Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Season to Be Merry!

The snow began falling in early afternoon, but it did not deter our little group from getting together to discuss A Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg. As Diane put it: "Cora was so detail oriented that she had mother nature coordinate the weather to enhance the story; it looked like a snow globe outside".

Through the cold and snow, some of us arrived by carpool, (thanks JoAnn!), and were greeted by Cora as she so graciously shoveled a path for us to her door. We shared books, treats, and stories, for an evening of holiday cheer.

Oh! And we did share our thoughts about the book of the month. All of us enjoyed the book. We delighted in the characters and we were pleased by the story. We found the book to be heartwarming, and a perfect lead-in to the holiday season.

Many of our members have read other books by Fannie Flagg, the most well-known of which is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. She has a pleasing writing style that mixes humor with sensitivity, and more than one member of our group commented on how real the people in the books seemed to be.

More information on Fannie Flagg is available on her web site.

p.s. Don't miss the link to Fannie's recipe page. It includes some wonderful southern hometown favorites.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday Meeting News

For the month of December, we have chosen to read A Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg. This book was chosen for its holiday theme, which we will honor this month by adapting our regular meeting schedule in the following ways:
  • Cora has graciously offered her home as a meeting place. She has suggested we could scoot up our starting time to 6:30 p.m. to allow time for sampling treats.

  • Our meeting will be held on December 16th, one week earlier than our regular schedule.

  • Members are asked to bring an appetizer or dessert. After all, it is the season for good things to eat.

  • And members are asked to bring in books for a book exchange. We will share our already read books among each other, and mail a selection of books to our troops. Kelly says they all love and need books, and she has addresses for our soldiers in Afghanistan and Walter Reed Hospital.

So, we are looking forward to this exciting time!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November Meeting

Two days prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, we had a lively discussion of this month's book choice: The Feast of Love, by Charles Baxter.

Most of us found the book to be enjoyable, with likeable characters and a well written, interesting presentation. While the book did have content that was generally spicier than what we normally choose, a few members found it to be a little too 'hot'. (Warning to potential readers: this book is not for children.)

JoAnn came well prepared with thought-provoking questions, and shared information about the movie version of the novel starring Morgan Freeman. She told us about a number of changes that were made to the story in the on-screen version, but left undisclosed the movie's solution to a lingering question in the book, what happened to Harry's son, Aaron?

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Our meeting was held one week prior to election day, and with almost all of our reading group gathered, we met to discuss the central themes of this month's book: politics and religion.

Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable evening, sharing our reactions to the book's content, and look forward to the next few months of more cheerful topics.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

September Meeting

It was a dark and stormy night . . . but six of us braved the lightning and thunder to come together and discuss The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie.

Overall we had a pretty unanimous opinion about the book, noting the author's wit but having a great deal of uncertainty about what the story was about. One of our members found the reading so laborious she put it down after the second chapter. The rest of us finished the book, but were confused about who the characters were and what the plot had been. We wondered if the story would be better understood by a reader familiar with spy novels.

More than one person in our group noted their recognition of the author by his photo on the book cover, none other than the character of "House" on a popular television show.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Reading Update

Diane says: We are flexible!

The book kit for The Infidel, our original choice for discussion on our next meeting September 23rd, is not available at this time.

So, the books selected for September and October will be reversed, and when we meet this month, it will be to discuss The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie.

Many thanks to Deb and the library for assisting in obtaining as many copies of this book as possible.

Monday, August 18, 2008

July Meeting

We met on July 22nd not to discuss a book, but instead to make up our book reading list for the upcoming year. Two recommendations were taken from each member, the titles were written on slips of paper and a drawing was held for the final selections. Some of the twelve titles were arranged to coordinate the subject themes with the months of the year. So, at this time our new reading list will be:
September: The Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
October: The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie
November: The Feast of Love, by Charles Baxter
December: Red Bird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg

January: The Broken Cord, by Michael Dorris
February: The Friday Night Knitting Club, by Kate Jacobs
March: March, by Geraldine Brooks

April: The Florist's Daughter, by Patricia Hampl
May: The Other Bolyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory
June: Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

July: Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
August: Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Woblewski
September: Stalking Susan, by Julie Kramer

Books chosen for the first September and for May reading will be available in library book club kits. And some alternates are possible for times when our chosen books may not be available.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Summer Schedule

Anytime is a great time to read! Here is our list of books for the summer:

For May 27th - Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. Joanne will lead the discussion.
For June 24th - A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. The discussion leader will by Char.
For July 22nd - No book. Our selection for August is so large, we are allowing two months to read it. We ARE still planning to meet, but it will be to plan our book list for the next several months. (Okay, and gab a little bit too). Bring a list of suggestions for books you would like to read.
For August 26th - Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. No discussion leader has been chosen.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April Meeting Update

Hi Book Club Friends,

Seven of us met this month to discuss The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold. We all agreed that the characters were likable and the prose so well-written that the book was one of the few we all enjoyed. Cora led us in a discussion that included the sensitive topics within the book as well as some biographical information on the book's author. Information on the author's newest novel is available on her web site:

Two reading kits were available at the library and we decided to take advantage of their availability. Our reading schedule has changed to the following:
May: Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe,
June: A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini,
August: Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
Because our August selection is an especially long read, we decided to allow two months to read it. We will plan to meet in July and can spend the time building a book list for the months ahead.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Titles Wanted!

Use this post to add your ideas. Please suggest any titles you would like to have our book club read and talk about.

February meeting update

Hi book club friends,

What a cozy meeting we had at Kelly's home! What a good time to sit around in soft chairs and sip tea, eat goodies and talk about a good book, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS. Freda led the discussion. If you didn't make it, you missed a great time. Thanks for your hospitality Kelly. We also were introduced to Freda's new beautiful baby boy who was born the morning after our last book club. Freda didn't miss a meeting!

We will meet again at the Park Grove Library
March 25 - THE RED TENT, Anita Diamont. Char will lead the discussion.
April 22 - LOVELY BONES, Alice Seebold. We still need a discussion leader.
May 27 - A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, Khaled Hosseini. Did Kelly volunteer to lead???

See you in a few weeks,

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Elephants in the News

Once more we have a selected a book of the month that has newsworthy interest. Currently there are two stories in our local newspapers that relate to this month's book:

First is an article about a possible ban on allowing circus performances in the City of Minneapolis. At issue was a controversy over the treatment of animals, particularly - - - the elephants! Follow this link to read the results of the City Council's vote.

Second is a report suggesting that baby boomers are the first generation to refuse to accept aging. Read more on that here. Is it true?

Friday, January 25, 2008

January Meeting Update

Despite the frigid cold of the evening, several members of our group (including one new reader) met on Tuesday night to discuss our opinions of the book, The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck. Our overall impression of this classic was favorable; many of the questions provided food for thought about cultural differences.

Next on our list is the New York Times Bestseller, Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen, which we will read to discuss at our February meeting.