Do you love to learn about other parts of the world through the pages of a book? Have you ever wanted to join a book group where you can choose your own title each month? Then the “World in a Book” book group at MCPL’s Boardwalk Branch is perfect for you!
Each month, participants choose a book from a curated list or their own research. The books chosen deal with broad global themes and encompass every genre. Previous themes have included “African Authors” and “Taking a Pilgrimage.” Discussion centers around the theme and the varied reading experiences of the participants.
The theme of November's meeting will be “Turkish Delights,” covering contemporary Turkish authors, travel memoirs, history and culture, and novels set in Istanbul or other parts of the country. Here are some potential title choices:
- The Museum of Innocence by Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk blurs the line between fiction and reality in an atmospheric read about a love affair and a man who begins collecting objects related to the woman who has become his obsession. The book also has a page with a ticket to the Museum of Innocence, which you can present for free entry and special stamp if you are in Istanbul. (Just don't take a Library copy if you decide to do this!)
- In the immersive Anatolian Days and Nights, two women give the traveler’s perspective of what it feels like to travel to Turkey and learn about its history and culture.
- Similarly, Notes on a Foreign Country is about the real-life experiences of a woman who moves from the U.S. to Turkey. Author Suzy Hansen explores themes of global journalism, the complexities of history, and how the U.S. is perceived by those outside it.
- Bestselling novelist Anne Perry explores the world of the 13th century Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) in her mystery/love story The Sheen on the Silk. Consider pairing this with the movie Kedi, a charming documentary about the cats of Istanbul, or Aegean Beats of Turkey, which you can stream right now on your device.
- In Walking on the Ceiling, Aysegül Savas creates a novel with the feel of a memoir. If you have ever asked yourself how much truth is in your own memories, this book might be one to try.
- I Will Never See the World Again by Ahmet Altan is the most recently published book on this list, released just last month. Whether you care about academic freedom or are simply curious about why fantasy author Neil Gaiman gave a blurb for the prison memoir of a scholar in Istanbul, this small book is an excellent choice.
To set the mood while you read, try streaming Traditional Songs from Turkey and Oud Masterpieces from Armenia, Turkey, and the Middle East.
Meeting times vary for World in a Book. Upcoming themes and meeting dates include:
- Turkish Delights – Saturday, November 30, at 2:00 p.m.
- Writers of the Caribbean – Sunday, January 5, at 2:00 p.m.
- We’ll Always Have Paris – Wednesday, February 12, at 7:00 p.m.
- Saffron and Saris: India – Saturday, March 14, at 2:00 p.m.
Happy reading! Enjoy the journey!
What a neat idea! Does everyone decide on and read the same book or does everyone pick a different title and then share what they took away from their selection at the meeting?