Tag: Book Club

Oct 04

Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love by Simran Sethi

Audio Books, Book Club, Non Fiction 5

Greetings Bookworms!

I’ve discussed before that I’ve got a rather tenuous relationship with non fiction. Luckily, my relationship with bread, wine, and chocolate has always been top notch. Thus, when one of my neighbors chose Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love by Simran Sethi for book club, my curiosity was piqued.

breadwinechocolateThis  tome focuses on a series of five foods- the aforementioned bread, wine, and chocolate, as well as beer and coffee. Sethi takes the reader on a journey to explore the history and cultural importance of each of these foods, as well as delving deeply into the flavor profiles of some of the world’s most complex tastes. From far flung cacao fields to craft beer breweries, Sethi’s research is extensive and thorough. I learned a ridiculous amount from reading this book. I mean, genetic biodiversity? I didn’t even know this was a thing I should be concerned with. And now? I am CONCERNED, y’all.

I will forever sing the praises of listening to non-fiction audio books. I don’t know why they work so much better for me than just, you know, eyeball reading, but they do. I found the scientific bits fascinating and didn’t get bogged down at all even when things got super technical and scientific. My mind was legit blown several times. I mean, do you KNOW how chocolate comes to be? Like REALLY know? I’m willing to bet that a lot of you don’t. I always imagined little beans growing on a bush somewhere that were picked and ground and VOILA chocolate. Oh no. So many more steps. And bizarrely shaped fruits. And fermentation. And don’t even get me started on coffee.

Bread, Wine, Chocolate is the stuff of foodies’ dreams. It’s awesome, though, I’ll admit that NOT being a foodie, some of it was lost on me. I love to eat and drink and all, but I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to muster the intensity and enthusiasm Sethi and the professionals she interviewed had for flavor profiles. If you happen to BE a foodie though? THIS IS YOUR BOOK. SIMRAN SETHI IS YOUR PEOPLE. GO READ THIS.

Talk to me, Bookworms! Are you well versed in wine or does it mostly make you feel like a (tipsy) nincompoop?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Jun 27

Unfinished: A Pairing

Book Club 12

Howdy Bookworms!

I don’t usually tell y’all about books I don’t finish because, you know, why would I? I would, if I had interesting stories to explaining why I didn’t finish them. As luck would have it, I happen to have a pair of tales to explain why I didn’t finish my homework. And it’s not because the dog ate it, seeing as I do not have a dog. Side note: I went to school with a girl whose family had a pet monkey and one time the monkey legitimately did eat her homework. I think her mom called to explain the situation. That’s a better story than mine, but you can’t NOT tell a story about a monkey when it’s even marginally relevant, you know?

janesteeleI was super stoked to read Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye after seeing a bunch of amazing reviews for it. I mean, a Jane Eyre (review) inspired gothic novel about a murderess? Sign me up! I downloaded the audio book from the library and all was going wonderfully. I had just about reached the end of the novel, you know, when ALL THE SECRETS are being revealed when the darn loan expired. Normally I love that I never have to remember to return digital library books but this time it bit me in the butt. Now I’m torn. I don’t want to go out and buy a book I’ve already read 95% of. I put myself back on the library hold list, but heaven only knows when I’ll finally get to wrap it up. If you decide to read this (and you should because it’s pretty great) pay attention to your library due date. Or just buy it. Learn from my mistakes, y’all!

