Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Lost Symbol....and a tamale...

Lorainne Beckett graciously hosted our book club meeting tonight. She is always a delight to visit with. Her home is immaculate and her decor is so unique. I love it. Thank you, Lorainne for welcoming us into your home. Dan Brown's new novel, The Lost Symbol had no clever food references...and so, as Lorainne put it..."I decided to make whatever I wanted!" And I know I'm not the only one who is thankful that you did! Delicious and beautiful enchiladas, two types of tamales, lemonade, limeade, ice water and a whole tray of assorted cookies to choose from. The perfect spread. And it must be noted that the plates she used were paper...but looked so beautiful, I thought they were glass. Blue and white with an Italian flare.

Book discussion was a mixture of religion, Dan Brown's seeming desire to "un-earth" the secrets within religions/societies, the shock of how the entire book only spanned one day in the life of Robert Langdon, and some it's "unbelievable" qualities. I must say though...this man does do his research and I am so thankful for the small peek into other religions, cultures and ideas. It was an experience in expansion of ideas and thoughts. Thanks, Dan. Oh, and thanks to Chari for giving the tutorial on the Kindle. Christmas lists are all being revised as we speak!

January's book will be Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicolas Sparks the meeting will be at Cari Ann Olsen's home. Here is a little synopsis to get you hooked:

As moving as his bestselling works of fiction, Nicholas Sparks's unique memoir, written with his brother, chronicles the life-affirming journey of two brothers bound by memories, both humorous and tragicIn January 2003, Nicholas Sparks and his brother, Micah, set off on a three-week trip around the globe. It was to mark a milestone in their lives, for at thirty-seven and thirty-eight respectively, they were now the only surviving members of their family. Against the backdrop of the wonders of the world and often overtaken by their feelings, daredevil Micah and the more serious, introspective Nicholas recalled their rambunctious childhood adventures and the tragedies that tested their faith. And in the process, they discovered startling truths about loss, love, and hope.Narrated with irrepressible humor and rare candor, and including personal photos, THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER reminds us to embrace life with all its uncertainties...and most of all, to cherish the joyful times, both small and momentous, and the wonderful people who make them possible.

February will be Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel by (one of our favorite authors) Jeanette Walls (The Glass Castle). Karalea Richards will be hosting that month (that's me! yippee!)

Alchemy and Potato Peel Pie

Alchemy and Potato Peel Pie, they go together, right? Well, if they don't they are going to be forced to co-exist in this post. Life has gotten more crazy with school starting (three kids in should have given me MORE time, right? Not so.) and a new church calling filling up many of my hours....alas I have gotten behind yet again. So here we go. Recap.

Our September book club meeting was held at Simone's home and I am still mentally savoring the delicious Brazilian delicacies that came from that woman's kitchen. Let me just say....sweetened condensed milk. Oh....heavenly goodness. Simone went out of her way preparing food from her homeland and i (no, we) appreciated it so much. Thank you, Simone.

On a side note (that is how the book discussion felt, after the food!), the book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Cohelo was discussed and got...oh, probably a 50% approval rating. Some seemed to feel that it did not end properly, or there was confusion about the general story/moral of the book. Those who did like it, seemed to rave and maybe...just maybe...convinced the non-believers that this was a book worth reading...and owning. Let's just say it drew a different crowd (Tom and Paul). All in all, my memories of this book club night were filled with sweetness. I'm not sure if that was the sweetened condensed milk, or Simone's hospitality or just being together with good friends discussing books and life. Probably the whole mix.

October meeting was at Betty Richardson's home with her co-host, Shauna Orton. Again, I must start with the food. A savory sweet potato dish, sweet potato fries, hummus, chocolate "pringles-shaped" chips, apple cider, and more....oh, note to self..."don't eat on book club Tuesday...food too good to pass up." So delicious.

Discussion ranged from the Nazi's taking over Gurnsey island to the lost art of letter writing. Questions like, "Would you send your children off the island for an undetermined amount of time for their own safety?" were posed. It was a very interesting discussion. A great night. (A windy night, if you remember....howling wind blowing outside as we all sat warm and toasty inside Betty's beautiful home). Thanks to Shauna (for baking and keeping us on track with the discussion) and to Betty for offering her home, hospitality....and hummus.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Who Did It?

Book club for August was at Peggy's house and she made it a night to remember! We read The Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss. About half of us finished the book (not me...only got halfway through...it's a harder book to get into and read...but I'm still plugging along...and enjoying it...)

Peg had so much good food for us to enjoy. Chips and salsa, fresh fruit, baked brie with nuts and brown sugar, crackers, fondue and fruit, cheesecake, all sorts of fancy drinks to choose from....amazing. Everything was delicious and beautifully presented (thanks Bonny for helping her out with set up!)

