Sunday, July 2, 2006

Book Selection of the Month (July '06)

Okay, guys, I wish I had time to be snarky and funny but have all of three minutes to set up this post LOL. So, here it goes. *smile*

After much deliberation I have chosen The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez as the next BBC selection. The Chicago Tribune reported that this book “set off a bidding frenzy” among publishers. The Associated Press claimed that “even people running the copy machines at the major publishing houses just had to read The Dirty Girls Social Club.”

Here is the blurb followed by the questions you should keep in mind while reading the book. I hope it’s liked better than my last choice Bel Canto; kind of afraid to pick a book after most of you trashed it within an inch of its poor existence! Grrrr.

Valdes-Rodriguez’s debut novel delivers on the promise of its sexy title, offering six lively, irreverent characters: the sucias (“dirty girls” in Spanish), who have been friends since college and get together twice a year to catch up. The book opens at just such a meeting, six years after they’ve graduated from Boston University, and takes us through an eventful year in their late 20-something lives. This diverse group of women defies stereotypes. There’s reserved, conservative Rebecca, founder and editor of a magazine for Latina women, whose marriage to a preppy, Marxist theory-spouting academic is on the rocks; Sara, a full-time mom in Brookline, from a rich Cuban-Jewish family and married to an abusive husband; Usnavys, ambitious and entertainingly materialistic, who’s an executive with United Way; Amber, a struggling singer and guitarist; Elizabeth, host of a Boston morning TV show and a born-again Christian; and Lauren, a feisty, hard-drinking newspaper columnist, half Cuban and “half white trash.”

The book addresses serious questions—prejudice, the difficulty of winning respect from Latino men—but balances them with enough budding (and dying) romances and descriptions of clothing and decor to satisfy any chick lit fan. The lively, humorous writing is peppered with Spanglish and attitude (watching Usnavys approach their meeting place, Lauren says, “Look at her. She just slid up to the curb out front in her silver BMW sedan... She’s on her cell phone. Wait, take two: She’s on her itsy-bitsy cell phone. It gets smaller every time I see her. Or maybe she gets bigger, I can’t tell. Girl loves her food.”) This is a fun, irresistible debut.

  • How do you think Rebecca’s husband was raised to view Latinos? How does this impact their marriage? Is his disappointment in her fair, in your opinion?
  • How could it be that Sara’s home life and the image her friends have of her could be so different? Why do you think she hid the truth for so long?
  • Why does Gato finally stray in his relationship with Amber? How does Amber react? By contrast, how do you think Lauren might have reacted in the same situation?
  • Why does Usnavys think she needs to find a rich man? What in her past makes her believe this? How does this belief impact her happiness?
  • The sucias are all Latinas, but they are also of different races, religions and backgrounds. How does this compare to images of Latinas you see in the U.S. media?
Gotta dash, babes, (both males and females :P) the kitchen is waiting for me! *wink*


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17 comment(s):

Blogger Petra said...

Oh I've read this book and loved it! Great choice, Trollop. :D

7/02/2006 02:25:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I love the book cover, so cute! I think this book will give us a good discussion.. :D

7/02/2006 02:36:00 PM  

Anonymous Lola lovegood said...

I got this books for my birthday, and it's 5th from the top in my tbr, will have to bump it up! :-)

7/02/2006 02:41:00 PM  

Blogger Simi said...

Love the cover,its cute and sounds nice..

Will someone send me a virtual copy,pretty please?!!!

Thank you!!


7/02/2006 04:59:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Ladies, I really love chic lit and I had so much fun reading the last selection. Looks like we're having another fun book. :)

7/02/2006 05:05:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Hi Simi, if I get an e-book, I'll let you know. :) I usually get them for free. LOL

7/02/2006 05:06:00 PM  

Blogger Simi said...

Hi Danielle!!

Thank you! That would be absolutely great! :)

7/02/2006 05:11:00 PM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Lol this book is actually on my pile! A friend of mine loved it and has been telling me to read it already. I guess now I have to. :P

Good choice, Trollop. :)


7/02/2006 06:03:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

I checked it out at Amazon. So it's about Latina girls? Looks good. :D And it seems like a funny book - my type of read.

I was away for a couple of days that's why I missed the last book club discussion. Sorry bitches. Actually, I have yet to finish Something Borrowed. LOL. Just a few more chapters. Been so busy!

7/02/2006 06:12:00 PM  

Anonymous Kandi said...

Hey, I just bought this book! I stopped reading it because I found it very very boring but I'll try to get back into it (if I can find it! LOL)! It'll be nice to have some people to discuss it with! :)

7/02/2006 07:26:00 PM  

Anonymous tinker bell said...

Oh I love this book! I think it's one of my top 10 reads last year. I've also read Alisa's two books but for me this is her best. A well-written book. :)

7/02/2006 07:41:00 PM  

Blogger C Bradshaw said...

I was waiting for this announcement yesterday. :P

I like the blurb. Looks very interesting, ladies. Of course I'll be getting it soon. :)

7/02/2006 08:20:00 PM  

Blogger Marg said...

I couldn't get the last book, but I am about to go off to get this from the library so I will be joining in again this month!

7/06/2006 04:43:00 AM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

Can't wait to actually be able to get to read a BBC book! TBH and BC bored me immediately and Something Borrowed was NEVER at the library! The library actually had it in. Shock me!

7/07/2006 02:17:00 PM  

Blogger karen G said...

I love this book. It's fucking awesome. By the way read: The red Tent by Anita Diamant & The coldest winter ever- Sister Souljah. Amazing books. Just wanted to pass it on.

7/20/2006 04:10:00 AM  

Blogger Jubilance said...

I finished this book about a month ago, so its funny that I've discovered this blog. I thought the book was entertaining but I really wanted the author to be able to delve deeper into each character and their development, but I guess that's hard to do with 6 characters. The writing was witty and it moved at a good pace; in fact, I couldn't put it down.

Great choice!

7/30/2006 10:07:00 PM  

Blogger Tara Champagne Dean said...

I remember reading this book a few years ago. I had forgotten about it till I stumbled apone this post. I remember LOVING the book. I loved it so much that I left it in Montreal for my cousin to read since she expressed interest. I think I'll have to check it out from the library when it re-opens...if they ever go off strike that is :P

In answer to one of your questions though. I remember Gato strayed from Amber because he claimed that fame had changed her, that "everyone was talking about it" when actually she hadn't really changed at all, it was he was jealous that she had gotten the break and he hadn't. I don't recall her reaction, but I believe that she sort of went inward to her self, but realized that Gato was jealous.

8/17/2007 08:48:00 PM