Saturday, December 26, 2009

January Meeting

Book Club will meet Thursday, January 14th at 6:45 PM. We will be discussing The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve.
News of Jack Lyons's fatal crash sends his wife into shock and emotional numbness.The situation becomes even more dire when the plane's black box is recovered, pinning responsibility for the crash on Jack. In an attempt to clear his name, Kathryn searches for any and all clues to the hours before the flight. Yet each discovery forces her to realise that she didn't know her husband of 16 years at all. Shreve's complex and highly convincing treatment of Kathryn's dilemma, coupled with intriguing minor characters and an expertly paced plot, makes The Pilot's Wife really takes off.

Would anyone like to hostess?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Canteen

Dinner at Dominick's and the Christmas Canteen at the Aurora. We had a great time!

Monday, November 9, 2009

November Meeting

Book club will be this Thursday, November 12 at 6:45 PM at Danielle's house. We will be discussing Testimony by Anita Shreve. Please bring your book and an appetizer to share!

Friday, October 16, 2009

November Meeting

Our November meeting will be held Thursday, November 12 at 6:45. Would anyone like to hostess? We will be discussing Testimony by Anita Shreve.
See you there!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October Bookclub

October book club will be tomorrow, Thursday, October 15th at 6:45 at Kim A.'s house. We will be discussing Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch. Bring your book and an appetizer to share!

Also, if you are interested in going to the Aurora Christmas Canteen bring your checkbook!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Aurora Christmas Canteen

We will be going to the Aurora Theatre on Thursday, December 3 for the Christmas Canteen. The show starts at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $26.50 (unless we have a group of ten and qualify for a group rate). If you would like to go, I must have your ticket money by our October 15th meeting.

We can discuss plans for dinner closer to the date.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

October Book Selection

Our October meeting will be Thursday, October 15th at at 6:45 PM at Kim's house. We will be discussing Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch.
Please send me your ideas for book selections by Monday, Sept. 21st. I will set up a poll and we will vote for our next 5 books.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September Meeting UPDATE

Book club will be Thursday night at ANDREA's house. Kim's husband Mike is in the hospital due to some post-surgery complications and she will be unable to hostess. Please bring suggestions for books to read over the next several months. We will vote Thursday night for October's book and then by poll for the rest. I look forward to seeing all of you!

Please RSVP in the comments section.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

September Meeting

Book club will meet Thursday, September 10th at 6:45 at Kim A.'s house. We will be discussing Ask Again Later by Jill Davis.
Bring your book and an appetizer to share.
We are so happy to welcome some new members to our group!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August Book Club

Book Club will meet at ANDREA'S house at 6:45 tonight.  Bring your book and an appetizer to share.  Also, bring book suggestions for our October pick.

See you tonight!

Monday, August 10, 2009

July Meeting


Book Club will meet Thursday, August 13th at 6:45.  We will be discussing The Friday Night Knitting Club.  
Please send me an email if you would like to hostess this month.  

Please RSVP in the comment section.

Looking forward to seeing all of you!

Monday, June 1, 2009


June's book selection is The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman. 
We are meeting this month on June 11 at 6:45 at Teri's house.  Bring your book and an appetizer to share!  Please RSVP in the comments, so we will know how many of us are coming.

See you there!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Our May book is A Year on Ladybug Farm (click the link on the sidebar to go to it's Amazon page).  We will be meeting on Thursday, May 21 at 6:45 at Susan's house.  We will have a book swap, so bring any books you no longer want to swap for some new summer reading!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April Quiz


1.  This symbol of the United States has 13 olive leaves with 13 olives, thirteen arrows and 13 stars on it.  

2.  13 donuts is called a ____________________________.

3.  The fear of 13 is called ___________________________.

4.  In Jewish tradition, a boy becomes  ___________________ at age 13 when he reads from the Torah for the first time.

5.  Apollo 13 is the only US space mission to ________________________________ ____________________.

6.  Name the player who wore/wears the number 13:

For the Yankees ________________________________________

For the Dolphins ________________________________________

For the Chinese basketball team in the 2008 Summer Olympics ___________________

For the Harlem Globetrotters, the 76ers, and the Lakers _______________________

7. Name the thirteen original colonies

8.  There are 13 players on a ________________ team.

9.  Traditionally, there are 13 steps leading up to this method of execution.

10.  Tradition states that this disciple was the last of the 13 participants at the last supper to sit at the table. 

11.  Thirteen is the nickname of this physician on House

12. Thirteen is a coming of age movie starring ____________________.

13.  Name at least three of the main stars of the movie Ocean’s 13.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April Meeting

Don't forget!  Book club is tomorrow night.  We will meet at the Crossroads Bar and Grill at 6:45.  (In the Publix shopping center across from the new Target.) Please RSVP in the comments so I can make a reservation.  We will be discussing The Thirteenth Tale.  See you tomorrow night!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Next Five Books

A Year on Ladybug Farm
Friday Night Knitting Club
A Version of the Truth
Ask Again Later
The Zookeeper's Wife

We will discuss the order in which we will read them at our next bookclub meeting on Tuesday, April 14th.  (Note the date change due to spring break!