Discussion about the book was light and interesting. Most seemed to like the book, but not love it.

Our next book will be The Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo and it will be at Simone's home on September 22nd. Brazilian food will be served and bikinis are optional. Just kidding. Betty and Shauna will co-host in October and we will read The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

My Antonia and a Sunflower

I'm behind. I'm sorry. I get the feeling that no one is checking the blog. That no one is reading the rambling. That it is pointless to keep posting the goings-on. Then Betty will ask me about it...and I am accountable. Thanks Betty.

So, here we go. July's book club meeting was at Janice's home. Of course expectations went through the roof and we were not disappointed. Janice is the Queen of detail. It started with a little invite of chocolate covered sunflower seeds in a small clear plastic bag with a cardstock note attached telling date and time (oh, and by the way, she sewed the top of each card with a star stitch...how cute!)...the invite was accompanied by a question about the book on cardstock that had a cute little fabric yo-yo flower attached to it.

When we arrived, there were sunflowers everywhere and good smells coming from the kitchen. (Little did we know what was coming!) Food was wonderful. We had fresh watermelon, mini cheese balls in baked Tostito cups and special Bohemian pastries (mentioned in the book....she had them overnighted from Texas! What?!) There was sunflower shaped sugar cookies and cold milk and refreshing water to drink.

Each person who had taken a question led a part of the discussion and Janice had a quiz for us with prizes for those who did well. She also had a drawing...for those of us who did not do so well on the quiz! She raffled off some potted sunflowers and sent each of us home with a special handmade bookmark. It was amazing and wonderful and I am so thankful to know Janice and to be a part of her greatness! Thank you Janice for being shockingly detailed and simply ASTONISHING! We love you!

Our next book will be a murder mystery. The Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hey batter, batter...

Book club for the month of May was at Kristen's house (her very beautiful house, with hilly tree views, painted white brick fireplace and fabulous wood floors!)

So, besides the comfortable setting, the spread was amazing. Kristen went all out with white bagged cracker jacks and peanuts, mini hot dogs, pizza, caramel apples, and coolers of root beer and water. Everything was surrounded by old baseballs, gloves, books, and photos. It was so clever and well done. Thank you, Kristen for all the effort and attention to detail. I appreciate that!

Discussion over the book was enlightening. The majority thought this was a good book (I had a hard time with it -lack of interest in following sporting teams and politics has a lot to do with that-) But all of us had a favorite quote, which we shared...leading the topics of discussion to range from "why don't our children call adults by their titles of Mrs. or Ms., but rather by first names?" to allowing our children time to be kids and giving them the opportunities to fail and lose (for their own good!). It was an enjoyable night. Thank you to Kristen,again, for being our gracious hostess.

Chari brought us a few book choices and we ended up picking "Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger (which I do believe was her master plan for us!) We will meet on June 23rd at Chari's home to discuss. Enjoy this book! It's a good one!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I am a few months behind, but here I am now, updating, playing catch up, repenting...whatever you want to call it.

Last month we met at Mandy's home for a discussion about the book Sarah's Key. By hearsay, I know that it was fantastically wonderful (no surprise there! Mandy always throws a great party). Many attended (I think Mandy said 14! Wow!!) Sorry that I can't elaborate, I was sick that night and was probably lying in bed, dreaming of book club with Vick's smeared under my nose. But, thank you Mandy for hosting and for suggesting such a great book. I loved that one!

April book club was hosted by Melissa C. The book we discussed was The History of Love (which we all decided looks fabulous on our nightstands with it's gentle soothing aqua cover). We talked about the in's and out's of this great book, which held mystery and love, childhood and old age. It was beautifully written and clever. I think a lot of us came away with the desire to re-read this one with a new perspective. I know I did. On to more important matters: the food. What a spread Melissa laid before us. Apples with honey, pastries, trail mix, water, lemonade, sandwiches, soup, baklava (I probably forgot a few other things, but you get the picture....smorgasbord!) Everything was delicious and presented so beautifully. Mandy brought the soup and it was so good. Thanks to Mandy for her contribution. Thanks to Melissa for going over the top, the extra mile, above and beyond...you get it. It was amazing.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 26th at Kristen's home. We will be reading and discussing "Big Russ" by Tim Russert. See you there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I'd like to thank myself for hostessing the book club last month. (just kidding) We did have a great time discussing Marley & Me by John Grogan. Food was had, dog collars and squeeky toys were handed out. All was good.

We will be meeting at Mary Lou's house tonight, February 24th at 7 p.m. We will be discussing "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. Please come, read or unread, we'd love to share your company.