You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > February 2017 - Reporting Thread

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message 1: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Please read through the reporting thread carefully to ensure to report correctly to get your badge/s.

After you have read your chosen book(s) for this month's group theme read, please report in the thread below.

Please state what book you read (and link it), that you discussed it (and where), and briefly summarise what you thought of the book and/or link to your review if you have written one.

If you lead the discussion, please state this in your post.

Here is an example for how to report your read:
“I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and discussed it in the [Harry Potter/Buddy Read/Other books in theme] thread. I really enjoyed the book. I watched the film first so I already knew the storyline but I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book more as there was more detail involved. Plus I listened to the audio which was narrated by Stephen Fry who is a superb narrator. 4 stars.”

If you read more than one book which fits the theme, please report all your reads in the same post rather than in separate posts.

Please note, there are THREE different badges that can be obtained for group reads. Those reading and discussing one of the two chosen group reads will receive a colourful badge similar to those for previous group reads. Those reading and discussing any other book in the theme will receive a stamp. The discussion leader for the two chosen group reads will receive a badge stating they led the discussion. Maximum amount of badges you can receive for the group reads is TWO - one for the chosen group read/discussion leader and one for any other book in the theme.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. have read the book(s) before or during February 2017.
2. discussed it in the relevant thread. Discussion must be more than "I read the book and I liked it". Discussion requires something more substantial and analytical of what you read, for example, thoughts, opinions, impact it had on you, what was your favourite part, was it what you expected it to be like etc. You may also like to review the book and post a link to the review in that thread.
3. Report that you have read AND discussed the book in the reporting thread below, along with a brief summary of what you thought.


message 2: by Sarah, Moderator (last edited Feb 02, 2017 12:54AM) (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Reporting has been a little slack over the last couple months with people not writing what they thought of the book, just saying they liked it or gave it X stars.

To qualify for a badge, you must read the book, discuss it in the corresponding thread, then report here that you've read and discussed it, along with a brief summary of what you thought of it. But it needs to be more than "I liked it" and a synopsis of the book doesn't express what you thought of it.


message 3: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 2608 comments Pssst Sarah, the currently reading books are still the January themed books


message 4: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Cheers. I'm a day behind with everything.


message 5: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Feb 03, 2017 11:51AM) (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48692 comments I finished my themed read for February - Fat Angie and I discussed it in the "Theme Read" thread.

Essentially, I think it was a story of a family dealing with the loss of a daughter and sister told mainly from the POV of "Fat Angie" who is bullied for her weight and her failed suicide attempt.

I didn't care for the book (gave it 3 stars). The author attempted to cram too many issues into one book. She overused the nickname "Fat Angie" to the point that every time I heard it (which was practically every sentence), I gritted my teeth. She also overused slang and jargon to appeal to a younger audience.


message 6: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Burger (tammyburger) | 453 comments I finished What's Eating Gilbert Grape and discussed it in the thread. I have such mixed feelings about the book. It is sad and frustrating, while being compelling as well. I have watched the movie several times and am glad to have read the book. Usually, I find books much better, but think they did a good job on the movie. I do wonder what next steps for the family might have been after the book ended.


message 7: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15078 comments I finished Eleanor & Park and discussed it in the general thread. I liked the short chapters and how they were divided between Eleanor and Park. I really enjoyed the beginning, when they got to know each other. But then in the middle there was too much teenage love problems and insecurities for my liking. Towards the end it got a bit better and I found it harder to put down, but it didn't reach a full 4 stars for me, so I gave it 3.5.


message 8: by Peg (new)

Peg I finished What's Eating Gilbert Grape and discussed it in the general thread. I feel it's one of those books where you're watching the train wreck. You have a good idea of what's coming, but you keep watching. I have never seen the movie and if I came across it I probably would watch, although I wouldn't go out of my way to see it. I think the author left some areas too vague that left you wondering about some of the character development.


message 9: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2622 comments I read New Orleans Mourning. It is a murder mystery set in New Orleans, and the murder happens at the Mardi Gras parade. Our plus-sized main character is Skip Langdon, a police officer who grew up with social connections before deciding to go into her "blue collar" line of work. The King of Carnival is murdered when someone dressed as Dolly Parton shoots him from a balcony on the parade route. Skip is assigned to work with the two homicide detectives on the case, and one of them seems to hate her on sight. Among other rude comments, he asks her what size she wears. She responds, "Huge." The book came out in 1991, and is very dated in many ways. Race relations are a very touchy subject. The murder victim, who was married, had a mistress, and the fear of scandal about it is not just because she was a hooker, but mainly because she was black. I enjoyed the book overall, but I had some mixed feelings about it, and particularly about the MC. Sometimes she seems smart, and other times she does things that are stupid. There is a rich cast of characters, but many of them are stereotypes. The author tried a little too hard to make social commentary on too many issues, and not all of the loose ends got neatly wrapped up. But I plan to read the next book in the series. I gave this one three stars.


message 10: by TrudyAn (new)

TrudyAn | 1646 comments I read two books for the February theme. First, I read 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and discussed it in the theme thread. The book was a realistic portrayal of the stigmatization regarding body weight. I found this to be such a depressing story, I suppose because it is true for so many people. Physical appearance is very often intimately linked to a person's self-esteem; as others in the group have pointed out, this increasingly applies to men as well as women. I found this book quite well-written. None of the characters were likeable, and the portrayal of body image issues made me uncomfortable. I can't think of anyone I would recommend this book to.

I also read Olive Kitteridge, and discussed it in the plus-sized theme thread. Olive is a plus-side character, but the few times her large size is referenced, it is more of an observation than a significant plot point. There are no direct references to Olive's self-image or self-esteem being linked to her size, and I quite liked this about her personality. I found several stories to be personally relevant - growing older, declining health, wondering what life would have been like if different choices had been made. Because I don't often enjoy short stories, this book was a very pleasant surprise.


message 11: by Ariane (new)

Ariane | 697 comments I finished The Girl of Fire and Thorns and discussed it in the general thread.
I really liked the main character, who is a plus sized girl. I thought her feelings about her weight and her body were genuine, well described. I like the story, the world building and the fact that even if she is a fat girl, she's the smart character and she'll find a way to save the day.
I didn't like the way the end was rushed though, that's why I didn't give it 4 stars, but the story was good, I am curious to know what comes next.


message 12: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 1679 comments I finished 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and discussed it in the appropriate thread.

I am also the discussion leader.

I didn't like the book very much. I found it super depressing. It did do an incredible job of actually portraying the mindset of a woman with serious body image issues. A lot of what is in this book sounds like many conversations I've had with friends and co-workers, which is more than likely why I find it so depressing, it's not a one off, many woman feel this way.


message 13: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments I read 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and just put in my first, very long, impression of the book along with my big speech about self-love and self-esteem, no matter your size; in the appropriate discussion thread, of course!

I gave the book a 4 because it was very well-written and achingly honest. However, it was NOT a fun read. Very depressing, among other things.


message 14: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9765 comments I finished the book What's Eating Gilbert Grape and joined in the discussion on the book discussion thread.

I liked it but didn't love it. For me the novel felt like watching a movie. I could see what the characters were doing but not why they were doing it. I would have liked a bit more introspection.

That's not say that the charters actions were uninteresting, far from it! The Grape family is composed of very diverse people and each is interesting in their own right.

The plot dragged in the middle a bit (IMO) in parts and felt a little like the meandering pace of the sleepy country town it portrayed. Gilderts frustration with the sizable problems in his life was palpable, as was his his inertia in tackling them.

The ending was unexpected and though it delt with Gilberts main problem it created many others. I would be interested to read a follow up say 20 years down the road. I suspect that though his proplems will have changed, they will still be numerous.


message 15: by Sam F (new)

Sam F | 246 comments I read The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike for this theme and discussed it in the discussion thread.

While I wasn't thrilled with the overall book, I enjoyed that the main character Alex was celebrated for her size and voluptuousness. She regularly finds lovers who express how beautiful she is. She also makes sculptures that reflect her body shape that are sold in local gift shops. A great change from some of the typical chick-lit novels written these days. While Alex is not discriminated against, she frequently discusses her weight and size of various parts of her body. She laments on wanting them smaller and how to lose weight despite being honoured and celebrated by the men in her life. In reading the book, I found that her size played a significant part of her worldview and affected how she approached others. It affected her confidence in being able to work in the world outside her small community.

I think too while I was reading the book, I kept thinking about the movie which I saw many years ago. The story line differs quite a bit and I found the book dragging in places.


message 16: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19977 comments Before I forget to post, I read What's Eating Gilbert Grape and took part in the discussion thread.

For me, the book was anticlimactic, because I had seen the movie many years ago. I did not remember a whole lot of details about it, except for the ending. For me, the whole book was a long slog to get to the ending. I was surprised about several things as the story went along and I appreciated some of the information in the story line, but there were so many things not explained, or intentionally left out, that the book on the whole was not enjoyable. There were several funny lines, but it did not make up for the overall feeling of depression and sadness throughout the story. I tried to like Gilbert, and I did admire how he and his sister Amy had managed take care of their brother Arnie, but he was too angry and bitter to really want to have a friendship with him.


message 17: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments That's a shame it dragged Sam. I loved the film and watched it a lot as a teen. Not seen it for years though now. I used to laugh hysterically over the cherry projectile vomiting scene. Lol. Is that in the book?


message 18: by Joan (new)

Joan I read What's Eating Gilbert Grape and led the discussion.
I need to thank
@CHERIE, @KRISTIE, @TAMMY,
@SANDRA, @MARGO @PEG
for helping me get through this book which I did not like at all.
Your posts really helped me stay the course. I hope some of you enjoyed it, but boy-o-boy am I sorry I nominated it.
my review 1 star


message 19: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13580 comments Sorry you didn't care for it, Joan! It's always disappointing when you nominate something and it ends up not being to your taste.


message 20: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9411 comments I read What's Eating Gilbert Grape and joined the discussion. I rated it 3 stars, since I'm glad I read it, but in a weird way. Is not that I enjoyed it exactly. It is kind of depressing, it dragged for moments, I have many question about the characters (view spoiler), and I would have appreciate a epilogue to have an idea of what happens next. I still need to come back to the thread, read the rest of the spoilers and comment about my final impression on the book, but it is still going around my mind. I might watch the movie, since a few people told me it is better than the book, but I am not in a rush.


message 21: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9765 comments Joan wrote: "I read What's Eating Gilbert Grape and led the discussion.
I need to thank
@CHERIE, @KRISTIE, @TAMMY,
@SANDRA, @MARGO @PEG
for helping me get through this book which I did not like at..."


Thank you for making the discussion so interesting ;-)


message 22: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I read If Walls Could Talk which is a cozy mystery with ghosts centered around the home renovation industry. I discussed the book in the Plus-sized thread. Overall the book was entertaining with interesting and strong family dynamics. However, I felt some of the friendships were not as well supported as I would have liked.

The heroine is a large woman who is aware of her size, but doesn't seem to worry about it much. There is only one scene where she mentions another character being small in a jealous manner. The main issue she faces is sexism as she heads up a construction firm and regularly has men condescending to her.


message 23: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13580 comments I read What's Eating Gilbert Grape and discussed in the BOM thread. I thought the book was good. I didn't love it, but I did enjoy it. I haven't written a review yet, because I need to get my thoughts together. I can't really say what it was that I liked, except it kept my interest and I wanted to know what would happen to everyone. I didn't particularly care for the characters, but I could feel for them and their situation.

I also read Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear. Get On the Mat. Love Your Body. and discussed in the general theme thread. I also gave this book 3 stars. It gave a good overview of what yoga is and the second half of the book was more of a memoir with life lessons. There were a lot of yoga poses throughout the book for you to try. Here is a link to my review.


message 24: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments I read 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and discussed it in the appropriate thread. While very sad, the story was very well written I thought, and I empathized strongly with the main character and her life-long, complex relationship with food and with her body image issues and lack of self-acceptance at any size. My favorite part of the book was how the author presented the story in 13 chapters that were like 13 different windows into the protagonist's life at different times and places. I gave this one four stars.


message 25: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 2608 comments I read 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and discussed in the thread. Man, I hated this book .... really hated it. Such a toxic book with so much negativity which I found unrealistic.


message 26: by Almeta (last edited Feb 28, 2017 03:36PM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10131 comments Wow, I almost didn't contribute my discussion thread in time.

I finished this book on the 4th of February, and then postponed any discussion, while I mulled over my thoughts about the book. Then i let the Toppler push it from my mind.

I have given my thoughts in the appropriate thread. Overall, I think the book accurately depicted the mental struggle of a person with body image issues. I gave the book a 3 rating. I would have liked to see some voice given to the positive aspect of learning to love oneself no matter what package they come in.


message 27: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Almeta wrote: "Wow, I almost didn't contribute my discussion thread in time.

I finished this book on the 4th of February, and then postponed any discussion, while I mulled over my thoughts about the book. Then i..."


What book did you read Almeta? You haven't included that in your report.


message 29: by Poongothai (new)

Poongothai (poongsa) | 483 comments I have read What's Eating Gilbert Grape and discussed about it in the thread.
It was a good read, both depressing and humorous at certain situations.


message 30: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (tejasjanet) | 3513 comments Poongothai wrote: "I have read What's Eating Gilbert Grape and discussed about it in the thread.
It was a good read, both depressing and humorous at certain situations."


What rating would/did you give it, Poongothai? I didn't read the book, but saw the movie some years ago and liked it. I try to avoid seeing the movie if I've read the book, or reading the book if I've seen the movie. I avoid making comparisons that way tho i occasionally make exceptions.


message 31: by Joan (new)

Joan @Sarah
Thank you for the badge.

@Almeeta thanks for the quip about beer guts.


message 32: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Badges are all posted now.


message 33: by Peg (new)

Peg Thanks Sarah. I enjoyed participating, the badge is gravy.


message 34: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13580 comments Thanks, Sarah!


message 35: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Margo wrote: "I read The Book of Lost Things and enjoyed taking part in the discussion.

This is a dark and twisted fairy tale, definitely not for the faint of heart - rather like the originals!
Al..."


This is the February thread. Please report this in the March thread otherwise I won't see it when it comes to doing badges. Thanks!


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