Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

I wanted to jump in here and wish you all a very Happy New Year!!! I received this link on my facebook page and it's a resolution list from the Book Girl's Book Club.....something we should all adopt....

Here's hoping 2009 brings us all satisfying literary experiences, health, and happiness!!!

I hope you have a very safe and happy holiday!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I just wanted to take a minute to wish our club members and fellow bloggers a wonderful holiday season. I am grateful to have this time to gather with family and friends, and to slow down for a day or two.

I wish you all health, safety and joy this season!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

What Jennifer is Reading....

Just wanted to send you some titles that I've been reading aside from our book club books.

I just finished the Inkheart Trilogy (Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath) by Cornelia Funke and also am working my way through "The Idiot Girl's Action-Adventure Club" by Laurie Notaro (who is from Phoenix, by the way), which is absolutely hilarious in a LOL kind of way. I think my husband dislikes when I read it because I literally cannot stop laughing (think tears rolling down my face).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Book Swap

Gather up the books you have read and enjoyed. Starting in January, bring one for a club member to read, and borrow one from another. We have decided this would be a wonderful way to share our favorites.

Here are the must only BORROW the books, and mark your own books with identification (name, and either address or phone number or both), and you may only keep the "borrowed" book for a one month period. Then you must return it to its rightful owner, so it can be shared again the following month. Also - you may not "borrow" unless you bring a book to share.

This will begin at our Monday evening meeting, on January 19th at Gina's home.

The Alienist (by Caleb Carr)

January's Gina's on January 19th. See you all there!!!!

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.

The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.

Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian's exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.

"An original that fits no established mystery niche, Carr's fictional debut could be the start of something big." Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

"A knockout period mystery, infused with intelligence, vitality, and humor. This novel is a highly unorthodox variant of the Holmes-Watson theme and the best since Julian Symons's delightful A Three-Pipe Solution. It should entice new fans to the genre." Library Journal

"A first-rate tale of crime and punishment that will keep readers guessing until the final pages." Entertainment Weekly

Heartburn (by Nora Ephron)

December's meeting, held December 15th, 2008 was a cozy group. Given the season and the rain, it's almost surprising how many people came out.

The discussion was almost what you would call heated, as so many of us thought the heroine was ridiculous to marry her 2nd husband (after he'd already cheated on her and then proposed to her umpteen times), and even more pathetic to have been in denial as long as she was. We thought it might be because of her desire to be 'attached' with one small child and another one on the way.

That spurred a whole lot of discussion surrounding relationships, weddings, break ups and divorces.

A special thanks to Christopher who was a wonderful host, and had enough food to feed three or four times the number of guests!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pride and Prejudice

If you are a FaceBook person, this list is hilarious!!! I highly recommend clicking this link and having a look.

Have fun!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

An Interview to Read

Check out this blog entry.....

It's an interview with Laurie Viera Rigler on writing, and her new sequel.....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

An Evening with Jodi Picoult

Pictured below: Sharon, Jodi Picoult, Joanna (at Phoenix Public Library Dec 2, 2008)

Joanna, being the watchful person she is, was cruising through the events calendar recently at the Phoenix Public Library and came upon a very special event. On December 2 and 3, Jodi Picoult (author of "Nineteen Minutes", "The Tenth Circle", "My Sister's Keeper") was going to be speaking at the library, then signing books afterwards. Well, once I heard about it I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to attend.

Changing Hands Bookstore sponsored the event and was there with Jodi Picoult books on sale. Joanna and I both made some purchases and then were lucky enough to have Jodi autograph each and every one.

The lecture portion was fabulous. Jodi is VERY articulate, and spoke to us about how her ideas come to her, her research processes, and why she goes into the depth that she does. She has a wonderful sense of dedication to accuracy, likes to make sure she honors the "real world" people who will be effected by her stories, and even talks about how much she loves some of her characters. There was a 20 minute Q&A session after, and she was very down to earth, displayed a great sense of humor, and even had patience for some "interesting" questions.

Joanna asked her if she does 'call ins' to book club meetings, but unfortunately her answer was "not anymore, I used to". We were bummed....but at least we asked!!

We determined that March's book will be Jodi's novel "My Sister's Keeper". Jodi talked about the upcoming movie next summer, based on the novel, however the ending has been changed for the movie (which she wasn't too happy about).

Next author coming to town will be Kate Jacobs, and that will be in January.

Thank you Jodi Picoult!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Heartburn (by Nora Ephron)

A lighter read for December, due to the hectic season ahead. A story of a couple who marries a little later in life, and the challenges they face. See you all at Christopher's on December 15th!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What do we read in our spare time??

The Twilight Series, by Stephanie Meyers (fabulous!)
Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch
The Sookie Stackhouse Vampire Series, by Charlaine Harris (also fabulous)
Chasing Harry Winston, by Lauren Weisberger
One Fifth Avenue, by Candace Bushnell (not well loved)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees (by Sue Monk Kidd)

This month's meeting was held at Karen's home in North Phoenix. The attendance was sufficient, the atmosphere cosy and warm, perfectly suited to this wonderful story told in Secret Life of Bees......This is the heartwarming story of a young girl named Lily. Strange circumstances lead to her running from her home along with Rosaline, her housekeeper/governess. They find themselves in the home of a family who keeps bees, and who had actually known Lily's mother many years earlier. Lily is drawn there by the label and the town she finds in her mother's keepsake box, and when the law and TRay chase Lily and Rosaline away, she heads for Tuberon, and the pink house in search of answers. There they find love, growth, and enlightenment. The discussion was all favorable and the book was loved by just about everybody. There was a great deal of talk about May, symbolism surrounding her condition and death, the era in which the book is set (early 1960's in the South). Great character development ensues, and it wraps up neatly in the end. Beautiful most of us need to get to the movies before it leaves the theater!!!
A special thank you to Christopher. He brought us autographed copies of "Interrupted Lives", a history written by four authors, about living in interment camps in the Phillippines during World War II (see below for more details).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Suite Francaise (by Irene Nemirovsky)

Well, there were mixed feelings about this book at the October 20th meeting. Some didn't love it to death...although we all had a certain amount of appreciation for the author, her "Russian" writing technique (multiple characters, etc.), and the circumstances under which she wrote.