Friday, March 20, 2009

April Book

We will be reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield for April.  Book Club will be meeting on TUESDAY APRIL 14th due to Spring Break.  We will meet at a restaurant to be determined.  If you have a suggestion, leave it in the comments.  (Preferably a restaurant with a private room so we can discuss the book.)

Book Picks

Here are the synopses of the books for which we will be voting.  Pick your five favorites; this will take us through September.  The titles are hyperlinks so you can  click to read additional reviews on Amazon.

The Art of Racing In the Rain

If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoë, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny's bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama.

An American Wife

Sittenfeld tracks, in her uneven third novel, the life of bookish, naïve Alice Lindgren and the trajectory that lands her in the White House as first lady. Charlie Blackwell, her boyishly charming rake of a husband, whose background of Ivy League privilege, penchant for booze and partying, contempt for the news and habit of making flubs when speaking off the cuff, bears more than a passing resemblance to the current president (though the Blackwells hail from Wisconsin, not Texas). Sittenfeld shines early in her portrayal of Alice's coming-of-age in Riley, Wis., living with her parents and her mildly eccentric grandmother. A car accident in her teens results in the death of her first crush, which haunts Alice even as she later falls for Charlie and becomes overwhelmed by his family's private summer compound and exclusive country club membership. Once the author leaves the realm of pure fiction, however, and has the first couple deal with his being ostracized as a president who favors an increasingly unpopular war, the book quickly loses its panache and sputters to a weak conclusion that doesn't live up to the fine storytelling that precedes it. 

 The 19th Wife

This ambitious third novel tells two parallel stories of polygamy. The first recounts Brigham Young's expulsion of one of his wives, Ann Eliza, from the Mormon Church; the second is a modern-day murder mystery set in a polygamous compound in Utah. Unfolding through an impressive variety of narrative forms—Wikipedia entries, academic research papers, newspaper opinion pieces—the stories include fascinating historical details. We are told, for instance, of Brigham Young's ban on dramas that romanticized monogamous love at his community theatre; as one of Young's followers says, "I ain't sitting through no play where a man makes such a cussed fuss over one woman." Ebershoff demonstrates abundant virtuosity, as he convincingly inhabits the voices of both a nineteenth-century Mormon wife and a contemporary gay youth excommunicated from the church, while also managing to say something about the mysterious power of faith. 

 The ZooKeeper’s Wife

tells the remarkable WWII story of Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and his wife, Antonina, who, with courage and coolheaded ingenuity, sheltered 300 Jews as well as Polish resisters in their villa and in animal cages and sheds. Using Antonina's diaries, other contemporary sources and her own research in Poland, Ackerman takes us into the Warsaw ghetto and the 1943 Jewish uprising and also describes the Poles' revolt against the Nazi occupiers in 1944. She introduces us to such varied figures as Lutz Heck, the duplicitous head of the Berlin zoo; Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, spiritual head of the ghetto; and the leaders of Zegota, the Polish organization that rescued Jews. Ackerman reveals other rescuers, like Dr. Mada Walter, who helped many Jews pass, giving lessons on how to appear Aryan and not attract notice. Ackerman's writing is viscerally evocative, as in her description of the effects of the German bombing of the zoo area: ...the sky broke open and whistling fire hurtled down, cages exploded, moats rained upward, iron bars squealed as they wrenched apart. This suspenseful beautifully crafted story deserves a wide readership. 8 pages of illus. 

The Middle Place

Newspaper columnist Corrigan was a happily married mother of two young daughters when she discovered a cancerous lump in her breast. She was still undergoing treatment when she learned that her beloved father, who'd already survived prostate cancer, now had bladder cancer. Corrigan's story could have been unbearably depressing had she not made it clear from the start that she came from sturdy stock. Growing up, she loved hearing her father boom out his morning HELLO WORLD dialogue with the universe, so his kids would feel like the world wasn't just a safe place but was even rooting for you. As Corrigan reports on her cancer treatment—the chemo, the surgery, the radiation—she weaves in the story of how it felt growing up in a big, suburban Philadelphia family with her larger-than-life father and her steady-loving mother and brothers. She tells how she met her husband, how she gave birth to her daughters. All these stories lead up to where she is now, in that middle place, being someone's child, but also having children of her own. Those learning to accept their own adulthood might find strength—and humor—in Corrigan's feisty memoir. 

 A Year on Ladybug Farm

Tired of always dreaming and never doing, Cici, Lindsay, and Bridget make a life-altering decision. Uprooting themselves from their comfortable lives in the suburbs, the three friends buy a run-down mansion, nestled in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley. They christen their new home “Ladybug Farm,” hoping that the name will bring them luck.

As the friends take on a home improvement challenge of epic proportions, they encounter disaster after disaster, from renegade sheep and garden thieves to a seemingly ghostly inhabitant. Over the course of a year, overwhelming obstacles make the three women question their decision, but they ultimately learn that sometimes the best things can happen when everything goes wrong…

Dwelling Places

A sad, absorbing story about the disintegration and rejoining of an Iowa farm family. Mack Barnes knows that family farms are essentially extinct, but he cannot bear to lose his land. He tries farming at night for a while and working for the school district during the day. Inevitably, he crashes and falls into a deep depression. As the story opens, Mack returns from the hospital to an embittered wife, Jodie, who is about to begin an affair; a son, Taylor, who is fascinated with all things Goth; a daughter, Kedzie, who has become a Jesus freak; and Rita, Mack's quintessential Iowa mom, who scurries about her dwindling village doing good deeds. Wright's scenes move along almost magically, with "the horizon of the entire world close at hand." Her feel for an Iowa farm town is achingly precise. There is indeed a Christian message here, but it isn't easy or obvious, and when the novel draws toward its climax of muted hope, you know how painful a passage these good people have undergone.

 The Space Between Us

Umrigar's schematic novel (after Bombay Time) illustrates the intimacy, and the irreconcilable class divide, between two women in contemporary Bombay. Bhima, a 65-year-old slum dweller, has worked for Sera Dubash, a younger upper-middle-class Parsi woman, for years: cooking, cleaning and tending Sera after the beatings she endures from her abusive husband, Feroz. Sera, in turn, nurses Bhima back to health from typhoid fever and sends her granddaughter Maya to college. Sera recognizes their affinity: "They were alike in many ways, Bhima and she. Despite the different trajectories of their lives—circumstances... dictated by the accidents of their births—they had both known the pain of watching the bloom fade from their marriages." But Sera's affection for her servant wars with ingrained prejudice against lower castes. The younger generation—Maya; Sera's daughter, Dinaz, and son-in-law, Viraf—are also caged by the same strictures despite efforts to throw them off. In a final plot twist, class allegiance combined with gender inequality challenges personal connection, and Bhima may pay a bitter price for her loyalty to her employers. At times, Umrigar's writing achieves clarity, but a narrative that unfolds in retrospect saps the book's momentum.


The plot of Anna Quindlen's novel Blessings is constructed on the same model as E.T.: adorable orphaned creature is found by unlikely caregiver who against his or her better judgment falls in love with the little beast, while all the while, the authorities loom in the background, threatening to take the foundling away. In Quindlen's book, however, the foundling in question isn't an alien, but a squalling baby left at Blessings, a vast estate owned by an ancient, crabby matriarch named Lydia Blessing. By a fluke, the baby's parents abandon her by the garage rather than at the front door, and so she is discovered by Skip Cuddy, Lydia Blessing's newly hired handyman, who happens to be an ex-con. The plot proceeds from there in fairly E.T.-like fashion, minus the Reese's Pieces and flying bicycles. Skip, Lydia, and the baby they name Faith form a surprisingly loving and sustaining, albeit temporary, family unit.

Quindlen wrings a remarkable amount of pathos from this somewhat simple setup. One of her strengths as a writer is the quietness she brings to her story; family secrets of paternity and lost love are buried deep in the narrative, hidden in descriptive paragraphs where they subtly zing us with their news. Her ear is good, too: we believe Skip and his bad-boy friends when they're shooting the breeze. Best of all is her flair for observation. The book wouldn't work at all if she couldn't make us feel Skip and Lydia's amazement at the small joys of a baby ("The deep pleat in the fat at her elbow made her arms look muscled"). Here is a book that lives up to its title.

 The Friday Night Knitting Club

Georgia Walker's entire life is wrapped up in running her knitting store, Walker and Daughter, and caring for her 12-year-old daughter, Dakota. With the help of Anita, a lively widow in her seventies, Georgia starts the Friday Night Knitting Club, which draws loyal customers and a few oddballs. Darwin Chiu, a feminist grad student, believes knitting is downright old-fashioned, but she's drawn to the club as her young marriage threatens to unravel. Lucie, 42, a television producer, is about to become a mother for the first time--without a man in her life. Brash book editor KC finds her career has stalled unexpectedly, while brilliant Peri works at Walker and Daughter by day and designs handbags at night. Georgia gets her own taste of upheaval when Dakota's father reappears, hoping for a second chance. The yarn picks up steam as it draws to a conclusion, and an unexpected tragedy makes it impossible to put down. Jacobs' winning first novel is bound to have appeal among book clubs.

 A Version of the Truth

Cassie Shaw, the 30-year-old dyslexic high school dropout narrator of Kaufman and Mack's follow-up to Literacy and Longing in L.A., is devoid of self-esteem and, as the winsome novel opens, has just been widowed by a jerk who left her nothing but debt. Desperate for a job, Cassie fudges her education background on a job application and snags an entry-level university office job working under William Conner, a charismatic professor of animal behavior who ignites Cassie's desire for learning—and other things. As Cassie's lust for knowledge swells and she becomes more involved with Conner, the list of her deceptions lengthens, and it's only a matter of time until budding beau Conner finds out. Kaufman and Mack lace the narrative with light humor (the rats in California's Topanga Canyon are like roaches in NY or liars in LA) and nods to Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau, Plato and Keats. Delightfully merging humor, philosophy and reflections on nature, this novel is a lot of fun and might give some readers freshman-year flashbacks.

 The Rest of Her Life

Moriarty's follow-up to book-group favorite The Center of Everything again explores a tense, fragile mother-daughter relationship, this time finding sharper edges where personal history and parenting meet. Now a junior high school English teacher married to a college professor, Leigh has spent much of her adult life trying to distance herself from her dysfunctional childhood. Raising their two children in a small, safe Kansas town not far from where Leigh and her troubled sister, Pam, were raised by their single mother, Leigh finds her good fortune still somewhat empty. Daughter Kara, 18 and a high school senior, is distant; sensitive younger son Justin is unpopular; Leigh can't seem to reach either—Kara in particular sees Leigh (rightly) as self-absorbed. When Kara accidentally hits and kills another high school girl with the family's car, Leigh is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her daughter, her resentment toward her husband (who understands Kara better) and her long-buried angst about her own neglectful mother. The intriguing supporting characters are limited by not-very-likable Leigh's POV, but Moriarty effectively conveys Leigh's longing for escape and wariness of reckoning.

 Ask Again Later

When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, New Yorker Emily Rhode ditches her too-perfect boyfriend and far from perfect legal career to become her mother's primary caregiver. At the same time, she reconciles with her estranged father, who left when she was five. When he offers her a job as a receptionist at his law firm, complete with Friday martini lunch dates and father-daughter cab rides to work, Emily agrees, and jokey family bonding follows as mom skates through treatment and dad proves to be more of a teddy bear than an iceman. Davis, author of Girls' Poker Night and a former writer for The Late Show with David Letterman, loads the narrative with one-liner asides and funny riffs (there's a particularly good bit about espresso machines), though she's less adept at sizing up Emily's inner turmoil, notably her fear of committing to smart, patient and loving boyfriend Sam. Though soft-focused (taking care of cancer-stricken mom mostly consists of watching TV and playing board games), Davis's book leavens regret and tragedy with a light-handed wit.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Quiz


1. This campaign during the Civil War left Atlanta in ashes. (2 points)

2. The death of Caesar occurred on:

3. NCAA College Basketball tournament: 

The four number one seeds:

4. This Louisa May Alcott Book about four sisters _____________ was written from the perspective of: 

5. Organization devoted to improving the health of babies:

6. WWII event that involved the transfer of 75,000 American POW’s to Japanese prison camps:

7. 1965 Civil Rights Protest (in March) in which 600 marchers were attacked and beaten by police. Came to be known at “Bloody Sunday.” 

8. Pi Day:         

9. Square Root Day:

10. Mother’s Day Rally in Washington to promote tighter restrictions on private ownership of firearms. 

11. Political March convened by Louis Farrakhan on Washington in Oct. 1995.

12. Movie in which a young man awakens from a four-year coma to hear that his once virginal high-school sweetheart has since become a centerfold in one of the world’s most famous men’s magazines. 

