The Smart Chicks Book Club discussion

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What are you reading right now and how goes it?

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message 1: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
I discovered 'The Virgin Queen' in a stack of old books I bought from a library rummage sale for 50 cents. Now I can't put it down.


message 2: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andreaeisen) I am a book addict, so I am right now reading too many books at once. I also review a lot of them, so I am trying to finish a handful before I take off from doing reviews for the summer! :)

Right now I'm reading: Hello, Goodbye by Emily Chenoweth and South of Superior, by I forget the author's name. ;)


message 3: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Andrea, I am off to learn more about your books. I also juggle a few at a time since I always need a little bit of fiction and nonfiction in my life.


message 4: by Pepca (new)

Pepca I'm in a weird period when I would read everything but I'm not in the mood for anything.

I am in the middle of The Lowlands of Heaven by F. J. Dagg, it's great but I need a little break from the genre, so I also started An Alarming History of European Royalty by Karl Shaw - so-so.


message 5: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Pepca, I know what you mean. Sometimes we need to switch things up. I have picked some well rated books from the Smart Chicks Book Club Members' reading lists and comments to display on our bookshelf here. Maybe there will be some inspiration there for you.


message 6: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 1 comments I'm on the same page as everyone else - recently got a library card from my local library and checked out books like I'd never be back! I just finished The Help and have the trendy Hunger Games in my stack, but I'm looking for some ideas of non popular books I might love. It's been about a decade since I've devoured books daily, and I'm using my temporary unemployment as an excuse to get back into it. Very excited about this club, and I'll spread the word.


message 7: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Lauren, I am happy you are here and excited about the club. Finding the less mainstream gems is one of my favorite things to do. (And most times they are not represented at the local bookstore unless you special order them.) I hope to bring some of those books to our group recommendations. Thanks for spreading the word! The more the merrier.


message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andreaeisen) I enjoyed Hello, Goodbye a lot. It was kind of sad, but in a good and strange way. I have moved on to The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, which isn't a hidden gem, but starts off pretty well and I am enjoying it so far! ;)


message 9: by Michelle (last edited Jul 19, 2011 11:40AM) (new)

Michelle Scott (michellescottfiction) I am right now reading too many books at once

Lol, that's what I do, too! Right now, I'm reading a book by Amanda Hocking a well as City of Bones and Pride and Prejudice


message 10: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
I am interested in hearing how you like The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Andrea.

And Amanda Hocking is *such* an inspirational success story.


message 11: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Hey Smart Chicks. I changed the setting here so any of you can add your favorites to the bookshelf.

Please add your favs to share with the group.


message 12: by Andrea (last edited Sep 03, 2011 10:29PM) (new)

Andrea (andreaeisen) Right now I am reading The Passage and cannot believe I am doing it. This is over seven hundred pages! I have a little over a hundred to go and it is totally not my kind of book but I like it. It is crazy long, though!

As soon as I finish I will be starting The Wednesday Sisters!


message 13: by RD (new)

RD Morgan (rdmorgan) Andrea, I'm kicking myself b/c I loaned my copy of The Passage out before I read it & never got it back. I wish I would have read it first! I've heard nothing but good things about it.

I'm reading The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok at present. Plus It's So Easy: and other lies by Duff McKagan. I'm really into Bartok's memoir, but it's not living up to my expectations, but I think that's b/c of my personal preferences as a reader. McKagan's memoir is really good -- it has surpassed my expectations.


message 14: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Andrea and RD, you both have me curious about The Passage. Looking it up now.


message 15: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andreaeisen) Oh goodness gracious! ;) It was SO long. And I really liked it. It was mystery, and a bit of vamp-y story stuff, which I rarely read. But then I got to the end, and this isn't a spoiler, but I was like, AHHHH! And then realized it's a first novel in a set of three. And the next one comes out in 2012. Spring, I think. Bah! I don't do trilogies, or anything like that, so I'll have to think about it before I pick up a new book by him.

RD, I'd totally give you mine, but it's a friend's copy!


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Hello everyone. I'm new to this group. The name is Vivian and I'm from South Florida. I just got done reading the Hunger Games trilogy. While avoiding it at first due to the hype, I must say I got sucked in and really enjoyed them. I'm currently reading The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. It's different... but I'm really enjoying the author's writing style.


message 17: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Vivian wrote: "Hello everyone. I'm new to this group. The name is Vivian and I'm from South Florida. I just got done reading the Hunger Games trilogy. While avoiding it at first due to the hype, I must say I got..."

Welcome Vivian. Please check out our monthly group read and feel free to join us. Also you are welcome to add your fav books to our group bookshelf.


message 18: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) I just finished Steig Larsson's Milennium trilogy. I didn't love the first one on its own (and wondered just what all the hype was about), but put together with the rest of the series it makes for a very compelling storyline.


message 19: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Very cool. Feel free to add your fav pick to the group bookshelf.


message 20: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (turophile) | 2 comments Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel, an historical fantasy set in a version of china in the 9th Dynasty. Fantastic.


message 21: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) Elizabeth wrote: "Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel, an historical fantasy set in a version of china in the 9th Dynasty. Fantastic."

Ooh, that sounds really cool. I haven't read any of his books but I have a couple on my TBR list - now adding this one, too!


message 22: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel, an historical fantasy set in a version of china in the 9th Dynasty. Fantastic."

That does sound cool. Please feel free to add it to our group bookshelf.


message 23: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
I just finished 'Before Ever After.' Admittedly, I don't do much romance. This one, though, was quirky and offbeat with a supernatural twist.


message 24: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Hinchliff (alekhouse) | 6 comments I just started two memoirs: 'The Dance of the Dissident Daughter" by Sue Monk Kidd and " A Place in the Country" by Laura Shane Cunningham. So far, having trouble getting into the first one.


message 25: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Right now I am reading "Her Fearful Symmetry" and it is blowing me away. There is a very good chance this will be the 'best book I've read this year.'


message 26: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Diehl (writerbeverly) | 23 comments @Nancy - Dissident Daughter is a great book - if you're in the right mental/spiritual place to take it in. I've read it several times, and sometimes I've felt incredibly moved and impressed, other times, meh.

@Tina Her Fearful Symmetry is in my TBR stack.

Reading an ARC I won of "My Family for the War" by Anne C. Voorhoeve. YA, as I just finished two erotica novellas so I wanted something lighter. This *isn't* light, but it is incredible. I'm not sure if the writing is the strongest - and it *is* a translation, but the story - a young Christian Jew shipped out of Berlin during to kindertransports of WWII - is incredible compelling. On my second read of it now.


message 27: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "@Nancy - Dissident Daughter is a great book - if you're in the right mental/spiritual place to take it in. I've read it several times, and sometimes I've felt incredibly moved and impressed, other..."

Can't wait to hear what you think of Her Fearful Symmetry. I am looking up your current read now.


message 28: by Miranda (new)

Miranda Koerner | 1 comments Read Discovery of Witches....I'm not sure what I think.


message 29: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Hinchliff (alekhouse) | 6 comments Tina wrote: "I discovered 'The Virgin Queen' in a stack of old books I bought from a library rummage sale for 50 cents. Now I can't put it down."


message 30: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Hinchliff (alekhouse) | 6 comments I'm pretty entrenched in the Glass Castle and I love it...the straight forward honesty and simplicity of the writing. I'm pretty much hooked, which means I'll probably finish it. Will start the Paris Wife soon. And revisiting The Old Man and the Sea.


message 31: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Hinchliff (alekhouse) | 6 comments I've put off the Dissident Daughter...sounds a little heavy for me right now. Started writing a new memoir yesterday...looking for good memoirs to read...not too heavy. Simple, uncomplicated voice and story...verging on personal essay...Hemingwayish style.


message 32: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Miranda wrote: "Read Discovery of Witches....I'm not sure what I think."

