Feb 2018 -The Suitcases by Anne Hall Whitt

Photo Feb 22, 6 40 01 PMA wonderful evening indeed girls!  For those who could not attend you were missed! Thank you SO MUCH Amy for hosting this eclectic group of ladies! I’m COMPLETELY smitten with Finn the wonder-pug-piggie-!  Your home is lovely!

Let me fill you in on how the book came to our attention.  Jenny’s Auntie retrieved it in her Little Free Library that sits in front of her home.  She gave it to Jenny to read and Jen said we must read this for book club!  And so it began.

True life account of Anne Hall Whitt and her two sisters during the Great Depression being moved through orphanages and foster care system after her mother passes away.  Many questions indeed being that other family members could have taken in the three siblings.  An easy read although the story is not easy to handle.  Major pulls to heart strings fyi.   Anne’s path is changed when directed to Crossnore School which is still in existence today.   A boarding school set in the lovely Winston Salem NC.    *Plot twist here!  Dr & Dr Sloop who began Crossnore —  I have a friend who I met whose name is Julie Sloop (Rhodenizer now) —  Sloop is such an unusual name! I PM’d her on FB and asked if any relation and holy mackerel it’s her great uncle Dr Sloop who indeed started Crossnore!  What a small world we live in!  FYI – Julie is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met – both inside and out.  An enchanting human being!

In talking about The Suicases — Georgia Baptist Children’s home and The Childrens Village at Christian city came to mind.  Georgia Baptist begin in the late l800’s moved from Hapeville and now sits in Palmetto Ga near Serenbe.   We all have known siblings who lived at Georgia Baptist when their parents died.   What a great testimony to both organizations – to care and love children when in strife.   THEN came the idea someone remembers hearing from Atlanta’s very own Clark Howard (we all adore Clark!) about providing suitcases with blankets and things a child would need toiletries toys etc to give to foster care for these children in need.  I’m on it!!!  Great idea girls!!

For author bio click HERE – Anne Hall Whitt 

I look forward to next month’s selection The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.  Thanks for offering to host our newest member Angela!  Will get date to you soon!

*** If you love books and following the wackadoodle gals in Historic College Park make sure you follow our website! To books!!! Cheers!



Jan 2018 – The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Photo Jan 23, 7 01 28 PMWe all love meeting in Julie’s home – it’s an I Spy sort of evening.  I’ve sat there many a time as something catches my eye that I must go investigate!  Her cottage is adorable — as is Julie!  Thank you Julie for hosting – it was a great evening of conversation, sharing and discussion.   It’s actually a meeting just as this that makes me realize how very important book club is to me.  We gathered, we discussed a book that most of us liked (except a few who found it a bit predictable and contrived) and splintered off into other subjects personal to us.  And THAT my friends and readers…. is WHAT book club is ALL ABOUT!  It’s gathering.  We made the effort to attend, read the book and VOILA!  Gave birth to newfound discovery of who we are and learned more of each other.   DARE to BARE your soul at book club.  That sounds pretty darn good to me.  Thanks to everyone who shared and bared that night.  It’s endearing to each of us – I think.  :::smiling:::::

The question was asked if we personally knew anyone who has adopted a Chinese baby – which most of us know Steph’s adorable Charlie – and his little friend Penelope – both precious children who are fiercely loved in the US adopted from China.  Knowing just a bit of their backgrounds and the little history they know – cements for us the love Li-yan of her baby girl in The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane: A Novel Hardcover – March 21, 2017. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.

For author bio on Lisa See click HERE   


Lisa See is also the author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – which is a favorite of many.   She was born in Paris but grew up in LA.  The author of many novels.

For book club discussion questions click HERE 

Thank you Sylvia & Julie for buying tea cakes for the group.  Sylvia’s was quite large and Julie’s were dainty little mounds wrapped in pairs.  Syliva — hope you’re over the flu! You were missed!

Our book for next month is The Suitcases and will be at Amy’s house.

Make sure you follow our blog so that you don’t miss a book!

Happy reading! Cheers! #HCPBookClub


Dec 2017 – Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe – by Jenny Colgan

Photo Dec 19, 5 54 39 PMCan you believe 2017 is coming to a close….already?  Well bring it on 2018!  It was wonderful to see such a lively group! Everyone meandered down about 25 mins South of Historic College Park to the farmhouse (Magpie Blue Manor) for our end of year December meeting!  Which has previously been hosted by Linda & Georgie – they needed a break so it’s now nested at the farmhouse.

