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Morning Meanderings…. Annual Book Exchange

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Morning.  Coffee.  Overcast day.  Overcast mood. Day 68.

On Tuesday of this week we had our Bookies Book Club meeting and discussed the book The Pearl That Broke It’s Shell by Nadia Hashimi.   I did not finish the book, I started it and then knew it would be too detailed for me at this time.  Those who read it said it was a good read and they learned about the Afghanistan culture.  It made for a good book discussion and I enjoyed listening to the discussion.

For the fourth year in a row, we have made June our book exchange month.  The rules:  You are supposed to bring a book that you really enjoyed (preferably in the last year) that you would like someone else to enjoy too.  Put a post it note in the book saying why you enjoyed this book so much and if you want the book back or if the person who chose it can keep it.  You wrap the book in brown paper wrap.  We then each choose a book out of the pile and that is what we read for our July gathering.  Here are the books that were picked:

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Amy M – Wind Through The Keyhole (Sharon)
Angie – Blessings by Anna Quindlen (Lori P)
Sheila – Abercrombie Trail by Candace Simar (Laura)
Kaydi – Waiting For Summers Return (Kathy)
Lori – Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (Amy P)
Jean – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Sheila)
Sharon – Those Who Save Us (Mary)
Amy – Distant Shores (Jean)
Kathy – Naked in Death (Lori N)
Susan – Walking on Water (Kaydi)
Mary – Union Street Bakery (Amy M)
Lori – The Nightingale (Angie)
Laura – Gift From The Sea (Susan)

Today my son’s roommate is coming to visit me.  It will be nice to see her, but I know it will be an afternoon filled with memories and tears.

Vintage by Susan Gloss

1   Violet Turner is the owner of Hourglass Vintage in Madison Wisconsin.  Her shop is filled with delightful items from an array of decades.  Violet loves her shop, her location, and the stories that the items she sells hold. When she discovers that her landlord is looking to sell the building Hourglass Vintage is in, Violet panics.  She has the option in her lease to buy, but nowhere near the money being asked.  Violet realizes she can not do this alone.

April Morgan is 18 years old, 5 months pregnant, and hurting from the loss of her mother as well as the broken engagement to be married that came as a shock.  When April brings the vintage 1950’s wedding dress to Violet’s shop in hopes to return it, a surprising connection starts to develop…

Amithi Singh brings items of her heritage to Hourglass Vintage, items she had believed she would pass on to her daughter but her now grown daughter has shunned such traditional items.  Reeling from shocking news about her husbands fidelity – or lack there of – Amithi is looking to find her way, and she may have made a right step by coming to Violet’s store…. What can these women of very different backgrounds find in common that may be able to help Hourglass Vintage?

 

 

 

Vintage by Susan Gloss was a fun read about a strong woman trying to make it with her dream vintage clothing shop.  Each chapter starts with a unique item found in the shop, the description, approximate date of the item, and where it came from.  It made for a fun look into a vintage clothing shop and the characters that shop there or the ones that drop off their items. Vintage is a light and fun book and fit in with what I needed at the time I was reading it.  There were a couple “hmmmm” moments in the book for me but for the most past this is a book to not take too seriously and just enjoy the read.

Susan Gloss, Vintage, Bookies Book Club Brainerd Minnesota, Book Journey

To surprise the author many of us dressed in “vintage” clothing for the Skype session.

Bookies Review

Our book club the Bookies read this book and we Skyped with the author Susan Gloss.  We enjoyed pizza (mentioned in the book), spaghetti, wine, cheese, and desserts.  One of the girls in our group had vintage items from her own history which was incredible cool (see pictures below).  The Bookies over all rated the book higher than I did.  For the most part they found the book to be enjoyable and over all the 16 of us came up with an average rating of 4 out of a high rating of 5 which is pretty good. 6

Book Journey Vintage by Susan Gloss

Items brought by Laura for the review

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How to host a book club event around this book

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 2, 2014)

Morning Meanderings… It’s ALIVE!!!! Creating Flat Bookie

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You know how sometimes it is just DANGEROUS to put a group of witty readers int he same room?  They can really feed off each other and you never know what is going to happen.

I think it went down like this…

On Tuesday we had book club here at my house.  We were discussing those of our group who are out exploring the world on this spring break week.  Someone mentioned they should have taken a “Flat Stanley” with them which somehow led to…

Flat Bookie.

