Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The New Yorker's favorite books from 2011

The complete list is here.

Note: I've only read one book on this list: Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson. It was one of my favorite reads of this past year.

Also, Real Simple's No Obligation Book Club has chosen its January book.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Gathering

When: Friday, December 16th at 7 p.m. 
Where: Kathy's house
Bring: Something to share

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Case Histories

The TV/Film adaptation of Case Histories recently aired on PBS as a Masterpiece Theater feature [KVIE for us]. I watched the first episode and loved it.
All three episodes are available to view online.


Friday, October 21, 2011

November's Book


"As China opens itself to the world and undertakes historic economic reforms, a little girl in the southern city of Guangzhou immerses herself in a world of fantasy and foreign influences while grappling with the mundane vagaries of Communist rule. She happily immigrates to Oakland, California, expecting her new life to be far better in all ways than life in China. Instead, she discovers crumbling schools, unsafe streets, and racist people. In the land of the free, she comes of age amid the dysfunction of a city's brokenness and learns to hate in the shadows of urban decay. This is the unforgettable story of her journey from China to an American ghetto and how she prevailed."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October is National Reading Group Month

National Reading Group Month Selects 20 Great Group Reads 

2011 Selections 

The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb
Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Dance Lessons by Áine Greaney
Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo
The Good Sister by Drusilla Campbell
The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell
If You Knew Then What I Know Now by Ryan Van Meter
The Memory Palace: A Memoir by Mira Bartók
My Name Is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy
The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson
To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal
Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr
The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson
You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

Source: here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Paris Wife - interview with author

"The idea to write in Hadley’s voice came to me as I was reading Hemingway’s memoir, A Moveable Feast, about his early years in Paris. In the final pages, he writes of Hadley, “I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.” That line really killed me, and I couldn’t help wondering about who she was, and how they met, and what really happened between them. That’s when I searched out biographies of Hadley, and found the archive of their letters, and everything took off from there. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Hadley, and through her eyes, with the young Ernest Hemingway. From the beginning I was completely swept away by the power of their love story."
Interview with Paula McLain here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

October's book

Choose October's book from these three titles: (vote in the side bar poll on the right)


Fall Indie Film Series

Wednesday & Thursday
1 pm & 7 pm

Regal Cinemas Stadium 8
337 Placerville Drive

THE TREE OF LIFE (PG-13) October 5 & 6

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn & Jessica Chastain
Cast adrift in a modern world, a disillusioned man tries to come to terms with the complicated relationship he shared with his father.

SARAH’S KEY October 12 & 13

Starring: Kristen Scott Thomas
Based on Tatiana de Rosnay's best-selling novel, Sarah's Key tells the story of an Ameri-can Journalist on the brink of making big life decisions regarding her marriage and her unborn child. What starts off as a reseach article about the Vel'd'Hiv Roundup in 1942 in France ends up as a journey toward self-discovery as she stumbles upon a terrible secret and discovers the heartbreaking story of a Jewish family forced out of their home, a home that is now their own.

ANOTHER EARTH (PG-13) October 19 & 20

Starring: Brit Marling, Matthew-Lee Erlbach & D.J. Flava
Following her release from jail, a morose young woman seeks out the man whose life she shattered in a car accident several years earlier.

BEGINNERS (R) October 26 & 27

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer & Mélanie Laurent
 Oliver meets Anna only months after his father has passed away. This new love floods him with memories of his father who – following 44 years of marriage – came out of the closet at age 75. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty, brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be.

SNOW FLOWER &THE SECRET FAN (PG-13) November 2 & 3

Starring: Gianna Jun, Li Binging & Vivian Wu
A story set in 19th century China and centered on the lifelong friendship between two girls who develop their own secret code as a way to contend with the rigid cultural norms imposed on women.

THE GUARD (R) November 9 & 10

Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle & Rory Keenan
A vulgar Irish cop and a straight-laced American FBI agent uncover police corruption among the former's superiors while probing a drug-trafficking ring.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

September - trying something new

We're reading on our own this month. Come to Kathy's house on Friday, September 16th at 7 p.m. and share a book you've recently read & loved. From these books, we'll choose our next three book club selections. RSVP to Kathy by September 14th.

Friday, July 1, 2011

We loved the book

The film adaptation of "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett is set to be released on August 12th.
BBC field trip?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Poolside in July

Although we'll be a small group, we're going to keep our meeting date in July. Bring your favorite summertime wine or an appetizer. Swimsuit & towel too!

Book: Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Where: Sherry's

When: Friday, July 15th @ 7 pm

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Special election

We have a tie in selecting our book for August. Please vote for one of these books in the poll in the upper right side of the blog. Thanks!