Some were confused by the number of characters and had a difficult time keeping them straight. Some were baffled at the kind portrayal of the German officers....and the cruelty of some of the characters. There was a lot of discussion around the circumstances brought about by war, and the aftermath of battle, the issue of the Jews in concentration camps, and the prejudice associated with Nazi Germany during WWII.

All in all, it was a VERY interesting meeting.

We welcomed a few new members, and although we have a MeetUp following of over 60 readers, our turn out is less than a quarter of that. You ladies and gentlemen that don't come out, please make an effort. There's several connected meetings that are held in restaurants and generally on Saturdays, so there's plenty of chances to participate. Please come out!!!

From the Jacket:
By the early l940s, when Ukrainian-born Irène Némirovsky began working on what would become Suite Française—the first two parts of a planned five-part novel—she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz: a month later she was dead at the age of thirty-nine. Two years earlier, living in a small village in central France—where she, her husband, and their two small daughters had fled in a vain attempt to elude the Nazis—she'd begun her novel, a luminous portrayal of a human drama in which she herself would become a victim. When she was arrested, she had completed two parts of the epic, the handwritten manuscripts of which were hidden in a suitcase that her daughters would take with them into hiding and eventually into freedom. Sixty-four years later, at long last, we can read Némirovsky's literary masterpiece.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sundays at Tiffany's (by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet)

We had our very first "MeetUp" meeting on Monday, September 15th at Abbie's new home. We had the pleasure of meeting 7 new members, planned our calendar through February, and really had some great discussion about our book. As a whole, we were somewhat baffled at Michael's transition from imaginary friend to adult male - not sure if it was a concious decision on Michael's part or if he was just accepting his fate/purpose in life. Also , we questioned the maturity level of Jane - never having been able to let go of her imaginary friend from her youth. We discussed the idea of the book being written from two perspectives, and maybe losing some of the emotion because of it. The overbearing mother, the narcisstic boyfriend, and the twists at the end were also points of discussion.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Friday Night Knitting Club (by Kate Jacobs)

Another first novel, and another author call in. This meeting was originally planned for July, but due to summer commitments we postponed our meeting until August, only to have the same issue. We went ahead with the meeting anyhow, not wanting to be rude to our lovely author, Kate Jacobs. Her book is about a series of women that come together because of a knitting and yarn shop named "Walker and Daughter". The central character is a single mother, entrepeneur who brings together this group of women into her shop on Friday evenings to knit as a group. It's a story about relationships, their evolution, and the challenges we face in today's society as women. Kate was very gracious, calling us at exactly 7:00 p.m. and visiting with us (all 3 of us) for about 45 minutes. She spoke to us of her desire to write about relationships, and to develop her characters within those relationships. Kate has a 2nd book out called "Comfort Food" which we all agree we should read. This time we met at Joanna's home in Cave Creek. After all, she has a new coy pond and it needed to be looked at!!!!

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (by Laurie Viera Rigler)

A truly remarkable book. This again is a first novel for the author, Laurie Viera Rigler, who is a self professed Jane Austen addict.

Her book starts with the heroine, who is a 21st century woman living in Los Angeles, waking up in a strange home, surrounded by strangers, and in a different time - the time of Jane Austen's England. The story evolves, as does the character, to try to figure out why she is where (and when) she is, and how to get back to where she came from.

A wonderful book, well received by all, and most of us are now looking forward to the sequel, which is currently underway!!

Laurie Viera Rigler called into our meeting, and visited with us for about 90 minutes. It was so much fun to visit with her. She had some interesting responses to our takes on the book, and was so down to earth.

This meeting was held at Rebecca's home in Phoenix, where we hovered around the speaker phone so we could all participate.

Nineteen Minutes (by Jodi Picoult)

This book was read by all, but due to illness and other circumstances, we canceled this meeting. The book is wonderful though - it was a first Jodi Picoult book for many of us - but we all enjoyed it. Never made it to discussion though....

The Memory Keeper's Daughter (by Kim Edwards)

This was our second discussion, meeting held at Sharon's home in Scottsdale. It spurred on quite a lot of discussion due to the subject matter. A woman giving birth in a snowstorm to twins, a boy and a girl. The girl has downs syndrome, and so the father (who is also the doctor) tells his wife the girl died at birth. He gives the girl to the nurse who assisted in the delivery, asking her to take the child to an institution. Instead she keeps the child and raises it herself. To say more would be a spoiler.

The Lifetime movie of this book was not well reviewed by our group....too many 'holes' in the story.

Our First Book - The Other Boleyn Girl (by Phillipa Gregory)

This was our very first book to review as a group. It was a little heavy for some of our gals, but we all read it and enjoyed it. Then most of us went to the movie to see how it compared (most of us agreed the book was superior to the movie).

We met at Applebee's in North Scottsdale, munched on appetizers and discussed the book. It was there we agreed to meet in homes, so we could have more privacy and not inconvenience any wait staff.

Off to a great start!!