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Eagle Harbor Book Group, 2006

Book and Meeting Schedule, Summer, 2006

Date: June 25
Book: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, et al
Author: Alexander McCall
Presenter: Cornelia Carlton
Hosts: Bobbie & Paul Freshwater
Address: 8366 Hwy. M-26, Eagle Harbor
Food/Drink: Mary Beyers
(Maps of Botswana and Africa have been added to this book page)

Date: July 9
Book: Sula
Author: Toni Morrison
Presenter: Elaine Rysiewicz
Hosts: Virginia Jamison
Address: 5461 Peterman Lane (Southeast off US-41 on Gratiot Lake Road. At bottom of hill after Gratiot Lake in sight, turn left on Gratiot Lake Drive. Turn right on Petermann Lane. Stay to the right to end of lane.
Food/Drink: Mary Lou Lenz

Date: July 23
Book: Middlesex
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Presenter: Phil Mason
Hosts: Patrick & Jean Ryan
Address: 8292 Hwy. M-26, Eagle Harbor
Food/Drink: Pat Ryan

Date: August 6
Book: The Devil in the White City
Author: Erik Larsen
Presenter: Laura Bonde
Hosts: Clarice & Joe Ruppe
Address: 7917 Hwy. M-26, just west of Eagle Harbor
Food/Drink: Tiffany Dawson

Date: August 20
Book: 1776 (Now available in paperback)
Author: David McCullough
Presenter: Elaine Wildman
Hosts: Bobbie & Tom Westlake
Address: 413 Front Street, Eagle Harbor
Food/Drink: Mary Strohl

Date: August 27
Book: Remember the Distance That Divides Us
Author: Marcia Mason
Presenter: Author Marcia Mason
Hosts: Ann Johnson
Address: Warden Cottage, 8473 Hwy. M-26
Food/Drink: Elaine Wildman & Sue Church

Date: September 10
Book: Poetry Night
Author: Bring or recite your favorite
Hosts: Leslie Du Temple & Jim Lowrie
Address: 5223 Lakeshore Drive (Road 2), Eagle River
Food/Drink: Virginia Jamison

Voting Results for 2006

The complete voting ressults for 2006 are not available at this time.

Nominations and Discussion, Summer 2006

The Girl Who Married a Lion and Other Tales from Africa, Alexander McCall Smith

Suggested by Cornelia Carlton who writes:I will submit Alexander McCall Smith and his 5 or 6 Number One Detective Agency books - they all have different titles. He has also written this book of tales, myths, which is very readable and would provide nice discussions.
On 16 June, Paul Freshwater writes: Because the book The Girl Who Married a Lion scheduled for presentation on June 25 has proved hard to find for some people, our presenter Cornelia Carlton has expanded the discussion to include the six books by the same author, Alexander McCall Smith, in "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series. All the texts, including "Lion" and other short stories, reflect Smith's African experiences. The "Detective Agency" series is more available and a delightful flight of whimsy and native wisdom.

And, Mary P. Strohl writes:I am an avid reader of all of Alexander McCall Smith's books. However, I have found his Mma Ramotswe character the most charming. Therefore I would suggest adding to The Girl Who Married a Lion and Other tales from Africa the newest Mccall Smith book (with Ramotswe as the main character). Titled Blue Shoes and Happiness, this book will be released on April18th for $14.27 on the Amazon website. Mma now faces the challenge of losing weight, but there is also a nearby village that seems under the influence of witchcraft to gain her attention. Then there's Mma Makutsi who is afraid her fiance will leave her after learning she's a feminist. This book is bound to be humorous, wry, and profound and could well be discussed along with the African folktales in The Girl who Married a Lion; I look forward to the "eloquent descriptions of the serene African country." I think the two books would make a lively discussion pair. Nice light summer reading!

Sula, Toni Morrison

Elaine Ryslewicz, signing herself 'Elaine in Cincinnati (snow-less) Ohio' submits this work of fiction and the following summary:

Sula (1973) is Nobel Prize winner (1933 Literature) Toni Morrison's second novel. It is a masterfully woven story of mythical. Biblical and universal challenges and emotions. Thrown into the mix of human pathos and the inexorable process of change, is Sula, a woman with a unique style and attitude who returns home to Medallion and her all black neighborhood, the Bottom. which is ironically located at the top of a hill. Some hunters who "went there sometimes wondered in private if maybe the bottom 'was the bottom of heaven.'

"The black people would have disagreed (with comparing the Bottom to heaven), but they had no time to think about it. They were mightily preoccupied with earthly things - and each other, wondering even as early as 1920 what Shadrack was all about, what that little girl Sula who grew into a woman in their town was all about, and what they themselves were all about, tucked up there in the Bottom."

Thus the novel opens in 1919 and spans characters’ lifetimes. Despite the breadth of time covered, the richness of relationships developed and the intriguing and often disquieting twists and turns in the plot, the novel is under 200 pages in length. That increases the chances that you will able to give this piece of literature the second reading it so justly deserves.

