The beginning of a new year is a great time for change. Our little book club has been plugging along for the past seven years and we have read some great books, had interesting discussions, eaten lots of yummy treats, and developed friendships along the way. As time has passed, however, it seems that life’s demands have made it harder for us all to get together.
So it is time for something new!
Instead of a formal monthly meeting dedicated to a single book, we thought it might be fun to do something a little less structured. How about a get together every couple of months where we can just hang out? We could go out to dinner, see a new movie (or catch up on some old films), grab a treat, or meet at the park to watch the sunset. (Just kidding about that last one, but anything goes!) And we can still talk about books and life in general. It will be fun!
Let us know what you think. We would love to hear any comments, suggestions, or ideas for our little meetings.
Thanks for the fun times and best wishes for the New Year!
-Jessica and Amy
Our Holiday meeting is tonight! We’re changing it up a little with a movie. Meet us for the 8:25 p.m. showing of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the Thanksgiving Point Megaplex.
See you there!
Let’s pick our January book selection! Below are the titles and descriptions of four books that have come up again and again in our book discussions. Vote for the one you’d most like to read in January.
The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
An instant bestseller when it was released in 1938, this Pulitzer Prize winner has been read and loved by school-age children across the nation for more than fifty years. In this classic story of the Baxter family and their wild, hard, and satisfying life in remote central Florida, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings has written one of the great novels of our times. A rich and varied tale — tender in its understanding of boyhood, crowded with the excitement of the backwoods hunt, with vivid descriptions of the primitive, beautiful hammock country, written with humor and earthy philosophy — The Yearling is a novel for readers of all ages. Its glowing picture of a life refreshingly removed from modern patterns of living is universal in its revelation of simple courageous people and the beliefs they must live by.
Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson
Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.
Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.
But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare
Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.
Elizabeth George Speare won the 1959 Newbery Medal for this portrayal of a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.
I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. In October 2012, when she was 15, Malala almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At 16, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Hailed by the Associated Press for its “arresting detail,” I Am Malala will make readers believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.
Next up is . . .
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by J.K. Rowling
A copy of FANTASTIC BEASTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM resides in almost every wizarding household in the country. Now Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief, which means that the dollars and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope that passing wizards feel more charitable if they see you being attacked by a Manticore.
— Albus Dumbledore
The meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.
Next up is . . .
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community.
“I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history,” Arthur Miller wrote in an introduction to The Crucible, his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Based on historical people and real events, Miller’s drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria.
The meeting will take place on Thursday, November 3, 2016.
Next up is . . .
On Gold Mountain, by Lisa See
In 1867, Lisa See’s great-great-grandfather arrived in America, where he prescribed herbal remedies to immigrant laborers who were treated little better than slaves. His son Fong See later built a mercantile empire and married a Caucasian woman, in spite of laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Lisa herself grew up playing in her family’s antiques store in Los Angeles’s Chinatown, listening to stories of missionaries and prostitutes, movie stars and Chinese baseball teams.
With these stories and her own years of research, Lisa See chronicles the one-hundred-year-odyssey of her Chinese-American family, a history that encompasses racism, romance, secret marriages, entrepreneurial genius, and much more, as two distinctly different cultures meet in a new world.
The meeting will take place on Thursday, September 29, 2016. We’ll be combining our discussion of the book with a planning meeting, selecting books and meeting dates for the upcoming months.
Due to scheduling issues, our August meeting will take place next week on Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at Stephanie Thacker’s house. We’ll be discussing The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.
Please feel free to come discuss books in general even if you haven’t read this specific book.
See you there!