Book Club Babes

After nearly a year and a half of monthly meetings, we finally got around to snapping a picture at our book club meeting yesterday. That’s me, kneeling on the left. We’ll have to take another shot when we’re all together (one of our group missed the meeting).

We had a cookout to kick off the summer. Our hostess, Maggie (3rd from right) grilled hot dogs and burgers, and several people brought interesting salads and wine. I enjoyed a terrific Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling with my dinner (from Costco), and then I had a little more after dinner!

We discussed Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks (reviewed HERE). We all felt it was excellent, very well researched and well written. We compared the plague to modern day epidemics and one member (Hello, Mom! – the good looking redhead 2nd from right) had information on the influenza pandemic of 1918 that killed more than 25 million people-far more than the plague in the 1600’s. My mom is always ready with statistics and background information… not only does she read the book each month, she takes notes (she’s a bit of an overachiever!). We went through all the discussion questions and had a great conversation about Year of Wonders. I would highly recommend it for book clubs.

After we wrapped up the discussion, it was time to nominate books for this fall. One member (Sara-seated- in the black shirt) thought it would be fun to have husbands/significant others attend our September meeting, which she will host in her backyard. Wow, did that get shot down in flames!! A couple people said, “Why?” and others said, “My husband doesn’t read!” Hmmm. Oh well, it was a nice thought. It sounded fun to me!

We had some fabulous suggestions for our fall book club picks, but after the voting it came down to this:

September: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (I LOVE the cover!!)

October: Peony in Love by Lisa See (our first repeat author!)

November: Kandide and the Secret of the Mists by Diana Zimmerman (this is a YA book, but one of our members- Karen-2nd from left- is a friend of the author and will ask her to attend our meeting in person- a first for us).

Our July choice is The Sweet Potato Queen’s 1st Big-Ass Novel by Jill Conner Browne, which a couple of our members have already read and they swear is funny. I’ve never read a book with the word ASS in the title before. Never thought I would, either! For August we will read Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, and the author will join us by speaker phone.

What are you reading this summer?

16 Responses

  1. I’m incredibly impressed that you guys choose your books so far ahead of time. It is a good idea, particularly if someone wants to get books from BookMooch or PaperBackSwap.

    Essentially nobody in my bookclub is able to meet in June, so we’re going to try something new for July. We will be reading both “The Double Bind,” and “The Great Gatsby” (which I guess “The Double Bind” is based on somehow?) and discussing BOTH books. We’ll see how this works, since a lot of time people don’t end up finishing their ONE book.

  2. I will be reading my book club pics but I also plan to do a bunch of reading on the side. I definitely want to read Wicked, and Mrs. Kimble. I also want to try to work a classic in there somewhere. I picked up a used copy of This Boy’s Life at the library sale the other day so I may add that to the pile as well.

  3. Great pic of your group! Sounds a good line-up. That’s funny how the husband idea got torpedoed so quickly, the same thing happened when someone brought it up as a possible dinner out night during one of our meetings 🙂

  4. What a lovely group of reader’s you have there! I am very interested in reading “The Art of Racing In The Rain” but I am afraid of crying my way through it. Reading “Marley & Me” did a number on my tear ducts.

  5. i have a few books on waitlist at the library. the new david sedaris, comfort food, the new janet evanovich, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

  6. I’m so impressed with your mom! I’m the one who does the research, etc. for each meeting … I’d love it if someone else would be motivated enough to bring more info to our meetings. Tell your mom she’s welcome to join my club any time. 🙂

  7. Sounds like you get your high-achiever characteristics honestly! Your mom sounds great. I was able to take my mom to a bookclub meeting and she was a big hit. So fun that you can share this.

    I think those husbands should crash that party anyway! on second thought, maybe not… how funny!

  8. I’ve heard so many good things about ‘Year of Wonders’ but I read Brooks’ ‘March’ and it was SO BAD that I’m kind of gun-shy. Maybe I’ll be stuck somewhere boring some day, and that’ll be all that’s available.

  9. Really, you didn’t like “March”? I’ve heard such good things about it. It surprises me that it could be so bad, because “Year of Wonders” really was very good.

  10. Garth Stein is going to be at my local library this month to talk about his book The Art of Racing in the Rain, looks like I’ll have to go check him, and the book, out.

  11. You’ve piqued my interest in “Year of Wonders”. I’ll definitely have to check it out. I just finished “Into the Wild” (the book the movie is based on). A friend had me borrow it. Talk about intense! My mom just lent me “Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons” which she loved. Have you read it? It’s about a book club. : ) I’m reading “The Knitting Circle” after that one.

  12. Hi guys, thanks for all the great comments!

    Heather, I’m the one who gathers everything and gets things ready but my mom takes it upon herself to do her own research and always comes up with something different!

    raych, I’m so surprised that March sucked for you!! I haven’t read it but I’ve heard nothing but glowing recommendations. After having read Year of Wonders I can’t imagine this author writing anything truly horrible.

    rantsandreads, how cool! I’d love to go to that signing!

    lyndsey- I read and reviewed Into the Wild (we read it with book club last fall) and The Knitting Circle. I enjoyed both of them. Click on reviews up at the top of my blog and you will find them there. I haven’t read Angry Housewives but heard it was good.

  13. I need to write a quick rave about “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” Garth Stein is currently on tour to support his novel and lucky for us here in south Florida, he’ll be in Miami Monday. It’s nothing like “Marley and Me.” Personally, I think it’s much smarter. I’m amazed that I found myself doing research on race car driving after I finished… that’s so something I would never have been interested in before. You ladies are so organized!
    Enjoy the summer!

  14. I recently formed a book group much for the same reasons you did. Most (but not all) of the members work with me at Barnes and Noble, so we’re quite serious about our reading. We chit-chat for a few minutes before the meeting (always with a glass of wine!), but it doesn’t take long for us to settle down and get to the discussion (which generally lasts well over an hour). We’ve read Inheritance, The Shadow of the Wind, and Eat, Pray, Love. Our current book is Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow (my second reading, so I’m looking forward to the discussion next week). We have Three Cups of Tea, The Kabul Beauty School, The Year of Wonders, and Birth House on our list for future meetings. We try to mix it up with a little bit of nonfiction every couple of months. So far, so good!

    BTW, you have a fabulous blog. I think I’ve been here before, but need to get it in my bookmarks! (I came via Lesa’s blog after reading a comment you posted about The Wednesday Sisters).

  15. I love tour Site and your Blog is Great

  16. So good to see you’re reading THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN. It’s hard to believe I blurbed the book a year ago. Here are a couple more to tell you about. Lisa Tucker’s new one THE PROMISED LAND…and a new voice, YA author Carolyn Wall delves into adult fiction with SWEEPING UP GLASS. Both books are work a read. They both deal with heavy family issues and have characters you won’t soon forget!
    FYI: THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN is being made into a movie with Patrick Dempsey! YEAH!!!

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