, poking gentle fun at the bombast of small town notables, at eccentric inhabitants, at immigrants and migrants, and at the love story of two of those, enmeshed in the transition roiling all around them.
Luckily Ilheus sorts itself out, as does the love of Gabriela and Nacib, after finally getting over their ill-advised and unfortunate marriage. Again is Gabriela a happy cook, Nacib naps after a delicious lunch and they meet for torrid nights in the back servant room.”
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