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Explorations Book Club Debuts on Holland America Ships

An enriching new book club program will debut on Holland America Line’s sailings of 14 days or more starting in May 2009. As part of the cruise line’s ongoing Signature of Excellence initiative, the Explorations Book Club will launch with the popular novel “Like Water for Chocolate” on the Panama Canal ms Veendam sailing. Book club gatherings will be implemented on select sailings of 14 days or more starting in the fall, with a different novel selected for each itinerary.

Lively book discussions will be hosted by the on-board librarian in the Explorations Café powered by the New York Times. Guests interested in joining the discussion will have time to read the selected book as the chosen title will be posted online prior to each sailing.

The onboard librarian will plan and facilitate two to three discussions for each book. Books chosen will relate to the sailing destination whether by author or topic. For example, books under consideration are “In a Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson for Australia itineraries or “Saving Fish from Drowning: A Novel by Amy Tan” for Asia cruises.

On Veendam this May, guests traveling through the Panama Canal and along the Mexican coast can enrich their travels with the fiction novel “Like Water for Chocolate” by Mexican Novelist Laura Esquivel. Originally published in Spanish as “Como agua para chocolate,” the book has been translated into thirty languages with more than three million copies in print worldwide. The 1992 film based on this novel earned 11 Ariel awards of the Mexican Academy of Motion Pictures and became the highest grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the United States at the time. Rated four stars on Amazon.com, the novel was chosen for its relevance to the sailing destination and its reception as a story “that will charm the palate and the heart” according to USA Today.

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