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Anything Left Unsaid? Nov 2011 Minutes

Nov 28th Vivienne’s Meeting @ Liz’s House (Viv’s kitchen not done)

-catching up on Thanksgiving
-handing out the long-awaited Yellowstone bookmarks from Sue’s July vacation; ditto fronm Kitty’s super-nice Nice(France) adventure
-baby cuties on the street & in the family
***Baby Matthew Birthday Bets: due date = Dec. 18th             Kitty: Dec. 16th @ 7 a.m. /Mary: Dec. 23rd @ 6:15 a.m. /Liz: Dec. 22nd @ 3:15 p.m. /Shelley: Dec. 22nd @ 8 a.m. /Sue: Dec. 14th @ 3 a.m. /Karen S.: Dec. 19th @ 5 a.m. /Vivienne: Dec. 15th @ 3 a.m. /Karen C.: rocking out at 9:30 Club /Wendy: chatting up the Mayo Clinic big wigs (congrats, Wendy!) /Katie, Marie, Angelika: too distracted to vote (or Katie missed the input)

-boy v. girl expectations
-some of us cleaned & nested; Marie baked endless blueberry pies

-Amazing Race fundraiser @ WJ = very fun
-Breaking Dawn, Pt I – whoo hoo! & creepy
-working retail (if we had to):  clothes = ugh for some, heaven for others; books = mostly fun

-Liz getting fired & quitting – she wouldn’t back down! Tim rescued her!        Her boss’s boss fixed it up & she still gets to whine about her travel schedule

-WJ Sports Banquet update – oh the heartbreak of the field hockey and boys’ soccer season!!!
-Kitty recommends for those in need of a read, ‘The Leftovers’ (post-2nd coming of Christ & the Rapture)
-Shelley’s new dog, Fig – SO cute!
-Kitty is a book hussy (she’s in 3 book clubs!)

Unsaid by Neil Abramson
Sue picked it because Amazon blurb peaked her interes…and that was reason enough!
-plot summary: author is lawyer, wife is vet (dies)
– autistic boy communicating with animals in some ooey-wooey way seemed a gratuitous theme/characterization to some of us
– the dead-but-not-gone wife kept dashing about, popping in & out = disconcerting (not in a good-for-the-story spooky way, but in a way that distracted the reader)
-overall the book was strange & creepy
-legal dialogue was interesting
-chimp is a non-human person v. property = key theme
-irony of how chimp dies (shot)
-good message: one to one relationship you have with your animals is unique & special
-good characters; more getting dropped in all the time may not be so great, though
– the children all connected to the animals but adults often didn’t
-tried to have a Disney epilogue where David is living ‘small & natural’ and enjoying animals
-shows animals as therapeutic & healthful
-David’s boss, Max (ruthless NYC lawyer) sends David to Paris (despite that being his honeymoon locale) – why is this scene added? depth/backstory?
-book = celebration of animals and good explanation fo the motivations of people who love animals
-the title, Unsaid: the chimp, autistic boy, dead wife ….all not saying much!
-could story have been told more effectively w/o the wife just popping in with observations?
-seems you could place book in a tv/culture timeframe:
Ghost Whisperer/Lovely Bones
Tears in Heaven (Clapton song)
Australian research in doubt on autism results
CASTING: (& understudies or options if contract neg. breaks down)
Helena, dead wife – Kate Walsh
David – John Corbett or Ryan Reynolds (isn’t he too young?)
J.C. – Tea Leoni or Renee Zellweger
Max – George Clooney or Alec Baldwin
Sally – Jada Pinkett Smith or Jennifer Hudson
Autistic boy – Jaden Smith (or too much catering to Jada if she’s in?)

December 17th Party 7:00 at Liz’s House-  spouses would be nice, Chinese auction per usual (not being nice is required)


More Than Black & White – March 2011 Minutes

Wendy’s meeting at Mary’s house (thank, Mary!) -Wendy’s apartment is teensy.

The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley
Katie selected this book because:
1. she dithered too long to select the super-long tome originally topping her list
2. while mulling in February, her annual discontent with Black History Month simmered up (are there no black folks the other 11 months of the year???) – she sought a theme-rich book that was of/for/by the ‘authentic black experience’ without hammering away yet again at ‘just’ racism and/or the Civil War-Civil Rights Eras; Walter Mosley is supposed to be the man for that job
3. she liked the odd plot line and Mosley’s look at good/evil, lazy/entreprenuial, socially acceptable/rude-mean-awkward themes

Katie appreciated Mosley’s wordsmithing & was mostly intrigued by – though not in love with – the book overall.