Category Archives: Book Club

Book Club: How to Walk Away

Book Club: How to Walk Away

Hello, Book Clubbers!!  Hope your summer is treating you well and you’re not sweating through all of your clothing as I am.  As I’ve been saying repeatedly (I’m sure to the annoyance of others), we might as well have 12 inches of snow on the ground … it’s too hot to do anything!  So I’ve been pumping my AC down to 65 degrees (shhhhh … don’t tell my husband), wrapping myself in a blanket and curling up on the coach with a ton of books.  It’s messed up, but that’s the joy of being an adult!

I hope you all loved this month’s pick, How to Walk Away by Katherine Center!  I absolutely adored it and found myself recommending it to numerous friends and family … and one stranger at the library!

Speaking of libraries, how many of you use them?  I was recently chatting with my mother-in-law and she innocently asked if anyone even uses the library anymore.  As per the usual, I was unable to hide my shock and, quite frankly, horror, that she would ask such a question!  I’m there every week!!  Sometimes more! While I do love frequenting my local independent bookstore and giving them my business, I’d be hardcore broke (and maybe divorced??) if I didn’t use the library.  Plus I find it gives me the chance to “try out” books that I’m not sure about without the guilt of spending $30 on a hardback.

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this!

So, back to Katherine Center’s How to Walk Away

How about that beginning?!  I was drawn in immediately and found I couldn’t put it down … much to the dismay of my family and my hygiene.

I love when a book starts out intense and grabs you right away!  Especially as a summer read … with your feet in the sand and the ocean in the background and your whole day ahead of you.  Not that I’ve seen that in 20 years, but you get the drift.

I found some of the secondary character’s reactions to Maggie’s situation to be a little extreme (i.e. the mom and the fiancé) … would people really say and do some of the things these two said/did?!  But all is forgiven when it’s fiction (and good fiction at that!) and it certainly added more depth to the story.

Meanwhile, back at the home of my teenage self,  romance was blooming and I was, for sure, all over that! I found this one to be both a slow build up and a nice addition to the plot without overtaking it.  Plus, I loved uncovering the mystery of why Ian was so standoffish.  Nothing like getting a cute guy to open up!!


Kit, Maggie, and their parents provided both comic relief and interesting, dysfunctional family dynamics. I found all the characters, if not likable, at least interesting!

The ending was so fun and I enjoyed that they didn’t tie everything up nice and neat.  *SPOILER*  I thought it was more realistic and contributed more to the story that Maggie did not end up being able to walk again.

This was such a no brainer for a book club pick for me that I’m really interested to hear if you all felt the same!  I highly recommend this book and could even see myself re-reading it!

Now onto our next read!!

 

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All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

Description from Amazon:

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. 

Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

It seems it’s been a bit since Emily Giffin came out with a new novel … or maybe I’m just impatient!  I loved Something Borrowed and found her others books enjoyable as well.  Have you all read her?  She’s certainly been a great summer read in the past, so I’m hoping we get the same general fare from her this time as well!

As always, we are giving away a copy of All We Ever Wanted to one of our readers! Enter by leaving a comment before 7/13/18 at 5:30am EST. As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental United States, you are eligible to win!

Thanks so much to St. Martin’s Press for providing us with copies of All We Ever Wanted for review and giveaway! All opinions share are always 100% our own!

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Eligible: Book Club Review

summer book club

“You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

*sighhhhh*  How I love me some Pride and Prejudice!  Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I will ashamedly admit that reading it in 10th grade was not the easiest.  Maybe because it was more of an academic assignment than a pleasure read.  In all fairness to me and my 16 year old classmates who were equally frustrated, it was first published in 1813!  Writing styles and speech patterns have clearly changed a lot since then.  So, luckily for us, we’ve been given the opportunity to read a modern retelling of this classically romantic tale for pleasure this time.  And what a fun read it was!

eligible meredith

I really did find myself cracking up at Curtis Sittenfeld’s version of this story … in the best possible way!  Reality TV, trangenders, CrossFit obsessions, Cincinnati bashing, hate sex!  Sittenfeld packed it all in and in such a way that it all really did seem to match up pretty closely the the original novel.

I found a definite enjoyment in comparing the two books.  I was in awe of the way Sittenfeld turned 18th century issues into 21st century issues.

What did you think about the similarities?  Did you find yourself comparing the two novels?  In a good way or a bad way?  Do you think it’s better to view it as a stand alone novel?

I needed a little time to warm up to the book, but once I got into it, I blew through it.  Liz, I thought, was a great character and Jasper, as the villainous Wickam, was perfect.

How did you feel about Jasper and the “contemporary” relationship he was in with Liz?  Did you feel like it seemed realistic or contrived?

