Summer Book Club Meets Tonight

I am so excited for tonight’s book club.  I really hope you all are too.  We were reading The Fault In Our Stars for the past two weeks.  I read it and then I had my 13 year old daughter read it and she finished it last night.  We discussed the ending a little and how neither one of us liked it much, but other than that we haven’t discussed much.

So I’m really looking forward to this discussion tonight and I hope other children will be joining us too.  So we will meet as usual tonight at 9 p.m. EST right here on the blog.  Join the chat below.

I have not decided if we’ll move forward with book club or not.  I might have to do another survey to see where the interest is in continuing.  I’m not sure if I’ll have more time for reading or not with the back to school schedule.  I’m going to have to get back into the swing of things and see how this turns out.  But I do hope you will discuss The Fault In Our Stars with us tonight.  I’m so excited to hear the view point of mom and child on this book.

Will you be at book club tonight?

New Book For Book Club

I am not really sure if anyone is actually interested in book club or not.  Every time I have it no one shows up.  And I’m dying to talk about What Alice Forgot so watch out for my book review on that coming this week.  So far that has been the best book I have read this summer!

Now I had planned on reading A Small Hotel for next week.  Yesterday my library was showing that a copy was available.  Apparently I should have put a hold on it because when I went to the library today it was not available.

However, one of the books I have been looking for since the start of the summer was.  The Fault In Our Stars was actually part of my middle school daughter’s summer reading list.  I was not aware of that when I chose that book, but I thought that’s neat, but those books are in high demand in the summer.

Since the summer is coming to an end I was so happy to see that book sitting on the shelf.  And I can’t wait to dive into it and then hand it over to my 13 year old to read.  Have I told you all how much I love having children that don’t read just picture books all the time?  It’s so much fun to share these books with my girls.  And it’s interesting to discuss books with them because their views on the things that happen in a book vary greatly from mine.  So I hope I can share mine and my daughters views at our next book club.

Speaking of which, I think I would really like to also hear from those of you who had children who were interested in doing a book club with my daughter.  So I’m going to give everyone an extra week to read.  We will meet on August 27 at 9 p.m. and I would love to hear from your children on their thoughts on this book.  I found it in the young adult section of my library and as I said it was part of my daughter’s summer reading choices so it should be appropriate for your preteens/teens to read.

I really want to see how parent and child’s view of this book are going to differ.  So I am really hoping you’ll join me.  If you don’t have older children that’s fine too, I’m sure you’ll still get plenty out of the discussion as well.  Maybe it’s just me, but I find it truly fascinating what a little age and wisdom changes about a person’s views.  Kind of neat that I almost get to look at my 20 year younger self through my own children.

So who will join me in another two weeks to discuss The Fault In Our Stars?

We’re On!

After two weeks off I am finally able to have our book club this week.  I hope I haven’t completely lost everyone who was interested.  I have been reading What Alice Forgot and wow, has it got me thinking.  And I’m so ready to talk about all of my feelings and emotions I have been experiencing while reading this book.

So tonight at 9 p.m. EST I will be right here on my blog ready to chat.  See that neat little bar at the bottom?  It has a chat box.  We will use that to chat about the book What Alice Forgot this week.  If you have any problems with it please contact me or leave a comment letting me know.  I have other back up chats that I have tried a few times, but so far haven’t had much luck with so I’m hoping this one works much better.

Summer Is Coming To An End

I know I called this Summer Book Club, but I really would like to continue on if everyone is interested.  There are still quite a few books we haven’t gotten a chance to read just yet and won’t be able to by the time the kids go back to school.  Well, if your kids aren’t already back in school.  Mine still have another 2 plus weeks before they go back.

So please let me know if you’re interested in continuing on.  I believe the next book we will read for book club is A Small Hotel by Robert Butler.  And I hope to be able to have it read by next Monday night August 20th.  So we can meet at our same time of 9 p.m. EST.  Please, if this is too much to take on and you’d like to push it back to the 27th let me know.  I know sometimes life gets in the way, as it did with me for this last one.  So I want to do what works best for everyone.  So don’t be shy.  Leave me a comment, or if you prefer use the contact me form to let me know what works best for you.

I hope to see you all tonight at 9 p.m. EST to discuss What Alice Forgot.

Cancelling Book Club Again

Please don’t hate me, but I have to cancel book club again.  I did not read What Alice Forgot yet.  I had planned on it.  However, I did not finish reading Imposter For Hire until Thursday night and I never got around to actually starting What Alice Forgot.  Don’t ask me what I was doing the rest of the weekend because I honestly don’t know.  I am committed to getting this book read for next week though.

So I do hope you all will join me next Monday night August 13, 2012 at 9 p.m. EST to chat about What Alice Forgot.  We haven’t really been able to get off the ground with this book club and the summer is almost over.  I’m sorry this hasn’t worked out as well as I imagined.

Are you still interested in participating in Summer Book Club?  Do you think this is something I should continue when the kids go back to school?

Postponing Book Club This Week

I am going to have to postpone book club again this week.  I had hoped I would be able to get my hands on a copy of What Alice Forgot, but unfortunately that has not happened.  Last time I put a hold on my book at the library I got it right away, but this one is taking longer.  Plus, I have another book that I have to review.  Actually it’s going to be a review and giveaway and so far I’m liking the book.  So if you like mystery and detective books, then be on the lookout for that.  I’ll have it posted within the next week or so.

I would like to say we’ll try again for August 6th for book club, but I’m not sure just yet.  I will keep everyone informed though.  Sorry to keep flaking on you like this.  Sometimes these popular books are hard to come by though.

My Answers To Sister Discussion Guide

Yesterday I asked you to answer some questions about the book Sister by Rosamund Lupton.  There were 15 questions which I do not expect you to answer all of, but I wanted to challenge myself and answer all of the questions.  Please, if you do answer any or all of the questions on your own blog, then link up here so we can all read what you thought of the book.  And don’t forget we are reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty for next weeks book club.  Again, that meets on Monday July 30, 2012 at 9 p.m. EST right here on my blog.  So get your copy of that book so we can discuss it next week (I hope, I’m on a waiting list with my library).

Sister Discussion Q&A

What were your initial theories about how Tess died? How would you have pursued the case if you had been one of the DIs?

I originally thought that Simon had killed Tess since he was the last one to see her alive.  If I were the DIs I would have pursued finding out who the father of Tess’s baby actually was by doing a DNA test.  I thought that was a pretty key thing discovering that the man she had claimed as the father couldn’t have been since he was not a CF carrier.
How does Bee’s and Tess’s relationship compare to the way you and your siblings interact? What causes the most disagreement between you? What brings you together, no matter what?

I only have one older brother and over the years we have drifted extremely far apart to a point where now we really don’t speak.  We do live in different states so there is that distance (although not an entire ocean between us) like between Bee and Tess, but I think that’s honestly where our similarities end.

The disagreements between me and my brother are mostly caused by my brother’s inability to see me as wanting to help him.  And well probably also caused by a huge amount of mistrust on my part and still a lot of anger over things that happened in our childhood.

In the past my brother always seemed to call me when he was drunk.  So I suppose alcohol used to bring us together.  Now, it’s probably my sister in law.  I speak to her relatively regularly so I know what’s going on in my brother’s life and I assume she tells my brother about mine, but my brother and I haven’t spoken in months since he decided to invite me and my four children to his wedding reception, but not my husband.  For me that was just the straw that broke the camel’s back in his disrespect for me.  I will always love and want to hear about my niece and niece/nephew to be though so at least I am still able to communicate with my brother’s wife.
What did the sisters’ mother teach them about motherhood and being a fulfilled woman? What did she teach them about love?

This is a tough one for me because I got the impression that when times got tough for the mother of the sisters she sent them off to boarding school.  And maybe she wanted to spare them her pain, but I had a hard time seeing what she taught them about motherhood.  As far as being fulfilled, I don’t really know that she felt fulfilled.  I guess I just didn’t get much of a sense of the mother character in this book.  I think she taught them that the love of a man is fleeting so don’t invest too much of yourself into one man.  That’s the impression I got from how the sisters treated relationships with men anyways.
How did their father’s absence affect the way Bee and Tess felt about men?

For Bee I think her father’s absence is also why she wouldn’t give all of herself to a man.  For Tess, I think she longed for a father figure which was why she ended up with an older married man.  She was looking for a man to take care of her in the same way her father did which was why she fell for the man that she knew deep down would never really be able to fully give himself to her.
Both sisters are involved in creative fields, even debating typefaces in their e-mails. What does Tess express in her paintings? Is there any room for self-expression in Bee’s commercial design work?

I think Tess expresses her fears and inner most desires in her paintings.  And I do think Bee expressed herself in her work, or a part of herself.  The part of herself that she let most people see being the neat and together Bee.
Do you think Bee discovers anything new about her sister in a deep way-for example, when she meets her landlord, Amias, and friends Kasia and Simon? How much of what Beatrice discovers is about herself?

I think Bee learned that her sister wasn’t as irresponsible as she thought she was.  The things that Bee found to be silly little quirks about her sister actually had a reason.  Her wardrobe in the sitting room for example because of the way the light came into the bedroom and she needed more room.  I think that Bee discovered that her always having to have the finest of clothing and the best haircut didn’t make her as a person any finer or better.  That someone like her sister could spot those qualities in an instant.  Bee also discovered that while she thought she was holding things together with her family even from a distance that her moving to NY was her running away while her sister was left there facing the family drama head on.  Going to be with her mother every year on their brother’s birthday.  Not just sending a card and some flowers, but physically being there.
What does the novel say about resilience, both physical and emotional, and where it comes from?

I think this book is proof that with the help of the people who truly know us the most we can be resilient in any situation.
How does the memory of Leo affect the Hemming family?

Leo’s memory is what all of the Hemming family’s fears are all wrapped up in.  The fear of losing those most important to them and the fear of being sick.  But the way Leo’s life ended was also a huge part of why Bee knew that Tess never would have killed herself because of their brother’s love for life even when he was his sickest he fought to hang on as long as possible.  So for Bee that meant Tess would never take her own life no matter what was thrown at her.  However, for their mother it was very clear that the memory of Leo was still very much front and center in her life because she seemed pained that Tess would have named her baby after Leo.  The mother was still grieving the loss of her son all those years later and now had to add the loss of a daughter and grandson to her list of people to grieve for.
Though Bee acknowledges that she and her sister are not devout Catholics, how does their Catholicism affect their view of the world (in an Anglican nation no less)?

Their Catholicisim let them believe in a life after death.  That their bodies are mare vessels for their soul.
Why was Tess drawn to Emilio, and Kasia to Mitch? Would you have been more attracted to Todd or to William?

I think the draw of Tess to Emilio was the older fatherly figure that he was.  And even though he treated her cruelly I think in his art he made her feel like she was beautiful.  Kasia’s draw to Mitch might have been similar to Tess’s draw to Emilio.  It was a man she thought would protect her.

I wouldn’t have been attracted to either Todd or William.  Todd came off as dismissive to me and while William was kind he seemed arrogant.  Besides, I married “The Bad Boy” who’s actually a great big teddy bear, but neither Todd nor William come off at “The Bad Boy”.
Discuss the novel’s structure. How did it affect you as the narrator referred to Tess as “you”? What was your understanding of Mr. Wright and his role?

Honestly, the structure of the book was the one thing that bothered me.  There was a lot of back and forth from past to present and I found it hard to tell when she was writing to Tess sometimes.

I think Mr. Wright’s role was to keep things moving along on a timeline, but I think the constant jumping to Mr. Wright just ended up being a way to extend the suspense.  Which it did do, but I found it to be annoying.
Dr. Nichols, Professor Rosen, and William all inhabit the world of diagnosis and treatment. How do their three different roles (and mindsets) reflect the realities of modern medicine?

Dr. Nichols and William were both clearly doctors working in a system with too many patients and not enough doctors which is very real to modern medicine.  Professor Rosen however not actually working with patients, but being an example of a modern medical professional who cares more about his work than actual people.  The safety of his trial meant more than finding out who was messing up his trial.  I like to think that all of their actions are not universal examples of modern medicine, but just examples of a few extremists in a group who have been jaded over the years.  Whether it be by being overworked or under appreciated.
Though Chrom-Med is a fictional company, what real-life questions about gene therapy are raised by the novel? What is the ethical way to apply humanity’s knowledge of the human genome?

The question about whether or not we are creating designer genes so people can be the most beautiful and intelligent.  If we are to use gene therapy ethically then we need to run trials by the book.  Only using what we know about genes to cure disease and not to affect the intelligence or strength of people.
Discuss the novel’s stunning closing scenes. What do you predict for the aftermath?

The end of the book definitely left a lot of questions going forward.  Did Bee get rescued?  Is she in a coma writing this story in her head?  Is it her soul because they did not get to her in time?  I think she was rescued.  Her story forever only told in her mind.  I think they did find William and there was justice for Bee and Tess in the sense that he was caught.
In their e-mail exchanges, Bee and Tess argue about what is safe and what is reckless. Which sister’s temperament is closest to your own? What is your definition of a life worth living?

I think I relate most to Bee.  I’m careful and cautious and probably judge people a little too quickly.  But to me a life worth living is one where you are loved and respected by everyone who means the most to you in the world.

Phew, some of those were hard for me to answer.  Now I can’t wait to hear how your views of the book differed from mine.  Remember to link up here.

Summer Book Club Discussion Of Sister

I hope book club isn’t getting too difficult for everyone to commit to.  I didn’t get a chance to discuss Sister with everyone last night so I decided that I would just post my questions for you in a blog post and then whoever has read Sister can answer at their own will right in comments.

I don’t know if the hard copy had a reader’s guide at the end of it, but the Kindle version did.  And these were the questions I was going to use in our discussion last night.

A Reader’s Guide To Sister

  1. What were your initial theories about how Tess died?  How would you have pursued the case if you had been one of the DIs?
  2. How does Bee’s and Tess’s relationship compare to the way you and your siblings interact?  What causes the most disagreement between you?  What brings you together, no matter what?
  3. What did the sisters’ mother teach them about motherhood and being a fulfilled woman?  What did she teach them about love?
  4. How did their father’s absence affect the way Bee and Tess felt about men?
  5. Both sisters are involved in creative fields, even debating typefaces in their e-mails.  What does Tess express in her paintings?  Is there any room for self-expression in Bee’s commercial design work?
  6. Do you think Bee discovers anything new about her sister in a deep way-for example, when she meets her landlord, Amias, and friends Kasia and Simon?  How much of what Beatrice discovers is about herself?
  7. What does the novel say about resilience, both physical and emotional, and where it comes from?
  8. How does the memory of Leo affect the Hemming family?
  9. Though Bee acknowledges that she and her sister are not devout Catholics, how does their Catholicism affect their view of the world (in an Anglican nation no less)?
  10. Why was Tess drawn to Emilio, and Kasia to Mitch?  Would you have been more attracted to Todd or to William?
  11. Discuss the novel’s structure.  How did it affect you as the narrator referred to Tess as “you”?  What was your understanding of Mr. Wright and his role?
  12. Dr. Nichols, Professor Rosen, and William all inhabit the world of diagnosis and treatment.  How do their three different roles (and mindsets) reflect the realities of modern medicine?
  13. Though Chrom-Med is a fictional company, what real-life questions about gene therapy are raised by the novel?  What is the ethical way to apply humanity’s knowledge of the human genome?
  14. Discuss the novel’s stunning closing scenes.  What do you predict for the aftermath?
  15. In their e-mail exchanges, Bee and Tess argue about what is safe and what is reckless.  Which sister’s temperament is closest to your own?  What is your definition of a life worth living?

You don’t have to answer all of the questions.  Pick the ones you want.  And if you want to blog your own answers that’s fine too.  I will be blogging my answers probably tomorrow for you all.

As a matter of fact, I have included a linky if you would like to link me to your blog posts answering any or all of these questions on your own blog.  I would love to read them.  So link up at the very bottom of this post.

Next Weeks Book Club

I hope we can meet again next week to discuss the next book which is What Alice Forgot.  We will meet right here on Monday July 30, 2012 at 9 p.m. EST.  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book.



Summer Book Club Returns

After a week off I am so happy to tell you all that I am ready this week.  I finished reading Sister on Friday of last week and I am ready to discuss it with you all this week.  Are you ready to discuss it with me?  You didn’t forget about book club with my absence last week, did you?  I hope not because I’m rearing to go.  And you know I was completely wrong about who done it.  It was hard for me to put the book down once I got to the end of it.

I hope you all felt the same way about the book.  I do love a good mystery though so maybe I’m alone in that.  I really would love to hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions on it though.

Thinking Ahead

I have also taken some time to check out the availability of some of the rest of our books on the reading list.  I wanted to make sure we didn’t run into the same problem as we did with Us.  So for our next summer reading book I have chosen What Alice Forgot.  We will discuss that next Monday, July 30, 2012.

But this week we will meet right here at 9 p.m. EST tonight (July 23).  Did you notice that nifty little bar at the bottom of my page now?  It has a chat feature there.  You can sign in with your Facebook or Twitter name if you want there too.  I’m hoping this works better than the other chats I have tried have been working.  See you all tonight.  Ready to discuss Sister with everyone!

 

Summer Book Club Is Cancelled For Tonight

Hello from New Hampshire this morning! I had every intention of having book club tonight. My internet connection isn’t too bad, but you know what? I’m on vacation. And while I thought that would lend more time to reading it hasn’t exactly done that.

We are having a great time, but I have not finished reading Sister yet. As a matter of fact I’m only 45% of the way through it according to my daughter’s Kindle. So I hope no one minds if we postpone our talk about Sister to next Monday, July 23rd at 9 p.m. EST right here.

And also if you’ll take note on the bottom of the page I actually have a bar that has a chat on it which you can use your Facebook or Twitter to sign into. I would like to give that a try as a chat. I’m hoping it can support everyone, but so far the other ones I have been using haven’t allowed more than one other person with me at a time.

So I am hoping this works better and I was hoping to try it out this week. However while I think I know who done it considering there’s still more than halfway to the end I know I have barely gotten to all of the twists and turns of this book. I don’t want to begin talking to you all about it and finding out something I had no idea about. So I hope no one minds the extra time to read. Or for me to read since you all probably followed the rules and read the book cover to cover. Unless you said to yourself there’s no way she’s going to finish that book going on vacation with small children. In which case I say next time scream at me how extremely naive I am being in thinking I could do it all!

I have also foolishly taken on the task of reviewing a book for my blog. One which I don’t intend to read for book club so I’m hoping to find more time to get through reading these books. I often forget vacationing with small children isn’t too much of a vacation. We are having a blast though, that I can tell you. I’ll likely come home in need of a vacation from our vacation though, ha.

Summer Book Club Reminder

Hey everyone, summer book club is still happening tonight. That’s at 9 p.m. EST right here on my blog. It has kind of turned into a redo of the first week since we had so much trouble with the chat. Hopefully it will work better this time and we can get everyone on there talking about Bossypants.

While I wanted to have read some of Us by Michael Kimball by tonight I found that many people were having a hard time getting their hands on the book, including myself. So I hope everyone got my email that we switched to reading Sister. I haven’t gotten very far in that yet so we will hopefully discuss it next Monday the 16th as long as my internet access is decent and I don’t have some sort of vacation mutiny on my hands from the children.

So I hope to chat with you all tonight. Maybe we can discuss what to do about Us because I would like to read it, but I’m not sure how everyone feels about having to pay $15 for a book from Amazon.

Come ready to chat about Bossypants by Tina Fey tonight 9 p.m. EST.

Is everyone excited about this?