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We know what “Too Loud A Solitude” feels like

Tilburg International Club Expat Book Club15 Mar 2021. by Essi Koskela. Our selection for book club this time was Too loud a solitude by Bohumil Hrabal, a mere 100 pages of quotable digression aimed to baffle the reader. This sentence from the book perhaps describes the best how Hrabal’s book should be read, “I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.” (more…)

Join (virtual) Book Club!

Expat Book Club

Are you up for a good discussion with a group of friendly book-lovers?

Would you like to expand your reading horizons by reading a book you may not have chosen yourself?

Do you want to spend a relaxed evening chatting about a book, and often many other life topics, with a cup of tea, coffee or perhaps glass of wine in your hand?

Join tíc’s Book Club where we meet up approximately once every 6 weeks to discuss the latest book pick by the group.

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Who runs the world? “Girl, Woman, Other”

Tilburg International Club Expat Book Club16 Feb 2021. by Estela Highet. I wish we could have had more time to discuss this very interesting book, it has plenty of different topics and they are very related to what the world has been going through lately.

World of Women

Feminism, racism, cultural differences, sex and many more topics in one single book. All this through the million characters and therefore million stories to be told from each of them – which also made it a bit difficult to read. The principal characters were (only) 11 black women and one non-binary living in the UK.

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#FBF Slaughterhouse 5 book review

Tilburg International Club Expat Book ClubOn Monday, we will be meeting for our next book club; a gathering that sometimes has intense debates, but is always a lot of fun. For #FlashBackFriday, let’s take a look at a book club review from 2019.

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3 Sept 2019. by Anne van Oorschot. 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 a recurring theme in the book, and more horrific details of the bombing aftermath come out as the story progressed. (more…)

#TBT: Book Club review of Maybe Tomorrow

Next week we will be meeting (virtually) for our next book club; a gathering that sometimes has intense debates, but is always a lot of fun. For #ThrowbackThursday, let’s take a look at a book club review from 2019.

Tilburg International Club Expat Book Clubx–x–x–x–x

13 Feb 2019. by Anne van Oorschot 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…

In Boori Monty Pryor’s words, “The other day this little one asked me, ‘When did you start being an Aborigine, and how old were you when you started that?’ Like it was a career path or something. I just cracked up laughing.”

Pryor’s career path has taken him from the Aboriginal fringe camps of his birth to the catwalk, the basketball court, the DJ console, and now to performance and story-telling around the country. ‘You’ve got to try and play the whiteman’s game and stay black while you’re doing it,’ his brother used to tell him. (more…)

Book Club review: To Kill A Mockingbird

11 Jan 2021. by Yolanda van Riel. Our book club met virtually to discuss our latest read – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Tilburg International Club Expat Book Club

Perspective

As we began the discussion of a book that most of us had as required reading in our youth, we noted that our perception of the book as well as our perspectives had evolved. Since we were reading for pleasure and not for a grade, we found that we truly enjoyed the book even though some of the images and passages were quite disturbing.

Modern Comparisons

The book was full of “southernisms” and local dialect that made it a bit more difficult for some of our members to grasp the full intention of parts of the dialogue. This book is considered a classic but still felt relevant in its powerful descriptions of race, class and gender bias.

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Book Club review: A Long Petal of the Sea

Tilburg International Club Expat Book ClubWe had a nice group of 8 members for our virtual Book Club for a lively discussion of A Long Pedal of the Sea by Isabel Allende.

This book followed 2 main characters from the Spanish civil war to the end of the military rule in Chile. In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain.

When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love.

In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Together with two thousand other refugees, Roser and Victor embark for Chile on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda: “the long petal of sea and wine and snow.” As unlikely partners, the couple embraces exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war.

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#FBF: Book Club review “The Coffee Trader”

Next week we’ll meet up for another Book Club.  For #FlashbackFriday, here’s a look back at The Coffee Trader.

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Expat Book Clubby Sondra Grace

14 May 2016. It may have been Venetians who introduced coffee to Europe, but it was Dutch merchant Pieter van den Broecke who smuggled coffee bushes out of Mocha (Yemen), and the Dutch East India Company that cornered the coffee market and supplied it from plantations in Java and Suriname. David Liss sets his historic novel The Coffee Trader in the rough and tumble commodities market of seventeenth century Amsterdam.

One would have thought that (more…)

Book Club review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

by Anne van Oorschot23 Jun 2020. Since our last book discussions had been virtual ones, it was a special treat to be able to actually get together this past June.

Tilburg International Club Expat Book ClubThere was still a virtual flavor to things as Katie, an active past TIC member who relocated to LA, California 7 years ago, had heard about our Book Discussion evening, read the book, and joined us as well. So the laptop was open on one end of the table which was very fun!!  The weather was beautiful so we sat outside in our back garden and enjoyed the scenery as well. Since the weather was warm, we skipped the hot tea and opted for ice cream…always a good choice!

The book had been suggested by Kelly who was unfortunately unable to attend, but she sent discussion questions and admitted she hadn’t liked the book. Actually, she thought it was terrible! (more…)

Book Club review: Flight Behavior

by Anne van Oorschot. 08 October 2020. With the Netherlands adopting stricter Corona rules – 3 guests per household – having our regular book discussion gathering was impossible.

Tilburg expat Book ClubFortunately, there are numerous online meeting platforms that make holding a virtual meeting easy to arrange and attend and I was happy to have a total of 9 attend our evening on October 8th. Two of those who attended were new to our small group and, while they hadn’t read the book, they wanted to get a feel for how our discussion evenings go. (more…)

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