And how about that hate sex?!  Who hasn’t wanted to read about Darcy and Liz getting it on??  I loved that they added this in!  I thought it was fitting and appropriate for the 21st century world.  Plus, Liz and Darcy together in bed?  Yes, please!

I’m curious how you all feel about the character of Ham?  I understand Sittenfeld needed to find a contemporary version of parents being upset about a marriage, but it felt a little forced and bizarre to me.  Although I did laugh a lot at some of Lydia’s comments in relation to it (i.e. the 9 inch dildo).  Thoughts?

I also got frustrated at the end when there were obvious misunderstandings and miscommunications – especially in relation to Georgie’s text.  But then that drives me crazy in general.  Did that annoy you as well?  It felt similar to a rom com movie … like, let’s find a way to keep Darcy and Liz apart a little longer even though a normal person would just have texted back to Georgie something like, “oh, are Darcy and Caroline dating now?” or some such thing.

Honestly, though, I am in complete awe of Sittenfeld for writing this book.  I could not imagine taking this on and she really did an amazing job!  Writing a contemporary version of a beloved, often sacred, novel?  NO THANKS!  Kuddos to Ms. Sittenfeld!!

Lots more I could write on this … would love to hear from you all!

And, as usual, we will be giving away a free copy of our next book club pick (see below)! Just leave a comment!

AHHHHHHH!!!!  Liane Moriarty has a new book out!!  Excitement abounds.  (Yes, I need to get a life).  But seriously, OBVIOUSLY, we picked it for our next read!

Here is Amazon’s description:truly madly guilty

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families.

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

Don’t forget to leave a comment before August 12, 2016 at 5:30am ET so you can be entered to win a copy of Truly Madly Guilty!! As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental U.S., you are eligible. The winner will be picked August 12th!

Happy Reading!!

****This is not a sponsored post, but thanks to Flatiron Books for providing copies of Truly, Madly, Guilty for us to read and give away to one of our readers!***

You Will Not BELIEVE Who I’ve Fallen In Love With … I mean, What I Have Planned!

I got ridiculously lucky a few months back and, in my Facebook feed of 5 million very important cat and food posts, saw that Mom of the Year‘s Meredith Spidel was going to be at my local library!  What the what?!  I had no idea this amazing mom blogger lived so close to me.

Here’s the best part … she’s pretty darn awesome!  She sat down and talked to me (I strangely didn’t scare her off … I KNOW!), gave me lots of blog advice and then (GASP!) asked me to dinner!!!  At the risk of sounding like a love sick school girl, I, like, totally flipped out.

On our first date At our dinner, we found out that we are total soul mates have a ton in common including, but not limited to: a love of margaritas, great fashion, and fantastic books.

Then she said those three little words that every girl dreams of hearing …

“You complete me”

“Let’s do something together with our blogs!”

Close enough.

Before she could take back her suggestion and yell, “Restraining order, please!!” I jumped on board and told her I would love to do something with her.

So here we go, peeps!!  WE’RE DOING A BOOK CLUB!  I am so excited because …

A. I love books.

B. I love Meredith.

C. I love you guys. (but especially Meredith)

D. I love to talk/write about books to the point that I frequently make people nauseous.  But not with you guys!!  Cause you’ll all be book lovers too!!!  We’re each other’s “people”!!!!

Soooooo, Meredith kindly let me pick the first book, which was as anxiety producing as you can imagine and then times that by ten and add in a mini panic attack … yeah, you’re about a third of the way there.

Here it is!  My pick!!  I think it sounds so interesting and I’m DYING to know what you guys think of it!  We will be reading through the month of September and then both Meredith and I will be sharing with you our thoughts.  She and I both are really hoping to have a dialogue with you guys … and, of course, more book recommendations from you!!

(Here’s the link to Meredith’s much more rational explanation of our new venture)

memory box

The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello

In this gripping domestic thriller, Caroline Thompson Googles herself and discovers a past she doesn’t remember.

HOUSTON WRITERS GUILD 2014 MANUSCRIPT AWARD WINNER

What would you do if you searched your own past and uncovered something shocking?

In this gripping domestic thriller, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women. She’s relieved to hear her name appears only three times, citing her philanthropy. Despite being grateful that she has nothing to hide, a delayed pang of insecurity prods Caroline to Google her maiden name—which none of the others know.

The hits cascade like a tsunami. Caroline’s terrified by what she reads. An obituary for her sister, JD? That’s absurd. With every click, the revelations grow more alarming. They can’t be right. She’d know. Caroline is hurled into a state of paranoia—upending her blissful family life—desperate to prove these allegations false before someone discovers they’re true.

The disturbing underpinnings of The Memory Box expose a story of deceit, misconceptions, and an obsession for control. With its twists, taut pacing, and psychological tenor, Natiello’s page-turning suspense cautions:
Be careful what you search for.

Hope it sounds as interesting to you as it does to me.  Now, GET READING!!!

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