Friday, November 13, 2015

After You

Book: After You by Jojo Moyes

Members present: Christy, Denise, Gina, Marie, Linda, Sharon

Venue: Carrabba's

Book Discussion:

Discussion was even shorter than usual because we were so hungry. That was my excuse, at least. For those of us who finished it, we liked Me Before You better. The book started a little slow but got better eventually. Sharon thought the ending was surprising. Gina liked Louisa's dad. I didn't think it was as good of an exploration of grief as What Alice Forgot was, but still worth reading. I thought Wynona Ryder would have been a good Lily when she was a teenager. We couldn't come up with any other casting suggestions.

Marie said that Me Before You is going to be a movie, and it is supposed to be released in march of 2016. So we may have to do a book club movie date! Here is the link: Me Before You. I don't recognize any of the actors. Maybe they're British or Australian? They did not pick Ben Affleck to play Will, as Sharon suggested.

Noteworthy News:

We were so hungry we didn't even gossip that much. The big news is that Linda is now living in Roanoke and has joined book club. Yay! She is also available to sub, if anyone needs one.

Lorelei has also joined our group but was sick and couldn't make it.

And I kicked several people out because they never showed up.

Next Book:

Sharon will be hosting our next book, which is Defending Jacob by William Landay. Venue will be 2nd Helpings. You can check out their website here. We will meet in December so that can at least get 4 books in for 2015, because that's already a pretty low number, even for a remedial book club.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Hypnotist's Love Story

Members Present: Christy, Annette, Cindi, Sharon, Teri, Marie, Terrie (eventually :))

Venue: Wildflour

Book Discussion:

In general, everyone liked the book but still liked "What Alice Forgot," by the same author, better. We may never read book that we will love more than that one. So if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

We spent a good portion of the time summarizing the book for Annette. It was more complex than it seems on the surface. Everyone agreed that Ellen was a lot like me--the kind of person who would try to befriend her stalker. 

Marie thought Patrick was a jerk and that he totally used Ellen. I don't think he's that different from most guys--not good or bad, but quick to find a mother figure and not big on providing closure after a break up. 

Some people felt bad for Jack, Patrick's son, since he lost his mom and then lost Saskia. I thought he seemed pretty well-adjusted. 

Everyone but me liked Ellen's mom, Anne--the single mother/physician who is the exact opposite of Ellen. She does seem to have fun with her two sisters (or were they just friends?). Someone like Shirley McLaine would probably play her. Or is she too old now?

We kept trying to do the discussion questions but ended up gossiping instead. Some of the things we discussed were how the male characters in the book were less interesting than the female characters. Most people could not relate to being dumped because everyone is married but me. I totally admit to being like Saskia in that I will not let the guy end the relationship by ignoring me. 

We also discussed how it's much easier to stalk people these days and some people admitted to looking up some people of interest from the past but not going as far as making contact. I bet you're wondering who, aren't you? Guess you should have been there! 

One of my favorite lines of Saskia's is when she says "if Patrick had been killed in a car accident, I would have been allowed to grieve for him for years. People would have sent me flowers and dropped off casseroles. I would have been allowed to keep his photos up, to talk about him, to remember the good times. But because he dumped me, because he was still alive, my sadness was considered undignified and pathetic."

I also liked her new friend's motto: "knit, don't stalk." Sounds like good therapy to me!

All of the info on hypnosis was accurate. Marie wanted to know if it would work for weight loss. As it indicates in the book, hypnosis works well for things that you are highly motivated for--like avoiding pain, reducing anxiety. It tends to be less effective for things like weight loss, addictions, etc. because we're more ambivalent about giving them up. I told everyone how they can use suggestions as a form of self-hypnosis. See all the useful info you missed out on?

In other book club news, the movie Gone Girl is apparently better than the book, which is rare. The wife--I forget her name--was nominated for Best Actress.

Noteworthy News:

- Teri is officially moving to Colorado, so this will probably be her last book club :(.

- Marie is shopping for tennis clothes on the sales rack because she's retired. So if you hear of any sales, let her know.

- Gina knew we were talking about her and texted me to tell us to stop. 

- I was sick and had to leave early to get my drugs, so that's partly why our book discussion was so short.

I guess there actually wasn't much news to report.

Next Book:

This is Where I Leave You - Jonathan Tropper

Also a movie that some people have seen and loved. I haven't seen the movie, but I know the book is way better. It was freakin' hilarious. I don't know how someone can come up with so many funny lines in one book. But feel free to cheat if you want and just see the movie. It's mainly about the food and good company, anyway.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Members present: Christy, Marie, Sharon (I know! Shocking!), Terrie, Cindi, Gina

Venue: Terrie's house

Menu: chicken and rice casserole, beet and goat cheese salad, fruit salad, Asian salad, cheese and crackers, salted caramel brownies, assorted wines. Recipes available upon request.

Book Discussion

We compared this book to the other Holocaust books we've read--Sarah's Key, The Book Thief. The general consensus was that this was the least depressing of the three, although Marie still didn't read it because she only likes happy books. Cindi pointed out that even if it's painful, we owe it to the people who suffered in the Holocaust to familiarize ourselves with this part of our history.

This lead to a discussion about American Sniper and other movies related to war in the Middle East--Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty. Some of the conversation was admittedly not that deep--like the lack of fashion trends in the Middle East--but most of it was actually pretty meaningful. The ugliness of war, greed, politics. We considered reading the American Sniper biography but decided to lighten things up a bit for our next read.

Noteworthy News

Not a lot of good news, unfortunately. We brought everyone up to date on the relocations that are taking place because of Norfolk Southern closing their Roanoke office. None of us are doing particularly well in the ladder. Gina and Marie had to leave early for a viewing and Sharon was missing her uncle's viewing in order to make it to at least one book club meeting. I honestly can't think of any good news to report, but everyone was in good spirits, nonetheless--what with the food and wine and good company and all.

Next Book:

Our next book will be "The Hypnotist's Wife" by Liane Moriarty--the same author that brought us "What Alice Forgot"--a book club favorite. We needed a light read, and this book really is hilarious. And I'm not just saying that because the main character thinks just like me.

Our next meeting will be Monday, March 23, because Teri Fry will be in town. Location TBD.

Until next time, happy reading and I'll see you on the courts!