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Oct 2017 – The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Photo Oct 23, 5 45 12 PMA very macabre subject for our October read indeed.  The Black Dahlia aka Elizabeth Short’s most horrific unsolved murder!  James Ellroy spins a tail of ‘what may have happened’ to the young raven haired beauty from the East who landed in the City of Angels hoping to become a starlet.

Getting into the first few chapters of the book was a bit hard for many of us.   Once the dust settles the film noir essense of the time period of the late 1940s takes over then you’re HOOKED!

James Ellroy spins a tale trying to explain the people who came in and out of Elizabeth Shorts life; seeking to find the killer who brutally tortured and murdered this lovely girl.

On January 15, 1947, the tortured body of a beautiful young woman was found in a vacant lot in Hollywood. Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, a young Hollywood hopeful, had been brutally murdered. Her murder sparked one of the greatest manhunts in California history.

In this fictionalized treatment of a real case, Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard, both LA cops obsessed with the Black Dahlia, journey through the seamy underside of Hollywood to the core of the dead girl’s twisted life.

“Passionate, violent, frustrating…imaginative and bizarre.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Building like a symphony, this is a wonderful, complicated, but accessible tale of ambition, insanity, passion and deceit.”

We met in Wendy’s wonderful home to discuss this grissly murder along with many others!  From the Atlanta missing and murdered children (which many were never solved – some were attributed to Wayne Williams), to the Zodiac Killer, Ed Geins and many more.   We certainly wish DNA evidence would have been available for Elizabeth Shorts case.   The Winecoff Hotel Fire in Atlanta was never solved.  The former Winecoff is now the Ellis Hotel.  The 15 story Winecoff killed over 100 people.  For video Click HERE 

An update to Short’s case — Steve Hodel who grew up in LA – with his father Dr. George Hodel – feels he has found clues in his father’s passing that he may well have killed Elizabeth Short and many others!  Can you imagine finding clues in your 93 year old father’s stash that shows he could have been a serial killer!?!? Click HERE for Steve Hodel’s updates.  Interestingly enough, Dr. George Hodel was actually under suspicion for her murder by LAPD! Hodel was never officially charged.

 

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Sept 2017 – The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray

Photo Sep 26, 7 02 44 PMThanks so much for hosting Linda Gravitt!  We always love spending time in your home.  Good group of ladies last night.

The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray was an interesting read indeed.  It was like holding a hand-full of marbles then dropping them on the floor seeing them shoot into every direction possible.    When Waldy ends up in his deceased twin aunt’s home and realized he’s in a time loop – well… let’s just say it goes in every direction you can possibly think and conceive.

For full author bio on John Wray click HERE  — John Wray is the author of The Lost Time AccidentsLowboyCanaan’s Tongue, and The Right Hand of Sleep. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and a Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, he was named one of Granta‘s Best Young American Novelists in 2007. A citizen of the United States and Austria, he currently lives in New York City.

For a NY Times review on The Lost Time Accidents press HERE  

We went round-robin about time-paths, scientific thoughts and astroplanes of sorts.  Remember the movie Somewhere In Time?  And the movie Contact?  Exactly.

Oh!  If you want the book Lost Time Accidents, I put my copy in the Uncles Little Free Library on the corner of John Calvin & Hemphill in Historic College Park.  While dropping off said book, we found a College Park Rock!  Cool Beans!

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Aug 2017 – Georgia by Dawn Tripp

cp2Thanks for hosting Wendy!  Your home is lovely!  The pups are precious and book club rocked!  Welcome Amy and Ellen are newest members!  Great turn out!

Our August book was close to everyone’s heart – Georgia by Dawn Tripp.  A book created through the letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband / promoter Alfred Stieglitz.

Dawn Tripp a favorite among Boston writers, graduated from Harvard.  She lives in Massachusetts with her family.   For full author bio click HERE   

We explored how Georgia evolved as a person, woman and artist.  How would the birth of a child changed her?  Did Stieglitz truly love her and she him?

Did Georgia feel she was an icon?

Many have visited the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and her Ghost Ranch home.     As a group we felt we knew much of Georgia but realized much was learned in this book selection .  We questioned all the sexual inserts – being that this is ‘based’ on the letters between she and her husband we truly questioned it.

Learning all the people who came in and out of their social circle was quite fascinating.   Many in the group kept a list of people mentioned in book to research them further.

What a fun evening girls!   An incredible artist was Georgia.  She was a minimalist,  cutting edge modern artist of her time and to this day!

P.S.  Anda took all the caramel cake.  LOL

 

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July 2017 – Where’d You Go Bernadette? – Maria Semple

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A small intimate group gathered tonight – really enjoyed it ladies!  We had Georgie (Linda’s hubby) as our honorary male join us this evening along with the lovely Sarah (Anda’s grand) all the way from Kansas!   Also Pip and Cricket scotties extraordinaire in tow!

