Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for May 2017

May 10, 2017

The theme for this meeting was men/male authors. Several members had coincidentally chosen the same book, which was Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. An additional book was brought by another member: One People, One Planet (Adventures of a World Citizen).

Born a Crime is the autobiography of Trevor Noah, current host of The Daily Show on the Comedy Channel. It details his childhood in South Africa, during and after apartheid, and his transition to current celebrity in the United States. The title comes from his birth to a black mother and white father, considered a crime under the rules of apartheid at the time he was born. He writes from the perspective of a child with his childhood memories, and also seems to do a good job capturing his thoughts and feelings in response to experiences in his teenage years and as a young adult. The author’s “voice” as written appears authentic in comparison to what a viewer of his television and YouTube appearances would see. He seems to be a frank observer who is unafraid to show his vulnerabilities, his puzzlement at what doesn’t make sense to him, and/or the hypocrisies in all types of society. His approach contains the comedy we have become familiar with, alongside both compassion and a bit of the cynic as well. Members’ response to the book was very positive.

One People, One Planet by Andre Brugiroux is the story of one man’s journey around the world from June 1955 to October 1973, a journey through 135 countries and 340,000 kilometers. It is also the story of how the author came to the Baha’i Faith. The author first spent seven years in Europe, both traveling and working. He then did his national service in Congo for two years, then three years working and saving money in Canada. He then spent six years moving constantly, using only a dollar a day to stretch his savings. Brugiroux mostly traveled by hitchhiking, but also used all sorts of other modes of transportation, and had several personal safety close calls. He was also jailed seven times, and found himself in wars and other crises, as well as red-tape limiting his ability to move at times. Despite misadventures at times, the author maintained his positive outlook and continued his wide-ranging travels through Asia,
the length of the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa. Members asked many questions about the author and his journey.

Both books made for a lively and interesting discussion among members. Both books discussed portrayed men with unique attributes, but with universal struggles finding their way in challenging environments.

About the Book Club