A bookish relative to Flat Stanley who would travel when the Bookies travel so the Bookies can take pics with him when they are in bookish situations… such as…

book stores

author events

and of course, just reading a good book wherever they are

I love ideas like this.

Yesterday afternoon I went about creating the Flat Bookie. Something simple we can cut out and laminate and send off on adventures…. bookish of course.

For the record, I did not wear a bra on my head while doing this (for you 80’s people, that is a Weird Science movie reference)

It was fun and I presented to the group the result:

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Behold!!!!  The Flat Bookie!!!!

Ok.  LOL.  I am done. :)  Guess who will be traveling with me to the Book Expo this May?

 

In case you do not know what I am talking about when I mention Flat Stanley – here is a link.  I once had one I took to Honduras with me for a friends daughters project.

 

Have you ever had a Flat Stanley travel with you?  If so where?

 

 

Descent by Tim Johnston – Bookies Book Club Review w/ Discussion Questions

Descent by Tim Johnston review questions, discussion, Bookies, Book Club, Book Journey

Quick Synopsis…

While the Courtland family is on vacation in Colorado with their two teenage children, their daughter Cailtin is abducted while out for a morning run.  What follows is a three-year nightmare while the already struggling family tries to move on.  With no answers to what happened to Caitlin or even if she is dead or alive, each remaining member of the Courtland family battles this crushing weight in different ways.

Grant, the father remains in Colorado unable to leave the are his daughter disappeared from.  He stays at a ranch helping out an elderly man, making attempts to move forward but nothing happens.

Angela, the mother, has returned to their home state of Wisconsin but deals with great depression.  She lives with her sister after having had to sell their family home and has a hard time functioning from day-to-day.

Sean, the brother, now 18, the age his sister was when she was taken struggles with the guilt of having been with Caitlin when she was taken.  What could he have done differently?

And Caitlin.  Will they ever find her?  And if they do, what exactly will they find?

 

I reviewed Descent by Tim Johnston last week with my opinion.  This review is the thoughts of our book club as a whole and no spoilers :)

Descent brought out a lot of good discussion among our group.  While some of us really found the storyline realistic and engaging, others pointed out things that did not seem to fit.  There were questions of characters who suddenly did something completely out of their character which we all agreed did not fit, but some would argue that some things do not need to be revealed to the reader. Perhaps the author was giving the reader the feeling of “no control” and that not knowing what would happen could very well, as some argued, give the book a feel more real to life.  After all… life is messy and try as we may to figure out how things are going to go… we never do really know.

It was mentioned that the book synopsis that we read from the book when we chose it was not an accurate synopsis, of what actually happens in the book.  Some felt mislead to be told one thing and then read another.

Over all, on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the best, the ratings went from 2,s to 4,s and quite a few rating it in the 3’s (a standard read).  It was one of those books that bring out a lot of thoughts, opinions, and discussion.  We even reenacted a final scene (I can’t share… that would be a spoiler) when we questioned how one would do that.  One girl in our group even had a similar story to share of something that happened to a friend of her sons while hiking.  There is actually a book written about that true story, Bringing Jon Home by David Francis.  A book that I ordered on Kindle this morning.

 

Why Would This Make A Good Book Club Read

Descent is a book that could have been ripped from the headlines.  This leads to discussion like, “what would you do?” as well as discussion on how a strong family can be shattered by such an experience and a damaged family (such as the Courtland’s) have a good chance of falling completely apart.

If you look at reviews of this book on-line from some of the big name newspapers, New York Times, The Herald, etc… you will find diverse opinions, much like you can expect from a group read.  The writing style can be thought of as brilliant, or annoying.  (And in our group it was just that)

In the book, Sean is believed to be false when he is telling the truth.  Discussion can be made over when that has happened in your lives, when you are telling the truth about something and you are either misunderstood, or believed to be false and the frustration of when your character is questioned like that.

Themes of hope, faith, depression, denial, and survival instinct are all represented within this read.

Bookies, Book Club, discussion questions, Tim JOhnston, Descent

Food ideas… while not a lot of food is mentioned within the book, there is pizza at a birthday celebration, and Caitlin keeps snickers in her pockets when she runs for energy boosts.

Questions For Your Discussion

 

Morning Meanderings…. 50 Shades Of… AWESOME!

