Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!
The blog has been updated with more pages to allow for more interaction.

Vote for your favorite book of the year (on the right sidebar)

Next book club - January 30th 2011 @Paula Mansour's

Monday, December 6, 2010

Without a Map - Meredith Hall

Without a Map - Meredith Hall
Meredith Hall grew up bonded to her insular New Hampshire community, comforted by the hallmarks of belonging: perfect attendance in Sunday school, classmates who seemed more like cousins, teachers who held her up as a model student, a mother who loved her unconditionally. Then, at sixteen, she became pregnant, and all at once those who had held her close and kept her safe turned their backs.
The same day in 1965 that Meredith was expelled from school, her mother told her “You can’t stay here.”� Her father and stepmother reluctantly offered Meredith a cold sanctuary until she gave birth to the child she gave up for adoption. Then she was banned from her father’s home forever. For the next decade she wandered, lost to society and to herself. Slowly, Meredith began stitching together a life that encircled her silenced and invisible grief.

When he was twenty-one years old, Meredith’s lost son found her. She learned that he had grown up in gritty poverty with an abusive father—in her own father’s hometown. Their reunion was tender and turbulent, a renaissance. Meredith’s parents never asked for her forgiveness, yet as they aged, she offered them her love. Without a Map charts an extraordinary path in which loss and betrayal evolve into compassion, and compassion into wisdom. More details

Listed as one of ten “truly addictive stories” by O Magazine 2007 BookSense “Pick of the Year”

Book Club Question and discussion by Joyce Charpentier

Next book club - January 30th 2011 @Paula Mansour's

Monday, October 18, 2010

True Colors - Kristin Hannah

 True Colors is New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s most provocative, compelling, and heart-wrenching story yet.   Website
With the luminous writing and unforgettable characters that are her trademarks, she tells the story of three sisters whose once-solid world is broken apart by jealousy, betrayal, and the kind of passion that rarely comes along.
The Grey sisters have always been close. After their mother’s death, the girls banded together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving father cares less about his children than about his reputation. To Henry Grey, appearances are everything, and years later, he still demands that his daughters reflect his standing in the community.
Winona, the oldest, needs her father’s approval most of all. An overweight bookworm who never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that has been in her family for three generations, she knows that she doesn’t have the qualities her father values. But as the best lawyer in town, she’s determined to someday find a way to prove her worth to him.
Aurora, the middle sister, is the family peacemaker. She brokers every dispute and tries to keep them all happy, even as she hides her own secret pain.Vivi Ann is the undisputed star of the family. A stunningly beautiful dreamer with a heart as big as the ocean in front of her house, she is adored by all who know her. Everything comes easily for Vivi Ann, until a stranger comes to town…
In a matter of moments, everything will change. The Grey sisters will be pitted against one another in ways that none could have imagined. Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime will shatter both their family and their beloved town. With breathtaking pace and penetrating emotional insight, True Colors is an unforgettable novel about sisters, rivalry, forgiveness, redemption---and ultimately, what it means to be a family.

Read about why I wrote the book, and watch the video.

Check out the reading group guide link for discussion questions and themes.
Next Book Club - Sunday December 5th 2010 - Host Joyce Charpentier

Monday, September 27, 2010


A language kept a secret for a thousand years forms the backdrop for an unforgettable novel of two Chinese women whose friendship and love sustains them through their lives.  This absorbing novel – with a storyline unlike anything Lisa See has written before – takes place in 19th century China when girls had their feet bound, then spent the rest of their lives in seclusion with only a single window from which to see. Illiterate and isolated, they were not expected to think, be creative, or have emotions. But in one remote county, women developed their own secret code, nu shu – "women's writing" – the only gender-based written language to have been found in the world. Some girls were paired as "old-sames" in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their windows to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.
An old woman tells of her relationship with her "old-same," their arranged marriages, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood—until a terrible misunderstanding written on their secret fan threatens to tear them apart. With the detail and emotional resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha , Snow Flower and the Secret Fan delves into one of the most mysterious and treasured relationships of all time—female friendship.

See what your friends are reading. Keep track of what you've read and organize your books into virtual bookshelves. Looking for a site to find good books?  Try

Our next book club is
Sunday, October 17th @ Fran Cooley's house.
November @Joyce Charpentier's

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

Our next Book Club Selection is :"To Kill a Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee -- 50th Anniversary edition!
One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. Most recently, librarians across the country gave the book the highest of honors by voting it the best novel of the twentieth century.   Reading Guides: / Dicussion Questions --- To Kill a Mockingbird

Our next meeting is September 26th 2010 Our next hostess is....Susan Torosian

Monday, June 21, 2010

Heat Wave (Nikki Heat) by Richard Castle

Editorial Reviews
Our next Book Club Selection is :
Heat Wave (Nikki Heat) by Richard Castle

Product Description
A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.
Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City's top homicide squads. She's hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York's Finest. PulitzerPrize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren't her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat.
About the Author
Richard Castle is the author of numerous bestsellers, including the critically acclaimed Derrick Storm series. His first novel, In a Hail of Bullets, published while he was still in college, received the Nom DePlume Society's prestigious Tom Straw Award for Mystery Literature. Castle currently lives in Manhattan with his daughter and mother, both of whom infuse his life with humor and inspiration.

Our next meeting is.....August 22, at 7pm. - Our next hostess is.....Mary Marotta

Spoken From the Heart - Laura Bush

In this brave, beautiful, and deeply personal memoir, Laura Bush, one of our most beloved and private first ladies, tells her own extraordinary story. Born in the boom-and-bust oil town of Midland, Texas, Laura Welch grew up as an only child in a family that lost three babies to miscarriage or infant death. She vividly evokes Midland's brash, rugged culture, her close relationship with her father, and the bonds of early friendships that sustain her to this day. For the first time, in heart-wrenching detail, she writes about the devastating high school car accident that left her friend Mike Douglas dead and about her decades of unspoken grief.

Watch CBS News Videos Online


Laura Bush has always been passionate about reading. An Honorary Ambassador for the UN Literary Decade, she hosted the first-ever White House Conference on Global Literacy in 2006 to encourage international cooperation and build free societies through literacy. In 2001 she joined with the Library of Congress to launch the first National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. As First Lady of Texas, Mrs. Bush founded the statewide Texas Book Festival in 1995. She taught in Dallas, Houston, and Austin public schools. This is her first picture book .

More Reviews and Recommendations
More About the Author
Next Book Club - May 23rd Julie Bigelow

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human only a dog could tell it.
Our next book club is .... May 23rd, Julie Bigelow's

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. De Rosnay's U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél' d'Hiv' roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself. Already translated into 15 languages, the novel is De Rosnay's 10th (but her first written in English, her first language). It beautifully conveys Julia's conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah's trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down .

Our next meeting is.....April 25, 2010. at 7pm.Our next hostess is.....Laurie Roy's house

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Synopsis - A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900's, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the lives of 11-year-old Francie Nolan, her younger brother Neely, and their parents, Irish immigrants who have settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Johnny Nolan is as loving and fanciful as they come, but he is also often drunk and out of work, unable to find his place in the land of opportunity. His wife Katie scrubs floors to put food on the table and clothes on her childrens' backs, instilling in them the values of being practical and planning ahead.
When Johnny dies, leaving Katie pregnant, Francie, smart, pensive and hoping for something better, cannot believe that life can carry on as before. But with her own determination, and that of her mother behind her, Francie is able to move toward the future of her dreams, completing her education and heading oft to college, always carrying the beloved Brooklyn of her childhood in her heart.

Next Book Club - March 21st ........Kelley Dyment's house

Other dates
April 25th ..........Laurie Roy
May 23rd ..........Julie Bigelow
June 27th .........Kelly Bell

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn Stockett’s phenomenal debut novel The Help, set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962, is told from the perspectives of three very different women. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan is fresh out of college and back at her parents’ home in Jackson, Mississippi. Her dream is to become a writer. Her mother’s dream is for her to find a well-to-do Southern boy from a good family with a healthy trust fund and get married. Bored with her friends and frustrated by the way they talk to and about their maids—the help—Skeeter dreams up an idea that could change life in Jackson for the better, but it is quite a dangerous proposition.

Next book club February 21st....Tricia Smith