Saturday, August 14, 2010

September and October Book Selection

In September, we will read The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.
Our October book will be The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright.


1. What is the literal meaning of “Shanghai?”

On top of the sea

City by the sea

Flower of the sea

At sea

2. T___F___ As of 2005, Shanghai’s port was the smallest in the world.

3. What are the majority of buildings being built today?
office buildings


customer service centers

high-rise apartments

4. What astronomical phenomena was visible from Shanghai in July 2009?

a comet

a total solar eclipse

a total lunar eclipse

a supernova star

5. Shanghai has the world’s most extensive:

train system

bus system

freeway system

bridge system

6. Shanghai is the largest city in:



The world

none of the above

7. What kind of uniquely Shangainese element is the shikumen?





8. How many times has the Shanghai Museum moved since it opened in 1952?



Three times


9. As of 2006, what is the largest Christian church building in East Asia?

St. Ignatius Cathedral

The Orthodox Eastern Church

She San Cathedral

Dongjiadu Cathedral

10. T___ F___ Shanghai is the birthplace of Chinese cinema and theater.

11. For the first half of the 20th century, Shanghai was considered the:

center of trade and finance of China

the center of culture of China

the economic center of China

none of the above

12. Today, Shanghai is often considered the center of China’s:

finance and trade



all of the above

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

September Book Picks

Here are some suggestions for our September Book Pick. If you have any books you would like to add, please email them to me.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra's life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace - the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century - Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.

Nose Down Eyes Up by Merrill Markoe

Gil is a bit of a schlub. Nearing 50, he lives rent-free as a handyman in an elderly couple’s Los Angeles vacation home. His girlfriend, Sara, works as an animal communicator. Consequently, he can now understand all four of his dogs and is surprised to discover that the alpha dog, Jimmy, has been giving informative lectures to the neighborhood dogs about such topics as begging faces, edible shoes, and peeing inside versus outside. A chance meeting with Gil’s ex leads to his accepting a job remodeling her guesthouse, and Jimmy begs to be brought along. Soon Gil finds himself moving uncomfortably closer to his ex and further away from Jimmy, and it’s only when things get rough that Gil and Jimmy begin to reconsider the meaning of family.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she can't refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest--to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge.

As the pieces of Deliverance's harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past then she could have ever imagined.

Written with astonishing conviction and grace, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the witch trials of the 1690s and a modern woman's story of mystery, intrigue, and revelation.

The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright

Their story begins with one letter on their wedding night, a letter from the groom, promising to write his bride every week-for as long they both shall live. Thirty-nine years later, Jack and Laurel Cooper die in each other's arms. And when their grown children return to the family B&B to arrange the funeral, they discover thousands of letters. The letters they read tell of surprising joys and sorrows. They also hint at a shocking family secret-and ultimately force the children to confront a life-changing moment of truth . . .

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night. Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler. Calli's mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter's voice. Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor. Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

August Meeting

I hope that everyone had a great first day of school!
Just a reminder that book club is this Thursday, August 13 at 6:45 at Elisa's house. We will be discussing Shanghai Girls by Lisa See.

Please remember to RSVP in the comments! It makes it much easier for our hostess to plan.See you Thursday!