Jan 2020 – The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

A3827102-0327-42FA-BA81-EEBC681FF3E3Wonderful evening ladies!! Thanks to Linda (Alan and furry Teddy respectively) for hosting our Jan meeting!  I always LOVE being in your home. Filled with books and so many interesting things to see – always a pleasure.

I always get asked ‘ how do you pick the books for the year? ‘  It’s a complied ongoing list of recommendations from people and articles I collect that’s stored in my phone.  I go in and randomly add the books.  More fun that way don’t you think? Books are chosen for the entire year.   This particular book The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing was a recommenation by a University of Alabama Prof. of Womens Studies.   I completely freaked when I realized it was uber thick.  The audible version alone was something like 25 hours.

We all agreed it was very difficult to ‘get into’ the book.  It didn’t flow well.  Hard to keep track of when where and who is being discussed and how they entered the story.  The author Ms. Lessing is a very accomplished award winning author on many levels – this particular book was either you loved it or not so much.

For author bio click HERE 

For video of Doris Lessing discussing the book click HERE 

We had a lovely evening discussing the book which then lead onto other paths of conversation which is the very reason I LOVE BOOK CLUB!! Part literary, part social part therapy.   Two NEW members Christine and Alex – welcome!  We touched on so many subjects.  Bravo!

Dec 2019 Christmas on Jane Street

Photo Dec 10, 5 58 39 PMWhat a wonderful wonderful time of the year!!!! I’m singing that in my head this very moment.   I love the holidays!  I especially love our end of year book club meeting which is usually held at The Prichards home; and this year it was spectacular!! Firstly their home is decorated to the hilt with cheer!!!  Secondly its larger and can accomodate our group.  We were ‘just right’ this year. For those who could not attend you were greatly missed!

Our book this year was Christmas on Jane Street which is a true story of a family who has a Christmas tree lot on the corner of Jane Street and Eigth Ave in NYC.   It’s quite magical.   For a wonderful video made by a customer of theirs click HERE  

For news video coverage click HERE 

Another wonderful video that you must see! Click HERE 

Author bios – Billy Romp  and Wanda Urbanksa 

We all enjoyed the book seeing that it showed the change and shift in the dad’s pespective of what his memories are and what his daughters will be.  He was thankfully was able to step back and let her grow and morph into the magic of the Nutcracker.

Our Dec meeting we have our end of year white elephant gift swap.  The rules are it has to be something that you already own.  It can be a lovely gift, a joke gift, a book, a sweater, something big or small.  That’s what makes it so fun!!!  A gift can be stolen only twice and the person who had #1 going first gets the last steal if so deemed.

Another year of the Historic College Park Book Club has come to a close :::::smiling:::::::  when I look back through the year it seemed to go so quickly!  Thanks to everyone who has become a part of our wonderfully quirky group.  We have a love of books, talk and friendship.   Every book club is different – ours is uniquely special because of the women who are members.   Thanks you everyone!

Have a wonderful holiday everyone and see you in Januray!!! Cheers!!!

::::turning cartwheels:::::::

Nov 2019 – The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

Photo Nov 19, 3 51 44 PMIf you’ve never read a book by Bill Bryson please do!!!  He writes non-fiction mainly about things in his life, interests, history etc.   He’s extremely entertaining and highly addiction.

But first – Thanks to Sylvia for hosting in your lovely home!!! Fantastic renovation! I am still thinking about your pink mixer.

We had a lovely smaller group – thanks Eileen for bringing your big sister! So charming!  We really enjoyed her stories!

For author bio click HERE 

I found an interesting video of Bill speaking about this book. Click HERE for the video  

As a group we discussed what growing up in the 50’s pros and cons.  Then we went on to discuss our own childhoods and what that entailed.   Great stories!

For book club questions click HERE  

We had several members including myself who listened to the Audible version of the book.  Bill Bryson actually narrates which I really enjoyed.

I think the oddest thing for me personally when reading about his childhood growing up in the midwest – is that he wasn’t made to go to school!  Really? lol

We all enjoyed the book tremendously – you will too I bet.

Toodles! See you next month!

*Make sure you follow our book blog so that you don’t miss a book or meeting! Cheers!

Nov 2019 – The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn

CF9DCA88-962B-436E-BD46-D03DF8665A36*Make sure you follow our book blog so that you don’t miss a meeting! Squee! 

What a FANTASTIC meeting ladies!!!  I came home with a huge smile on my face recalling the evening.   When friends new and old come together to discuss books, life and libations are involved wonderful things happen.  :::::beaming:::::::

Thank you Steph for having us in your loving home! We had ‘planned’ to be on the front porch covered in quilts thinking it would be chilly (I’m laughing…it is the SOUTH, yes it’s November…. which is exactly the point – you start out with boots in the morning and end up in flip flops most days it seems – sigh) however muggy and humid (think sweaty) came to pass last night in Atlanta.   Thus we ended up in the wonderful front parlor at Stephs – Oh DARN!!!! I never got to see the kitten lounge with the new feline bebes!!! Wah!

