Monday, September 7, 2009

Christopher in Print

Our esteemed Christopher DiVirgilio is writing for a new publication - The West Valley Health and Living Magazine. To view the September issue and read two of his articles, go to:

Way to go Christopher!!

The Middle Place (By Kelly Corrigan)

The Middle Place is our next book.....meeting to be held later in September. See the MeetUp Link on the right for a synopsis.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict (by Laurie Viera Rigler)

Our last meeting was a call in from Laurie Viera Rigler to discuss her book "Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict". A wonderful sequel to her original "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict". Laurie is always very gracious and fun to visit with. She offered some good insight and understanding to our comments and questions. We discussed at length the differences in custom and decorum, in particular dating and marriage rituals. We weighed the pros and cons of being a woman in Jane Austen's time vs. today's world. Very interesting discussion! Her book is delightful, and our group recommends it highly.

Thank you Laurie!! We look forward to your next book!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict (By Laurie Viera Rigler)

The long awaited sequel to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict is finally here. Laurie has been busy in California doing readings and book signings, and she's still found the time to sign book plates for our group and even call in on our upcoming meeting August 17th. We cannot wait to visit with her again!!

So as not to spoil the book for those who haven't finished it yet, it is at least as good as the first book and maybe even better. She did a beautiful job of tying the two together and I enjoyed it immensely. I read it in two sittings!!!

Laurie - until August 17th......

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer of Firefly Memories (by Joan Gable)

July 20th is our next meeting - location available on our MeetUp link to the right. Our choice is by a local author, Joan Gable. Joan is going to actually be at our meeting with us to aid in the discussion of her first novel. We are excited to have her. Many of our group members have already read the book and loved it. Looking forward to meeting with you Joan!!!!
Entered August 4 - We had a great visit with Joan. She came to our meeting and helped us to understand what motivated her to write and clued us in on the elements that were actually from her own life. She's planning a sequel which we will look forward to. I hope a publisher picks you up Joan! What you wrote sure beats some of what's out there on the store shelves.
Thank you for coming to our meeting!!

My Sister's Keeper (by Jodi Picoult)

Our June meeting was filled with discussion about this book. It's such controversial material that not to discuss in detail and share our feelings and opinions would have been wrong. Not wanting to spoil it for the reader who has not yet had the chance to read this, I won't say anymore. I do understand the movie is NOT a good adaptation of the book. For more information, feel free to visit where you can read and comment on the movie.

Firefly Lane (by Kristen Hannah)

This was our selection for the month of May, 2009.This was a fabulous book about friendship that begins in youth and never dies. The story of two women who shared hopes and dreams as teenagers, only to choose very different paths as adults. Yet the bond remained. This generated a ton of discussion with the unusual dynamic these two women had between them. A fascinating story....thank you Joanna for hosting on your birthday!!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Matrimony (By Joshua Henkin)

This was our topic of discussion Monday April 20th....and we were blessed with another author call in. Good conversation with the author as well. Joshua talked about how he spent ten years and wrote thousands of pages before it became a book. Wow - what a process!!!

The Elegant Gathering of White Snows (By Kris Radish)

This was an excellent book. Enjoyed by all. There's a lot of 'girl power' in these pages, and it's loaded with inspiration. It offered a great deal of discussion about life in general, personal growth, awakenings, and pure love. An excellent book choice, and we recommend it to everybody, especially women.

Monday, March 2, 2009

We're a Year Old!!

It was the third Monday of March, 2008 when a small group of readers met at Applebee's at Shea Blvd. and 90th Street in Scottsdale, AZ. "The Other Boleyn Girl" (By Phillippa Gregory) was our first book, and it was so much fun we decided to keep the ball rolling.

We've had our ups and downs, starting as a group of 16 and quickly dwindling to only 5 who attended regularly. Thanks to MeetUp and our administrators Abbie and Joanna, we have upped our numbers to 96. We usually only have 10 - 15 people that attend, but its often a different mix of new book friends.

It has been a wonderful year, we've all made new friends, and exposed ourselves to a wide variety of modern day and classic literature.

Here's to many more years of reading, socializing, and expanding our minds!!!!!

Pride and Prejudice (By Jane Austen)

We were VERY fortunate to have had our second call in from Laurie Viera Rigler, author of "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" and the soon to be released sequel "Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict". Being a Jane Austen officianado, I emailed her and asked if she would be willing to discuss Pride and Prejudice with our group on February 16th. She was willing. We had approximately 90 minutes worth of discussion and all learned a little more about this beloved story. We talked about the author, her life and times, and some of the reasoning behind her subject matter.
We laughed a lot, and had a fabulous time. We also arranged to have her call in and discuss her sequel "Rude Awakenings" with us in August. We're so excited to read the sequel - our third book was her "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict".
We even went so far as to take a group photo with us holding her book and Jane's book.....but the camera disk had an error and we lost the picture......sorry gals (and Chris).....we'll try again next meeting.
Laurie - we thank you for your time and can't wait for your sequel!!!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kate Jacobs at Changing Hands Bookstore

We were priviledged to go to Changing Hands Bookstore on January 20th to hear and meet Kate Jacobs, the author of "Comfort Food", "The Friday Night Knitting Club", and "Knit Two". Kate did a reading from "Knit Two" and held a short Q&A session. The event was attended by only 5 of us, and unfortunately the group photo was disasterously blurry (thats what I get for handing a complex camera to a complete stranger). Too fuzzy to post anywhere....but it was awesome to meet her and learn more about her and her writing process. And....she's a fellow Canadian from Hope British Columbia!!!

Unfortunately I was not able to be at her call in a few weeks ago, however I hear it was eye opening and helped the reader gain a deeper appreciation for her work.

Pride and Prejudice (By Jane Austen)

I realize this is the BBC movie photo to the left, however isn't he the ultimate Mr. Darcy?? We're reading this as our classic for this February's book club selection. I won't synopsize this epic piece of literature, as most of us are familiar. I will say this much....if you're going to cheat and watch the movie version rather than read the actual book (naughty cheaters!!!), be sure to watch the BBC miniseries version that was released in 1995 by A&E (starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle). It is still an abridged version, but has much more substance to it than any other screen version, and is very true to the book. I personally am reading through the entire book from my gigantic leather bound collection of Jane Austen Books (ooh - my aching back from lugging it around!!).

The plan is to visit with Laurie Viera Rigler (author of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict - which we studied last year - and she has a sequel coming out this summer as well!!) via phone. I will confirm this detail, and will post on the MeetUp site if she can't make the schedule. If nothing changes then we can look forward to visiting with her!!! She loves nothing better than to talk about all things Jane Austen, so I for one am looking forward to it!!

Don't miss it!!!

The Alienist (by Caleb Carr)

We had our meeting on this book on January 19th at Gina's home in Central Phoenix. It was an interesting discussion about a book that we initially didn't love to pieces. It was one of those situations that as you delved deeper into why the author did things a certain way, you grew to love it. We all had a greater appreciation for the book after it was all said and done.

There was a great deal of 'comparison' in the story. The crazy cat lady vs. the insanity of the children and animals in the Roosevelt household (why is one thought of as crazy and the other one as eccentric?). Does our station in life and place in society dictate whether we take a person as insane or otherwise? We were able to draw so many paralells in the story that helped us to appreciate the author and his message.

It was fun to read a mystery for sure......

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kate Jacobs Call In Book Meeting

Don't miss this week's extra Saturday meeting when we will be discussing the newly released "Knit Two" by Kate Jacobs. She is calling in to our meeting, and this will be her second call in to our group. Thanks to Abbie for arranging the call and hosting the meeting!! Don't miss out!!