So Isabel Allende's HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS ran away with our poll vote, and will be our 2/1 book club title!
Meanwhile, E.L. Doctorow's RAGTIME was a (rather distant) second, and since that's the one I was voting for and since this is my blog and not a cheerocracy, I am unilaterally declaring it the runner-up, so anyone who wants to read RAGTIME with me is welcome back for 4/1 book club meeting.
In other meanwhiles, The Undomestic and I have decided to co-host a book club meeting on 3/1 for Porochista Khakpour's SONS AND OTHER FLAMMABLE OBJECTS, which I've been dying to read for like six months now but keep leaving in inconvenient places like my parents' house (woops), so this is going to kick my butt into gear. How will we co-host, you ask? I don't know yet, but it's gonna be awesome. Here's PW's description of SONS AND OTHER FLAMMABLE OBJECTS, if this whets your gullet:
Khakpour builds her luminously intelligent debut around the travails of an Iranian-American family caught in the feverish and paranoid currents immediately after 9/11. Darius Adam and his wife, Laleh (who, much to Darius's disgust, Americanizes her name to Lala), flee revolutionary Iran for the alien territory of Southern California, settling in an apartment complex with the allegorically enticing name of Eden Gardens. Son Xerxes grows up with psychological dual citizenship: regular American outside of Eden Gardens, but the son of bitter Darius and clueless Lala inside. Xerxes finds true paradise in watching Barbara Eden, the star of I Dream of Jeannie. For the brilliantly rendered Lala, America is not so bad—it's a good place to ''lose your mind, which is how Lala translates into English her forgetting her unhappy Tehran childhood. Against this background of a parody paradise, Khakpour plays out the events following 9/11, which will, grotesquely, unite the Adam family. By then Xerxes, 26, is an unemployed college grad in a New York airshaft-view apartment, as far from Eden Gardens as possible. Khakpour is an elegant writer, and she imparts a perfect sense of the ironies of being Persian in America, where the blurry collective image of the Middle East alternates between blonde genies in bottles and furrow-browed terrorists in cockpits.
So, to sum up:
2/1: Book Club "Meeting" for HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS, by Isabel Allende
3/1: Book Club "Meeting" for SONS AND OTHER FLAMMABLE OBJECTS, by Porochista Khakpour
4/1: Book Club "Meeting" for RAGTIME, by E.L. Doctorow
Please come to any or all as you choose!