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New coffee cup pic to come… I have one but for some reason can not get it to upload this morning and tired of waiting ;)

 

Happy Saturday!  I have the best weekend ahead of me here…. no plans!!! I love it!  I might have lunch with a friend, visit my aunt, try out the snow shoes finally… the possibilities are endless :)

As you probably know, today is the official release day of the 50 Shades Of Grey movie.  It’s Valentines Day… aren’t they cute?  I have not read the book and do not plan too and will more than likely be passing on the movie as well.  However, I would be neglect if I did not say the play on the title (mush as I have done today) has been fun. :D

Today for Saturday Snapshot, I thought it would be fun to post pics of my book club through the years because they really are 50 shades of AWESOME!  I was going through pics on Facebook the other day and thought it was fun to see all the crazy things we have done through the years.  Granted, this is not all of the craziness… this is just some.

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This was for our review of Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. We disguised ourselves like she did in the book. Can you find me in this group? ;)

 

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Pride and Prejudice was the classic we were reading…. we dressed the era.

 

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A little fun with this pic.

 

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Sharon’s birthday. We surprised her and wore our “Bookies” shirts

 

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The review for The Wizard Of Oz.

 

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Our 100th meeting celebration! YAY!!!

 

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When one of us was diagnosed with breast cancer we wore pink to the meeting in support of her.

 

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Our first SKYPE with author Sandra Brannan. Sandra had sent us a care package for our review.

 

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Our current Queen and her coronation.

 

 

This has been fun for me to look back through these pics of a book club I adore.  Going strong since August of 2001!  There are a lot more pics, but now I think I am on a mission….. more on that later ;)

 

 

 

Morning Meanderings… Birthday Weekend and Book Club Tonight!

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Good morning! I think I have a Birthday weekend hangover and not from drinking. :)  I just had a really  busy weekend that was a lot of fun!

On Saturday my friend Amy and I went to the Gatsby Party in the cities.  It was a late night as we drove home the 2+ hours after the event but worth it.  I was inspired by what they accomplished.

On Sunday, hubby and I went to a movie, American Sniper.  SO good.  I will review it at some point this week.

Monday…. my actual birthday.  I had coffee in the morning with my friend Gail.  Then I went and treated myself to a manicure and pedicure.  My son Justin who lives in St. Paul came to the house around 3 pm and we went out and bought snacks for the night, went to a movie ( Project Almanac), picked up pizza afterwards, and came back home and watched Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire and Gone Girl.  (yes, again on both of them :D ).

Justin brought me this really cool wine glass:

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The glass says,

Secretly we’re all a little more absurd than we make ourselves out to be.  ~JK Rowling

Love it!

Tonight is book club and I am so excited!  I missed last months as I was on vacation so it will be good to see everyone AND it is at my house.  We have a couple of books to hand out tonight for our Harper Collins Book Club Girls event:

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I have them all set up on the table:

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It’s like out own mini BEA.  :D

As for today, Justin is still here.  We will hang out this morning and early afternoon than he has plans with friends and I will put the finishing touches on book club.   We are reviewing The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain, an author who I discovered this past fall and LOVED this book as well as a few others I have now read by her.  I am excited to see what the Bookies think.

Now… what will I make for an appetizer?  ;)

Morning Meanderings… Party Hangover

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Good morning! I am up and recovering from a fun filled amazing Tuesday.  If you read yesterdays post you know I had a meeting regarding moving our Wine and Words event to a larger venue for 2015.  It was a wonderful meeting and we are officially MOVED!  My author search for the event will begin in about a month… if everyone I have in mind says “yes”, then we will be ready to announce by February.

HAZAH!

Then, last night concluded with our book clubs Christmas party and book discussion of Big Little Lies.  I will write up the book discussion later, but it was a good one.  We chose our read for January, Born To Be Perfect by Barbara Raghavan.

We also handed out our books from Harper Collins Book Club Girls project:

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We had wonderful goodies, discussed life and books, and had a wonderful time doing it.  LOVE my Book Club!!!

It was a full day of running from one thing to another and I am thrilled I accomplished everything I set out to.  Today… I am a bit tired and have a lot to do so ONWARD!

Happy Wednesday all!!!

Morning Meanderings… The Books and Book Club

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Good morning and happy happy Sunday!  I am happy to be snug in a blanket this morning with COFFEE CUP close by.  It is cool outside this morning but we have had little snow in Central Minnesota and in most areas of our yard I can still see grass.  For the record – that’s ok by me.  :)

On the book front what came in for me this week was minimal:

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King Dork is in audio and I am excited to get to it hopefully this week!

