Tuesday, November 18, 2008

December Book Club Pick


Sorry I'm so late in making the announcement! Our December 1 Book Club Pick will be When the Elephants Dance, a wonderful debut novel that was published in 2002. National bestselling author Tess Uriza Holthe will be joining us on December 1st for a Q&A.

I started the book on a bus ride a couple of weeks ago and found myself unable to go to sleep that night until I finished it. Here's a plot synopsis basically stolen from the Penguin site:

In the waning days of World War II, the Japanese and the Americans engage in a fierce battle for possession of the Philippine Islands. The Karangalan family and their neighbors huddle for survival in the cellar of a house a few miles from Manila. Outside the safety of their little refuge the war rages on—fiery bombs torch the beautiful Filipino countryside, Japanese soldiers round up and interrogate innocent people, and from the hills guerillas wage a desperate campaign against the enemy. Crowded together in the cellar, the Karangalans and their friends and neighbors tell magical stories to one another based on Filipino myth and legend to fuel their courage, pass the time, and teach important lessons. The group is held spellbound by these stories, which feature a dazzling array of ghosts, witches, supernatural creatures, and courageous Filipinos who changed the course of history with their actions. These profoundly moving stories transport the listeners from the chaos of the war around them and give them new resolve to fight on.

Special thanks to Ello and Precie, who independently recommended this amazing book on their blogs, like, months ago. Yay for book blogging!

9 comments:

Susan said...

Wow, sounds marvellous. My father was a WWII veteran stationed in the Philippines; I've always loved traditional folk legends. Sounds like it's a must read for me.

Thanks for finding it!

Precie said...

Can't wait!!

fairyhedgehog said...

When and where do you discuss it?

moonrat said...

Right here! A post will go live early morning EST of December 1st (I put them up to post at like 7 am). My post will include the interview, some "discussion questions," and my thoughts.

Everyone's welcome, whether or not they've read the book!

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, moonrat.

Froog said...

Sounds interesting; but I haven't seen it in the one-and-only decent foreign bookstore in Beijing. And I currently have about a year's backlog (maybe more!) in my TBR pile.

Is there any chance you could finalise your picks a month in advance?

There's almost no chance that I could finish a book in only a week or two - even if I already owned it and wasn't busy reading something else!

Andromeda Romano-Lax said...

Sounds very interesting, Moonie. Thanks for bringing this book to our attention. I love the stories-within-a-story idea.

And also, do tell all of us at some point: Are you still NaNoWriMo-ing? (I mean, look at all the time you have on your hands!)

joshua said...

Hey Moonrat,

I've been a long time follower of your blog. Your inside take on the chaotic world of publishing is very cool. I really like what you've done with this corner of the web... Keep 'em coming!

Josh

Ello said...

I love this book so much! I am so glad that you and Precie loved it too!