17 September 2008

Book Club: An Interesting Title

Okay, I did my review on Simon Winchester's history of the Oxford English Dictionary, The Meaning of Everything. I got more and more excited as I talked about it, but I sensed some in my book club nearly slipping through the cushions of their chairs with boredom. How could I get so excited about words, and some social misfit who collected them?

Well, where do they go when they wanna find a spelling or a meaning!? Yep. Someone had to collect all those words in to those databases or they couldn't search them today. So there.

I also talked about Leap of Faith by Queen Noor, how she had a love affair with a man and a nation. Amazing woman, amazing story. Well written. Again, some people were not as excited as I was about an American woman in the palaces of Jordan, a country they are not likely to visit.

Okay, so guess what the set book is for the next meeting? Go ahead, guess!

Nope. It's Emergency Sex, by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait & Andrew Thomson
Yep! This is part of why I joined a book club. One, I really like the ladies in the group. A bunch of fun and interesting women who give their best to their families and their work at the university. But also so I'd stretch a bit and read things not usually found on my shelves at home.
Emergency Sex definitely falls in to that category. How am I even gonna carry that one out of the library! praise God for the clever inventor of those automatic book check out machines so I don't have to face the nana librarian with this one!

Here's a write up from Time Out Bookstore in Auckland's Mt Eden. I've not started it yet, but I can see it is available at Northcote, Takapuna and Albany branches of the North Shore Library.

In the early 1990s three young people attracted to the ambitious global peacekeeping work of the UN cross paths in Cambodia.
Andrew strives for a better world through his life-saving work as a doctor.
Heidi, a social worker, is in need of a challenge and a paycheck,
and Ken is fresh from Harvard and brimful of idealism.
As their stories interweave through the years, from Rwanda, Bosnia and Somalia to Haiti, the trio reveal a world of witnessed atrocities, primal fear, desperate loneliness and base desires. They fend off terror and futility with revelry, humour and sex; ask hard questions about the world order America has created, the true power of the UN, and whether there is any possibility for change. This is a startling celebration of the power of humour and friendship, of the limits of human compassion and the need for a warm body and a cold beer during a Condition Echo lockdown.

The black humour of M*A*S*H meets the frenetic pace of ER meets the anger of Michael Moore, in a book that shows the human cost of global politics and the tragic truth that wars are much more avoidable than our governments would ever admit.
A brilliant, provocatively funny and fast moving book.
Another reviewer says, "This book appears superficial on the surface, and this is mostly due to the everyday language used and the emphasis on the feelings of the writers, but at its heart are serious questions.
Perhaps the book also points a finger at all those people safe at home, desperately looking for the perfect mate to watch late night television with."

"They travel from idealism to disillusionment to bitterness and make no excuses for the UN bureaucracy."

Having lived myself in situations where famine, epidemics and death were not just in the headlines, much of this book might make sense to me. In my situation, emergency sex was not on the list of options.

1 comment:

Quote Collector said...

It is amazing what one can learn by reading your Blog!