Thursday, January 17, 2013

a great book discussion.

Guess what? I started a book club. I convinced a group of friends that I needed help branching out and discussing more grown-up books (I'd started out using the term 'adult books' and got a few somewhat worried emails back from the invitees wanting to know just what kinds of books I had in mind!) When the terms were made a little less hazy most people jumped at the chance and we held our first meeting earlier this week.

I've been attending a church organized book club for the last few years but several changes in congregational boundaries made it so there were very few people that I really knew. We also had to be a bit more selective on what we read (not that it's a bad thing but several times we chose a book that none of us had ever read before only to get a few chapters or pages into it and decide that we'd probably better pick something else.) Being in charge gives me the opportunity to pick who is invited and have a little more flexibility in what we choose.

I'd also hoped to develop my culinary skills a bit so I decided to serve a light dinner at the inaugural bash. I spent the day before chopping and prepping to make three different soups (this potato soup, a variation on this apple pumpkinand my fave this tomato basil) a loaf of roasted garlic bread and some pear pomegranate crumble for dessert. (All recipes found via Pinterest.)

Because of so many rampant cold and flu bugs running wild at the moment we only ended up with 8 in attendance but 15 or so that are on the list and hoping to participate as we go on. Everyone was told to bring a few books to suggest (some favorite reads and some they'd hoped to read) and we had some great discussion at the outset. I think it bodes well for future gatherings.

Here are some of the books we discussed:
  • The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker
  • Possession by AS Byatt
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  • The Little Prince by Antione de Saint-Exupery
  • Act in Doctrine by Elder Bednar
  • The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  • My Grandfather's Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen
  • Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
  • Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  • Daughter of the Forest by Juliette Marillier
  • Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
  • The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
  • The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
  • Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
  • Savvy Auntie by Melanie Notkin
  • Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That by Henry Alford
  • 1000 Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are by Byron Katie
  • Zhuangze: Basic Writings
  • A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
  • Quiet: The Power of Intorverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  • Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Wild Swans: Three Daughers of China
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosentrach
  • The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean
(If I was awesome I'd have linked all of these for you...sorry, I'm not!) Have you read any of these? Which would you recommend? We're each voting for our top 5 and then the host for next month will have the honor of choosing their favorite from the final three.  I'll let you know the winner when it's decided.

To go along with all of this I’ve recommitted myself to making more regular book posts, at least once a week. I'd also like to branch out beyond just book reviews so I'm going to try to include a few features found on actual book blogs such as story time spotlights, author profiles, and literacy news as well as keeping you abreast of our book club choices/discussions. And in an effort to drum up a bit more traffic here I’m going to be trying to comment on others' blogs at least once a week. There’s a great community out there and sometimes I still feel as if I’m peeking in the window watching instead of truly participating.


  1. You read my mind. Great post! I hope your new club turns out to be a success!

  2. Awesome list of books! Some that stand out to me for book club reading: I Am the Messenger (my book club is reading this one in a few months!) Possession, Daughter of the Forest, The Glass Castle, Moloka'i, Dracula. 100 Years of Solitude could be interesting... my book club read his other well known book, Love in the Time of Cholera, and hated it! :) Good luck!

  3. Thanks Suey and Miranda, it should be fun! The hardest part is going to be narrowing it down. :)