Finally, after what has felt like AGES, our book club reconvened.
We had some absences at the last meeting and their presence was sorely missed.
We have just completed our 2nd full rotation of selections, and there were some fantastic reads in 2018.
January- Allison’s pick (me!)
I honestly don’t remember which books I’ve reviewed this year and am too lazy to look this morning, but I’ll give a brief recap.
I picked this selection for several reasons. One, because I love biographies, two, because I thought our rotation needed a little non-fiction in the mix, and three, it centered on a group that doesn’t get a lot of attention: the First Ladies.
I really enjoyed the book, and learned a lot, especially about women like LadyBird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and Michelle Obama.
I have a huge amount of respect for the research the author put in, and it peaked my curiosity enough to delve deeper into some of the life stories of the women behind the scenes of the most powerful job on Earth.
February – LaRue’s pick
I didn’t get to finish this one. I got crazy sick in February, and missed our meeting, too. I WILL start over with this one at some point though because, despite my reservations (I’m picky about my fantasy novels) I was really enjoying it.
It was a little Game of Thronesish and a little something else…Ken Follet? It’s definitely on my “Go back and read” list.
March – Anna’s pick
One of my top 3 for this year. This haunting selection has stuck with me. A lot. And I was reading it during some of the worst depression of my life.
One wouldn’t think that was such a great idea, given this book is so centered on mental illness, but I understood Eleanor in a way that I don’t think you can unless you have been at rock bottom.
I loved, loved, loved this story. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and hopeful and sweet. I highly recommend it.
April – Meredith’s pick
I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish this one either. I struggled through the spring months to do anything productive outside of my job.
I enjoyed a lot of what I did read, though. But I don’t know if I have the mental energy to finish this one.
The author’s writing style is too much akin to my own racing thoughts, which I medicate to keep under control. But there’s no denying that it has some heart, and lots of humor. I respect anyone that can approach their own tragedies with the kind of perspective and honesty used in this book.
August – Kacie’s pick
Kacie generally gets to pick our summer selection. She reveals at the May meeting and then we discuss after a break for the summer. So, in August, we gathered to talk about this gem.
I was so apprehensive about this book in the beginning. It was unlike any novel I’d ever read. Set in Afghanistan, the plights of two different female characters are explored. It is a beautiful, raw, often-difficult novel to read that includes a lot about oppression, violence (domestic and otherwise), and poverty.
It was, at times, exhausting. But worth the effort. I will be exploring more by this author for sure and this selection would also be in my top 3 for the year.
September – Jen’s pick
Alas, I didn’t finish this book. It was one of the first books I tried to “read” via Audible. And I just couldn’t get into it.
I’ve already written a scathing review of this one, and don’t really care to rehash it here. I’ll just say that this book bombed with me, and pretty much everybody else in book club.
Hey, there’s bound to be a stinker in the bunch every once in a while. Mine went over like a lead balloon this year, even though I personally liked it. It’s part of what makes a book club interesting.
October – Rebecca’s pick
I loved Gone Girl. It wasn’t a difficult read, and I expected the same from this one.
But, actually, it was much more in depth and quite a bit darker than Gone Girl. I already had picked up the paperback months before this selection was picked, so I listened to some of it on Audible, and actually read some too.
I love Psych Thrillers. It’s one of my favorite genres. With Gillian Flynn, you are guaranteed some twists (which I love) and some truly WTF moments. I love for books to surprise me and this one did, several times.
I’ll be looking the miniseries up on Prime just as soon as I can devote the time.
November – Kim’s pick
Maybe my favorite book we’ve had and definitely in the top 3 for this year.
I listened to the entirety of it on Audible and, I have to say, the audio version was DELIGHTFUL. I finished it in less than a week and can’t wait for the film to be released in March.
It should probably tell me something when my favorite books usually involve a mental and emotionally unhinged main character. But I make no apologies.
This book involves a TON of emails, so I would recommend the audio version, just to help keep it all straight. I think my experience might have been different if I’d actually read it the traditional way because we got some mixed reviews on it at discussion.
Those of us who work in an email heavy field could be tempted to scan the pages like we tend to do our own email. And if one does that, they will miss some important details.
Even if you’ve never listened to an audio book, give this one a try. It’s worth it.
The Page-Turners met yesterday for our annual Christmas brunch. We gathered at Char in Jackson for food, drink, gifts, and a discussion of Kim’s selection. And to take a few photos for posterity.
(From left, LaRue, Rebecca, Jen, me, Kacie, Anna (in the back), Kim, and Meredith.)
I love, love, love these ladies with all my book-loving, nerdy heart. Their friendship means the world to me and their laughter has saved my soul more times than I can count. Keeping a club together isn’t easy, especially as busy as we all are. Two have moved, one out of state, one started college, many are family caretakers, and we all have personal responsibilities that often push us to our limits.
But we are committed to each other and this special thing that we created, together. I love that our club is as important to all of them as it is to me. I love that we have so much in common, yet our differences also bring us together. I love that we are supportive of each other and encourage each other and new friendships have been formed within this group while old ones have been strengthened.
Starting a book club is still one of my greatest ideas ever. I’m so proud that it stuck. And that, after 2 years, we are still going strong.
As we creep toward 2019, it was, once again, my turn to pick the selection so……(drum roll)….here it is
A Huck Finnish sort of novel (supposedly) but with a female lead. I’m super excited to start it!
Here’s to a new year of great selections and lovely discussions and, hopefully, time for reviews of them all.