Saturday, October 19, 2013

New Releases Roundup

New releases by authors we've read:

The Circle by Dave Eggers

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Recommended reading

Librarything has some books to recommend based on the 95 books we've read as a group. Here are the top 10:

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Room by Emma Donoghue
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Have you read any of these books?

Next: Molokai

Book Summary from the publisher:
This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai'i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place---and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit. 
Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end---but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.
Discussion questions here.

"A dazzling historical novel."
— The Washington Post

"Alan Brennert draws on historical accounts of Kalaupapa and weaves in traditional Hawaiian stories and customs.... Moloka'i is the story of people who had much taken from them but also gained an unexpected new family and community in the process."
— Chicago Tribune

"Compellingly original...Brennert's compassion makes Rachel a memorable character, and his smooth storytelling vividly brings early twentieth-century Hawai'i to life."
— Publishers Weekly

"Moloka'i is a haunting story of tragedy in a Pacific paradise."
— Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek

"[An] absorbing novel…Brennert evokes the evolution of -- and hardships on -- Moloka'i in engaging prose that conveys a strong sense of place."
— National Geographic Traveler

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Clubs Surge in Popularity

Don't know if this is true in the world at large, but book clubs still seem to be popular post-Oprah Show (in Ames, Iowa at least).
Being part of book clubs has truly enhanced my life. I’ve stretched my reading interests, met lifelong friends and shared many laughs (and quite a few brownies). In a world that is becoming increasingly chaotic, where isolation is high on people’s lists of anxiety inducers, connecting with others to share thoughts, ideas and passions may be the antidote. A book club is a great place to start.
Click here to read the article.