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Bookies Review, Food, and Getting Into Character With Gone With The Wind


There is a reason our book club has a wait list.


are a ton of fun.

We always enjoy taking our reads to the next level through excellent discussion not only on book, but author as well, often food to go with what we read, and occasionally (my favorites) we dress up.

When we chose Gone With The Wind for our Annual Classic Read I was so excited about the possibilities for dressing the era.  When the buzz started with the girls saying they would make curtain dresses, having never read the book before I was thrilled with their enthusiasm…. making dresses!  Way to go Bookies!!!

And then…

I was sent a link to the Carol Burnett spoof on the book…

Ahhh….. what exactly were the Bookies going to do?

There was a little buzz on our Facebook page.  They were havig trouble finding used curtains for their dresses. I went to a Halloween shop and found mine …. it was called Goth Vampire but I figured if Scarlett could be who she was… she certainly could also be goth.

So book review night comes.  I had it at my house, converted to the Plantation Tara for the evening.  And as the girls entered… I was impressed with their creativity..


The Bookies…

do not disappoint.

As you can see in the picture… several made the curtain dress!  Kathy (far right in white) even had the curtain rod in hers!  Between using old curtains, buying curtains, dressing in an ere looking dress, and being creative….

the Bookies take on Gone With The Wind like pro’s!  You will notice up front we have a Mammy… and another surprise you can not quite see in this picture, but you will soon!


There she is… in the back to the left with a halo…. yes Gone With The Wind fans…. Lori dressed up as….


Yup.  God’s nightgown.

The exclamation that Scarlett would frequently say throughout the book when she was frustrated.  The first time in Bookie history that someone dressed as an exclamation.  Nicely played Lori…

nicely played.


Laura, with the help of her mother, went all out and sewed up this cute little curtain number from new curtains.  I told her she could wear this next year to our Gatsby party as well!

Of course… it wouldn’t be a Bookies book review without great food….

PicMonkey Collage

We had corn pone, Frankly My Dear I Don’t Give A Ham sandwiches, Butler Balls, shrimp creole,fried chicken, brownies, and sweet potato pie (recipe below) and a Scarlett OHara drink (recipe below).

PicMonkey Collage 2

We had an excellent discussion on the book.  There is so much to talk about in Gone With The Wind!  We all agreed that Ashley was NOT a catch.  We discussed Scarlett’s relationships with her different husbands as well as with her children.  She was indeed… a unique individual.

We also had good discussion over the author Margaret Mitchell… kudos to her for creating such a protagonist as Scarlett… what an unusual perspective for the times…. this headstrong woman who was not a nurturing mother or wife but instead always looking for the best way to support herself and her ambitions.

It was interesting also to hear the difference of thoughts from those in the group who had read the book before (very few actually), and those who had seen the movie, to those of us like myself that had not done either.

For a classic, the overall consensus was an average read AND not to bad for a classic rating – BELIEVE ME.  A few of us, myself included, rated the book a 5 which is our top of our rating scale.  See my personal review here.

Why Does Gone With The Wind make for a good book club read?

1Gone With The Wind is indeed vast with pages, but worth the efforts for book clubs.  The option to read or listen to on audio makes for a wide variety of discussion on both.  There is much to discuss as a group from the civil war, to the reasons this is a banned book, to Scarlett herself as well as her relationships with others.  AND the little extras you can do to make your discussion even deeper.

Please click here for group discussion questions and ideas for a group review

Sweet Potato Pie

you will need-

1 1/2- 2 pounds sweet potatoes

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 9 inch pie crust

  1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
  2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.  ( as seen at All

Scarlett O Hara Drink

2 ounces Southern Comfort

8-10 oz cranberry juice

1 squirt of lemon juice to taste

mix and serve over ice

I am linking this post to both Saturday Snapshots and Weekend Cooking.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell


How does one do a synopsis of Gone With The Wind?

Well… for this first time reader and having never seen the movie (still haven’t), I will give you the synopsis in my own words as though I were telling a friend about this book….  (after all, we are friends right?;) )

Gone With The Wind is about a plantation… about a family… about a war… but mostly, about a girl named Scarlett.  Scarlett is in modern terms, a mean girl. She is spoiled, selfish, and while she is not beautiful, her personality drawn men to her – and in Scarlett’s opinion (after all, what other opinion is there?) that is everything.

When the Civil war breaks out Scarlett learns that not everything comes as easy as it once did.  In fact many things are going to take all that stubbornness she possesses as she learns to adjust to the changing times… but Scarlett is not your typical girl of the south and the way she chooses to live her life and survive can come as a surprise, even to her.




First up… I need to say how proud I am of my book club for choosing to read this books for our Annual Classic Read.  This has been a bucket list book for me forever and our book clubs choice to read it as a group is what finally pushed me to opening this book.

I am so glad I did.

I was pleasantly surprised with Scarlett, while she is not very likable, the girl has gusto.   Her selfishness at times is laughable… at other times, it is sad.  She is, and I say this thankfully, not a damsel in distress but instead a witty sprite of a girl who learns many lessons the hard way, but does not allow her spirit to be broken.

You kind of have to admire that.

While I did start reading this book, I found that my time commitments did not allow me for a lot of “sit down and read” time, so I switched to audio.  Let me say, if you love Gone With The Wind and have not experienced it in audio, I highly recommend you do.  While I have been canning these past weeks, Linda Stephens narration was just the thing to pass the time and keep me engaged.

My over all thoughts on the book was it is a win.  I do not agree with those that call this book a romance … God’s Nightgown, no…. this is a whole new level of dysfunction at its finest!  Going into this knowing barely the story line I was happy to read that the book was not the predictable read I thought I was encountering – yet a fascinating time hop to the civil war and a plantation that worked like no other, Tara.

If you have not experienced Gone With The Wind this is my recommendation that you do make the time to read (or listen to) this book.  It is truly worthy of the classic title.


Did-You-KnowAuthor, Margaret Mitchell died after being hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street with her husband on their way to see a movie.  Gone With The Wind is Mitchell’s only book, and one she wrote because she was bored.




  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reissue edition (May 3, 2011)


  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 49 hours and 7 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • Release Date: October 1, 2009




*Be sure to watch for my book clubs thoughts on this book as well as the food we ate AND the clothes we wore to celebrate Gone With The Wind.

Morning Meanderings… Me, Myself, and Scarlett O’ Hara


I mentioned a little while back that my book club is reading Gone With The Wind for our classic read month in October.  This is a book that has been on my “hit list” FOR-E-VAH.

Yup.. that long.

I have never seen the movie, holding out for the book version first and then perhaps I will dabble with the movie.  I have friends *cough cough Gail cough* that SWEAR that this is THE book.. so we shall see.

No matter what – I always find classics fun to discuss.  I thought perhaps I would do a weekly check in here with how Scarlett and I are fairing, and now at 111 pages in… I thought I would share.


to bring you up to speed, Scarlett and I are now currently on our way to the barbecue at Ashley Wilkey’s home.  Scarlett is quite full of herself, positive that once she confesses her love for Ashley he will drop his announcement of his engagement to his cousin (yes cousin… there is slim pickins in this neck of the woods).  Scarlett has squished herself into a dress that she is glad her mother is not in attendance to see and she has just caught the eye of one Rhett Butler at the gathering (ahhh… so this is how they meet… the ol’ “pick up a chick at the cousins marrying cousins engagement party barbecue”  … very sly Mister Butler… very sly.

So that is where I am at.  I know I am early on in the story.  I like Scarlett’s story line, (she’s a little like an old school YA read), found the early on LONG description of Scarlett’s father and his lack of height and his love for the drink a bit drawn out and skim worthy.

Hopefully today I will find out what actually happens at the party.  I had nothing to wear as fancy as Scarlett… I am all about the jean capris and a kicky peach colored short sleeved shirt…. probably not worthy of catching the eye of someone like Rhett, unless he wants someone to possibly refill his drink or walk his horse.

Gone With The Wind, Book Journey, Bookies, Classic Month

In RL… this week has been fairly quiet and I am thankful for that.  I have helped out a bit at the library, had a fascinating get together yesterday with an amazing woman in town who is a force to recon with when it comes to literacy in our community and promoting the written word, and a long overdue lunch date with some good friends.  Ok, other than that it has been just me at home, working on the lawn, listening to audio…. trying to find a new normal and at the same time, stubbornly not wanting to.

Let’s Talk About The Queen


I love this picture.  This is my book club this past Tuesday after we had a great potluck dinner, talked books, and had our Queen event.  We look happy.  We look fun.

Even me.

Every July for the past hmmmmm… I don’t know how many years, we have had a Queen event.  We dress up, we perform a talent (or not) and say why we would make a good Queen of the Book Club.  It is all in fun, the Queen really only comes into play when we have a tie on books to read or when we can’t decide where to meet.

This year I went back and forth.  Do I participate?  I didn’t want to.  I wanted to wear Capri’s and a t-shirt and take pictures.  They would have understood.  Yet I knew that Justin would be so sad to know I changed how I did life so I instead put on a prom dress, a little princess crown, looked up and said, “This is for you kid.”

Off to be a Queen participant….


Why is my head so freakishly small?

It was a good time.  We were at my friend Lori’s home.  We discussed the books we had read last month (free read month) and then had our event.  My “talent” was a story about a girl who decided to create a book club so she could expand on her reading.  I ended the story with how after many years the group became so big they had to limit how many came and how close all the Bookies became to one another.  Friends.  Other talents were, speeches, songs, mime, a quiz, and even a violin playing rendition to The Devil Went Down To Georgia.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Our Queen for 2015-2016 is Brenda.  If you look closely at her beautiful white dress you will see that the top (and along the bottom) is made from a book.  She will be a wonderful Queen.



A few of us had a little “after party” at a nearby pub… an ongoing tradition after the Queen event. After you are all dressed up – you should have somewhere to go. ;)

Morning Meanderings… I Didn’t Mean To Go ______________________


Good morning.

I didn’t mean to go….




Under cover?

I don’t know.  I guess I just didn’t mean to go.

The past two weeks have been so out of my control that I am just doing what I have to do to get through the days.  With two large events just around the corner I am trying hard to find balance.  You throw in the mix my friend Connie, a big storm that requires clean up attention, commitments, people I need to want to spend time with, and my own grief….

and yeah. 

Just trying to get through it.

And so – with all of that, I find I do not get here – HERE as much as I would like.  I am still not firing on all cylinders which makes all of these things that I could normally handle feel heavy and hard to do just the easiest of tasks.  I am so easily…


Yesterday and today I have tried hard to slow down.  I have had things I had to do every day and I am feeling the strain on putting my grief to the side to get things done.  For the record, I have discovered that does not work well… it exhausts me and leaves me pretty nonfunctional come the end of the day.  Tomorrow my “to do’s” bump up again, the weekend is full of activity and next week…

I don’t even want to think about next week.


1I do have posts to write.  I have a couple of audio I have finished and just downloaded Armada this morning which I am SUPER EXCITED about.  We also had the Bookies Queen event this week which took a lot of energy but I am so glad I participated.  L♥ve this group of gals.  I will write a post up all about that – maybe today.


Just a sample from the Tuesday Bookies Queen event

That’s it for this morning.  I have a few things itching at the corners of my brain reminding me I need to do them… and I do, so off I go.  Enjoy THIS day.


Morning Meanderings…. Annual Book Exchange


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:

PicMonkey Collage

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

15 18   PicMonkey Collage

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


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:


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!


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.


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? ;)



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



A little fun with this pic.



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



The review for The Wizard Of Oz.



Our 100th meeting celebration! YAY!!!



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



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



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 ;)





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