Monday, July 16, 2012

May 2012 Bookers Minutes

                                           5th Annual Wine & Cheese Evening Meeting
                                        2nd Annual Sip-A-Lot & Get Volunteers Meeting

27 Bookers descended on the Prebis household to celebrate the official conclusion of Year 8 of Bookers.  Thanks to Melanie and co-host Linsey Garwacki for hosting MN’s “favorite” event of the season.  You all know how she likes to party instead of delving into the meat of a book…or not!  Bonnie Magee’s organizational skills were on full display with the abundance of wonderful food…she and Melanie might become permanent czars of food and event hosting.  Many thanks to everyone for contributing to the success of this special evening and we look forward to next year, same time, and same place.  Champagne flowed in honor of Melanie’s news – she’s going to be a grandmother again…congratulations!

Last year we discussed the rare condition, Arm Restrictive Syndrome or ARS, which prevents those sufferers from raising their arms in the air in response to the question… “Do we have any volunteers?”  It thrills us that most of you have fully recovered by recognizing the right dosage of “spirits” enables that volunteer arm to freely and enthusiastically wave above your head without pain.  Thanks to everyone who agreed to review a book selection and/or host a meeting.  Details are listed below in the business section.

For those of you who attended, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for making the evening a red carpet moment in my life.  MN and I collaborated to salute the continual support from Bookers for my efforts in writing my novel.  Having the opportunity to share in the progress of this journey with dear friends is such a source of pride for me.  You ignite the fires of courage to do my best and I’m so grateful to have you on this trip.  We’ll ride the wave to completion together!  Many thanks to Bernie for her characterization of one of the main characters in the novel, Victoria Jeanne, by dressing the part and “performing” the prologue to Life In A Box.  It’s still a work in progress, but who knows what another year will bring.

Our book sharing resulted in a variety of reading options from our group: The asterisk * indicates – ‘Bookers worthy’ – and MN and I are set to read each one in the very near future for consideration in the upcoming year.

Marsha Smith:           The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession, Allison Hoover Bartlett. 
“Immersing the reader in a rich, wide world of literary obsession (this
book) exposes the profound role books play in all of our lives, the reverence
in which these everyday objects are still held, and the craving that makes
some people willing to stop at nothing to possess the books they love.”

                                                The Women, T.C. Boyle
A novel detailing the life of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the four women who played a prominent role in it.

            Colleen Hinckley:      Roses, Leila Meacham, Bookers’ June 2010
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
A young adult novel written in the voice of a 16 year-old living in a post-apocalyptic world.  The hunger games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl, aged 12-18, competes in a battle until only one person is left.
            Gloria Tucker:           Still Alice, Lisa Genova, Bookers’ March 2011
                                                Prayers For Sale, Sandra Dallas
A novel about an unconventional friendship between an 86 year-old and a naïve young newlywed set in an isolated mining town in Colorado in 1936.

            Jane Freer:                 The 19th Wife: A Novel, David Ebershoff
Set in 1875, Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church, and sets out on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States.

The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers, Harry Bernstein
The “wall” figuratively divided the Jews and Christians in the poor Lancashire mill town in England.  The author, 96 years young, immigrated to the United States as a boy after World War I.  Although writing all his life, he only began working on this novel after the death of his wife.

*          Leslie Mullins:           Ditto - The Invisible Wall
*                                              The Dream: A Memoir, sequel by Harry Bernstein
He begins with his early days in England where his mother strived to raise her six children and their coming to America.

Rosemary Farmer:    Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, Todd Burpo
Non-fiction bestseller that recounts the story of the critically ill son of a Wesleyan pastor in rural Nebraska and his mystic vision of heaven.

                                                I’ll Walk Alone: A Novel, Mary Higgins Clark
A page-turner from the master of mystery focusing on an unsolved crime.  The heroine is a Manhattan based divorcee whose reputation is being destroyed by a person unknown.  She is even accused of kidnapping her own small child.

            Bernie Crudden:        Hotel Vendome: A Novel, Danielle Steele
The readers are “invited into the ultra-glamorous world of a five-star New York hotel, and brings to vivid life the man who builds it as his dream, the girl who grows up in its loving embrace, and the colorful guests and staff who make its magic complete.”

*          Kay Robinson:           The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet, Jamie Ford
Set in Seattle during the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

            Lois Welch:                Winter Solstice, Rosamunde Pilcher
The story is told “chapter by chapter from the perspectives of an eclectic array of characters that learn to live with their losses and find themselves spirited northwards from Sussex to Scotland to find solace in unexpected places.”

            Patsy Dehn:                Sarah’s Key, Tatiana de Rosnay
Set in the summer of 1942 as the French police arrest thousands of Jewish families and detain them outside of Paris before sending them to Auschwitz.  The story centers on a 10 year-old Jewish girl rounded up with her mother and father – but before leaving, she locks her 4 year-old brother in a secret cupboard promising to free him upon her return.

            Cherry Fugitt:            Honolulu, Alan Brennert
Sophomore novel from the author of Molokai, a historical fiction about a young Korean “picture bride” named Regret who journeys to Hawaii in 1914 in search of a better life.

                                                Defending Jacob: A Novel, William Landay
A novel of an embattled family in crisis centering on an assistant district attorney in suburban Massachusetts county living an ideal lifestyle until his fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

*                                              The Invisible Wall, Harry Bernstein (see above)

            Lorene O’Neil:           Anything written by David Baldacci                        
?                                  The Chosen, Chaim Potok
Sorry, I can’t remember who mentioned this one.  It often appears on high school summer reading lists.  “Set in 1940’s in Brooklyn, New York – a tale of two boys, their fathers, their friendships, and the chaotic times in which they live.  On the surface, it explores religious faith, but the struggles addressed in this book are familiar to all faiths and in all nations.”

            Melanie Prebis:         The ‘50 Shades’ Trilogy, E.L. James
(You all know the drift)
                                                The Hunger Games (previewed above)

                                                Under The Dome: A Novel, Stephen King
“On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day, a small town is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field.  Planes crash into it and rain down flaming wreckage.”

                                                11/22/63: A Novel, Stephen King
On this date, three shots rang out in Dallas, President John Kennedy died, and the world changed.  “What if you could change it back?” – the author did as he builds a story around a man who travels back in time to prevent the assassination.

*          Beverly Dossett:        My Reading Life, Pat Conroy (chosen January, 2013)
America’s beloved storyteller and master of language details his passion for reading and those authors who were instrumental in the development of his skills.  He also gives us a close-up and personal look at his relationship with his mother and the English teacher who is responsible for the man and writer that he is today.     

*          MN Stanky:               The Tender Bar: A Memoir, J.R. Moehringer (chosen                                                      Nov. 2012)
The memoir is about a boy striving to become a man, and his romance with a bar.

*                                              Back When We Were Grownups, Anne Tyler (chosen                                                        Dec. 2012)
53 year-old widow Rebecca Davitch discovers she has turned into the wrong person and begins to question everything about her life.  “How on earth did I get like this?”

*                                              A Young Wife, Pam Lewis (chosen, Dec, 2012)
Fifteen-year-old Minke travels to Amsterdam to care for the dying wife of an older wealthy man.  She has no idea that within hours of his wife’s death, he proposes marriage and within days the couple sets sail for the oil fields of Argentina.  This is a turn-of-the-century saga of love, betrayal, and redemption set during the 1900’s.

                                                Life In A Box: A Novel, JoDee Neathery (WIP)
Four babies simultaneously made their appearances into this world on August 13, 1922, 1,750 miles apart – the Smith twins in Portland, Oregon, the Brown twins in Amarillo, Texas.  Unbeknownst to either family, whether by destiny, coincidence, or sheer circumstances, this day would forever link them together.  The families’ paths would cross many years later in California, and with the San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop, the Smiths’ and the Browns’ lives began a connection spanning over three quarters of a century…stay tuned!

            JoDee Neathery:       The Story of Beautiful Girl: A Novel, Rachel Simon
It is 1968.  Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution, the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded.  Deeply in love, they escape and find refuge in the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher, and widow.  They are not alone.  Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl and before recaptured, she whispers two words to Martha: “Hide her.”
Believing the Lie: An Inspector Lynley Novel, Elizabeth George
A contemporary crime fiction by a New York Times bestselling author of sixteen suspense novels.  Inspector Thomas Lynley is mystified when he is sent undercover to investigate the death of Ian Cresswell at the request of the man’s uncle, the wealthy and influential Bernard Fairclough.  Show More

For Marcus Luttrell fans, (author of Lone Survivor) he has a new book out, Service, which explains why soldiers are so willing to put their lives on the line for family, friends, and freedom.

Many thanks to Cherry and Beverly for supplying Mr. Tucker with a copy of Unbroken.

                                    COLOR CODING SYSTEM:

                                    WHITE:                       LIGHT READ
                                    PINK:                          MODERATELY CHALLENGING
                                    RED:                            CHALLENGING

June 12th:                      Bonus Bookers meeting
                                    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
                                    Home of Sandy Molander
                                    September 2004 first Bookers’ selection
                                    Reviewer: JoDee Neathery

Summer Read:              Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
September 11th:            Kick-off to Bookers’ Season 9
                                    Home of Marlene Ungarean, co-hosted by Rosemary Farmer
                                    Reviewer: Patty Evans

October 9th:                  Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
                                    Home of Beverly Dossett
                                    Reviewer: Colleen Hinckley

November 13th:            The Tender Bar, A Memoir by J.R. Moehringer
                                    Home of Jane Freer, co-hosted by Cherry Fugitt
                                    Reviewer: Kathy Mueller

December 11th             Bookers Holiday Party
                                    A Young Wife by Pam Lewis & Back When We Were Grownups
                                    by Anne Tyler
                                    Home of Jean Alexander

January 8, 2013            My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
Home of Daryl Daniels
Reviewer: Beverly Dossett

February 12th               Home of Janet Erwin
                                    Possible Reviewer: Jean Alexander

March 12th                   Home of Charlotte Pechacek
                                    Possible Reviewer: Kimberly Hand

April 9th                        Home of MN Stanky, co-hosted by Kimberly Hand
                                    Possible Reviewer: Melanie Prebis

May 14th                      6th Annual Wine & Cheese Evening Meeting                
Home of Melanie Prebis                                              

Happy Reading,

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