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PACC Book Group
Tue, Apr 05 2011
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Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women

Hopefully, through our e-newsletter, many of you are already making your way through our selected text for April, titled above, by Geraldine Brooks. This reflection is a wonderful journalistic exploration of this author's attempt to better understand women in the Middle East. 

As Christians grapple with current events in this part of the world, we would do well to educate ourselves about a community of people whom we do not know. 

Let me invite you to pick up the text, share in the story, and then join us the week after Easter for dinner and conversation. More details to come. Lindy

Thu, Sep 30 2010
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What should we read next?

Fellow book readers, I learned from our last gathering that a new book was not selected for this month's reading. Let me offer a few suggestions and seek your thoughts, comments, recommendations so that we get going! Let me prompt your creative energies.

  • If we want to stay in the genre of Eat, Pray, Love, let me recommend to of my favorite authors: Anne Lamott whose book Traveling Mercies is one of my favorites. And Nora Gallagher, who I was turned on to because of my raving at how gifted Anne Lamott is in her writing and faith reflection. Trust me when I share that Nora Gallagher did not disappoint in Things Seen and Unseen which quickly moved to my top ten list.
  • To go a completely different direction--given the news over the past month, God has placed on my heart a desire to explore more deeply the tradition of the Muslim faith and the people around the world who come to know God most fully through its teaching. I also confess a profound ignorance about the Middle East which I know can easily contribute to my lack of understanding of our country's engagement in this part of the world. In that regard, let me suggest two amazing books: Nine Parts of Desire: the Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks and/or Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. Both of these books helped open a window to another part of God's world.
  • Melanie Aldridge has also recommended a book, but unfortunately I have completely spaced the title and author. Maybe in her response, she can add it to our list. 

Ok, let me suggest that we pick our text over the next few days, and plan to gather at on Monday, October 25th. Nina and I will work on location and time. I have all the books in my office if you want to peruse through. Thanks, Lindy

Tue, Aug 10 2010
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Italy

We join the author as she makes her home for the next four months in Italy. Some of the ruminations of my brain were the following: 

  • How did you react/respond to the author's first conversation with God? 
  • How did you react to the author's reflection on her journey out of marriage?
  • What thoughts, emotions came forth as she entered into a new relationship with David? Did you experience it as a rebound relationship that she was not equipped to enter? Why or why not? 
  • How did you experience the author's needs within this new relationship?
  • Reflect on her writing gig to Indonesia. What thoughts did you have about her engagement with Ketut Liyer? What question would you have sought an answer to? 
  • Do you seek a lasting experience with God? To whom do you turn? Have you been surprised by who offers you discovery or insight? 
  • What distracts you from connecting with God?
  • What are your conversations with God like?
  • When the author was invited to come back to Bali and live with the medicine man, would you have responded as literally and directly as she did?
  • As she shaped her year's journey, choosing Italy, India, and Indonesia to explore pleasure, prayer and balance, how would you have chosen your three countries based on what you were seeking in your life?
  • How did you experience the author's time in Italy? Would you have gone without a plan with goals and objectives laid forth?
  • I'm curious how you experienced the author's prayer with Iva--who would you have invoked and for what?
  • Compared to the author, (immersing yourself in another culture, learning a language fluently, eating) how would you define pleasure?
Thu, Aug 05 2010
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Eat, Pray, Love: Introduction

Welcome to PACC's Book Group's Blog. We have begun reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. We have gathered once and immediately decided to postpone our discussion as not everyone had finished the book--and we wanted more to join in the discussion. Therefore, we encourage you to start reading or refresh your memory if you already have, then join us Monday, September 13th at 6pm (location TBD) to explore our engagement with the author. 

To wet your appetite, let me offer a few questions that came up in our initial discussion. 

  • How did you feel about the author and her quest? Was it believable?
  • How did you respond to the emotional and physical upheaval of her life? The decision to end her marriage? 
  • In what ways might you identify with her pain, whether it is marriage related or not? Have you ever faced a similar traumatic decision that changed the course of your journey?
  • How did the author's navigation through her turmoil inform your own?
  • How do your react to the author's quest for pleasure, prayer and balance? Would that be your search? If not how would you categorize your own quest for peace and harmony?

Let these questions get  you to open the book and begin reading. Look at the blog periodically for more thoughts to stimulate your thinking. Happy reading!

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