Book clubs help you discover books you wouldn’t have picked up

My book club read “War Dances” by Sherman Alexie in April. He’s someone I’ve heard about but never picked up. And I probably wouldn’t have if it hadn’t have been for my book club.

It took me about one page to absolutely love his writing. I liked it so much I read it out loud to my husband Jory on our drive up to Seattle during Spring Break.

Alexie’s writing is so believable that you assume he is chronicling his own life. It is like reading a memoir when you’re not. Jory actually heard him speak at PCC a few weeks after we read the book together, and he said that his work is inspired by his life. Its his honesty, which I admire about his work.  Anway, instead of trying to tell you how brilliant of a writer he is, let me share some good lines from the two books (yes, two. I also read “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”) of his that I read last month.

“Oh, Jesus, I murdered somebody’s potential. Oh, Mary, it was self-defense, but it was still murder. I confess: I am a killer.” – Breaking and Entering in War Dances (2009)

“‘My dad, he’s in the recovery room,’ I said. ‘Well, it’s more like a hallway, and he’s freezing, and they’ve only got these shitty little blankets, and I came looking for Indians in the hospital because I figured – well, I guess if I found any Indians, they might have some good blankets.’ – Blankets in War Dances (2009)

“I wondered if Jeremy had been beaten so often that it had destroyed his spirit. Had he lost the ability to defend himself? How many times could he forgive the men who had bloodied and broken him? Is there a finite amount of forgiveness in the world? Was there a point after which forgiveness, even the most divinely inspired, is simply the act of a coward? Or has forgiveness always been used as political capital?” – The Senator’s Son in War Dances (2009)

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One thought on “Book clubs help you discover books you wouldn’t have picked up

  1. I thought that “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” was fantastic-ly sad, funny, and moving. It was worth going to hear him speak even if his speech was just telling the first part of the story only he told the truth behind the “True” story.

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