Long Branch Book Club

Ancient Egypt lives again


On Oct. 4, the Long Branch Book Club met to discuss Nefertiti by Michelle Moran. Scholars agree Nefertiti was a revolutionary queen of Ancient Egypt. They also concur that she was a one of the great beauties of all time. Almost everything else about her is still up for debate. Michelle Moran takes the reader into Nefertiti’s world through the eyes of Nefertiti’s younger sister Mutni and into a reality filled with palace intrigue, family duty, murder and beauty.

The Long Branch readers all enjoyed the book to various degrees and agreed no one would trade places with Nefertiti even for a day. The members drew correlations between the Royal Ancient Egyptians, the Royal Family of Queen Elizabeth of our time and the Kardashians. Especially poignant were the similarities between the young princes, William and Henry dutifully walking behind their mother’s casket and Nefertiti and her little sister Mutni stepping center stage as young teenagers when the heir to the throne dies under questionable circumstances and Nefertiti weds the second in line, Prince Amunhotep. Both young siblings had to step into adult roles at too young an age, but both rose to the occasions. Nefertiti charms everyone with her beauty, like Kim Kardashian, while Mutni is the quiet, overshadowed dutiful younger sister that is always there for her brighter shining sister. One reader pointed out, “History repeats itself.”

The club members all agreed that studying Ancient Egyptian textbooks is a difficult task, but reading this fictional, historically accurate as possible, novel made learning about that world enjoyable and absorbing. Moran interwove the story with fascinating details of every day ancient life, from their makeup, to the herbs they used as medicine, even to their art. Art was a central theme, as scholars know that Nefertiti and Amunhotep revolutionized Egyptian art by depicting themselves as they were. Michelle Moran followed in their footsteps and brought these figures from their ancient as yet undiscovered tombs, making them live, breath, love and die in a realistic way.

Nov. 1, at 5:30 p.m. the Long Branch Book Club will meet at 315 Saint Lawrence Street in Gonzales to discuss John Scalzi’s, Old Man’s War.

“John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

“The good news is that humanity finally made it to the stars. The bad news is that, out there, planets fit to live on are scarce―and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

“Responsible for protecting humanity, the Colonial Defense Force doesn’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth, never to return. You’ll serve two years in combat. And if you survive, you’ll be given a homestead of your own on a hard-won planet light-years from home.

“John Perry is taking that deal. He thinks he knows what to expect. But the actual fight is far, far harder than he can imagine―and what he will become is far stranger.” Amazon.com

After the November book club meeting, at 7 p.m., local authors are invited to bring their books to sell and sign. So far, Peggy Perry is bringing two Christmas Collections and Kacy Jey will sign her science fiction novel and her horror novella. All local authors and readers are welcome to join in. The Long Branch Saloon will provide snacks and finger sandwiches for both events.