Points of the discussion centered on: What she left behind.........her adult children who wanted to tell her how tLoved the book, as did our book club.
Points of the discussion centered on: What she left behind.........her adult children who wanted to tell her how to run her life, her bratty, spoiled, grand-children and most important to many of us, her long time friend who, with much trepidation, assisted her in the escape. What she gained........her freedom to make all her own choices, many new friends in a small Smethport-like town, and companionship and even romance with a great guy. The logistics.......converting her wealth to cash, creating a new identity and keeping her secrets. The financial fears that we all face as our bodies and minds change with age. Will our money last as long as we do? Thanks again Cheryl for the great meeting....and thanks Bonnie
Our heroine may have been older, but she wasn't dead!!!! She had always been independent and felt useful to her family and to her community. She inherited some money which was looking good to her son.....and soon her children began to try to make decisions for her. She ran away but you probably figured that out from the title.... and using some very interesting techniques created a whole new personna..... It could have really happened. This is a good book and makes a good starting place for book discussions to talk about womens issues....from the aging standpoint. ...more
Many, many thanks to Cheryl for bringing us the wonderful gift of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
This is an unforgettable story a Notes from 04-09-2008
Many, many thanks to Cheryl for bringing us the wonderful gift of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Much has been made about The Book Thief being marketed in the US as a Young Adult novel and as an Adult Novel in Australia. When questioned about his intended audience Zusak replied, " I actually thought no-one was going to read it, so I just wrote the book for me. That's why all the great things that have happened to the book have surprised my so much. I'm not really concerned about the Young Adult categorization. As far as I can see, the book had ended up in the hands of the right people."
Notes from March 1, 2008 The weather in Bradford was at its snowiest and coldest worst, but 15 members still braved the elements to attend our March 1sNotes from March 1, 2008 The weather in Bradford was at its snowiest and coldest worst, but 15 members still braved the elements to attend our March 1st Meeting.
Thank you Ann for your "old history teacher" presentation of the background of the siege of Leningrad, the setting of Debra Dean's novel, the Madonnas of Leningrad. Many of our members remarked that they finally understood the siege and its importance to the big picture of the war.
As most of the men had been conscripted into the war, Leningrad was a city of women, children and old men. Most of their food producing facilities had been bombed, leaving all residents to survive on starvation rations. It was the women working in the munitions producing plants who deconstructed the manufacturing equipment and buried the essential parts that made it impossible to for the Nazis to retool on their way to Moscow. Russian peasant women are celebrated as the hero's of the siege today.
Debra Dean tells the story of Marina's family's life in the the Hermitage, what they did to survive (burning books and furniture for heat), her uncle's work that would serve no other purpose than to keep himself alive, the sharing of rations with those more needy, the bitter cold, the sporadic censored news from outside Leningrad, Marina's love for Dmitri and the discovery of her Pregnency by the women in the showers are details the we will not soon forget.
Much of our groups discussion centered on Marina in her old age. Marina and Dmitri's grown children had no clue as to the early life of their parents, much the same can be said of participants in all wars. They lived. They survived. They say they were just doing their jobs. They do not want to talk about it any more. But, oh, how we want to know.
The consensus of the group was that Debra Dean wrote a book full of characters that we believed and cared for....and still want to know how they are all doing. Thank you Ann for bringing us this book.
Thanks also to Bonnie for making the tea and providing the healthy treats.
* * * We also had a special guest. Jennifer, age 2 months, attended her first No rules Book Club Meeting. She did not say much, but listened intently!
Notes 07-06-2008 The threatening rain did not deter our group from meeting on the UPB patio for the discussion lead by Karen of Ian McEwan's Atonement.
Notes 07-06-2008 The threatening rain did not deter our group from meeting on the UPB patio for the discussion lead by Karen of Ian McEwan's Atonement. The book was either loved or hated......one person liked the book but hated the author.
....was Briony evil or a product of her home life?.....What about the two endings?............did anyone notice the similarity to the techniques used in Water for Elephants.?................or those in Mrs. Dalloway.?..........The medical members and the historians in our group felt that the author got the hospital scenes wrong.................more like WWI than WWII........
