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.

ACOM Book Club October 2022The ACOM Book Club met at Mim's on Thursday, October 20, 2022. Attendees were Francis, Barb, Andrea, Cynthia, Al and Leroy. This month's book was "The House By the Lake" by Thomas Harding.
Once more, everybody enjoyed reading the book. Barb was the first of our group to read it. She had seen recommendations in two different places and decided to try it. She liked it so much that Francis then recommended it to the club to read.

ACOM Book Club Sept 2022The ACOM Book Club met at Mim's on Thursday, September 15, 2022. Attendees were Azad, Francis, Tashina, Margaret, Jim, Bradley and me. This month's book was "Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes" by Tamim Ansary.
Almost everyone greatly enjoyed the book. Margaret expressed the opinion that it was too much just straight history and so she found it a little bit too dry.
I liked the author's breakdown of the ancient world into three regions:
- the Mediterranean World where the primary communication was by sea, so it included all the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the land areas close by those shores.
- the Far Eastern World, or China, which was bounded by the ocean to the east, the southeast Asian jungles, the Tibetan mountains and the Gobi Desert.
- the Middle World which was bounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the Black & Caspian Seas and Caucasus mountains to the north, the Indian Ocean and Indus River to the south, and the Tibetan mountains and Gobi Desert to the east. For the Middle World, the primary means of communication was overland travel.

ACOM Book May 22The ACOM Book Club met at Mim's on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Attendees were Azad, Al, Peter, Tashina and me. The book under discussion this month was "The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey" by Dawn Anahid MacKeen.
The book is described in brief as "The inspiring story of a young Armenian’s harrowing escape from genocide and of his granddaughter’s quest to retrace his steps."
The first question that was raised was by Al. He wondered exactly what Der Zor was and what made it so deadly for the Armenians who were sent there. Several of us gave answers: it was a desert area with no water or food, the Armenians were sent there and left with no shelter or means of support, the Turkish guards prevented other people from giving them any food or water or medical help. Several hundred thousand Armenians died at Der Zor.

Book Club 3 2022The ACOM Book Club met via Zoom on Thursday, March 17, 2022. Attendees were Jim, Margaret, Andrea, Francis, Tom, Joe, Tashina, Peter, Cynthia and me. We continued last month's discussion of "Cloud Cuckoo Land" by Anthony Doerr.
As an introduction to the book, I'll paraphrase what Wikipedia has to say about it:
"Cloud Cuckoo Land is the story of five characters spanning eight centuries. In the fifteenth-century Byzantine Empire, Anna is a young seamstress living in Constantinople, and Omier is a village boy conscripted into the Ottoman army which is preparing to take the city. In the present day, Zeno, a Korean War veteran, works in a library in Idaho translating Ancient Greek texts, while Seymour, a disturbed autistic youngster, becomes caught up with a group of eco-terrorists. In the twenty-second century, Konstance is a young girl aboard the Argos, a generation starship heading for a planet called Beta Oph2.
Their stories are bound by an Ancient Greek codex entitled Cloud Cuckoo Land that each of the five characters discovers and finds solace in. It is a fictional book supposedly written by real Greek novelist Antonius Diogenes in the second century, and tells the story of Aethon, a shepherd on a quest to find the fabled paradise in the sky. In his travels, he is transformed into a donkey, a sea bass, and finally a crow, which allows him to fly to the gates of the city in the clouds."

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