13. _____________________ is considered on of the greatest marches ever written. (extra point for composer)

14. Famous expedition to capture the throne of Persia. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March Meeting

Don't forget!  March book club meets Thursday, March 19th at Joelma's house.  We will be discussing The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Neffenegger.  Please bring your book and an appetizer to share.

Also, please bring 2 suggestions for books to read.  We will need to pick books for April and May and discuss whether we will continue through the summer or take a hiatus until fall.

If you are not current on your dues, please turn in to Kim.

See you tomorrow night!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

February Quiz

Road Trip
Quiz (answers are in the comments)

Match the state with its nickname

1. Alaska 
 a. Land of Lincoln

2. Arkansas 
 b. Keystone State

3. Connecticut 
 c. Live Free or Die

4. Delaware 
 d. The Silver State

5. Illinois 
 e. Land of Enchantment

6. Missouri 
 f. Greatest Snow on Earth

7. Montana 
 g. Great Lakes 

8. Nevada 
 h. The Empire State

9. New Hampshire 
 i. The Natural State

10. New Jersey 
 j. Constitution State

11. New Mexico 
 k. Show Me State

12. New York 
 l. America's Dairyland

13. Pennsylvania 
 m. Wild, Wonderful

14. Michigan 
 n. The First State

15. Utah 
 o. Big Sky

16. Vermont 
 p. Green Mountain State

17. West Virginia 
 q. The Last Frontier

18. Wisconsin 
 r. Garden State

19. The longest east-west Interstate runs between: 

a. Los Angeles and New York City 

b. San Francisco and Washington D.C. 

c. Seattle and Boston

d. Portland, Ore., and Miami 

20.  The longest north-south transcontinental route runs between: 

a. Alabama and Indiana 

b. Florida and Maine

c. Louisiana and Michigan 

d. Texas and Minnesota 

21.  Interstate routes that run (north-south, east-west) are odd numbered. 

22.  The state with the most Interstate routes is: 

a. California                        c. New York

b. Illinois 
                        d. Texas

23. The highest elevation point on the Interstate System is in:

            a. Colorado                        c. Utah

            b. West Virginia            d. Vermont

24.  The lowest elevation point on the Interstate System is in:

            a. Louisiana                        c. Arizona

            b. California                        d. Florida

25.  T F One mile of every five miles of Interstate highway must be straight enough to allow planes to land on it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February Meeting

Our February book pick is Driving Sideways by Jess Riley.  As discussed at January's meeting, Book Club will be MOVED to February 19 instead of February 12 because of Early Release Day.  Our meeting will be held at Sara's house at 6:45.  More information to follow.  

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The King

In honor of Elvis's birthday...

Complete the quotes

“Man, I was tame compared to what they do now.  Are you kidding?  I didn’t do anything but just ________”

Strum my guitar





“The image in one thing and the __________ is another, it’s very hard to live up to an image.”


Press and fans


Human being


"Til we meet again, may God bless you, _________.” Which farewell did Elvis say on his last tour?

Good night


Bon voyage



“When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a _________.”






“I learned very early in life that: Without a ______, the day would never end, without a _____, a man ain’t got a friend, without a _____, the road would never bend…”

__________ is the missing word (one word) 


“The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me ______.”

Like crazy

To death

Real bad

So much


“Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth.  I just sorta’ _____ I guess.”

Have my own style

Do ‘em all together

Wiggle my hips

Shake my leg


“It’s my favorite part of the business ___________.”

Making movies

Live concerts

Making records

Meeting fans


T  F  Elvis was a twin.


Elvis’ middle name was ____________. 


In which city did Elvis die?

Memphis, Tennessee

Las Vegas, Nevada

Atlanta, Georgia

Sacramento, California


What was Elvis’ first number one hit in the United States?

Hound Dog

Blue Hawaii

Jail House Rock

Heartbreak Hotel


Where was Elvis born?

Memphis, Tennessee

Waycross, Georgia

Little Rock, Arkansas

Tupelo, Mississippi


What is the name of Elvis’ estate in Memphis?  ________________ 


What branch of the service did Elvis join in 1958?  ______________________ 


What was the name of the studio where Elvis first recorded? __________


What year was Elvis born?

1930            1932            1935            1938


Elvis’ mother’s name was?

Mary             Gladys                        Ethyl                        Betty


T  F Elvis father spent time in jail.


What was Elvis’ favorite sandwich?  __________ 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January Book Club

Book Club is THIS Thursday, January 8th at 6:45 at Danielle's house.  We will be discussing Carpool Diem.  Bring your book and an appetizer to share.  Can't wait to see you all and hear about your Christmases and New Years!