No Ordinary Time Doris Goodwin

4

Non-fiction Life of FDR and Eleanor WWII

Guest Speaker* Nancy Pickard

What a treat. Check her out. Read the Jenny Cain series in order.

Three Women at the Water’s Edge Nancy Thayer 2
Sing to Me of Dreams Katherine Davis 3
West With the Night Beryl Markham

 

This is her story. We found out there was another side of her life she omitted to tell us.

Yellow Raft on Blue Water Michael Dorris 3
The Shell Seekers Rosamund Pilcher 3
The Volcano Lover Susan Sontag 2
Ladder of Years Anne Tyler 3
The Education of Little Tree Forrest Carter

 

Wonderful story, yet again we found out it was not a true story

Stones from the River Ursula Hegi

 

Read "Floating in my Mother's Palm" after.  She actually wrote this story first but it is a sequel to Stones. Also WWII

The Secret History Donna Tartt

3 

Very Dark

Schindler’s List Thomas Keneally

4  

WWII Book

Robber Bride Margaret Atwood 3
My Antonia Willa Cather

2 

  Pulitzer Prize winner in the 1920's

Colony Anne Rivers Siddons

 

After about 4 books by this author, you realize the characters are all the same

Cider House Rules John Irving 3
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton 3
Postcards E. Annie Proulx 3
Family Pictures Sue Miller 3
Beloved Toni Morrison

3  

I was still confused on what was real in this book

The Firm John Grisham  2.5
Garden of Lies Eileen Goudge  3
 Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte  4
Scarlett Alexandra Ripley  2
The Vampire Lestat Anne Rice  2
Cold Sassy Tree Olive Ann Burns  3.5
A Thousand Acres Jane Smiley  3
The Bridal Wreath Sigrid Undset

 2 

 Difficult but a challenging read.

 

Bridges of Madison County Robert Waller

 2

 Some of us thought it was a true story, we were mad we were tricked.

 

White Butterfly Walter Mosley  2  -mystery
All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy

 3

 Great and different style of writing.

 

 Anne of Green Gables L.M. Montgomery  3
The Kitchen God’s Wife Amy Tan

 4

 Wonderful story in China.

Mall Rats Kevin Robinson

 2

His first and third books are much better.

 

I am often asked about how to start a book club. It is actually quite easy: ask two friends, have them ask two friends, then they ask two friends, etc. When you have the number of members you want, twelve is a good number, you will find that you have quite a diverse group with various backgrounds and life experiences to make for good discussions. You will also have acquired many new friends who you will become close to rather quickly.

We have set up guidelines for the club. They are: read the book, be a hostess, RSVP to the hostess, and if you drop out, notify a member.

It is the job of the hostess to research the author and possible book reviews. She starts the meeting with information she has found. This usually gives us a better insight to the book we have read. We have found the author's personal life experiences are, many times in their book. We discuss the characters, (even the minor ones who usually get overlooked, but they are there for a reason), the time era, culture, is it believable, and style of writing. Sometimes we will have a readers guide which can be obtained through the publishing house. This can aid in the discussion with questions we hadn't thought of. We once used Cliff Notes but didn't agree with a few of their notes at all! Even using reviews, you need to remember that this is just one person's opinion- not the only correct answer. We sometimes wonder if we read more into a book then the author even intended. Through discussion, we can take what we think is a mediocre book and through each others interpretations and insights, walk away thinking " Wow, what a book!" Some of us use post-its to mark certain passages to read out loud, if we have a  question, or to bring out a point. There have been times when a member will have a question and another member will have marked it and will be able to respond.

The hostess also reserves the books at the library for us. We are very fortunate to be part of a library system that has many copies of the book we select and they order them for us a month ahead of time. We rarely need to purchase a book. It is also up to the hostess to maintain order during the discussion so that we don't talk on top of each other or separate into private discussions which is easy to do. When that happens, we miss out what others are saying.
 
We meet the 4th or 5th Tuesday of the month. In December, we have a Christmas Party and a book exchange at a member's house. We have a secretary, me, who maintains an updated email and home address, creates a hostess sheet to pass around starting in October to have members sign up for the following thirteen months, and keeps track of the books we have read. If members have signed up to host and later is unable to host their selected month, they can easily switch with someone else. They have been many occasions when a member wants to know if we have already read a book. Having this site, a list, has answered the question. Looking back at our backs and reviews, we could probably start reading them all over again. I read the reviews, book reports, and I have no recollection of the book. We have been together twenty eight years now. My first meeting was March 1993.
 
Good luck with your new book club.

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