Thursday, July 10, 2014

"The Goldfinch" Part II Book Club Ideas {by Donna Tartt}

Do you remember how I teased you at the end of the Goldfinch post  Part I with this huge empty drivers license?
well, because you waiting so patiently, I will now reward you with the HILARIOUS photo collage you are about to witness.
Wait for it...
And just for the record, NO ONE looks good in a tacky blonde wig, a gangster beaded necklace and cheap red lipstick, except for maybe Xandra.

"I found myself confronted by a strange woman, tan and very fit looking: flat gray eyes, like dcoppery skin, and teeth that went in, with a split between them. Her hair, the color of caramel straw, was very straight and tattered at the ends; she was chewing gum and a strong smell of Juicy Fruit was coming off her. It's Xandra with an X, she said in a gravelly undertone. Not Sandra. 
And, God knows, not Sandy." (pg. 184)

Behold, our ode to Xandra with an X!Xandra

We used decorations that combined items inspired by Hobie's and his workshop, the Barbour's, Audrey (Theo's mother) and a few others. 
(Not all decorations are shown, a couple of my photos didn't turn out, boo.)
“Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only—if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it?”

The living room was decorated with several objects mentioned in the book to go along with the quote mentioned above. Right before we got down and dirty into our discussion, we took the following quiz to win the Goldfinch Prize of the night. You can play along and feel free to use this quiz in your own book club discussion.
 (Answers at the bottom of the post)

Delicious Reads GOLDFINCH OBJECTS Quiz

Describe the significance of the items mentioned:
1)    A white coat
2)    Silver Balloons
3)    Lollipops
4)    Emerald Earrings
5)    Tiffany's Boxes
6)    Sailboat
7)    Juicy Fruit
8)    Coffee Mug
9)    White Plate
10)  Heart Charm
11)  Hunter Boots
12)  Drivers License
13)  Passport

Bonus/Tie Breaker: What is Hobie's first name? 

Congrats to KELLIE HALL for winning in the Tie Breaker to get the fabulous prize, complete with a Goldfinch Mug, Heart Keychain, Goldfinch Wine Charm and Xandra's favorite Juicy Fruit gum!
Can I just take a minute to gush about how crazy TALENTED this book's Moderator Brooke is?!? 

Check out this Goldfinch painting that she just whipped up in a couple days before book club- I mean, come on, that's almost IDENTICAL to the original! (see below) 

Here you can see the original 350 year old Goldfinch painting done by Carel Fabritius, painted in 1654  measuring only 9 X 13 inches. The bird in the painting is actual size. If you saw the painting hung high on the wall, as the painter intended, the size of the bird and the angle of its two perches might easily persuade your eye that it was seeing a real goldfinch.
"The Goldfinch was painted the year Fabritius died. The most promising painter of his time, student of Rembrandt, an influence on Vermeer, he was killed at the age of 32 when a gunpowder magazine exploded in Delft in 1654. Nearly all his paintings were destroyed. The Goldfinch, for whatever reason, survived. The man explaining the painting in the museum claimed that if you look at its surface closely, you could still see minute traces of the explosion."
Photo Source
 One more time, just like in the Old Spice commercials-
look at the original,
now look at the painting Brooke did.
Look at the original,
now look at the painting Brooke did...
I didn't take any photos during Brooke's fabulous presentation BUT luckily you can download the wonderful Power Point she created full of facts, about the author, quotes, discussion questions and photos!


After our engaging book discussion ended, Brooke handed each member their own little brown paper bag with a "morphine lollipop" inside just like Pippa's.
 (Beginning of Chapter 4 and pg. 159)

At the very end of The Goldfinch, Theo, now an adult, looks back on all that happened to him since the explosion, since his fate and that of Fabritius’s painting were joined. As much as he would like to believe otherwise, he says, “I've come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic.”

After reading The Goldfinch, I feel that Fabritius AND Tartt have made art and together, they created magic.

ANSWERS to The Goldfinch QUIZ

1)  White Coat- Audrey's coat she wore on her last day with Theo.
2)  Silver Balloons- Pippa had silver balloons hanging in her bedroom at Hobie's.
3)  Lollipops- Pippa had a morphine lollipop when Theo came to visit her.
4)  Emerald Earrings- Audrey's earrings that Theo's father took and gave to Xandra (then Theo takes them back later)
5)  Tiffany's Box- Theo and Kitsey shopped at Tiffany's.
6)  Sailboat- Andy and Mr. Barbour- sailing.
7)  Juicy Fruit- The gum that Xandra likes to chew.
8)  Coffee Mug-  They drank coffee a TON throughout the novel- many times to sober up.
9)  White Plate-  Represented the China plates Theo and Kitsey shopped for.
10) Heart Charm- Goes along with Theo's musings at the end of the book that the heart wants what it wants… and what if it wants things that won't be good for it?
11) Hunter Boots- Theo places some items in Pippa's green Hunter boots right before he leaves for Amsterdam.
12) Driver's License- Theo and Boris find Xandra's license. It reveals that her real name is Sandra Terrell.
13) Passport- Theo gets stuck in Amsterdam because Boris has his passport. He tries to obtain a new one and gets stonewalled by unhelpful personnel.
Bonus/Tie Breaker: Hobie's real first name is James.

Hope you enjoyed our quiz! Thanks for participating!!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to catch a glimpse into our discussion of the full BOOK REVIEW!

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