Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Awards 2012

We read a lot of great books this year. It was tough to give these awards to just one book, but here's what we decided...
Overall Favorite Book
Best Discussion
Most Well-Written Book (had to pick 2)
Funniest Moment (we loved the funny male characters in both of these!)
Gary honking the horn was pretty funny!

Favorite Female Character: Offred
Favorite Male Character: Will

Best Topic
Most Impactful Book
Most Recommended Book: All of them!
Favorite Cover
Best Ending (had to pick 2)

Saddest Moment: Benny's murder
Worst Female Villain: Hannah
Worst Male Villain: Silas
2012 was a great reading year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Group Pictures-The Call

We had our book club Christmas party yesterday! Lots of cookies, gifts, and food! We had a great discussion of The Call. I think we all ended up liking this one (especially Veronica and Linda) besides Karen.

Take 1
Take 2
Well, who knows how many takes with Tony taking the picture!
Linda was chosen as member of the year for 2012...more pictures and awards to come!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

BookPage Top 50 Books of 2012

1. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
 2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
 3. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
 4. May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes
 5. The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
 6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
 7. The Round House by Louise Erdrich
 8. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
 9. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
10. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
11. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
12. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
13. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
14. The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
15. Thomas Jefferson by Jon Meacham
16. The Mansion of Happiness by Jill Lepore
17. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
18. The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
19. Love’s Winning Plays by Inman Majors
20. Broken Harbor by Tana French
21. Home by Toni Morrison
22. NW by Zadie Smith
23. Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
24. The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger
25. You Came Back by Christopher Coake
26. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
27. Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
29. San Miguel by T.C. Boyle
30. Coming to My Senses by Alyssa Harad
31. Arcadia by Lauren Groff
32. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
33. Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick
34. Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
35. Canada by Richard Ford
36. By the Iowa Sea by Joe Blair
37. The Cove by Ron Rash
38. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
39. Winter Journal by Paul Auster
40. Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh
41. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
42. In One Person by John Irving
43. Capital by John Lanchester
44. Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
45. A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer duBois
46. A Good American by Alex George
47. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
48. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
49. Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung
50. Carry the One by Carol Anshaw

Monday, December 3, 2012

January Book Choices!

It's time to select our first book of 2013! We'll choose from memoirs for January.

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe | Paperback, 352 pages

“What are you reading?”

That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less.

This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying.

Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other—and rediscover their lives—through their favorite books. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page.
Schwalbe is the founder of and has worked in publishing and journalism. This is his first memoir. It has a 4.11 rating on Goodreads.

Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson | Hardcover, 320 pages

Stephanie Nielson began sharing her life in 2005 on the Nie Nie dialogues, drawing readers in with her warmth and candor. She quickly attracted a loyal following that was captivated by the upbeat mother happily raising her young children, madly in love with her husband, Christian (Mr. Nielson to her readers), and filled with gratitude for her blessed life.

However, everything changed in an instant on a sunny day in August 2008, when Stephanie and Christian were in a horrific plane crash. Christian was burned over 40 percent of his body, and Stephanie was on the brink of death, with burns over 80 percent of her body. She would remain in a coma for four months.

In the aftermath of this harrowing tragedy, Stephanie maintained a stunning sense of humor, optimism, and resilience. She has since shared this strength of spirit with others through her blog, in magazine features, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, in this moving memoir, Stephanie tells the full, extraordinary story of her unlikely recovery and the incredible love behind it—from a riveting account of the crash to all that followed in its wake. With vivid detail, Stephanie recounts her emotional and physical journey, from her first painful days after awakening from the coma to the first time she saw her face in the mirror, the first kiss she shared with Christian after the accident, and the first time she talked to her children after their long separation. She also reflects back on life before the accident, to her happy childhood as one of nine siblings, her close-knit community and strong Mormon faith, and her fairy-tale love story, all of which became her foundation of strength as she rebuilt her life.

What emerges from the wreckage of a tragic accident is a unique perspective on joy, beauty, and overcoming adversity that is as gripping as it is inspirational. Heaven Is Here is a poignant reminder of how faith and family, love and community can bolster us, sustain us, and quite literally, in some cases, save us.
This is Stephanie's first book. She is a well known Mormon mommy blogger. Heaven is Here has a 4.24 rating on Goodreads.

Louise: Amended by Louise Krug | Paperback, 200 pages

A beautiful young woman from Kansas is about to embark on the life of her dreams—California! Glossy journalism! French boyfriend!—only to suffer a brain bleed that collapses the right side of her body, leaving her with double vision, facial paralysis, and a dragging foot.

An unflinching, wise, and darkly funny portrait of sudden disability and painstaking recovery, the memoir presents not only Louise's perspective, but also the reaction of her loved ones—we see, in fictional interludes, what it must have been like for Louise's boyfriend to bathe her, or for her mother to apply lipstick to her nearly immobile mouth. Challenging the notion that one person's tragedy is a single person's story, Louise: Amended depicts a dismantling—and rebirth—of an entire family.
At age twenty-two, Louise Krug suffered a brain bleed and underwent an emergency craniotomy that disrupted her ability to walk, see, and move half her face. Now, six years later, Louise has astounded doctors and loved ones by recovering not only much of her vision and mobility, but a ferocious spirit and enviable grace. She currently lives with her husband Nick and daughter Olive in Lawrence, Kansas, where she's a PhD candidate and teacher.

Louise: Amended is Krug's first book. It has a 4.08 rating on Goodreads.

We'll talk about the schedule for next year at the December meeting, but the January meeting will likely be hosted by Linda.
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