Because It’s Good for You

June 2017 Meeting @ Mary’s House
(small-but-mighty:  Shelley, Liz, Karen C., Mary, Yours Truly)


  • The Parkwood Res. Assoc. approves a Little Free Library (the $$$, too; nice one, Liz)
  • stealing vs. taking without permission vs. absconding (Liz wants Mary’s glider)
  • Grace C’s vocal chord spasm>steroids (Dr. Mom Team diagnosis+cure; drop the stethoscope)
  • dog watching:  running/borrowing Maisie, Matt’s in Greece (how long until Liz & Tim also own a dog?)
  • good vs. legitimate reasons for missing book club – yes, there’s a difference
  • 4th graders free in national parks – who scams the system? do park rangers care? if you can do it, it’s so worth it! Ask Karen C. for tips
  • appreciating Mary’s and Kevin’s big backyard & access way
  • small town moment:  customer phone locked in at Sunflower’s; Ron just gives store key (Shelley was NOT leaving the meeting for such nonsense)
  • crazy names:  Precious, the hyphenated Queen sisters, etc. & names that simply cannot make a comeback (Mabel, anyone?)
  • Karen C – a deluge of pink slips at over-reaching office; may the odds be in her favor, eventually (who wants to give up working at/from home?)
  • email vs. verbal communication:  who can/will read vs. who is lazy or perhaps avoiding the efficiency/specificity of writing it all down & responding
  • swim team socials: keep it simple (or suffer). Do NOT ask Karen C. for tips.
  • Writing a book:  Volunteer Snafus. Chapter 1:  the craft closet
  • NYC – Michael Sing-Kirchner and his rental broker
  • Firefly – no sleeping plan, but at least a sleeping bag? And change of clothes?
  • Praise for Mary’s carrot salad! (started by Liz-who-hates-veggies)
  • Kirstie is staying in Canada with a Big New Promotion: Director. Not bad, eh?
  • Did some people miss book club b/c the book ‘scared’ them? (one person’s concern)

THE BOOK:  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

brave new world huxleyLiz picked the book because:

  1. Return to original goal of this club:  read what you’d not otherwise pick for just yourself (classics/supposed to, different genre, etc.)
  2. Has her mom’s copy of the book from her old book shop jaunts with old boyfriend
  3. It’s on David’s List (son); he read it and did not seem to hate it
  • very modern tone, pace and voice – how did Huxley do that from 1931?
  • ‘1984’ usurped this title from most of our HS reading lists – a shame, really
  • for the record:  pneumatic means plump-ish (but not really)
    • the new terms were fun; for the new-to-us terms, some of us wanted dictionaries
  • story’s emphasis on different head sizes – was it a reflection of Huxley’s oddly large one? or just the clearest way to display genetic meddling
  • Huxley visited the US in the post-WWI era; he found the society to be vapid…this showed up here, for sure
  • genetics – pretty sophisticated prognosticating
  • world building – so clever, but took some careful reading to get the full parameters; no spoon feeding of the reader, here (intentional? unlike the spoon-fed masses in the book? probably)
  • The Savage (also, Christ figure):  only person who could think for himself and had fairly even (depth, not time) exposure to Shakespeare, Native culture, traditional religion, and Society
  • Head Controller also could think for himself; he chose power over autonomy (Savage did the opposite) – unfortunate choice (plot) that the Savage suffered while HC seemed not to…
  • “Economy of Happy” – but is numb/middle-of-the-road the same as happy? no pain/no passion was the goal – was it working? maybe* (esp. with the pressure relieving islands for those who would not accept lack of individuality)
    • *IF you ignore the soma addictions
  • Ford/God – fun and prescient pun (at least in terms of automation-of-all)
  • more predictive genius:  media frenzy, paparazzi, fan-damonium, cruelty of public opinion/mob-induced-by-media
  • was it racist? did the lower castes also all have dark skin?
  • Names were fun puns:  Lenina, Bernardo Marx
  • was it more fun to discuss than read? 50/50 for some, yes for others
  • Recommended: Huxley’s follow up (non-fiction); some books had it included

Mary’s July book pick:  Circle the Sun by Paula McLain 

Meeting at Karen C’s on Thursday, 7/20 at 7:20 – b/c we are just that clever.



One response to “Because It’s Good for You

  1. Catherine Stone

    So sorry I missed this one — turns out I had never read this (what kind of middle school did I attend?!) and I found it fascinating. Thanks as always for the excellent recap!

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