August 25th, 2005


The War Of The Saints by Jorge Amado

I wrote in an an earlier entry that I had trouble getting into The War Of The Saints, this month's book group selection. The religious repression and the many unethical Catholic priests portrayed, particularly in the early sections of the book, were unsettling to me. And I will admit that Amado's love of listing names of non-essential people throughout the book got aggravating at times but even the narrator tells us, "No one's obliged to read this book straight through." I did skip some (a lot) of the lists. Once I got into it, though, I really did like it very much.

Amado's conspiratorial storytelling style was very appealing. He made me feel that I was sharing all the secrets of his joyfully irreverent and lusty romp through Salvador de Bahia, Brazil during Carnival. I learned a lot about the history and culture of Brazil from reading this book and I do think I will be picking up another book by this author - probably Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.

Last night was phoenix_anew's first time at book group. I hope she will continue reading and gabbing with us. Next month's book is The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst.

Dear Mr. Bomber

Credit card solicitation letter addressed to "Palestinian Bomber."

"Palestinian-American Sami Habbas couldn't believe what he saw while sifting through his mail earlier this month.
A Chase Card Services solicitation letter sent to his Corona home was addressed to him not by name but as 'Palestinian Bomber' on the envelope and twice within the letter.

When he called the company's toll-free number and provided his invitation number from the form, two operators addressed Habbas in similar ways.

'Yes, Mr. Bomber, what can I do for you?'

For the 54-year-old Habbas, who has lived in the United States since he was 3 and served in the U.S. Army, the incident was disturbing, to say the least."