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin

This soaring novel introduces us to Angel Tungaraza: mother, cake baker, pillar of her community, keeper of secrets big and small. Angel’s kitchen is an oasis in the heart of Rwanda, where visitors stop to order cakes but end up sharing their stories, transforming their lives, leaving with new hope. In this vibrant, powerful setting, unexpected things are beginning to happen: A most unusual wedding is planned, a heartbreaking mystery involving Angel’s own family unravels, and extraordinary connections are made—as a chain of events unfolds that will change Angel’s life and the lives of those around her in the most astonishing ways.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

No twentieth-century American writer has captured the popular imagination as much as Ernest Hemingway. This novel tells his story from a unique point of view — that of his first wife, Hadley. Through her eyes and voice, we experience Paris of the Lost Generation and meet fascinating characters such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Gerald and Sara Murphy. The city and its inhabitants provide a vivid backdrop to this engrossing and wrenching story of love and betrayal that is made all the more poignant knowing that, in the end, Hemingway would write of his first wife, "I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Going Graphic

For our next meeting, we're exploring the realm of graphic novels (memoirs). The plan is to pick a graphic work that interests you, read it and then share it with the rest of us at the May gathering on the 20th.

Here's a list of books I've read that I recommend (they are all available at the library):

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Stitches by David Small

Here are some links to articles about reading groups trying graphic works along with ideas about what to read:

No Honey... Graphic, Not Graphic!

Top 5 Graphic Novels to Get Your Book Club Started...

Going Graphic

And lastly, a link to award-winning graphic novels.

Choosing our summer reading

Here is the list of books from which we need to pick our books for July & August. Click on the titles for description and reviews:

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

My Abandonment by Peter Rock

One Day by David Nicholls

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman

Tahoe Silence by Todd Borg

Wickett's Remedy by Myla Goldberg

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This Friday - A Reliable Wife

"The moonlight shone through the window. The faint blue light caught the glass of water by the bed, and he suddenly felt so thirsty he thought he would die. He reached out and held the glass in his hands for a long moment. He smelled it and paused, but only for a second. Then he drank the water, drank all the water, and with the first sip, from the faint smell and the bitter aftertaste, he knew the water was tainted. He looked into the bottom of the beautiful Italian glass. He looked at his lovely wife, sleeping peacefully as a child in the moonlight. He remembered Florence, his days of indolence. He knew he was being poisoned. And he didn't care. He just didn't care anymore."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top 25 Most Popular Group Picks 2010

From Reading Group Guides

The Top 25 Most Popular Reading Group Picks for 2010:
1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
4. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
6. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
7. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
8. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
9. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
10. Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
11. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
12. Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
13. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
14. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
15. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
16. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin
17. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
18. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
19. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
20. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
21. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
22. South of Broad by Pat Conroy
23. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
24. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
25. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

* Titles our group has read are bolded

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring 2011 Indie Film Series

Monday & Tuesday
1 pm & 7 pm

Regal Cinemas Stadium 8
337 Placerville Drive

Made In Dagenham
Feb 28 & March 1

I Love You Phillip Morris
March 7 & 8

March 14 & 15

Blue Valentine
March 21 & 22

March 28 & 29

Another Year
April 4 & 5

Note: All films rated R

Saturday, February 12, 2011

words are power

I travel a lot, so when I arrive in a city, I like to go to good local bookshops and make a selection based on how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking. The book I pick usually seems to have a definite karmic connection! For instance, I recently hurt my knee because I fell on the street. But it didn't upset me, since the fall came just after reading this book, which is about rewiring our brains to heal ourselves. I started walking, and it wasn't difficult. Words are power. And a book is full of words. Be careful what power you get from it. But know that you do.

~ Yoko Ono

world's first book club

Coming Up - The Girl Who Played with Fire

"There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility."

"Don’t ever fight with Lisbeth Salander. Her attitude towards the rest of the world is that if someone threatens her with a gun, she’ll get a bigger gun."

"But she wished she had had the guts to go up to him and say hello. Or possibly break his legs, she wasn't sure which."

"There were not so many physical threats that could not be countered with a decent hammer."

"No matter how hard she tried to concentrate on something else, to pass the time and to distract her from the situation she was in, the fear came trickling out. It hovered like a cloud of gas around her, threatening to penetrate her pores and poison her."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Give 'Em Something to Talk About

NPR's Lynn Neary has five books she's recommending for reading groups:

Parrot And Olivier In America by Peter Carey

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Faithful Place by Tana French

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

Sunset Park by Paul Auster