Friday, June 27, 2008

July and August Selection

We will be reading Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult for our July selection and The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski in August.  I don't think there is much interest in The Thirteenth Tale (although you don't know what you are missing-Michelle and I LOVED it!) so we will drop it from the list.  Please send me any book suggestions you have or leave them in the comments.  I would like for us to go ahead and pick our books for the rest of the year.  The July meeting will be on July 14th at 6:45 at Wendy's house.  See you there!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

July book

Please vote only once! (For some reason, the poll is allowing multiple voting.) Whichever book wins we will read for July; 2nd place will be August and 3rd place will be September. Our next meeting will be July 14 at 6:45 at Wendy's house. Book club last night was FABULOUS! I enjoyed the great discussion. The poll will close at 7 PM on Thursday.

Monday, June 16, 2008

June Quiz-Kudzu!

Answers are in the comments.

____ 1. Kudzu is a climbing annual vine.
____ 2. Kudzu only grows in trees.
____ 3. Kudzu has short pink flower that is highly fragrant.
____ 4. Kudzu is edible.
____ 5. Kudzu will grow in all climates.
____ 6. Kudzu can grow up to 3 feet a day.
____ 7. Opossums are the only known natural predator of kudzu in the United States.
____ 8. Kudzu can be used to make jelly that tastes like bubblegum.
____ 9. Kudzu can reduce both hangovers and alcohol cravings.
____ 10. Kudzu has been used to treat migraines.
____ 11. Kudzu has been used as a treatment for impotence.
____ 12. Kudzu has been used as a form of erosion control and also to enhance the soil.
____ 13. Kudzu can be used as forage for livestock.
____ 14. Kudzu has had devastating environmental consequences in the Southern United States.
____ 15. Kudzu may become a valuable asset for the production of biofuel.
____ 16. Kudzu was introduced into the United States on boats coming from Vietnam.
____ 17. Kudzu is used as an ornamental plant in Asia.
____ 18. The Soil Conservation Service encouraged farmers in the Southeast to plant kudzu to reduce soil erosion.
____ 19. Kudzu is highly tolerant of freezing temperatures.
____ 20. Kudzu has been found as far north as Maine and as far west as Oregon
____ 21. The only way to kill kudzu is to burn it.
____ 22. The city of Atlanta has undertaken a trial program using goats and llamas that graze on the plant.

July/August possibilities

Change of Heart
Picoult bangs out another ripped-from-the-zeitgeist winner, this time examining a condemned inmate's desire to be an organ donor. Freelance carpenter Shay Bourne was sentenced to death for killing a little girl, Elizabeth Nealon, and her cop stepfather. Eleven years after the murders, Elizabeth's sister, Claire, needs a heart transplant, and Shay volunteers, which complicates the state's execution plans. Meanwhile, death row has been the scene of some odd events since Shay's arrival—an AIDS victim goes into remission, an inmate's pet bird dies and is brought back to life, wine flows from the water faucets. The author brings other compelling elements to an already complex plot line: the priest who serves as Shay's spiritual adviser was on the jury that sentenced him; Shay's ACLU representative, Maggie Bloom, balances her professional moxie with her negative self-image and difficult relationship with her mother. Picoult moves the story along with lively debates about prisoner rights and religion, while plumbing the depths of mother-daughter relationships and examining the literal and metaphorical meanings of having heart.
June Parker's life is meandering along until a freak car accident leaves Marissa, her 24-year-old passenger, dead and June wracked with guilt. June discovers a list Marissa had been keeping of 25 things she wanted to do by the time she turned 25. After a run-in with Marissa's brother, June resolves to complete the list. Kissing a total stranger and throwing away her scale prove far easier than pitching an idea at work or changing someone's life. But June approaches the list with aplomb, daring to speak up about being passed over for a manager position, and becoming a Big Sister to a quiet, studious Latina teen named DeeDee. But when June uncovers a secret of DeeDee's, she realizes changing someone else's life might involve changing her own as well. Clever and winning, Smolinski's novel will have readers rooting for June as they eagerly turn the pages to keep up with her progress on the list.

There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins:
"You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone."
She [Vida] shrugged. "It's my profession. I'm a storyteller."
"I am a biographer, I work with facts."
The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida's plan. The transformative power of truth informs the lives of both women by story's end, and The Thirteenth Tale is finally and convincingly told.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Don't forget!  June's Meeting is Monday, June 16th at 6:45 PM at Houndstooth Tavern in Braselton (the old Braselton Grille).  We will be discussing Gods In Alabama by Jocilyn Jackson. Welcome Pam and Teri- glad you can both join us!  See you Monday!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June meeting

Since almost all of us cannot meet on June 9th, we will be having book club this month on June 16th! Please leave suggestions for the restaurant and RSVP in the comments section.