On January 18, ten ALTs gathered for the first HAJET Book Club meeting of the new year. We met outside the JR Motomachi Station, and after requisite â€œAkemashite Omedetou-sâ€ and complaints about the cold weather, headed to our destination: Locoâ€™s Kitchen Oluolu.
This Hawaiian-themed cafe is small, but with enough space for our large group to sit comfortably and see and hear everyone. The walls are sparsely decorated with an assortment of Hawaiian knick-knacks, including a large collection of plastic leis for patrons desiring a more â€˜authenticâ€™ Hawaiian experience. The lunch menu, available in both Japanese and English, offers the standard fare of salads, soups, and curry rice, with prices ranging from 800-1000 yen. The portion sizes were decent and the Hawaiian rice and teriyaki burger dish, Loco Moco, kept me full until late evening.
After ordering our food and catching up on everyoneâ€™s winter vacation stories and decisions regarding re-contracting, we began the discussion of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. This young adult novel, written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney, was a different literary choice for many club members. This welcome change of pace seemed to please everyone, with many members rating the book a 4 out of 5. We discussed how Forneyâ€™s illustrations added to the story, and marveled at Alexieâ€™s ability to tell a narrative so hilarious but also heart-breaking. Many of us wished we had been able to read the book as teenagers.
For our next meeting, we will be discussing Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Cloud Atlas has received multiple recommendations from book club members in the past. This uniquely written novel consists of six separate stories told through time, each with its own characters and plot. The stories vary wildly in genre, from historical fiction, to a murder mystery, to post-apocalyptic dystopian science fiction. As the book progresses, these chronological stories jump mid-way from one to the next. The fun (and at times, challenge) for the reader is noting where and how the stories connect to one another and keeping track of all the different plots, characters, and subplots.
Due to the complexity of the book and its lofty page count, the next book club meeting isnâ€™t until April. If you are interesting in attending, please join the Facebook page. We will be meeting onÂ Sunday, April 5 at 2:00pm, in Kobe
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney: