Tilburg International Club

Home » Posts tagged 'English'

Tag Archives: English

Upcoming Events

  • Movie Night 27 September 2019
  • Happy Hour (borrel) 11 October 2019
  • Pumpkin Carving Party 26 October 2019
  • Movie Night 22 November 2019
  • Worstenbrood Workshop 26 November 2019

Enter your email address and receive notifications of new articles by email.

News Archive

Book Club reminder: Slaughterhouse 5

Date: Wednesday, 4 Sept 2019
Time: 19:30 (7:30 pm)
Register by: 3 Sept 2019 (registration form below)
Member Cost: Free!
Guests: €5,00 pp (READ about how this can be pro-rated towards your membership fee)

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 proudly beautiful city to rubble and claimed the lives of thousands of its citizens. For many years, Kurt tried to write about Dresden but the words would not come. When he did write about it, he combined his trademark humour, unfettered imagination, boundless humanity and keen sense of irony to create one of the most powerful anti-war books every written, and an enduring American classic.

Prisoner of war, optometrist, time-traveller – these are the life roles of Billy Pilgrim, hero of this miraculously moving, bitter and funny story of innocence faced with apocalypse. Slaughterhouse Five is one of the world’s great anti-war books. While centering on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden in the Second World War, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.

  • `An extraordinary success. A book to read and reread. He is a true artist’ New York Times Book Review
  • `The great, urgent, passionate American writer of our century, who offers us a model of the kind of compassionate thinking that might yet save us from ourselves.’ George Saunders

Plenty of time in the summer to relax with a good and interesting book. Should you have time and a desire to read more, try one of the other suggested books :

  • Normal People, by Salley Rooney (304 pages)
  • The Sirens of Titan, by Kunt Vonnegut (224 pages)
  • Everything is Illuminated, by Johathan Safran Foer  (276 PAGES)

Wishing everyone a wonderful and relaxing summer, with plenty of time for a good book.

#bookclub #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #Slaughterhouse5 #KurtVonnegut

Book Club INVITE: Slaughterhouse 5

Date: Wednesday, 4 Sept 2019
Time: 19:30 (7:30 pm)
Register by: 3 Sept 2019 (registration form below)
Member Cost: Free!
Guests: €5,00 pp (READ about how this can be pro-rated towards your membership fee)

As a young man and a prisoner of war, Kurt Vonnegut witnessed the 1945 US fire-bombing of Dresden in Germany, which… (more…)

Book review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

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.
#bookclub #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #WheredYouGoBernadette

Book Club review: Educated: A Memoir

Review by Anne van Oorschot

19 Mar 2019. For our March book club gathering, after getting a warm drink, we settled around a crackling fireplace and with a tray of yummy snacks. While not everyone had finished the book, Educated, all agreed that it was a remarkable story and well written.

.

Tara was the youngest of 7 children and her childhood looked idylic on the surface – living on a breathtakingly beautiful mountain in rural Idaho with her own goats and horses. Her mother was a midwife and herbalist and Tara spent a lot of hours walking on the mountain, gathering rose hips and mullein flowers that her Mom could stew into tinctures. Tara’s father had a scrapyard and his children were his workforce. But the scrapyard was a particularly dangerous place and the kids had frequent, and sometimes serious injuries, a fact that Tara’s dad seemed unable to understand or react to. Her father’s word was law in their household and since he had a profound distrust of the medical profession, believing that doctors were agents of Satan, ALL injuries were treated with herbalism only.

.

While Tara’s Mother homeschooled all the children, “there was not a lot of school taking place. We had books, and occasionally we would be kind of sent to read them. But I never took an exam, or never wrote an essay for my mother that she read or nothing like kind of getting everyone together and having anything like a lecture. So it was a lot more kind of if you wanted to read a book, you could, but you certainly were’t going to be made to do that.” Through her older brother Tyler, she discovered a love for classical music, as well as the fact that she had a gift for singing. Her horizons broadened when she became a part (and often the star) of local musical productions and she first felt a desire to learn about something no one in her family could teach her. After self-teaching herself enough to pass the A.C.T. tests, she was accepted at the Mormon Brigham Young Uiversity (BYU) and stepped into a classroom for the first time at age 17. She soon discovered she was clueless about much of what was common knowledge for everyone else. She kept her head down and made good use of the college library and the internet to fill in the many holes in her knowledge. The path of her education and intellectual broadening took her from BYU to Cambridge to Harvard where she ended up earning a PhD. But every step outside the expectations, the rules came at a cost. Do something different and lose a piece of connection to your family. And family was extremely important, particularly for a person whose entire life had been defined by family.

.

The break with her family came not through her increased education and intellect, but due to her relationship with her older brother, Shawn. He could be kind and understanding, but had a reputation as a fighter, sometimes turning his rage on Tara and her older sister. Possibly even worse was her family’s denial about it, even when it occured right in front of them. It is this denial that was hardest to bear. If your own parents would betray you by not believing you or looking out for you in the face of such blatant attacks, then what was the value of the family you held most dear in the world? Her refusal to “admit” she made up the stories of Shawn’s violent behavior is what ultimately led to the split with her parents and 3 of her siblings. Tara struggles with the yin and yang of her upbringing to untimately led her to find her true self. It was truly a remarkable story!

.

Not only is she one really smart lady, small snippets of online interviews showed her to be relaxed and poised, with great insights. See part of an interview with Bill Gates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7Y6Udf_Nzo . Not only that, she can really sing, as you can see in the following short clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIO_QKq9cE  We – along with President and Michelle Obama, Bill Gates, Oprah, and Maarten t’ Hart – all found Educated to be a great and thoughtful read and we highly recommend it!

 

.

#bookclub #Tilburg #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #Educated

 

Book Club review: Maybe Tomorrow

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! 🙂

We had a lively discussion of Maybe Tomorrow by Boori Monty Pryor and Meme McDonald and compared its descriptions of the Australian Aboriginal’s plight to the discriminated minorities in other countries. While many shocking things were done to Australia’s indigenous population in the past, harder to understand are the many injustices and predjudices they still face. A good book, but hard to think it portrays a positive future…

 

.

#bookclub #Tilburg #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #MaybeTomorrow

Book Club: Review of Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon

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.”

 

#bookclub #Tilburg #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #GabrielaCloveCinnamon

Book Club Review: We All Began As Strangers

review by Melissa Donders

12 November 2018. After reading the book, We All Begin As Strangers by Harriet Cummings, an interesting discussion was had at tíc’s Book Club. The book was set in a small village in England where the inhabitants were frightened when small items in their homes would be moved around, or things went missing. Slightly based on a true story, the book followed the lives of different characters and how the intruder, whom they dubbed ‘The Fox’, impacted their life.

Discussing how and if we would notice if something had been moved around in our own homes, most of us agreed we would assume it was another person who we live with and not be worried.

We also discussed the similarities of ourselves, living in a country where we have moved for work or love, compared to one of the characters who had moved from her hometown of London to live with her new husband in this small village, which led onto discussion of how we all came to be living here in the Netherlands.

Overall, a lovely night was had, swapping well read books, saying farewell to one of our members and getting to know some new members.

 

#bookclub #Tilburg #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #WeAllBeganAsStrangers

%d bloggers like this: