our book club reads happy books!

Pat’s Top Five(ish) for 2012

Happy last day of 2012! The past few weeks I have been bombarded with lists of the best books of 2012, and it made me want to compile a list of my own!

I composed my list from books I read in 2012, not books published this year. Books that made the cut made me stay  up late at night reading, made me laugh out loud, or made me quick run to see what else that author had written. Number 1 did all three.

Here’s my list:

5. (tie) Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.  They both conjure a wonderful sense of place and have really interesting characters. Verghese reminded me of John Irving and “State of  Wonder” reminded me of “Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver.

4. Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine. This book surprised and delighted me. It started me on my “mean girls” reading kick.

3. Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick.This was beautifully written and incredibly heartbreaking. Very memorable.”Let me tell you something, son. 
When you’re young, and you head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand-new penny, 
but before you get to wonderful you’re going to have to pass through all right. And when you get to all right, stop and take a good, long look, because that may be as far as you’re ever going to go.” Very dark book indeed!

2. Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven. I loved Velva Jean and was happy to find such a likeable and plucky heroine to root for.

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book was the whole package for me! If your whole package includes a happy ending, you better skip it though! This book is original and suspenseful with characters you love to hate and hate to love.  I went on to quickly read Flynn’s previous novels. I would rate them in order of publication:  “Sharp Objects” good ,  “Dark Places” better, and  “Gone Girl” best. Isn’t that what we all hope for- to get better with time and experience? I eagerly anticipate her next novel!

How about you? What were your favorite books of 2012?


Happy Holidays!

I wanted to take a minute to wish every one a happy holiday – and since one of  my favorite, super geeky Christmas decorations is book related (of course!) I thought I would share it with you.

For the past few years, I have been using three of my favorite Christmas books to set up a holiday display:

book display

Here’s a closer view:

The Polar Express

The Polar Express

The Grinch!

The Grinch!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

That isn’t Linus’ blanket around the tree – although it is as well-loved! Can you guess whose it is?

Next year I hope to kick my display up a notch. This should do the trick:

lg book tree

or this:BookTree4

Or even this:

little book tree

Wishing you all comfort and joy this holiday season!


Christmas with the Krafts

 Holiday Book Club Party! Yeah!!

In the midst of other holiday celebrations these past few weeks, Wednesday was our 2nd annual Holiday Book Club meeting. Once again it was a very glittering affair! And when I say glitter, you know what kind I’m talking about.

These year we actually read a book for the meeting – “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham. It was a quick, fun read, and we actually spent a couple of minutes discussing it. While we understood wanting to skip certain aspects of the holiday (spending all that money!) we agreed that maybe the Kranks carried it a bit to far. Come on – put up the snowman already! What’s the harm?

Then it was on to the really important stuff – food and crafts! Everyone brought delicious treats to share. We ate and then got down to our true purpose – crafts!

Once again Stacy supplied us with an extravaganza of craft projects. Her craft room  is very like Mary Poppins’ carpet bag – everything you could possibly need is in there! In honor of the Kranks, we created snowmen:

What a fine display of craftiness!

What a fine display of craftiness!

After pretty much following the rules with our first craft, we all really got into the spirit with our fun foam snowmen. Just like a snowflake, no two were alike: 

Fancy  Snowgirl available on Etsy. $15, free shipping

Fancy Snowgirl available on Etsy. $15,free shipping

We ALL did a great job with our snowmen!

We ALL did a great job with our snowmen!

Thanks Stacy, for hosting and planning this fun night for us! It was a relaxing evening –  talking, laughing, and doing simple crafts that made us feel like kids again.

As I write this tonight, I am reminded of the families in Connecticut who will probably be skipping Christmas this year, and realize how lucky I am to be able to celebrate with my family and friends.


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