I have not read it but if anyone has please add your thoughts. Sounds like an interesting plot.


message 33: by Tina (last edited Oct 18, 2011 05:50AM) (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Nancy wrote: "I've put off the Dissident Daughter...sounds a little heavy for me right now. Started writing a new memoir yesterday...looking for good memoirs to read...not too heavy. Simple, uncomplicated voice ..."

So far the writer I have come across who has an effectively succinct writing voice is Jonathan Franzen. I have been meaning to read his memoirs. I am betting they are good.


message 34: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Diehl (writerbeverly) | 23 comments @ Tina - personally, I loathed The Corrections, and won't read his newest book, which people gushed "was just as good as the first." No characters I liked, and the writing style was sloppy and all over the place. If you have an e-reader, I suggest you download a sample chapter, first. I'd send you my copy of it, only it's already been donated to Goodwill. (Seeing I have KEPT about 3k dead tree books, is that a hint how I felt?)


message 35: by Tina (last edited Oct 19, 2011 04:45PM) (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Beverly, just goes to show you how different our tastes can be. Thank you for your input here. Hopefully a grateful Goodwiller had adopted that book. (If not I would so be in.)

I have not read The Corrections but I really enjoyed Freedom. I thought his characters were brilliant. The book I am interested in is his 'personal history' The Discomfort Zone. (I always read the first few pages before buying.) I think the thing that is so intriguing is that he wants the reader to feel uncomfortable by showing us something painfully truthful--which is why he is a love em or hate em kind of author.

Here is snippet from him I keep in my folder of beloved quotes.

"At forty-five, I feel grateful almost daily to be the adult I wished I could be when I was seventeen. I work on my arm strength at the gym; I've become pretty good with tools. At the same time, almost daily, I lose battles with the seventeen-year-old who's still inside me. I eat half a box of Oreos for lunch, I binge on TV, I make sweeping moral judgments. I run around in torn jeans, I drink martinis on a Tuesday night, I stare at beer-commercial cleavage. I define as uncool any group to which I can't belong. I feel the urge to key Range Rovers and slash their tires; I pretend I'm never going to die." -- Jonathan Franzen


message 36: by Tracy (last edited Nov 01, 2011 05:01PM) (new)

Tracy I just finished a trilogy of books that are the Pride and Prejudice story from Darcy's perspective. Very entertaining! They are by Pamela Aidan. The first one was An Assembly Such as This, the second one was Duty and Desire and the third one I just finished today was These Three Remain. I think the third one was the best. Hope you enjoy Pride and Prejudice!


Michelle wrote: "I am right now reading too many books at once

Lol, that's what I do, too! Right now, I'm reading a book by Amanda Hocking a well as City of Bones and Pride and Prejudice"



message 37: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Tracy wrote: "I just finished a trilogy of books that are the Pride and Prejudice story from Darcy's perspective. Very entertaining! They are by Pamela Aidan. The first one was An Assembly Such as This, the seco..."

Welcome Tracy. I have added three five star picks from your bookshelf to The Smart Chicks shelves. The Count of Monte Cristo. The DaVinci Code. and Pope Joan.


message 38: by Tracy (new)

Tracy They were all great books!


message 39: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andreaeisen) I am sorry that I have disappeared! Things got a little crazy here, we got a second dog and my reading has gone up and down. ;) I have read The Seret Life of Bees so I will jump back in on the discussions, I hope!

Hope everyone is well. Happy almost holidays!


message 40: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
No worries, Andrea. I have a feeling the holidays are hectic for everyone. We are in Open Reading this month, so anything goes.


message 41: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
I just started Girl in Translation and I'm hooked.


message 42: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 2 comments Right now I'm reading Bel Canto.... it's ok. I don't think it's the worst book I've read, but it lacks excitement. When the excitement almost makes it, it's totally let down. I am going to finish it, because the one thing the author has given me is the need to know what happens to the characters. Otherwise, it's a pretty bland story and I think the author could have gone to a better place with it. I'm not a writer by any means, however, I do know what I like.... and this is just not cutting it.


message 43: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Right now I'm reading Bel Canto.... it's ok. I don't think it's the worst book I've read, but it lacks excitement. When the excitement almost makes it, it's totally let down. I am going to finish i..."

Ugh. Sad when a book doesn't live up to what you hoped it would be. I have never read any of Patchett's stuff, but I am open if anyone has a recommendation.

I am currently reading Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West. While the premise is super interesting and completely book worthy, the language reads a tad dry for me. I'm also going to push through it.


message 44: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 2 comments Tina wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Right now I'm reading Bel Canto.... it's ok. I don't think it's the worst book I've read, but it lacks excitement. When the excitement almost makes it, it's totally let down. I am g..."

I have never heard of Nothing Daunted, however, I am always looking for something new to read and I will look into that one. Recommendations are always appreciated.


message 45: by Alisha (new)

Alisha Hanson Glatzel (alicat39) | 3 comments Kathryn wrote: "Right now I'm reading Bel Canto.... it's ok. I don't think it's the worst book I've read, but it lacks excitement. When the excitement almost makes it, it's totally let down. I am going to finish i..."

I felt the same way about Bel Canto. I finished it because I needed to know how it ended but overall, blah. However, I recently finished "State of Wonder" State of Wonder and loved it. It too dragged in parts but over all I really liked the story.


message 46: by Alisha (new)

Alisha Hanson Glatzel (alicat39) | 3 comments Hi all, I'm new to the group but look forward to lots of fun discussions about books. I'm back in school and have a 1 year old daughter but I'll always find time to cozy up with a good book.

Currently I'm reading "1Q84" 1Q84 and enjoying it. I love Murakami's style of writing.

Recently I finished "Destiny of the Republic" Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I probably would have left Garfield out of the list of US presidents if you asked me to name them all before reading this book. If you like history, I think you'll enjoy this book.

Over the last year, I have been making my way through some 19th century and early 20th century novels like "The Count of Monte Cristo" The Count of Monte Cristo (my all time favorite book), "Jane Eyre" Jane Eyre, "Rebecca" Rebecca, "Anna Karenina"Anna Karenina and I have fallen in love with this old world. They tend to move a bit slower than today's novels, yet they are so rich with detail and emotion. Even though that world is so foreign to me, I am transported back in time and I can see the stories unfold infront of my eyes.

The only thing I won't read is horror and murder mystery type books. They scare me something fierce and there are too many amazing books out there to waste my time scaring myself silly.


message 47: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Diehl (writerbeverly) | 23 comments I'm not a horror or mystery fan either. The horror I can't handle, the mystery... mostly doesn't do it for me.


message 48: by Tina (new)

Tina Hook | 327 comments Mod
Alisha wrote: "Hi all, I'm new to the group but look forward to lots of fun discussions about books. I'm back in school and have a 1 year old daughter but I'll always find time to cozy up with a good book.

Curre..."


1Q84 is a book I plan on introducing to the group this year. (It is currently sitting on my bookshelf.) I look forward to hearing what you think of it and I hope you will add your comments to the Group Discussion when we read it later this year.

It is a chunkster, so I need to bring it on during either our Summer or Winter break.


message 49: by Alisha (new)

Alisha Hanson Glatzel (alicat39) | 3 comments It's certainly a chunky read, but so worth it. There won't be a lack things to talk about and discuss, that's for sure.

Looking forward to jumping in on the discussions and seeing what people think!


message 50: by Linda (new)

Linda Holm | 1 comments Hello Everyone... I am new here. My name is Linda and I live on Vancouver Island. I have just finished reading "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford, which is one of the best books I have read in a long time and am now reading " The Salt Road" by Jane Johnson.


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