Dec 2018 – First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

Photo Dec 17, 7 05 49 PM*Make sure you follow our ladies of Historic College Park Book Club blog! Don’t miss a book! 

I have to apologize to the book club gals!! I put the incorrect address on the evite for book club last night! Yikes!  I inadvertently put Amy’s address instead of Angie’s! There’s a first for everything.  Thankfully they both live on the same street!

Thanks to Angie for hosting our end of year book club meeting!  It’s also a  white elephant gift exchange (or Dirty Santa gifts some call it).   Our December book is by Sarah Addison Allen called First Frost.  I try to choose a holiday themed book for December.  Sarah also wrote Garden Spell which Angie said is delightful.  First Frost reminded me of the movie Practical Magic just a wee bit.  I love the aspect of people creating magical affects through cooking, or organizing or… cutting hair?  Thanks to Angie for our special cookie cake reading “Merry Chirstmas HCPBC!’ so sweet!  And to our dear Kelly who actually baked the recipe for the special bread – it was divine!!

For author bio click HERE 

We enjoyed the book very much.  It was in the vein of women and communities coming together – their relationships and the magical world Sarah Addison Allen creates is wonderful as it unfolds before you as you read.

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We nibbled and sipped hard cider as we went through book club discussion questions.   We gathered for our white elephant gift exchange – with a few gifts being stolen as laughter ensued.  We’ve been doing this meeting once a month since 2007 when we began our book club.  There were just a few of us when I decided to begin our adventures.   Many of us are in multiple book clubs – because yes we love to read.   Some are definitely more strict than ours – some even are an excuse to get together and just drink and talk!  Ours is somewhere in between those two extremes.   Many have come and gone through the years.   One thing remains – a small group of gals who love to read, discuss, giggle, be serious, drink (a given) and gather as friends in our quaint historic district just SW of Atlanta.   Some meetings are more intense than others.  Most are just enjoyable as we discuss and go along the paths of discussion where the subject matter takes us.

See you in 2019!!!  Cheers!!!

 

Sept 2018 – Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Photo Sep 18, 6 17 08 PMReading brings to light people places events and things we would never cross paths with in our lives.  We were completely delighted with Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan.   I’ve never associated WWII and Hitler with Italy – our eyes have been opened!

Mark Sullivan brings to light Pino Lella’s experiences and choices during WWII.   It’s completely captivating through and through.   Highly recommend reading.  I have found several photos of Pino being that this is based on a true story – there are wonderful photographs out there!

We gathered in my home for September, La Petite Maison de Joie (the Little House of Joy lovingly named by dear friend Sherry Gaines).   Delightful evening ladies. Truly.  I look forward to book club every month and what it brings out in discussions.  We each bring our own unique perspective to every meeting.  And that my friends…. is the entire point! If we were all the same how very boring it would be!!!

For author bio click MARK SULLIVAN 

I came across a video from Wagner College and a group called High Society – Very interesting…  Click HERE to view

*For those reading our book club blog, make sure you follow us so that you don’t miss a book! Cheers!

 

Nov 2017 – A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams

Photo Nov 27, 6 43 15 PM*Make sure you follow our blog so that you don’t miss the ladies of Historic College Park’s Book Club meetings! Even though you aren’t present you can be there in spirit by reading our blog! To books and the discussion of such (among other things!) – Cheers! 

Thanks so much Laura Lee Gentry for hosting our November meeting! LOVE the renovations!

On a chilly wintry night in Georgia (Historic College Park to be exact…..) we gathered to discuss A Certain Age – by Beatriz Williams.    A novel set in the roaring 1920’s amid the privileged upper class of New York, flappers, lots of sex (no drugs or rock at roll at this point) and a GREAT plot twist mid way.

The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York.

For author bio click HERE 

We discussed the freedom many women were experience at this time in the roaring 1920’s —  the open marriage arrangement Teresa had with her husband and the love she felt for Boyo in letting him go.  The plot twist of the murder house that both Octavian and Sophie lived in and what brought them together was a fabulous act!

Hope you enjoyed the book as much as we did.

To books! And discussing them at book club!

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.

 

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!

 

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.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • 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!!