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.

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April 2019 – Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty

Photo Apr 24, 5 04 19 PM*Make sure you follow our book blog so that you don’t miss a meeting! ** 

We were soooooo excited to have our April meeting mainly so that we could see Steph’s new kitchen!!! Blown away!!!  GREAT JOB STEPH!!  We all loved it completely.   I love your house so the kitchen redo was even more love coming from me!

Our April book was Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty.  For author bio click HERE 

We pretty much as a group felt the book was a complete beach read  – which is OK! Although we did get a good feel for reliving our 70s and 80s through the vibes of the tennis world! Think John Mcenroe and my very favorite Bjorn Borg :::::he’s so hot!::::::  Remember the temper tantrums of John Mcenroe? What a goober but made for great tennis watching – you just never ever knew what Mcenroe would do!!!  The urge to wear tennis whites now is overwhelming. For some angry outburst by John Mcenroe click HERE What a bad boy!!  For some eye candy click HERE for Bjorn Borg :::dreamy sigh:::

The author also spun a few paths of feminism and a lot of sex into the mix which many of us knew (about the feminism references)  but some of us didn’t (like me – about the feminism not the sex part  ::giggling::::) .   The book Fear of Flying by Erica Jong had nothing to do with airplanes – just in case you didn’t know that.  It’s the 2nd wave of feminism.   The book Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan is another I’ve never heard of.  I wasn’t the only one thank goodness.  Somehow we got onto the book The Joy of Sex which I’ve never read – not because I’m an expert by any means.  Ahem.  See? The path of discussions can take you anywhere!  :::blushing::::::  THEN came the Kama Sutra talk …… I’m turning red even thinking of all that.  Not enough coffee yet folks!!!

Thanks for hosting Steph! We all have kitchen envy now.   Great job!

See you next month ladies!

Feb 2019 – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

AF7A58DC-063D-415C-B2E5-8E92F95A7913 2Thanks to everyone who made the trip North of the city on a rainy traffic filled night to nest at Claire’s home for book club!  We seem to have had a ‘rainy season’ descend upon the South and it’s completely sucked beans for weeks now …or has it been months.  It’s been a long rainy while I’ll tell you that.    Jenny and I actually were able to grab a pre-book club cocktail at Blue Grotto right around the corner from Claires!  All about the cocktail baby!  A big thank you to Claire for hosting!  Always a wonderful day when we get to see Claire.

I remember seeing this book on Reese Witherspoon’s book club list and I added it to ours.  I’m so glad I did!  A wonderful story woven in the marsh of North Carolina.   A love story, a coming of age so many things author Delia Owens wrapped in this wonderful story.

For author bio click HERE  

For book club questions click HERE 

We talked of how painful to think of leaving a 6 year old girl alone to fend with a raging violent alcoholic father who may or may not be present was mind-blowing.  The way Kya learned how to take care of herself was inspirational.   We loved that Kya became an author and expert of the area and natural world that she loves.   The ending was a twist we were not expecting!!!  I brought up the query of how her mother’s sister didn’t send for the children when the mother showed up?  I thought that was bizarre and cold.

It was a delightful read – very much able to visualize where Kya lived, the marsh and nature that inspired and kept her safe.

P.S. we really DID have an issue opening that bottle of friggin’ wine! Holy snap!

We all enjoyed the book — for those who couldn’t join us you were missed!

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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!!!

 

Nov 2018 – Courting Disaster by Julie Edelson

Photo Nov 26, 8 37 46 PM*Make sure you follow our book club blog so that you don’t miss a book! 

Thanksgiving 2018 November

The year has flown by!!!  We hope our fellow bibliophiles have had a wonderful year and hope your holidays will be fabulous!

We gathered in Amy’s lovely home! Thanks for hosting!!!  You know we all come just for the pug!!!!

Our November book was Courting Disaster — recommended to me by a client we did an estate sale for — he’s a retired professor —  I could NOT get through the book!  Thank for for those who could and did!!!  Several enjoyed it once they were a good 3/4 of the way in.  Bravo!!!  I hardly EVER put a book down.    The characters were not well developed to me and the language was just over the top — even for me and we know it must be because I can handle foul language.    It was recommended in the vein of the it being Thanksgiving. No clue whatsoever how that connection was made for this book.   That’s what book club is about!!!   Reading something that you would not normally be drawn to.  And getting through it – sadly I failed on this one.   I’m ok with that.  :::sigh::::

We ended up asking and answering questions about our own Thanksgiving traditions, family gatherings past and present.   Always enlightening sharing your own experiences with others – especially once a few glasses of wine have been consumed!!! Share freely!!!  I shared my Thanksgiving ritual as a small girl — when we were on break for Thanksgiving my older sister and I would pull out the Monopoly game and play for the entire week!  I coveted that time with her – I was the pesky kid sister you know (I really was not – I think she was just grumpy)  I was a bit of a finicky eater – and would hide undesirable food in my socks especially at Thanksgiving.   Of course my dog Brownie would be the happy recipient of said food at a later time.

**** on a wonderful note of discovery — our sweet member Kelly brought her incredible peanut stuffed dates rolled in sugar.  Sounds gross but oh my WORD WERE THEY ADDICTIVE!!!!  Kelly said it’s her grandmothers recipe.  Thank you Kelly!

For a glimpse into the author click Julie Edelson 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

 

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!

 

Oct 2018 -See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Photo Oct 23, 5 53 12 PMA wonderful Fall night finally in Atlanta!!!  You know how the South is….  crisp cool air wearing boots in the evening then the next day we’re in flip flops shorts.   Thanks for hosting Wendy!!!!  Always love coming to your quaint home and seeing the furbabies!

We were greeted with delightful aromas as Ari (Wendy’s guest from Costa Rica) made empanadas! They were delightful! So nice to finally meet you Ari and thanks for contributing to our feast and for the conversations!  So very happy to see Eileen, our very special Julie A and Claire!!! What a delight!  Ginger B joined us along with Julie S.  Fun group for sure!

Here’s article on our author and book from the NYTimes 

For author bio on Sarah Schmidt click HERE  

For a PEAK inside the Borden home which is now a B & B click HERE 

Almost everyone I dare say has heard something about the infamous Lizzie Borden murders.   Our October book tries to fill in some of the ‘cracks’ if you will in the historical case of Lizzie Borden murdering her parents.  Although acquitted of the crimes, everything seems to point to her being guilty.

We pondered as a group thinking she surely had some type of mental disorder and also that she was a sociopath to boot.   Without having any real eye-witness to her daily life, from the stories we’ve read and from this book she had erratic behavior.   The movie that has just been released called Lizzie is another twist suggesting she was romantically involved with Bridget.   There’s really no account of her being romantically involved with anyone male or female.  The group discussed perhaps the oddness of her uncle John with inappropriate affection it seems.   We spoke of the longing of Emma to be free of Lizzie, and the toxic relationship between the girls and their parents.  Well… what family doesn’t have dysfunction…. right?

We meandered off the path  – which is the fun of any book club.  We talked about the wonderful dating adventures of Wendy —  about other serial killers (no one Wendy’s dating I assure you just serial killers in general).    We spoke of experiences with step-mothers and our own parents.

For the most part we all enjoyed the book and the fact that the author came up with creative ways for filling in gaps – such as the reason Emma chose to leave Lizzie 10 years after the trial for reasons unknown.  Perhaps because she found out she WAS indeed guilty?  Just like the center of a tootsie roll pop we will never really know.

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Dare to BARE your SOUL at book club ladies!