Monday, July 29, 2013

Temporary hiatus

We're moving the current two items on the agenda to later in the year, and hopefully adding a few more books.  Hope to get a schedule going by Fall.  This summer turned out to be busy!

Please make any new book suggestions in comments!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Les Miserables [2012 movie version]

Les Miserables was suggested by PK after she saw the movie a few months ago.  Being a very very long book, a decision was made to discuss the 2012 movie version. 

It does not appear to be available on Netflix. Amazon offers a 2-day streaming "rental" for $4.99, or you can purchase rights to view anytime, however many times, for $12.99. Should be available at video stores, or even for free at your local library. Feel free to join in if you saw this, or read the book!

I am still working my way through the movie, but please feel free to begin discussion.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier

My church book group selected this book (And it featured Congregationalists - yay!) a few years ago.  Although, I never seem to make book group, I often read what they select and this story has stayed with me over the years. When I first read this, I consulted the internet to see the cliffs of Dorset, see actual "ichies" and "plessies" and tried to learn more about the real life women who inspired the novel - Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot.  I enjoyed it only slightly less this time around.

What did you think?  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian

Not such a happy, feel-good book, huh? But there are pieces that were redemptive, I think.

I'm fascinated in particular by the encounters (not just the romantic ones) between people of different cultures, both abroad and in the U.S. itself.

I will admit it was The Slaughter You Know Next to Nothing About, though I had heard of it and knew the general time frame and situation.

And I'm interested that this author, though male, writes complex and plausible female characters. I've read others of his books and found the same thing.

What were your thoughts?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Coming Up Next: Sandcastle Girls

I'm checking Sandcastle Girls back out from my local library, or I think it should be available in paperback now.

We'll start discussing on May 22.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin POSTPONED TO JULY 31!!


Due to life getting in the way for many participants, we'll revisit Native Tongue later.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Next up!

5/1/13 - Native Tongue, by Suzette Haden Elgin (Liz)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is our next Wednesday Book Club choice. I hope that plenty of you have had a chance to read it. The author tells the story of her hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. I enjoyed this book a lot!

I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs lately. I didn’t set out to do so, but it seems that after reading this book I wanted to maintain that feeling of having a glimpse into a writer’s life.

Memoir is such a challenging genre. A little too much information can leave me feeling a bit uncomfortable with the writer’s “over-shares.” Too little detail and I wonder why they bothered. Still, a memoir is always a good reminder that we humans are complicated and wondrous critters.

How about “Wild”? What did you think?

I look forward to our discussion!  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Beekeeper's Apprentice

Bias alert:  I love this author, and love the Mary Russell series!   

Beekeeper's Apprentice is the first of the series, and so we meet the very young Mary -- orphaned in tragic circumstances, an brilliant and curious mind, a lonely soul longing to soar, stuck under the guardianship of a horrid aunt -- and the retired Sherlock Holmes, ostensibly keeping his bees in the countryside.  And off we go, on the wild adventures of a very unlikely duo.

There are just so many aspects of the story to savor.  The most obvious, of course, is getting a fresh look at the legendary Holmes, and hearing more of his pursuits.  This book is set in wartime, beginning nearly a century ago -- WWI (as is a future selection this club will discuss, Sandcastle Girls) -- but here, the Great War is occurring offstage. 

Mary is a fascinating character.  She is damaged by the horror that befell her family; she is young and gawky.  Yet, she is set on advancing academically; her goals do not include the expectation of marriage; she has little interest in the social conventions of the wealthy (cf. "Downton Abbey").   Whatever else troubles Mary, at her core she has no doubt that she is as worthy as any man.  And, by accident, she stumbles across the person who will change her life, and make her a partner in a world she never dreamed was a possibility.

Let our book club adventure begin!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Read up!

The next book is The Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian, and it will be hosted by the fabulous Esperanza, beginning the week of March 13, 2013!

What Alice Forgot is still an open thread for the time being.  If you have thoughts, jump on in!  The beauty of an online book club is that it isn't too late, until the next book is up.

The Sandcastle Girls looks at a much harder set of circumstances, and it is based on historic events.  But I really think it is presented well, and that there is unexpected hopefulness in it.

CORRECTION:  CHANGE OF SCHEDULE!!  Because The Sandcastle Girls will not be available in paperback until April, it has been switched to May.  Apologies for the changes.  Thanks to Liz for noticing when the paperback edition will come out.

THE NEXT BOOK is Beekeeper's Apprentice, by Laurie R. King, on March 20, 2013.  The rest of the schedule has been switched around as well.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What Alice Forgot

Greetings book club! Today we begin our discussion of Liane Moriarty's What Alice Forgot. This book provides plenty of good material for discussion as well as bonus Ugly Crying potential. I speak only for myself of course as I experienced said ugly cry last week when re-reading the book. I already knew the ending, knew the story, knew the characters - and still - the sobbing! In my view - that's a good book. Let's get started!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Read up!

What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty, is up for next week!

No spoilers -- but this is a good read.

Also -- do you have suggestions for future books to add to the schedule?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Venetia by Georgette Heyer

"A fox got in amongst the hens last night, and ravished our best layer," remarked Miss Lanyon.
Miss Venetia Lanyon, 25 years old, no one she knows gets her sense of humor and her only eligible suitor is "worthy" and a dead bore. Along comes "The Wicked Baron", Damarel. He's got a scandalous past, but he always laughs at her jokes, and never asks what she means by them. He doesn't expect her to have friendly feelings towards her late unlamented father. He respects her horse-mad, book-worm younger brother and doesn't treat him like he's made of glass just because he's got a short leg. So what's the problem? That's what Venetia would like to know... What did you think?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Schedule Adjustment

We're pushing the schedule back a week, so Venetia will be featured on Jan. 30, and hosted by the fabulous Liz.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Preliminary Schedule!

There is a preliminary schedule for the first 4 books, arranged for discussion every 2 three weeks.  Host names are in parentheses. 

Hosts!  If these dates do not work, feel free to switch around -- but let's leave time for people to read.  Please feel free to add books that you would like to host, and please sign up for convenient future hosting times.

This kind of scheduling may need tweaking!  My thought was that we might not all be able to read them all, but something more than once a month might make for better discussions.  Please make comments and suggestions here.

Not all the suggested books have been scheduled yet!  I tried to set up the first couple of months, just to get going.  Sue chose one of her suggestions to go first; I am deferring to Neighbor Lady's good suggestion about starting with the beginning of the Mary Russell series by Laurie King.

We aim to include suggestions from everyone!  So, keep making suggestions of fiction you have read and love.  Books should be available in paperback, so readers can easily obtain them.  (Most will also, therefore, be available in e-format and/or at the library.)

Rules of the Club:
Jammies are the preferred attire.
*  Delicious virtual refreshments are welcome.
*  This is not a scholarly discussion, but references to related things are fine.
*  Everybody be polite.
*  Send friends on over, if you think they might enjoy the book.
*  We'll close comments on the previous book when the next book post goes up.  

Happy reading!
ETA:  based on Neighbor Lady's suggestion and a number of (off-site) concurrences, we are re-setting the schedule for one book every three weeks.  Thanks for the feedback!