We all gathered around with nibbles and vino in hand – and delved into book club questions.  We all pretty much agreed that the book was a joy to read!  For book club questions click HERE –

For bio on Maria Semple click HERE 

Moving from LA to Seattle proved to be a bit too much for Bernadette — which is narrated in form by her daughter Bee.   Just picturing so many of the situations and facial expressions of the characters involved  when something happens alone will keep you in stitches.

Bernadette Fox is notorious.

To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

We discussed how there is not a ‘norm’ when it comes to any family – and yes…. we’ve all been in new situations and yes… we’ve definitely felt the outsider at times…   We think you’ll enjoy Maria Semples ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’.   Happy page turning!

Can you believe it’s the end of July and almost August? Yikes….

Til next time ladies!

 

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Jan 2017- Blood Money by Stephen Russell

article-2726185-1a12ca5d000005dc-486_634x800A huge thanks to Steph for hosting our book club.  I always love nesting at your home!  A huge shout-out to author Stephen Russell for facetiming with us for our meeting!  You rock!!!

For Dr. Stephen Russell thriller author bio click <<HERE>>

We gathered our nibbles and wine and settled into Steph’s LOVELY home!  A sweet little Victorian with so much charm!  We had the pleasure of a man this meeting! Alan Gravitt who is also an author joined us!  We had many questions for Stephen Russell who joined us via my iPhone.  NEXT time I”ll bring my laptop or iPad for larger view! It worked out just fine this time.  We also had a ‘drop-in’ by Georgie Prichard whose wife Linda was ill.  She still wanted him to bring food. Gotta love the South! :::beaming::::::   A lively meeting was had by all.

We were able to query Dr. Russell on questions regarding the book and on personal life as an author.  Being that Dr. Russell has 4 children at home (small ones) and a wife who is also a pediatrician – he has many things to juggle! When in the world do you find time to write?   This question was answered as he gets up at 4:30 (on purpose) to write at his kitchen table before everyone awakens for the day.   We all enjoyed the Mackie McKay series, with some reading his 2nd book first (Command and Control) and then reading the first book Blood Money.  He has the 3rd book in this series set to be released to the public in a few months.  Great job! Can’t wait to see what Mackie gets into!

Thank you again Dr. Russell for taking time out of your BUSY schedule to talk Blood Money.  We all greatly enjoyed your enthusiasm and the book.

 

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Dec 2016 -In the Dark Streets Shineth by David McCulough

b604cf31-6490-4ade-bd02-9f5b00150114Another year is coming to a close –what a better way to do this than book club, in Historic College Park, at the Pritchards lovely home… with friends ::::beaming::::::

Our December book is by David McCullough which is a 1941 Christmas Eve Story of sorts.  It explains how we came to have our all time favorite Christmas songs!  And all this time I thought the song “I’ll be home for Christmas” was about working away from home – like a business meeting out of town or something of that nature.   It was about the war!  I’m not the only one in the group who didn’t know this I would like to add.  Ahem.

For author bio click <<HERE>>

Our end of year meeting is always the best.  Gathered at the Prichards lovely home – they decorate like no other – it’s Christmas on an entirely different level! Love it!   We also have the ‘white elephant’ gift swap/steal/gigglefest.    Sometimes it’s a great gift — sometimes not so much which is part of the fun!

Thanks to everyone who enjoys reading our blog about a book club in Atlanta, Ga – to all our members – 2017 is about to happen!

Have a Happy Holiday everyone!  Cheers!

 

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NOV 2016 – The Crimson Portrait by Jody Shields

41kx0xn1-2lI can’t believe we are ending another year!  Savor each day —  every moment;  life seems to go by much too quickly.   I find that book club is actually a good marker of time for me -I can go back through the year, looking at the website and see what we read for that month; which immediately brings up images and events for those days in time.  Love it!

Thanks to Linda (and Georgie) for hosting our meeting for Nov and for next month too!

We read The Crimson Portrait by Jody Shields.    I incorrectly stated to a few members that we had previously read The Fig Eater which Jody Shields penned as well  WRONG!  I read the book – not book club.  It was an incredible book – so I’m adding it somewhere in the lineup soon.

For Jody Shields author bio click <<HERE>> 

For book club discussion questions clicke <<HERE>>

The Crimson Portrait deals with the Great War in which an estate is turned into a hospital for wounded soldiers – specifically facial wounds.  All mirrors are removed to help ease the injured soldiers healing process by keeping them from seeing their horrific facial wounds.

I’ve read the book several times and listened via Hoopla audiobook.  I really enjoyed the book (obviously).  Other book club members liked it as well.  We had several who found it tedious with all the medical terminology used in the book which I get and agree.   Relationship dynamics between staff , patients and Catherine were examined.

From our homes to yours, we hope you have a lovely holiday season!