And, well, I missed the discussion part. I had a pre-school meeting the same night that I couldn't miss (having missed the last one due to extreme pregnancy). Thanks to Ellen for filling me in on the reaction to the book.
All of us liked Infidel and were quite impressed with Ayaan Hirsi Ali's journey -- spiritually, culturally, economically, linguistically -- from Somalia to Holland as a refugee (most notably the Paliament!) to America. We had a lot of discussion about the hopelessness and brutality of her family life. She takes a hard line on Islam and made us wonder whether a peaceful interpretation of the religion is possible. She doesn't believe so and thinks Islam is responsible for the enslavement of women, which makes it impossible for Muslim nations to flourish. I think this book enlightened a lot of us and was a nice departure from our usual choice of fiction!
Later on, once I'd gotten there, we got into a discussion of young adult books that our kids were enjoying and specifically, the Betsy-Tacy series. I had recommended the series to our host for her daughter and she told me how much they were enjoying them. Another member chimed in that her daughter also loved the books. They were thrilled to hear that the older books in the series, chronicling Betsy's high school years and beyond, will be reissued in Fall 2009. The books are currently out of print. Another member shared her love for the Noel Streatfeild books Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes, etc.
After that stroll down memory lane, we voted for our next book of course. The options were: