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august choices

Posted by littlecindy on 2006.08.02 at 22:03
allright, i'm doing this spur of the moment, so forgive me if any of these have been up before.


a long way down
by nick hornby

i read this this spring & liked it.


pilgrim at tinker creek
by annie dillard

she wrote one of my favorite books, "for the time being," and i've been meaning to read something else of hers.


the reader
by bernhard schlink

read this in europe in 2001-2002 and had no idea it was an old oprah selection a couple years earlier. i thought it was phenomenal and am due for another read


assassination vacation
by sarah vowell

fun sounding non-fiction choice.


the meaning of wife
by anne kingston


for richer, not poorer
by deborah wilburn

these last couple for all us newlyweds or brides-to-be


The books I've been reading...

Posted by stefanieas on 2006.08.01 at 15:04
I've read a few books this summer, and they've all been chick lit.  Easy reading, but entertaining.  Something perfect for sitting on a beach or at the pool....

I read A Total Waste of Makeup by Kim Gruenenfelder.

I just finished reading The Jinx by Jennifer Sturman.  This one is a suspense/mystery type book (still of the 'chick lit' nature) but was definitely a page-turner for me.  I would recommend this one.

I just started reading Something Blue by Emily Giffin...I'm only a few pages in, so I don't have an opinion of it yet, but I also read Something Borrowed by the same author and LOVED it.  

Also, I'm kind of reading TCOYF.  I say kind of because I use it more as a reference book, and am not reading it page by page, but rather jumping to find things as I need them.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is TTC anytime in the near future (and I'd recommend reading it long before you actually want to start TTC).


More Summer Reading...

Posted by supergal16 on 2006.08.01 at 15:05
Current Mood: contentcontent
Oh great, I'm glad to see activity in this club again! Lots of great suggestions in the last two posts.

I have to admit that I've spent most of the past 6 weeks reading this:

It doesn't usually take me 6 weeks to finish a book, and I almost gave up several times, but I thought I might find a little pearl of wisdom somewhere. I was disappointed. Not that there weren't any relevant insights on woman to woman communication in the entire read, but I felt half of it was just common sense, and half of it seemed like the author was desperately trying to force her research to be meaningful. I also may have been influenced by the fact that I have a really wonderful relationship with my mother, and the behavior of most of the mothers and daughters in this book was pretty appalling from my viewpoint. I'd be really curious to hear what other people thought who read this book.

I'm more excited about the book that just arrived in the mail from my book club:

From Publishers Weekly
Tyler (Breathing Lessons) encompasses the collision of cultures without losing her sharp focus on the daily dramas of modern family life in her 17th novel. When Bitsy and Brad Donaldson and Sami and Ziba Yazdan both adopt Korean infant girls, their chance encounter at the Baltimore airport the day their daughters arrive marks the start of a long, intense if sometimes awkward friendship. Sami's mother, Maryam Yazdan, who carefully preserves her exotic "outsiderness" despite having emigrated from Iran almost 40 years earlier, is frequently perplexed by her son and daughter-in-law's ongoing relationship with the loud, opinionated, unapologetically American Donaldsons. When Bitsy's recently widowed father, Dave, endearingly falls in love with Maryam, she must come to terms with what it means to be part of a culture and a country. Stretching from the babies' arrival in 1997 until 2004, the novel is punctuated by each year's Arrival Party, a tradition manufactured and comically upheld by Bitsy; the annual festivities gradually reveal the families' evolving connections. Though the novel's perspective shifts among characters, Maryam is at the narrative and emotional heart of the touching, humorous story, as she reluctantly realizes that there may be a place in her heart for new friends, new loves and her new country after all. (May 9)

Looking forward to reviewing our August choices!!! Oh - and anyone who didn't get to read the June Book, "Any Bitter Thing," if you are looking for a great read, I highly recommend this novel!!

It's OK...

Posted by knittenkitten on 2006.08.01 at 13:59
I was feeling like I had dropped the ball in not reading any of the books. Now we can all get on track together...
As per Lauren's request, I have been reading these:

Right Now: "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life". I just found out that this book was partially plagerized, but so far it is good. I won't hold a grudge.

Before that: "Brick Lane". This book was good in a different kind of way. I don't really feel like there was a definative plotline, it was more just about the family and what happened to them on a daily basis. There was, in the end, a moderate amount of growth on the part of the main character. It was written beautifully though, and I liked that about it.

Before that: "The Complete Chronicles of Narnia". As you can imagine, this took a LONG time. It was well worth it though, to revisit the stories of my youth. They are just as beautiful, if not more so, as an adult.

Next up: I just checked out "Babyji" and "Sea Glass" from the library, so they are next on my list. I can't wait to get some good reading in!


My summer reading

Posted by trp4life on 2006.07.31 at 22:26
This summer I took a class in hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), a multilevel statistical analysis procedure....still awake??  At any rate, I was immersed in this text for the entire month of June:

Not the kind of beach reading I was hoping for so I didn't really get the chance to read any books for pure fun this summer.  I just picked up these two and am eager to read them on the plane for my upcoming trips.

1) The Memory Keeper's Daughter.   Sounded interesting and USA Today said its probably the book of the summer, compared it to MIddlesex a few summers ago (which I loved).

From Publishers Weekly
Edwards's assured but schematic debut novel (after her collection, The Secrets of a Fire King) hinges on the birth of fraternal twins, a healthy boy and a girl with Down syndrome, resulting in the father's disavowal of his newborn daughter. A snowstorm immobilizes Lexington, Ky., in 1964, and when young Norah Henry goes into labor, her husband, orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Henry, must deliver their babies himself, aided only by a nurse. Seeing his daughter's handicap, he instructs the nurse, Caroline Gill, to take her to a home and later tells Norah, who was drugged during labor, that their son Paul's twin died at birth. Instead of institutionalizing Phoebe, Caroline absconds with her to Pittsburgh. David's deception becomes the defining moment of the main characters' lives, and Phoebe's absence corrodes her birth family's core over the course of the next 25 years. David's undetected lie warps his marriage; he grapples with guilt; Norah mourns her lost child; and Paul not only deals with his parents' icy relationship but with his own yearnings for his sister as well. Though the impact of Phoebe's loss makes sense, Edwards's redundant handling of the trope robs it of credibility. This neatly structured story is a little too moist with compassion.

2.  Little Children.    Seemed like a quick and easy read.  Plus I loved Election so I was eager to read another by this author.

From Publishers Weekly
The characters in this intelligent, absorbing tale of suburban angst are constrained and defined by their relationship to children. There's Sarah, an erstwhile bisexual feminist who finds herself an unhappy mother and wife to a branding consultant addicted to Internet porn. There's Todd, a handsome ex-jock and stay-at-home dad known to neighborhood housewives as the Prom King, who finds in house-husbandry and reveries about his teenage glory days a comforting alternative to his wife's demands that he pass the bar and get on with a law career. There's Mary Ann, an uptight supermom who schedules sex with her husband every Tuesday at nine and already has her well-drilled four-year-old on the inside track to Harvard. And there's Ronnie, a pedophile whose return from prison throws the school district into an uproar, and his mother, May, who still harbors hopes that her son will turn out well after all. In the midst of this universe of mild to fulminating family dysfunction, Sarah and Todd drift into an affair that recaptures the passion of adolescence, that fleeting liminal period of freedom and possibility between the dutiful rigidities of childhood and parenthood. Perrotta (Election; Joe College; etc.) views his characters with a funny, acute and sympathetic eye, using the well-observed antics of preschoolers as a telling backdrop to their parents' botched transitions into adulthood. Once again, he proves himself an expert at exploring the roiling psychological depths beneath the placid surface of suburbia.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The New Yorker
The eponymous children in this satirical novel are actually adults who, chafing at the burdens of parenthood, try to re-create their unencumbered youth. Sarah, an overeducated young homemaker, likens her tantrum-prone daughter to a "brooding Russian epileptic" out of Dostoevsky, and pines for lost college days of feminism and bisexuality. While her husband orders used panties online, she has furtive sex with a stay-at-home dad whose repeated failure to pass the bar has earned him the contempt of his gorgeous wife. The humor is sometimes cruel, but Perrotta never betrays the complexity of his characters. For all Sarah's sins—neglecting her child, wallowing in romantic delusions—there's something almost brave about her refusal to join the supermoms drilling their toddlers with dreams of Harvard, and about her yearning for more than "a painfully ordinary life." 

Can't decide which one to start first.  Has anyone read either one?  Any comments?


Apology: Dropped the ball as moderator

Posted by trp4life on 2006.07.31 at 22:18
Hi Novel Newleyweds,

Long time no post here! I was happy to see that in my absence you all continued on and discussed the June book of the month, Any Bitter Thing, selected by Linnyloplop.  Sounds like I missed out on a good one. Interesting commentary by all who posted!

So to recap, here's our schedule of readings...

So far we've read:
1) Trp4Life's pick: October = Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Neffenegger
2) Elaine77's pick: November = Appointment in Samara by John O'Hara
3) Kate1125's pick: December = Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner
4) Zabeth74's pick: January = Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
5) Cactus76's pick: Februrary = Saturday, by Ian McEwan
6) Boreter's pick: A tie! March = History of Love & Three Junes
7) NYCLaura's pick: April - pass, free month
8) K52Sugar - pass, free month
9) Linnyloplop - June, Any Bitter Thing

Up Next was supposed to be:

July = Pitt_Alum
August = LittleCindy
September = SweetRed1 

However, as moderator, I dropped the ball in asking you all to come forward with your book selections so we missed July.  We're heading into August so I'll propose the following:

1) Pitt_Alum, if you're still with the group, do you want to pick the August book and then we'll just bump everyone back a month?  If so, post your options soon so we can vote and get reading this month.   We'll give everyone a month to read from when we actually select the winning book.  Otherwise, Little Cindy, you'll be up next.

2) In the meantime, everyone should post their summer readings so we can discuss some of those.  I imagine we've been reading as a group, just not the same books. It'd be nice to hear a summary of your summer reading highs and lows.  Post away! 

Hey Guys...

Posted by katysabrat on 2006.07.14 at 23:03
I just realized that you guys never read Conversatons with a Fat Girl.  I believe it was up for your March reading.  I only just remembered because it's our (LA) book club pick this month and Liza Palmer will be joining us at our meeting.

Otherwise, I'm just popping in to say Hi!

Any Bitter Thing...

Posted by linnyloplop on 2006.06.06 at 20:40
So, has anyone finished it yet?  I am dying to know what you all think!  A big question, what do you think of Father Mike?  Do you think he was 100% innocent of the accusations against him?  Obviously he did wrong things unrelated to the accusations, but I did not love Father Mike the way that I did earlier in the novel.  I felt overall that he was a weak man that was trying to make himself feel better by telling himself that he was strong.


JUNE book

Posted by trp4life on 2006.06.02 at 09:58

Thanks linnyloplop  for the great suggestions. Looks like we had a clear winner this month, so grab your copy and start reading:

1. Any Bitter Thing by Monica Wood 

From Publishers Weekly
A near-fatal accident in the dark of night—30-year-old Lizzy is struck in a hit-and-run—sets in motion a complicated, surprising story of love, loss and sacrifice. When Lizzy was two, her parents were killed in a plane crash, and she was sent to live with her beloved Uncle Mike, a Catholic priest. In prose as fresh and lovely as a Maine summer evening, Lizzy tells of seven halcyon years with her uncle. But when a bitter housekeeper falsely accuses Mike of sexually abusing Lizzy, her cozy world is shattered. Sent to live with relatives, Lizzy is told that Mike succumbed to the weak family heart and died. So how has he visited her in her hospital room after the hit-and-run? This, as well as the mystery of why Father Mike meekly accepted the accusations leveled against him, begins to come clear when Lizzy's accident and rehabilitation dredge up questions of another tragic event, long hidden. Following the structure of the Liturgy of the Hours from Invitatory to Matins, Wood (My Only Story) employs a sophisticated, layered architecture, circling from present to past to reveal shocking truths. Interspersed with Lizzy's first-person narration are sections told from Uncle Mike's third-person perspective, which provide mesmerizing insight into what is known and what is remembered. Wood's story unassumingly builds in power, right up to its moving final page.


Random book question?

Posted by supergal16 on 2006.05.25 at 11:34
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Hi Ladies - I'm new to the group, and hope it's ok to ask a book question not related to the June selections...

Has anyone read "Digging to America," by Anne Tyler, or anything else by this author? I read a review for it that made me want to go buy it, but I kind of like to know what real people think of a book before purchasing.

Would be interested to hear your thoughts/comments if anyone has any.

Thanks! Lauren

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