Free-For-All Newsletter #5

In case you missed the meeting last night, here is a list of all the things we discussed.

Enjoy! :)

Books:
DAISY JONES & THE SIX

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it's the rock 'n' roll she loves most. By the time she's twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

"It's a love letter. To life.

It's also a guide to catching more greenlights — and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too."

The Pillars of the Earth

In 12th-century England, the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral signals the dawn of a new age. This majestic creation will bond clergy and kings, knights and peasants together in a story of toil, faith, ambition and rivalry. A sweeping tale of the turbulent middle ages, "The Pillars of the Earth" is a masterpiece from one of the world's most popular authors.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

Armed with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre, Caitlin Doughty took a job at a crematory and turned morbid curiosity into her life's work. She cared for bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, and became an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead.

History Is All You Left Me

When Griffin's first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he's been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

I Am Watching You

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it — until she realizes they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she's decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls — beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard — has disappeared.

The Shadowhunters Chronicles

These works are set in a universe where fairy tales and mythologies, both pagan and Judeo-Christian, exist with its figures existing alongside the mundanes (normal humans). A race of humans who possess angel blood, the Nephilim or Shadowhunters, is organized to patrol the Shadow World and prevent demons as well as Downworlders, including warlocks, faeries, werewolves, and vampires, from attacking the mundanes. There is an uneasy peace, a treaty known as The Accords, between the governing body of the Nephilim, known as the Clave, and the Downworlders, not all of whom want peace or respect the Clave's authority.

The Dutch House

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club)

Already being hailed as a Grapes of Wrath for our times and a new American classic, Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

Untamed

There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn't it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent--even from ourselves.

A Child Called "It"

This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an it.

The Nightingale

With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France.

The Book Thief

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

Quotes:

An excerpt from Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami:

“It’s not that I don’t believe in contemporary literature,” he added, “but I don’t want to waste valuable time reading any book that has not had the baptism of time. Life is too short.”

“What kind of authors do you like?” I asked, speaking in respectful tones to this man two years my senior. “Balzac, Dante, Joseph Conrad, Dickens,” he answered without hesitation.

“Not exactly fashionable.”

“That’s why I read them. If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking."

Ideas + Concepts

#1. Memento Mori

Translated in English, “Remember you must die.” 

The point of this reminder isn’t to be morbid or promote fear, but to inspire, motivate, and clarify.

The idea has been central to art, philosophy, literature, architecture, and more throughout history. As Socrates says in Plato’s Phaedo, “The one aim of those who practice philosophy in the proper manner is to practice for dying and death.”

#2. "It's Not My Cup of Tea"

When asked by some BBC commentators what he thought about the movie Green Book, Spike Lee answered, 'Are you British? Are you British? Well, let me give you a very British answer: ‘It’s not my cup of tea!’

(Sidenote: I used to judge, rather harshly, whether something was good or bad. Now, if I don't like something, I just say "it's not my cup of tea" because oftentimes, we're not the target audience, the people for whom the work of art was made. And besides, who are we to decide?)

Other Recommendations
The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

That's all, folks! 

To everyone who came to the meeting last night, thanks for coming, and we hope to see you again next week!

To everyone who didn't show up, you are dead to us now. Lol, jk. Excited to connect with you soon! :)

Hakuna Matata,

May the Force be with you,

To infinity and beyond,

Live long and prosper,

May the odds be ever in your favor,

Roll credits,

Love, 

Trace & Caitlyn

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The Free-For-All Book Club

921 N Woodbridge Drive

Bloomington, IN, 47408

United States


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