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!


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!


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.



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!


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.