Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reading Under The Influence

This past Saturday was the first official meeting of Reading Under the Influence: A book gathering for the sophisticated New Yorker. Drinks called X-rated peach martinis plus great conversation definitely equaled a night to remember! This concrete city in 100 degree weather is probably worse than hell so thank you to those who braved the heat and participated in the discussion.

The first required read was the historical novel, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The protagonist Jacob Janowski embarked on a no direction quest that landed him on the train of the Benzini Brother Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Set in the early part of the Great Depression everyone in the Benzini circus was lucky to be employed. The two villains, Uncle Al and August, withheld wages and abused employees knowing how desperate they were for stable employment and at the very least the promise of food everyday. Throughout the story Jacob falls for two women; Marlena, the star of the equestrian act and Rosie the elephant whose act is supposed to be the salvation of the circus.

I don’t want to give away anymore of the story, because this truly is one novel you must read. So get off your ass, turn off the TV, put down the blackberry and go pick up this heart wrenching book. I promise you Water for Elephants is that rare novel, with a story so enthralling, it’s hard to put it down. The characters are engaging and live long after the last page has been turned. Upon finishing, I truly was ready to quit finance and continue my life as a vagabond with the first circus I came across.

Here is Diana and I - the Founding Members of Reading Under the Influence:

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