As everyone began to filter in, nibbles were opened and wine was poured!  Our White Elephant gifts were sat aside to later rip open and steal! Bwhahahah!

For a summary of the book:

For fans of Jojo Moyes (Me Before You) and Sophie Kinsella (the Shopaholic series) comes the perfect holiday story—a moving, funny, utterly delightful novel about love, loss, and baking.

How many times can your life change?

Once upon a time, Issy Randall was the girl nobody wanted. But when she opened the Cupcake Café, her life changed—and now Issy is happy, confident, and in love with a wonderful man raising his young brother after the death of their parents.

Is life about to change again? With the holidays approaching, cracks show in Issy’s perfect world. Her boyfriend Austin has been scouted for a possible move to New York City. Her colleagues at the Cupcake Café are suffering heartbreak. And as Christmas looms ever closer, Issy finds forced to decide what she holds most dear.

From an author whose work Sophie Kinsella describes as ‘sheer indulgence’, and featuring delicious holiday recipes, Christmas at the Cupcake Café is a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and long for sugar. (HarperCollins.com)

Jenny Colgan is know as a ‘Chick-Lit’ author — and she does it well! For author bio please click HERE 

After we sat and discussed Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe, nibbled refreshments we moved to the parlor for White Elephant Gift exchange!  Georgie attended for Linda because she was off flying the friendly skies!   We had some fun steals and many a squeal and giggle escape all of us.  As we sat chatting and admiring our gifts we continued to hear a strange pounding from the other room… which we completely ignored.  Well.  It turned out to be Eileen stuck in the bathroom!  It’s a 100 year old house!  Things stick every now and then! LOL

A very merry meeting as everyone gathered their goodies and headed out into the dark night…. the tree glimmered and scotties were licking guests goodbye.  A very fun meeting gals. Jenny and I were lucky enough to have a sleepover! Scotties and all!  Thanks to Anda Panda for taking so many wonderful photos!

For 2018 check our website and give any suggestions we might add for 2018! We have a few spots left!

*If you are new to reading our blog, follow us so you don’t miss a meeting with us!

We hope the spirit of the season is happy and magical.   Have a very merry holiday and a joyful New Year!


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.



Oct 2016 – The Ludwig Conspiracy by Oliver Potzsch

41kx0xn1-2lRemember when we read Oliver Potzsch previous book – The Hangman’s Daughter a few years back (remember we organized a caravan to the German place downtown? – fun times!) – historical fiction basically is weaving a tale between historical events – which Oliver Potzsch seems to do well!  When I opened the box from Amazon where I had ordered The Ludwig Conspiracy from and realized holy snap how many pages it involved – and after beginning the book I thought ‘ This may be the very first time I’ll email members and say  I’ve made a terrible mistake we must choose another book this month – ‘  However I stuck with it – switching to audio through Hoopla (an app which I highly recommend – free – and it works off your library server in which you get 10 selections a month free – be it audio, movie, ebooks whatever – I’m addicted).  I was submersed after a few chapters in The Ludwig Conspiracy wondering what in the world could happen next and how are these characters connected etc

I began to research Ludwig, castles – fascinating.  We have a few members who are of German descent (thanks ladies for all your input!).  Most everyone finished the book, with a few ‘almost’ finished (spoiler alert right?).  Judy B could not get into the book ‘at all’ – which I completely understand.  That was my initial response.  Claire didn’t like the ending – which we agreed it went on far too long.  We mostly agreed he was murdered (a true conspiracy which no conclusive ending still).

No book club questions that I could find on the internet – some of our questions were:

  1. Who has been to Germany?
  2. Do you think it was murder or suicide or?
  3. Was Ludwig crazy?
  4. Have you been to the castles?

For author bio click <<HERE>>

For info on Ludwig – the Fairy-tale King click <<HERE>>

Great to see everyone! Thanks for hosting Claire!  – November book is The Crimson Portrait by Jody Shields.


Sept 2016 – The Color of Light by Karen White

img_7187Rainy night in Georgia.    Yes that song ALWAYS comes to mind when it rains in Atlanta – especially on a book club nights.