We had so many new members — WELCOME!  I hope you could feel the connections we share in this club.    All book clubs are not created equal  – I’m pretty darn proud of ours.  I shared our story of beginning in 2007 with most of our initial group present last night.   How many stories we’ve shared, how many book club meetings we’ve been a part of, who we miss for various reasons (Love to you Claire!!! ) We are a unique blend of ladies – diveristy is key to having a great group.  Proud of us!

Ok. So.  The author of our book for this month is AJ Finn – who actually is REALLY named Daniel Mallory.  A young pup born in 1979.   For author bio click HERE   

Book Club Questions click HERE 

We all REALLY enjoyed the book.   I listened on audible (which by the way, the narrator was fantastic – sometimes if you get someone wonky reading it takes away from enjoying the book – because all you’re thinking about is ‘Good LORD their voice is irritating….so….. I found myself driving around just to see what happened next!!!!  Twists and turns galore!!!! What you THINK you knew changed in the blink of an eye!!! What I felt towards Anna in the beginning was smashed on the rocks when I learned of the accident.  WOW!!!!  I don’t want to give TOO MUCH away… read the book!

Our November read is The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson.  You can find all our books for the year and past reads under Book List Year in the tab section.  We’ve read some great selections…some not so great.  That’s the joy of book club! You may get something you would have never picked up and think WOW – or YUCK.   Bad with the good makes you enjoy the good even more! Boom.

Ok.  Enough of my morning chatter – I’ve had two cups of french press I need to get going!

Happy Halloween everyone!!!! See you next month!

August 2019 – The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan

Photo Aug 27, 7 06 51 PMWe’ve had some rainy weather so far in August!  Last night we gathered at the home of Laura Lee Gentry (thanks for hosting sweet friend!) which is always a fun night.   She and her hubby have an incredible edible garden out back – I’m inspired!  My favorite was the chocolate peppermint (think Peppermint Patties) and the basil.  Oh the basil!!! :::dreamy sigh::::

Our book for August is The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan.  We explored the world of the Vanderbilts and the incredible home they built in Ashville, NC.  We’ve all visited this architectual wonder.  The intrigue of the iconic Vanderbilts and the people who swirled around their social circles is quite fascinating.   Can you imagine growing up in the Biltmore estate?  I can!!!

For author Denise Kiernan bio click HERE 

For book club questions click HERE 

There are many tales of ghosts who walk the halls of the Biltmore – the most famous is George Vanderbilt himself!  Upon my last visit years ago, I of course asked the staff (in hushed tones of course – much more fun that way) ifthere were INDEED tales of ghosts.  With a very serious glance around to make sure no one was listening, they confirmed that YES there are certain wings and rooms of the Biltmore that are avoided like the plague due to unusual occurrences happening.  Doors opening or closing – voices echoing when no one is there, foot steps on upper floors.  George Vanderbilt died in the Biltomore  so you KNOW it HAS to be HIIM!  It’s more fun to think it is anyway!

We enjoyed The Last Castle very much – we hope you do too!

Until next time!

**Make sure you follow our book club blog so that you don’t miss a thing! Cheers! ** 

June 2019 – Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton

Photo Jun 26, 5 39 14 PMGood Morning World!  What a lovely meeting last night!!

We met at my house La Petite Maison de Joie for Historic College Park Book Club’s June meeting.  Our book was Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton.   I listened to this on Audible which was quite delightful considering the narrator had an English accent which completely made the book come alive for me!  I’m a sucker for an English accent.

The Beanster aka Judy Bean was the first to arrive at my house.  I was fearful we were the only ones attending then everyone began spilling in!!! We had a very good group for the evening!  There was one other instance when Judy and I were the ‘only’ ones in attendance – remember that Judy ? it was years ago……  we were having book club at one of the local eateries – luckily we had the best wee book club meeting with just the two of us!  Ha! So many cherished memories with our book club which began in 2007 with just a handful of neighbors.  Our first book was Loving Frank.   

I could not find book club questions for this book – sorry girls! There is a list of generic book club questions I recently stumbled upon but could not find them.   Anywho…..  we managed quite nicely I think.   We enjoyed the book for the most part.  It was completely a beach read – with a slow beginning but we were drawn in after we got started.   The theme of the book is about family.  All the craziness that involves each of us and how it’s important to stick with the group which they did nicely through Sunday Lunch Club hence the name.   There were secrets, regrets, loathing and a lot of love swirled in this book.   I really liked the menus at the beginning of each chapter.

For author bio click HERE 

The author writes under several different names including her real name of Bernadette Strachan.

Thank you everyone for bringing delightful nibbles (and the Bischoff from Judy considering you’re a Delta gal!) but especially to Laura Lee for actually using my oven which never EVER gets used!  Because I do not COOK! Those shrimp were divine!

Of course with our local Mayoral race heating up we HAD to go there and get political talk going (my bad actually… he he he).  I hope all the candidates ears are burning! We talked about the good bad and the ugly.    Thanks everyone for putting their two cents in on all the candidates.  Should be an interesting election indeed.  Just hopeful the most ethical, honest, and bright (we know who that is now don’t we – giggling) gets elected!

Thanks again everyone for coming to our meeting last night.   I just love book club…. don’t you?

Special thanks to my sweet wee Scottish Terriers for being so good!! Pip, Cricket and Bumble are the cutest.

*** make sure you follow our book club blog so that you don’t miss a thing!! *** 

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