22 January 2012

Book Group News: January 2012

This week, we had our year end Book Group dinner. Each month, we contribute $10 to the kitty, and then at the end of the year we go out to a nice restaurant for a "free" dinner. This year, as with years past, we went to Citrus City Grille at the Orange Circle.
CCG, 122 N Glassell St, Orange CA 92866
(714) 639-9600 
The food at Citrus City Grille is excellent. I had the stuffed dates and the rack of lamb with butternut squash risotto, and I also tasted the beet salad and the tiramis├╣. They have a great Happy Hour that lasts until closing (Sun-Thurs), so it's affordable to have a cocktail or a beer. The only downside to the restaurant is the noise. I don't remember it being this noisy any of the times I've gone there in the past, but it was loud like a crowded bar - and we were sitting outside. It was very difficult to hear each other, especially to hear the ladies at the other end of the table.  I think this could be attributed to the group of 20 women sitting near us (baby shower or birthday party, perhaps) and the group of six businessmen sitting behind us. Safe to say, I think next year we will try somewhere new.

Our other "year-end" tradition is to have a book exchange. This year there was a lot of stealing of books to be had, so I take that as a sign that everyone brought great books this year.





Finally, we read and discussed 
A Game of Thrones: Book One
"Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?"
"That is the only time a man can be brave."

Overall, the book was a huge success (see my personal review here), and we gave it an average of 4.6/5 (pending a couple of to-be-finished scores).  About half of us have watched the show (I haven't personally seen it - how I long for the days when I had HBO!), and we generally agreed that one thing the show really offered was an excellent, almost to-the-letter adaptation. This seems to be something that is unique to adaptations in the fantasy genre, because the fans of fantasy tend to be very vocal about keeping everything exactly the same.
Collectively, our favorite characters were Eddard Stark, Jon Snow, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister. The most commonly held issue with the book was the lack of a family tree chart at the beginning of the book. Yes, there is a list with the different families at the end of the book, but there isn't anything that's a quick and handy reference for when you are reading the book. By the halfway point, I assured the women who hadn't finished the book yet, the characters are clear and you don't constantly find yourself checking who a person is in your head. I promised to report on the second book (which I've already started).

Tune in again next month, when we'll be reading "The Paris Wife" (Paula McLain).

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