We had a wonderful group of gals come out in what seemed like torrential rains.  We were soaked as we carefully made our way through puddles huddling under umbrellas.  I for one have been DYING to see Stephanie’s lovely yellow Victorian style cottage.  She has a very spacious front porch where we were originally going to sit – however we would have been sponge-like if we had.  Thus we moved inside to the front parlor.   Did I mention I ADORE your home Stephanie??  :::shaking head gleefully::::

Once inside we were greeted by her sweet kitty cat who looked as if she were ready for Halloween — a slight skin rash had previously prompted a sheering of Ms. Kitty.

We had a few I haven’t seen for quite some time (Colleen aka super girl (flight attendant) and our gloriously curly headed Carol (hugs!) and Claire-Bear.  Love seeing you all!   For those who could not attend — you were deeply missed.  Completely.   Prayers and hugs go out to our sweet Emily and the Robinson family.  Continue love and support for our Julie A.  What a great group of women we have in our midst.

On to the book!   Author bio on Karen White (who lives in Atlanta by the way can be seen >>HERE<<.    Everyone who read the book pretty much liked it.   Eileen felt that the author let some of the characters off too easily —  and maybe too much hot steamy sex (although some of us enjoyed that – ahem).   We dove into book club discussion questions which can be found at the end of this post right before the photos.   Thanks everyone for all the wonderful pics!  Anda you rock!

We discussed also that bonding with your child is so very important.  Sometimes if you haven’t had that love from a mother/father it may be hard for you to bond with your own children.  Hopefully you eventually do.

Thanks to Stephanie for having our meeting in your home! Next month is at Claire’s.  Nov and Dec are at the Pritchards.   I need January host!  Thanks again for everyone coming out on this rainy night in Georgia.  I loved seeing everyone.   Keeping our book club going strong!

After I left on my way back to Birmingham, I put my book into one of our many Little Free Libraries in Historic College Park.  Magical indeed.


  • In what ways are the constellations important to Jillian? Why do they hold such a fascination for her?
  • What role does forgiveness play in the novel? For whom is it important and in what different ways is it asked for and given?
  • Discuss the different ways motherhood is represented in the novel. Are they positive or negative? Why?
  • Why does Linc disguise his identity from the community? Is this effective
  • How is Jillian’s failed marriage related to her difficult childhood
  • How is Jillian’s relationship with Linc different from her relationship with Rick? How is it similar?
  • On page 303, Linc thinks to himself that he and Jillian “had always seen the core of things that existed under all the surface flaws.” Why does he think this, and how do he and Jillian demonstrate this in their lives?
  • How do the townspeople feel about Linc returning to Pawley’s Island?
  • Why is Janie’s plastic flower garden important to her?
  • How does the epigraph by Alfred Lord Tennyson relate to the story to come?
  • Why is Jillian afraid of the dark? How does she finally overcome that fear?
  • When does Jillian realize that it was she who drove Rick away? What brings her to this realization and how does it change her?

Aug. 2016 – Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

girlonthe train We gathered in Julie’s (aka Jules) sweet cottage for our August meeting of the Historic College Park Book Club.  We had a fairly large group which was exciting to see all these lovely friends!  We had the special pleasure of seeing Sherry G. who headed back to Chattanooga post meeting.

Our August book was Girl on the train —  let me tell you a funny story — there are TWO books by the same name Girl on the Train – which has caused some mass confusion not just for me!   You can read the story by NPR >>HERE<<.  When I realized my mistake of reading the ‘other’ book and not the one on the list (Alison Waines is the other author).  I smiled and thought oh well! I enjoyed the book! On to the other one!  Which I also enjoyed! You may want to read the other one as well — both English authors – both murder mysteries.  Both very different.   They’re making Paula’s into a movie – and as the ‘Beanster’ (aka Judy B) enlightened us – it won’t be set in London but in NYC of all places.  Puzzled on that one! Can’t wait to see the movie regardless.


We gathered plates filled with delightful nibbles, a glass of vino then on to author bio and book club discussions.

Author bio <<HERE>>

book club discussions <<HERE>>

We all pretty much enjoyed the book except for a few who felt that the alcoholic Rachel was just too much at times.  The Hitchcock feel of the book endeared many to Rachel as well.   A few brought up the fact that evil husband Scott was to blame for her slump into alcoholic amnesia.   We rallied around Rachel especially since Anna was such an evil cheat in her own right.

Stephanie Jones is holding Sept. meeting which the Evites  have gone out.  Our book is The Color of Light by Karen White.  See you all soon!  #bookclubrocks

Claire is doing Oct and Linda Pritchard is doing Nov and Dec!!