March is my month for hosting book club and I chose to have the group read The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom.
Have you read any of his books? I love them. Mitch Albom’s books are unique, make you think and each one draws you in to the story unlike so many others. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is one of the unique stories and I managed to slide right into the characters lives and live there until I sadly finished the last page.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is told through the voice of music, unique right? I never thought about the voice of music, or the voice of art, but it works and it works well. In the beginning Mitch Albom so creatively writes, “before newborns open their eyes, we circle them, appearing as brilliant colors, and when they clench their tiny hands for the first time, they are actually grabbing the colors they find most appealing. The lucky ones (well, in my opinion, the lucky ones) choose me. Music.”
Frankie Presto’s life is tragic, yet as he grows he struggles, only to become a brilliant and very famous musician and he finds his way through the mess. Seems to be the life of many artists and Frankie is no exception. The magic guitar strings given to Frankie at a young age, prove to play a very important part of his life and his story.
Music tells Frankie’s story, and woven in are stories told by other famous musicians about Frankie Presto, his life and the role he played in their lives. You will find twists and turns to this story, most you won’t see coming, yet they explain a lot and bring an understanding to Frankie’s life. Music says “everyone joins a band in this life.” When you think about that statement, it is so true, we join a band of friends, our book club is a band, our social circles are a band, and “one way or another the band breaks up. ” Frankie joins many a band in his life and while his life is sad, there is joy, there is love, there is realization that his life wouldn’t have been a symphony without being orchestrated and manipulated a bit, a little like the Truman Show movie.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto will live with me for a very long time. The highlights I made throughout the book on my kindle are there to stay and I seem to go back over them, they are important and they apply to everyday life. Later in the book, the music says “I have this power. I absorb your memories; when you hear me, you relive them. A first dance. A wedding. The song that played when you got the big news. No other talent gives your life a soundtrack. I am Music. I mark time.” Don’t you hear a song on the radio from your past and it brings memories flooding back? Music is the very fiber of this story and you will be touched.
I really encourage you to read The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, it is another fantastic novel by Mitch Albom and you won’t be able to put it down.
Book club loved the book and the discussion was deep, everyone offering different parts of the book that spoke to them. One said the book reminded her a little of Forest Gump, like I said he was manipulated a bit like The Truman Show, but we all agreed, life is like Frankie’s, we all a product of our upbringing and the events that happen in our lives to form who we are and Frankie did his best with what he was given and life was not always kind to Frankie Presto, but I don’t think he would have done it any different, had he been given the chance.
If you are looking for book club ideas to go along with the book, read on and I will share some ideas with you.
Looking for book club discussion questions: http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-fiction/10448-magic-strings-of-frankie-presto-albom?start=3
I opted to keep the food light for book club, doing a cheese plate with Spanish cheeses, crackers, dates and Marcona almonds.
In sticking with the Spanish theme, since this was Frankie’s home country, I did mini Churros in cute plastic cups filled with chocolate dipping sauce.
I found a candy mold shaped like guitars, bought peanut butter flavored chocolate wafers at Michael’s, along with light blue candy wafers to paint the guitar strings blue, and had candy cups for everyone.
In sticking with the guitar theme again, found this great little business through Etsy, don’t you love Etsy? The woman who owns Mini Bites made the adorable guitar cookies and she customized the cookies by doing 2 guitar strings blue, to represent the Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. They were shipped quickly, but do give her a two week lead time, not one cookie was broken and each was individually wrapped and tied with a blue bow, they were a huge hit. You can find her on Etsy and also at www.minibitescookies.com.
Sticking with the voice of music, all of the paper goods had music notes on them.
I love the stemless wine glasses and have had trouble finding disposable ones, but Amazon came through for me. The plastic glasses were perfect and are a nice quality, so much so, I washed them and will keep them for outdoor barbecues with friends.
We savored a few bottles of Red Guitar Wine and a bottle of Sangria and had fresh oranges, lemons and limes, sliced to fill the glass.
Enjoy the book and please come back and let me know what you thought once you have read it. If you read it for your own book club, let me know what you did to tie in the theme of the book.