Book Club: January's book is THE MONK DOWNSTAIRS

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by kholmes, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Club is open to anybody!

    The Monk Downstairs looks really good, and has been a suggestion for our Book Club from a number of people for quite a while. The book got excellent ratings on Amazon.

    Here's part of a review:

    Tim Farrington's The Monk Downstairs follows the beguiling romance between a jaded San Francisco graphic designer and a monk who flips burgers at McDonald's. Rebecca Martin is a 38-year-old single mom who has lost her faith in men; Mike is a disillusioned monk who's lost his faith in God. The two meet just after Mike leaves his monastery of 20 years and rents the downstairs apartment of Rebecca's house. The last thing Rebecca wants is another romantic entanglement, especially since she has the emotional well-being of her 6-year-old daughter, Mary Martha, to consider. (A charming character in her own right, Mary Martha also happens to be "an infallible detector of bullshit.") And the last thing Mike wants is to agitate his already troubled soul. But after a few backyard cigarettes together at twilight and a few melted barriers, a tentative love story is underway.

    Although Farrington's plot revolves around a classic story of unlikely lovers, there's no sappiness or clich├ęs in his highly polished narrative. Indeed, his vulnerable characters and realistic dialogue will feel especially poignant for grown-up lovers. When the big night arrives and the couple must decide whether Mike will sleep over, Rebecca speaks for all single mothers.

    --Gail Hudson

    [This Message was Edited on 12/30/2006]
  2. llama

    llama New Member

    I read The Monk Downstairs a couple of months ago. I definitely enjoyed it. It was very realistic. It didn't have the predictable "taboo" sensibility about it.

    IMHO, I give it 2 thumbs up!

  3. mindbender

    mindbender New Member

    I wish I was in the book club

  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Oh, good.

    I like a book that speaks to everyday concerns in a clear voice yet with no sappiness and this is one. And for anyone who hasn't already heard me say it ten times already, I find Farrington's ability to speak clearly from the viewpoint of men, women and children unusual and delightful.

    If you finish this one and like it as much as I hope you will, do read "Lizzie's War", a newer book by Farrington. It has even more of a male voice to it than this one does so might be even more appreciated by the guys in our club.

    I'm doing the happy dance in my head for you all. I love it when my friends have good books to read.

    Oh, and Mindbender, as Kholmes said, everyone's welcome. And Aligrace, we discuss at the end.

  5. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    I read this book when it first came out, and loved it. I've been hoping it would be picked. Looking forward so much to reading it again, and the discussions.

    Mindbender, join the club, welcome! Ali, so great to have you here.

    Happy reading everyone.
  6. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Glad you're joining us. I post a thread during the last week of the month, after we've read the whole book.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/30/2006]
  7. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    in case anyone missed this.
  8. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I started, but didn't like. But I'm reading an exciting thriller called King Con.

    Just finished half a dozen old Opera News Magazines I got from the library. 25 cents @. Right in my price range.
  9. KateMac329

    KateMac329 New Member

    I haven't been on in a long time but actually thought of you when I picked this book up.

    Have you read The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards?

    I am most of the way through it but it is pretty good. It is sometimes sad which isn't exactly what I was looking for but it is a very good book.

    Anyway, just wanted to see if you had read it.

  10. kat2002

    kat2002 New Member

    I started reading "The Monk Downstairs" last night, and so far I think it's cute. It's not my normal type of book, but I am enjoying it - one of the things I like most about this book club!

    I do have a copy of "Housekeeping" that I picked up in December, but I did not have time to read it because of the holidays. I plan to get to it some time soon!

  11. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    This looks fun. I will read it. Annie cromwell
  12. larryh

    larryh New Member

    I have seen the posts about the book club before, but never read it or looked for one of the books before. On a whim I got this months book from the library. I read it and enjoyed it although was too short. Only lasted two days. Some of my worst memories of school are of having to get up in front of the class and do book reports. I was terribly shy when I was in school. I did get over that, but not my dislike of book reports. All I am going to do this time is say I read it and enjoyed it. I really don't know what a book club is supposed to do anyway.

  13. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Glad you read it. I got my copy from the library, but haven't started reading it yet.

    I'm not sure about Oprah's, but all we do in this book club is vote on a book to read each month, get a copy (usually from the library) read it, and then have a bit of dialogue about the book during the last week of each month. Ideally, the book and discussion will entertain us and give us some food for thought.

    So far, the biggest hits so far have been The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Marley and Me.

    Hope you join us; we need more guys in the club.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/07/2007]
  14. larryh

    larryh New Member


    I plan to try staying with it, but my tastes run more to Sci-Fi and Steven King than to love stories which is what "The Monk Downstairs" is. Some how real emotion like taht is harder to deal with when I am already worn out. Does that make sense?

  15. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I loved last month's novel, Housekeeping, but needed a good testosterone loaded, action-packed thriller after it. So I read Riptide, a great Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child thriller. I know what you mean about real emotion being harder to deal with on top of this illness.

    Up until the late 80s, I read all of Stephen King's novels.

    You could always join and start nominating books that you like! Or here's an idea. Maybe we could do a sci fi month, and have people nominate books for that, or an adventure month.

    But if you don't join the club, you can always post on the "What are you reading right now" thread.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/07/2007]
  16. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I am going to library tomorrow for it, but I HAVE to share. Fanny Flagg's new book, Can't Wait to get to Heaven is very funny I am certain there will be a movie as it is visual.

    Will report back on MOnk-how are you doing by the way?

    Love Annie Cromwell
  17. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Glad you enjoyed Can't Wait to Get to Heaven. I'll bet you're right about them adapting it to film.

    I'm doing okay, thanks. Still fighting for LT disability, so I had an appointment with my lawyer last week. Also got two cavities filled. I had forgotten how unpleasant that is.

    There's still plenty of snow in Albuquerque and it's been cold--well down into the teens at night.

    How are you?