ACOM Book January 2024The ACOM Book Club held a Zoom meeting on January 18th, 2024. Attending this month were Francis, Azad, Margaret, Jim, Joan and me. The book for this month was "Song of America" by George Mardikian.
I joined the meeting a little bit late and did not take good notes, so this report will be a bit sparse.

ACOM Book November 2023

The ACOM Book Club met at Mim's on Thursday, November 30, 2023. There was only a small group this month with just Francis, Margaret, Jim and I attending. The book for this month was "Corelli's Mandolin" by Luis de Berniere. The more recent printings of the book changed the name to "Captain Corelli's Mandolin".

Francis had read the opening pages of the book but hadn't finished it yet. Margaret may also not have read the whole book, I couldn't quite catch whether she had or not. Jim and I had read the whole book. Jim and Margaret had also watched the movie. More on that later.

Since Francis didn't know the whole story, Jim started out by describing what happens in the book to him. I helped out as time went by.

ACOM Book October 2023

 The ACOM Book Club met at the home of Andrea and Lowell Johnson on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Attendees were Andrea, Lowell, Margaret, Jim, Tom, Cynthia and me, with Francis, Peter and Chuck, the author, joining in through Zoom. The book under discussion for this month was "Tall Short Stories from the Mind of Garbo" by Chuck 'Garbo' Hajinian.
The meeting was a little bit different than usual because we let Chuck direct it for the most part. He started out by describing how he came to write the book.
He tends to write stories down when he thinks of them and had built a collection of stories that he thought were enough to fill a book. He looked for publishers and ended up going with Calumet in the Twin Cities. One point that he liked about them was that they were familiar with Armenia.

ACOM Book Club Selection September 2023
The ACOM Book Club met at the home of Azad and Karen Mesrobian just outside St. Peter on September 30, 2023. We had a large group for this meeting with five married couples attending - Azad and Karen, Margaret and Jim, Joe and Kay, Andrea and Lowell, and Leroy and Cynthia being present. Other than the obvious draw of the meeting being at Azad & Karen's house, another probable reason for the large group was the book under discussion - "The Island of Missing Trees" by Elif Shafak. How often do you get to read a book where the story is to an appreciable degree being told by a fig tree? We also took advantage of the relaxed location to return to our past practice of sharing food and drink brought by the attendees and hosts. We enjoyed Armenian Areni red wine, Armenian Tree of Life pomegranate wine, and a very nice white wine. To eat we had Armenian nuts and candies plus a beautiful Cheoreg and paklava made by Azad. Yum!

TademThe ACOM Book Club met on Thursday, June 15. This month's meeting notes are courtesy of Andrea.
Margaret and Jim, Tom, Lowell and Andrea met at Mim's last evening to discuss Tadem: My Father's Village, by Robert Kaloosdian.
Amazingly, Margaret and Tom are "Tademtsis" as they both have ancestors from Tadem. Tadem is a small village south of Harput that, prior to the Genocide, had 1,000 to 2,000 Armenians and a handful of Turks (including a notoriously untrustworthy, at times cruel, authority figure or two).

ACOM Book MayThe ACOM Book Club met at Mim's on Thursday, May 18, 2023. Attendees were Jim, Margaret, Tom, Francis, Andrea, Lowell, Tashina and me. The book for this month was "The Confidence Men" by Margalit Fox.
This book is about two British army prisoners of war in World War I who were captured by the Ottoman army. It tells a very interesting story of how they used Ouija boards, seances and magic tricks to 'escape', although the final escape wasn't until just a few months before the end of the war. The book is based on a true story.

April Book Club Selection 2023 The ACOM Book Club met at Mim's on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Attendees were Francis, Joe, Azad, Karen and me. (Also at the restaurant were Mark W., Nairy, Terry and Michael.) We all enjoyed eating the Mim's Middle Eastern food before and/or during the meeting. The book under discussion this month was "The Whitsun Daughters" by Carrie Mesrobian.

Book Club FebruaryThe ACOM Book Club held a Zoom meeting on Thursday, February 16, 2023. Attendees were Tashina, Francis, Jim, Margaret, Tom, Peter, Azad, Cynthia and me. For this month's book we revisited "An Armenian Sketchbook" by Vasily Grossman. It was also our book of the month for September in 2017.
Religion in Armenia was being discussed by the group. Tashina said that when she was in Armenia several years ago the people did not seem to be very religious. Azad said that western Armenians were more religious. Soviet communism discouraged religion in the Armenian SSR.
Jim pointed out that the top prelates in the Armenian church objected to communist policies and were removed by the state. They were replaced by more pro-Russian people.

Book Club March

The ACOM Book Club met (really, truly met!) at Mim's on Thursday, March 16, 2023. Attendees were Jim, Margaret, Tom, Francis, Tashina and me. We all took the opportunity to enjoy various menu items, either to eat there or to take home. The book under discussion this month was "All the Light There Was" by Nancy Kricorian.

This book is about Armenians who survived the genocide and ended up in Paris. Twenty years later, they were subjected to the occupation of Paris by the German army and the subsequent 'disappearance' of Jewish families.


ACOM Book 1 19 2023Thursday Jan 19, 2023
The ACOM Book Club held a Zoom meeting on Thursday, January 19, 2023. Attendees were Al, Francis, Jim, Margaret, Tashina, Andrea and me. This month's book was "Ataturk In the Nazi Imagination" by Stefan Ihrig.

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