our book club reads happy books!

“Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand”

Okay, so I tried to write about out May book pick, “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson and I bored myself. Yes, this was one of my picks. It was on the New York Times Best Seller list, a book club favorite and on many “Best Books of 2010”  lists.  Maybe that’s why I ended up feeling a little like I did after watching the movie “The Descendents” – it was good, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

From what I remember,  I probably liked it best of the group. Some people didn’t even finish. Oh well, we learned the downside of our strategy of picking books that no members read before. I don’t think it was a bad book, just not what our club was looking for.

Rather than dwell on books  past, I’ll tell you about a book I just finished for a different book club, “The Inn at Lake Devine” by Elinor Lipman. I’ve read a couple of her other books, and always enjoy them. I always seem to forget about her  though what it comes time to recommend book.

I thought “The Inn at Lake Devine” was delightful. The story line was slightly preposterous, but I didn’t care. The characters were funny and likeable (except those who were funny and unlikable) and I thought the leading man was charming.  Definitely an author I think we should consider for our book club. She definitely passes the happy, optimistic, fun test!

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“Garden Spells”

I thought I’d give a brief run down of the highlights of our past meetings, starting with our very first. Our first meeting was in April, 2011,  shortly  after the completion of another successful high school musical. It’s hard to believe our book club is almost a year old – we’ll have to plan a  birthday party! 

The book was “Garden Spells” by Sarah Addison Allen. From what I remember, everyone liked it a lot. I liked it too, but had some problems with the “magic” part of it. I truly am not a fantasy reader. I have a problem with some things being magic, but magic can’t solve all the problems in the book.

Do I believe in magic? It’s rare, but sometimes it seems the only explanation. And sometimes at work, trying to explain the mysteries of computers, and the internet and email to someone who doesn’t have a clue, I tell them it’s magic. They laugh, but they accept the explanation. And I do kind of believe it too.

There are  four women in the book with magical powers.A highlight of the discussion for me was everyone saying what magical power that would most want to have. I remember almost everyone wanted the power to give people what they needed before they needed it, or some other selfless power. I was the only one shallow enough to want the magical power to be able to do fantastic things with hair. But if you’ve seen my hair, you understand.

Oh well, I’ll be content with the  super power I have – the ability to find things no one else can! Or do all moms have that super power?


Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Hello Fellow Book Clubbers!

Our book club was formed with a couple of objectives: to read books with an optimistic and upbeat tone, to stay in touch with friends we have made through our children’s school activities, and to have fun! I created this blog  with pretty much the same objectives. I  find our meetings fun and thought-provoking and always seem to have additional thoughts when the meetings are over. I hope you enjoy the blog and I look forward to hearing your thoughts too!

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Our book for January was “Bossypants” by Tina Fey. The book was my suggestion and the meeting was at my house. I’m a fan of Tina’s and really enjoyed the book. But I was feeling a little pressure as the date approached. How to make this meeting as fun as our December holiday extravaganza,complete with delicious pot luck refreshments, crafts, and the sharing of our favorite holiday books? I’m no fool, I can’t compete with stickers and stamp pads!

But I do enjoy a theme when I’m hosting an event.  As I read “Bossypants” I kept a lookout for refreshments to fit the “Bossypants” theme. Tina’s Greek – Greek food? Beyond my area of expertise. She grew up in the Philly area and now lives in New York – soft pretzels & bagels! Certainly my area of expertise – go to the store and buy! However, that menu seemed a little carb heavy.

I searched in other directions for ideas. We would holding a little “book shower” for our PPYT (pregnant pretty young thing), maybe I should decorate in a shower theme? Didn’t seem quite right. A children’s book theme, that’s it! Decorate the table with classic children’s book and stop obsessing! Three refreshments: 1 sweet, 1 savory, and 1 fruit.

With 48 hours to go it hit me: I had missed it – Tina had handed the theme to me on a silver platter in her book and I had completed overlooked it. The Peter Pan theme for her daughter’s birthday party.  It was perfect – it was a theme  to the book and also worked for the book shower. I would buy Peter Pan decorations, decorate the table with Peter Pan books, and stay with the menu I had decided on.

The only problem was one that Tina herself had warned me about: there are no such thing as Peter Pan party decorations. She made do with Tinker Bell & Captain Hook. I felt my obsessive compulsive impulses kicking in – surely I could find them, maybe Tina just didn’t look hard enough. I took a deep breath and gave myself a talking to: “You are crazy, this is not important. you may not have to shoot a scene with Oprah or imitate Sarah Palin, but you do have important things to do! You may go to one store and you must settle for what you find there!!”

Alas, Tina may have found Tinker Bell and Captain Hook, but I only found Tinker Bell. I found myself torn between Pirates of the Caribbean, generic pirate, and checking out 1 more store…I asked myself what Tina would do… and got the generic pirate.

As usual, book club was fun, relaxed, and low-key.

The next morning I heard about the disaster on the Italian cruise liner. How many of you, like me,  were thinking of all the theater geeks, manning the life boats? Hope they all made it home.