Clint adds: The internet is awash with material about Sula and Morrison. Click to go to a site with many links to others. And, on 16 May Clint adds further: The New York Times has just listed the results of a query of prominent writers, etc. asking, "What is the best work of American fiction of the last 25 years?" The top winner was Toni Morrison's 1987 novel, Beloved. Six on the list of winners and runners-up are by Philip Roth. None have been, so far, CCHC titles.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Phil Mason suggests this title and writes: A Pulitzer Prize winner published in 2002, it's an epic about three generations of a Greek-American family who traveled from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus and ended up in Detroit. They live through several of the city's history-making eras and experience some provocative twists and turns relating to genetic abnormalities and family secrets.

And Marcia adds: With some arm-twisting, I think Phil is willing to lead the discussion.

Clint writes: Lefty and Desdemona may be fictional, but the destruction of the ancient Greek city of Smyrna was real. This is quoted from the trailer for Marjorie Houspian Dobkin's Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of a City. The photo of Greeks escaping the burning city is from another source. In September of 1922, Mustapha Kemal (Ataturk), the victorious revolutionary leader of Turkey, led his troops into Smyrna (now Izmir) a predominantly Christian city, as a flotilla of 27 Allied warships -including 3 American destroyers- looked on. The Turks soon proceeded to indulge in an orgy of pillage, rape and slaughter that the western powers anxious to protect their oil and trade interests in Turkey, condoned by their silence and refusal to intervene. Turkish forces then set fire to the legendary city and totally destroyed it. There followed a massive cover-up by tacit agreement of the Western Allies. By 1923 Smyrna's demise was all but expunged from historical memory.

A critique of Eugenides's Nation of Islam chapter appears at: Here Kelli Kavanaugh attempts the real story of Wallace D. Fard and the Nation of Islam. And of course the Nation has its own Web at

Here's a summary of Calliope's part in Antigione: Teiresias: The blind prophet. He warns Creon that the gods do not approve of his treatment of Polyneices' body or Antigone. Creon then insults him. Teiresias responds with a prophecy foretelling the death of one of Creon's children, warning that all of Greece will despise the king if he does not relent. The prophet is an important part of Sophocles' vision. Through him, the will of the gods is made known, and his existence implies that there is a definite will of the gods to defer to and obey.

Tiresias was the son of Everes and the nymph Chariclo; he was a blind prophet, the most famous soothsayer of ancient Greece.

The most famous account of the origin of his blindness and his prophetic talent is as follows. When Tiresias was walking in the woods one day, he came upon two great serpents copulating; he struck them with his staff, and was thereupon transformed into a woman. Seven years later, she/he passed by the same place and came upon the same two serpents copulating; she/he struck them again with the staff and was turned back into a man. Some time later, Zeus and Hera were arguing over who had more pleasure in sex, the man or the woman: Zeus said it was the woman, while Hera claimed men got more pleasure from the act. To settle the argument, they consulted Tiresias, since he had experienced life as both sexes, and Tiresias sided with Zeus. In her anger, Hera struck Tiresias blind. Since Zeus could not undo the act of another deity, he gave Tiresias the gift of prophecy in compensation.

Another account says that Tiresias accidentally saw Athena naked, and she covered his eyes with her hands, thus rendering him blind. When Tiresias' mother Chariclo asked Athena to restore her son's sight, the goddess could not undo her own action but gave him the gift of prophecy as compensation.

Clint writes at the last minute: Some questions I may raise at the meeting:

1. Did any of you ever live on a dairy farm? If you did maybe the same picture came to mind when Callie and the Object were making out. If you want one of your cows to come fresh how do you know it's the right time to take her to see the bull? One way is when you observe her mounting her fellow cows, bull fashion. This common sight indicates cross-sexual behavior is not uncommon in other species.

2. I missed the significance of Chapter Eleven's name. Does it indicate he was bankrupt form birth?

3. So many names and places and events are real which ones aren't? For example, a Baker and Inglis girls' school seems not to exist, at least by that name but Baker and Inglis were author's of a popular high school Latin text. Did Eugenides steal it therefrom?

4. Is Dr. Luce built on the real John Money?

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. by Erik Larson.

Mary Strohl writes, Available in pb for $9.72 from Amazon. A synopsis from another book club: "There is such drama in the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure this is not a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham's story is one of triumph, with appearances by Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Homes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable as he lures victims to their death. " One of the reviewers on Amazon says "I have no problem recommending this book to anyone interested in US History, Architecture, or just a well told story."
I have just started reading this book and find it gripping.
3 April, Mary adds: The book I suggested : Devil in the White City is Non-fiction. It is biography, true crime, and about the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. There's a lot of interesting history such as the development of the first skyscrapers.

23 July, Clint reports a thorough treatment of the World's Columbian Exposition with history, maps, photographs can be found at

And, a site all about Dr. H. H. Holmes which includes a mug shot can be found at

1776, David McCullough

Mack and June Kelly write: Now that Christmas has gone by, we can talk books. This is a fun read and I learned a lot about that difficult year in the trenches. We should try to get Phil Mason to lead.

Remember The Distance That Divides Us, Marcia Mason

Joanne writes: At least two people have asked if we could do Marcia Mason's, "Remember The Distance That Divides Us". Marcia received a Michigan Notable Book Award for her editing and publication of "The Family Letters of Philadelphia Quaker Abolitionist and Michigan Pioneer Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, 1830-1842". For those who may not know her, Marcia is a stalwart member of our group, having led two previous discussions.A review of this book and more information about Marcia can be found at