Book Club is also this week.  It is our annual Christmas Party and I am so excited for it!  We are reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (LOVED IT!) and our books came in from Harper Collins Book Club Girls Group:

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Belong To Me is our pick we will be reading first and then Walking The Bible will be for January, we will figure out the details at book club.

Last night was the Twitter Party for the Harry Potter Readalong.  Those who joined in watched Chamber Of Secrets together.  It was fun to watch the movie while I have recently been reading the book as well.. they were spot on for their lines from the book to the movie!

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That is what is new.  My day should be fairly quiet.  Some cleaning and some reading and my cousins baby shower.

Anything happening with your Sunday? 

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote – Bookies Book Club Review

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This past week, 13 of the 16 Bookies gathered together for fun food, conversation, and a close up look at October Classic read, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  My full review of the book is here. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I was curious about how a true crime would go over in this group.  We had read an Anne Rule true crime many years ago when we were about 8 or 10 members at that time, but nothing since then.

Our discussion mainly centered around the time and the crime.  We agreed that in the small community where the crime took place, you did not worry about your neighbors or what you said in public about what you owned.  The results of In Cold Blood, changed this community, and many communities forever.  I mentioned to the group that I had recently been speaking to a woman at a dinner I attended about our book club choice.  She said at the time of the crime she was a young girl and her parents told her, “you never tell people about what we have in our house… you do not mention the safe, or anything.”  The crimes of In Cold Blood, put fear in so many.

We also discussed how things randomly happen.  If Richard Hickock and Perry Edward Smith had never met, never spoke with the gut who had worked on the Clutter home…. the crime, by circumstance would never have happened.  We compared this, on a much lighter note to how we all wound up in book club together.  Looking around the room, when book club started I knew only one of the thirteen girls in the room.  We all met by circumstance, someone talked about book club and we agreed to go.  If not for Bookies and our group talking about it… we would not all have been in that room together this week talking about this book.

I love things like that. :)

Overall, the book was rated mainly average which is actually a good rating for a classic.   A few rated it higher, and a couple rated it lower.  The overall thought was that most of us do not like to read true crime, but this one worked as it is written in such a fictional way.  This was mainly because of the dialogue in the book compared to just straight facts about the crime.

Our food for the night… we themed a lot of foods from the times – Angie even made from a 1959 cook book a Purple Sea Urchin dish – little hot dogs poking out of a cabbage with Sterno in the middle to cook them!  I made the cucumber sandwiches… I went with the theme of funeral food.

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What makes this a good book club choice?

I think it is good for a book club to shake up genres.  A true crime can bring out a different type of discussion, and while it is true crime, In Cold Blood is written in such a way it is not overly horrific, therefore making it a good book club pick – and it is a classic!  In Cold Blood is one of the books i like to be able to say I have read due to its classic status and the fact that Truman Capote is an author you will want to read.

When planning food for a book such as this I loved the idea Angie had of making food from the era.  She also brought (not pictured) old style potato chips and homemade dip with the Liptons onion soup mix, which apparently became popular in 1959.

While decorating for a true crime, or dressing up is hard to do – we did use a little crime scene tape that I had left over from the banned book window at the library.

For the groups that like to go a step further – In Cold Blood is a movie, as well as Capote (newer).  Either of these movies could add to your discussion on book and or author.

Morning Meanderings… Literally Literary Fumes

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I feel as though I have run a literary marathon.  Things, have been quite bookish around here lately, Library conference, Author event, Teen Library meeting, first annual Friends Of The Library retreat and last nights Bookies Book Club.  All this happened within the last week.  It has been fun, do not get me wrong, but I feel a little wrung out, looking forward to a non eventful rest of the week.  My agenda is fairly open the next week out.

YAY!

Last night the Bookies had a great time meeting up and discussing In Cold Blood.  We also handed out our books that we will be reading as well this month for the new Harper Collins Program “Book Club Girls”, this will be books chosen by my group and read in addition to our regular scheduled read.  Our first book through Harper is:

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Super excited about this book!  There is also a box of swag coming that I am excited to see what it is!  :)

Our book clubs pick for November will be :

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Looks like a good one and the perfect time of year for some Historical Fiction!

Well, off to get ready for my day.  Hope your warm and enjoying fall colors wherever you are!

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