Thursday, December 2, 2010

January - How to be an American Housewife

Here we are - December 2nd - and I'm already promoting January's book. I just finished it and I'm excited to have you all read it too! Good job, Marcy, at picking out a good book (without even reading it first). And there's an interesing little piece of information about one of the characters that should inspire some good dialouge (you'll know what I'm talking about soon enough).

Anyway, here's the review by Goodreads:

How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

3.75 · rating details · 381 ratings · 137 reviews

A lively and surprising novel about a Japanese woman with a closely guarded secret, the American daughter who strives to live up to her mother's standards, and the rejuvenating power of forgiveness.

How to Be an American Housewife is a novel about mothers and daughters, and the pull of tradition. It tells the story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue to go in her place. The trip reveals family secrets that change their lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways. Offering an entertaining glimpse into American and Japanese family lives and their potent aspirations, this is a warm and engaging novel full of unexpected insight.
And if you finish it and can't get enough - here's her website and blog:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

December - The Egyptian

The Egyptian is our book for December. I am half way through the book and so far it's been very interesting. This book is a worldwide bestseller. At first I worried it was going to be a bit over my head and I struggled with how to pronounce some of the names - but then I remembered Ginny suggested you just make it up and carry on. Not to worry, though, some names are just as they look (Nefernefernefer). I'm interested to see how this book ends (actually, I know how it ends, I just don't know why yet). Well, I don't want to be as a fly buzzing in your ear (you'll have to read the book to get it) so here's the description:

First published in the United States in 1949 and widely condemned as obscene, The Egyptian outsold every other novel published that year, and remains a classic; readers worldwide have testified to its life-changing power. It is a full-bodied re-creation of a largely forgotten era in the world's history: the Egypt of the 14th century B.C.E., when pharaohs and gods contended with the near-collapse of history's greatest empire. This epic tale encompasses the whole of the then-known world, from Babylon to Crete, from Thebes to Jerusalem, while centering around one unforgettable figure: Sinuhe, a man of mysterious origins who rises from the depths of degradation to become personal physician to Pharaoh Akhnaton. 

Well, if the word obscene doesn't make you run to the library to check it out, I don't know what else will! And if you don't read it - come to Alice's house on December 7 at 7:30 p.m. and find out what you missed!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

November - Animal Dreams

Thanks to Kristi and Jill for hosting October's book club. To help us digest this book - Jill made cheesecake!!! A low-fat version and the real deal with 3 blocks of cream cheese. I had both! We were all in agreement that we liked Mrs. Pollifax. And the cheesecake!

The next book club will be held on November 2nd at Lisa C's house at 7:30. Tori has suggested Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. Here's a preview of what it's about:

"Animals dream about the things they do in the day time just like people do. If you want sweet dreams, you've got to live a sweet life." So says Loyd Peregrina, a handsome Apache trainman and latter-day philosopher. But when Codi Noline returns to her hometown, Loyd's advice is painfully out of her reach. Dreamless and at the end of her rope, Codi comes back to Grace, Arizona to confront her past and face her ailing, distant father. What the finds is a town threatened by a silent environmental catastrophe, some startling clues to her own identity, and a man whose view of the world could change the course of her life. Blending flashbacks, dreams, and Native American legends, Animal Dreams is a suspenseful love story and a moving exploration of life's largest commitments. With this work, the acclaimed author of The Bean Trees and Homeland and Other Stories sustains her familiar voice while giving readers her most remarkable book yet.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

October - The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

We had an awesome buffet book club in September thanks to Tonie who graciously offered to be the host. She went above and beyond and we are sure glad to have her as a friend (and that's not just because she can cook - but that is a bonus!)

We discussed the fascinating book On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett. While many agreed there was more historical information that necessary, I got the impression that those who read it gained not only a great deal of knowledge but also a better appreciation for the country that we live in.

On October 5th, at Kristi C.'s house we will be discussing The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman. This book was recommended by Jill C and she even wrote up a little bio for us (thank you, Jill).

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gillman is light and fun and an easy read with some "unexpected" surprises to live up to its name! If you are looking for something to keep your interest and at the same time escape and de-stress, this one will do it for you! You may find yourself reading it quickly and looking for more, but no worries! Dorothy has written many adventures for Emilly Pollifax! But read the above title first- it is her first one and sets the stage! Happy reading!!
I'm excited to tell you that we have all the books picked out for the remainder of the year and even into January. The books are posted on the side bar so keep your eye out for these good reads when you're at the library or book store.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

September - On Wings of Eagles

Thanks to Lisa C for hosting the book club for August and to Tori for providing the yummy homemade ice cream! We had a great discussion about Island of the Blue Dolphins! Thanks for recommending the book, Kristi.

We are in need of a host for next month's book club. It will be held on September 7th and we will be reading On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett. 

"Ken Follett tells the true story of the Middle East hostage crisis that began in 1978 and of the unconventional means one American used to save his countrymen." When two of his employees were held hostage in a heavily guarded prison fortress in Iran, one man took matters into his own hands: businessman H. Ross Perot. His team consisted of a group of volunteers from the executive ranks of his corporation, handpicked and trained by a retired Green Beret officer. To free the imprisoned Americans, they would face incalculable odds on a mission that only true heroes would have dared."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

August - Island of the Blue Dolphins

Our next book club will be held on August 3rd at Lisa C's house. We will be discussing the Young Adult novel Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.

In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind.
This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building a shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.

This novel is based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Nicoleño Indian left alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island, one of the Channel Islands, off the California coast before being rescued in 1853.

Literary Awards:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

July - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

I'm so excited to announce that the book for the month of July is The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith! It was recommended to us by Teresa and I wholeheartedly agreed. It's a darling book about a cute lady from Botswana who decides to open up a detective agency. Well, here, let me tell you what Goodreads description says:

Alexander McCall Smith creates an African detective, Precious Ramotswe, who solves crimes through an innate, self-possessed wisdom that, combined with an understanding of human nature, invariably penetrates into the heart of a puzzle. If Miss Marple were fat and jolly and lived in Botswana--and decided to go against any conventional notion of what an unmarried woman should do, spending the money she got from selling her late father's cattle to set up a Ladies' Detective Agency--then you have an idea of how Precious sets herself up as her country's first female detective.

Once the clients start showing up on her doorstep, Precious enjoys a pleasingly successful series of cases. But the edge of the Kalahari is not St. Mary Mead, and the sign Precious orders, painted in brilliant colors, is anything but discreet. Pointing in the direction of the small building she had purchased to house her new business, it reads "THE NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY. FOR ALL CONFIDENTIAL MATTERS AND ENQUIRIES. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED FOR ALL PARTIES. UNDER PERSONAL MANAGEMENT."

The solutions she comes up with, whether in the case of the clinic doctor with two quite different personalities (depending on the day of the week), or the man who had joined a Christian sect and seemingly vanished, or the kidnapped boy whose bones may or may not be those in a witch doctor's magic kit, are all sensible, logical, and satisfying. Smith's gently ironic tone is full of good humor towards his lively, intelligent heroine and towards her fellow Africans, who live their lives with dignity and with cautious acceptance of the confusions to which the world submits them. Precious Ramotswe is a remarkable creation, and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency well deserves the praise it received from London's Times Literary Supplement.

Awards: Book Sense Book of the Year Award Nominee for Paperback - Honor Book (2003)