1. How do you critique a compilation of short stories?
2. Which story was your favorite / least favorite / the one you reacted to most strongly?
3. In "The Necessary Changes Have Been Made" who won the office lights battle -- Randy or Isabela? What did you make of Isabela telling her new officemate that she wanted the overheads off?
4. In "Belles Lettres" what happened off scene to make the moms friends in the end? Or...were they?
5. How did Fatima's story (in "Belles Lettres", "The Body's Defenses Against Itself" and "Fatima, the Biloquist: A Transformation Story") help carry the collection of stories? Does a collection need multiple stories of the same character?
6. In "The Subject of Consumption" the story seems to be about Mike though he is written a bit to the side of the scene. What do you make of his storyline and his decision to stick with Lisbeth in the end? (105)
7. Can microwaving a phone really cause an explosion? What is the author saying about social media and narcissism in this story?
8. Did anyone else feel really old reading these stories? Anyone afraid for our kids?
9. What do you make of Brian's character -- both in general and as fleshed out from the previous story ("This Todd") in "A Conversation About Bread"?
10. Are you alarmed by Alma's behavior in "Wash Clean the Bones" or is it understandable?
Great to see you guys last night. I love that we can continue discussing books and meeting together even if it's in a virtual format. For those who are itching to come back to club in person, we have a few ladies lined up and ready to host you in their backyards and on their back decks, so stay tuned. Next month, we will discuss The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. We hope you enjoy this tale of women's friendship as they travel to deliver books to isolated communities.
Overall, we enjoyed reading Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires. While some of the characters were incredibly unlikable, we loved the connections between the stories, as well as the diversity of Black experiences in different places in life. We felt challenged and stretched and grateful for this chance to rethink what it means to be Black, and how being Black can mean many different things.
We also shared titles that we enjoyed reading recently. The Mamas' recommendations (for you and/or your kids) include:
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
Alegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Betsy Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace
Ella All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
The Tipsy Mamas' Book Club is co-hosted by Corinne Foster and myself, though the spirit of our discussions is flavored by many readers.