From the wide variety of experiences of our members................you always come away from our meetings learning something new to think about. Thanks, Karen, for bringing us this book. ...more
Cleaning my desk on this bitter cold day in NW Pa I found my notes on our community read for Bradford in 2008. Dr. Anita Herbert led the lively discusCleaning my desk on this bitter cold day in NW Pa I found my notes on our community read for Bradford in 2008. Dr. Anita Herbert led the lively discussion topics discussed: • Immigration t he grim living conditions on the prairie were still better that the place they had left behind. • Hypothermia, Doctor related her involvement with a patient early in her career • Settlers difficulties including locust, drought, dust, sod houses • The very young children took responsibilities for the care of their siblings. • The cost of education and shoes for the children • The politics of the beginnings of the weather service ...more
July 19, 2008 No Rules Book Club Meeting Notes. We had the meeting this morning on Carol's cool, comfortable, country porch. Carol said she had met authJuly 19, 2008 No Rules Book Club Meeting Notes. We had the meeting this morning on Carol's cool, comfortable, country porch. Carol said she had met author Ann Pancake Pancake at Chautauqua that she said that growing up in West Virginia had given her a "bone deep sense of place." Clearly Carol admired the author's ability to speak in the authentic voices of her characters. The plot had several key points: - a foreshadowing of impending disaster -a deterioration of land and people by exploitation - a society built on shaky ground both literally and figuratively - and the loss of faith. Clearly our readers found the events depressing. But Carol returned to the challenge to the author to portray character and challenge and gave the author kudos for her ability in both areas. ...more
On the way home from our June, 2007 bicycle trip in New Foundland, I found this book in a thrift shop and had to buy it. I immediaNotes found in 2012:
On the way home from our June, 2007 bicycle trip in New Foundland, I found this book in a thrift shop and had to buy it. I immediately became immersed in it to the point of being unable to unpack from our trip until I finished it and it is a very long book....The protagonist is a young man from Newfoundland who became involved in the race between Admiral Peary and Captain Cook. This race was completely new to me at this reading...but in my recent travels I have been hearing more and more bits and pieces about these two men. I want to read more. ...more
This morning, Carol lead our discussion of Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons. She listed the many themes in thNo Rules Book Club September 2007
This morning, Carol lead our discussion of Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons. She listed the many themes in the book and noted that there were many different ways our discussion could focus: race, poverty, mental illness, healing, natural medicine, alcoholism, weak men-strong women, disappointment, sex, education, war, etc. So many ideas were presented that Gibbons could have written a very long book if all were expanded. Gibbons wrote in the voice of the youngest character, Margaret, who would not have been aware of all the many themes. Carol chose to focus on the language. We shared the many examples of Charlie Kate's straight talk. It was a good meeting. Thank you, Carol, for sharing so much of your talent with our group........and thanks, too, for the treats!! ...more
A memoir of growing up in Desmoine Iowa in the 50's. Book Club discusion revolved around memories of the 50's, Things that are no longer....Humor wasA memoir of growing up in Desmoine Iowa in the 50's. Book Club discusion revolved around memories of the 50's, Things that are no longer....Humor was fun...although a bit sarcastic. Reach for this book when y need a laugh.
No Rules Book Club: Thank you Jan Caruso for leading the discussion of Bill Bryson's Thunderbolt Kid. His depiction of growing up in the 50's in Desmoin Iowa tickled our funny-bones. Many in the room remembered the TV programs, the music, the food. Thanks also for the story related snack of Fig Newtons and Oreos...one can never pass up an opportunity to separate the cookie from the frosting!
Notes from 2008 The last meeting at the home of Ann was a huge success. Thank you Ann..and your family of helpers for the great start to a beautiful we
Notes from 2008 The last meeting at the home of Ann was a huge success. Thank you Ann..and your family of helpers for the great start to a beautiful weekend. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver is a very readable non-fiction book. According to Kingsolver " We hoped to establish that a "normal-ish" family could be content on the fruits of our local food shed". The family lived on a farm in southwestern Virginia. The farm had already been planted with blueberry bushes, peach and plum trees, hazelnuts, pecan, almonds, raspberries and asparagus. The family raised chickens and turkeys. The book included lots of humor especially surrounding the months of "plenty". At one point Kingsolver tells her husband that perhaps they could use a hog for their surplus of zucchini. It also includes a recipe for Chocolate Chip Zucchini cookies. It is a complex book with many food facts, some of which were scary. It also included menus and recipes for seasonal cuisine.
But, who needed the book? The discussion re: food and food manufacturing (it used to be called farming) was lively to say the least!!! The group felt that we all learned a lot from both the book and each other. Betsy brought literature about Canticle Farms in Allegany and Isabel brought heirloom melon seeds. Thanks again, Ann, for bringing this great book to our club. ...more