We recently had lunch with a few friends and discussed the book Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love by Dani Shapiro.  Having recently discovered that one of her parents wasn’t her biological parent, this 50+ year old author’s memoir raised a host of questions, among them: how much does what you “inherit” from your parents’ genes account for who you really are; is lying ever the better choice than the truth; does shared DNA guarantee connection; and what responsibility does a donor owe the person who was the recipient of their sperm? But to both of us, the most important takeaway was the whole issue of artificial insemination and how it has changed over the past decades and what it will mean in the future.


2 points – Movie Theme – INCARCERATION

Laura: I didn’t expect to like the film, Shot Caller. In fact, I was almost certain I would abort about 10 minutes in. But the acting and the intensity of the message kept my interest. It’s a film about a successful businessman who is sent to prison after causing a car accident that had dire consequences. What I found different about this film (whose story line was fairly typical: good guy goes to prison and turns into a bad guy, etc.) was the way it clearly and convincingly showed how – and why – a person in prison can change into someone else. It was fascinating to see the hierarchy of power behind bars played out. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, best known for his role as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, did a great job playing a man who must reinvent himself to survive.


2 points: Activity on IMPRESSIONISM

This month we tried out another activity group offered by Newcomer Friends of Greater Plano – Art Appreciation. Neither of us knows anything about art but we do know what we like and what we don’t and we are both interested in learning about some of the classical artists. Barbara sat through a semester of Art History in college but came out with very little knowledge (that cute guy she sat next to could have had something to do with this) and so getting together with a small group of women who had the same interest was appealing to both of us. At this first meeting we discussed an Impressionist, Vincent Van Gogh. Each of us brought our favorite picture of his and we watched an extremely clever animated film about his life called Loving Vincent, which is the world’s first fully oil painted feature film. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas in the style of Van Gogh.

Just incredible. We’ve got high hopes for this group and are looking forward to the next artist.

2 points: New author: EOWYN IVEY

Barbara – I’ve come to realize that the enjoyment of a book sometimes has a lot to do with the mood you are in. If I were restless and just needed something to read that I didn’t have to think too much about, I would not have enjoyed my “I” book this month. But fortunately I was in just the right mood to appreciate “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey. This is a lovely novel based upon a very old Russian fairy tale about a snow child that comes to life. It’s a book that somehow had a calming and peaceful effect on me and I definitely recommend it.

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