The second book I recently didn’t finish was another story entirely. My office started a book club. Cool, right? It’s co-ed which is a new experience for me as I’ve always been in ladies only book clubs. I thought it would be a great way to branch out and try books I wouldn’t ordinarily read. Like, say, a sports book. That’s right. After our inaugural reading of The Martian (my choice obvi, review here) I was very supportive of my co-worker’s interest in Friday Night Lights by HG Bissinger. Until I started reading it. I made it 38% through the book. It was really a perfect storm of factors as to why I didn’t finish it. First, I stalled and didn’t start it until a week before book club. Normally that’s not an issue for me, but it was nonfridaynightlights fiction, which is always more of a challenge for me to get into than fiction. I should have seen that coming. Plus the fact that it was about high school football. I am about as NOT into sports as it’s possible to be, so play by play football scenes are super not my jam. What really did me in though, was that I just started getting angry with this book. Or, more specifically, Odessa, Texas circa 1989. They only desegregated their schools in 1982. HOW IS THAT EVEN LEGAL? Plus, a bunch of the folks interviewed were super racist. Not really surprising considering the whole segregation issue, but we’re not talking micro-aggression racism here. We’re talking full on N-word horror show. I found it profoundly upsetting. Don’t even get me started on the academic standards of this school, let alone the extra lax standards the football team was held to. I nearly threw the dang book across the room when I read that a teacher played a movie version of the The Scarlet Letter for an English class in place of having the class read the book. I don’t even LIKE The Scarlet Letter, but COME ON. Suffice it to say Friday Night Lights and I aren’t going to be reuniting anytime soon. Or ever, probably. At least I wasn’t alone. Only one person in our little club finished the book, and it wasn’t even the guy who chose it. Ah well. It happens.

Talk to me Bookworms! What was the last book that you started but didn’t finish? Why didn’t you finish it? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Nov 11

My Neighbors Are Better Than Your Neighbors: Even When The Book Isn’t…

Book Club, Memoirs 6

Hello Bookworms,

Last week we had our monthly meeting of my neighborhood’s book club. We don’t have an official name, but I’ve dubbed us “My Neighbors Are Better Than Your Neighbors” because it’s true. I don’t usually write up full reviews for our selections, though that’s usually because I’ve already read and reviewed them on the blog. I told them a long time ago not to worry about choosing books I hadn’t read because I’m a book glutton and everyone should get to read what they want to read, you know? Plus, I have an unfair advantage with blogging and ARCs, so I’m kind of the worst. Anyway, this month was Jennifer’s turn to host and she picked a book I hadn’t read yet. Exciting!

Rose

Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor is a memoir by Rosina Harrison. She served for 35 years as a lady’s maid to Lady Nancy Astor, a temperamental world traveling Parliamentarian who often entertained royalty. Going into this book, I didn’t realize just how journal-like it was going to be. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty darn fascinating to read how the other half lived. I mean, changing clothes 5 times a day? Fancy hats? Butlers and footmen and scullery maids and jewelry so valuable you needed a security detail? I’ve not seen Downton Abbey, but I imagine fans of the show would enjoy this book… Except… There really was no scandal, no hijinks. No below stairs drama or major impropriety on the part of the family. It was all pretty well on the up and up. Which again, is lovely… But rather dull. I did take issue with a couple of things in this novel. First, there is a discussion of the Astor family’s fortune and Harrison decided it wasn’t even interesting enough to footnote the fact that JJ Astor perished aboard the Titanic (which believe you me, is super noteworthy. Especially if when you consider that Victor from The Young and the Restless played him in the blockbuster movie version of the tragedy.) Secondly, there were a lot of typos in there for a book that was professionally published. I’m not usually a stickler for these things, which means that if the average book has a few mistakes that I never even notice, this book had a lot more than a few. They even spelled “Astor” wrong once, like “aster” the flower, and that was just weird. So. Yeah. Not the best book ever. Of course, Jennifer then made some really fancy treats which totally made up for the lackluster book. How pretty are these?!

Apples, puff pastry, jam, and prettiness.

Apples, puff pastry, jam, and prettiness.

Talk to me Bookworms! Do you watch Downton Abbey? Am I missing everything?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Sep 04

A Tale for the Time Being: A Fellowship of the Worms Discussion

Book Club 6

Konichiwa Bookworms!

smarty-mcwordypants-199x300It’s time that time again, y’all! The Fellowship of the Worms is in session! Today we’re going to be discussing the heart wrenching novel, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. WARNING: We will be discussing the WHOLE book. This will no doubt include SPOILERS. If you did not read the book and would like to participate, pick up a copy of A Tale for the Time Being and give it a read. This post will be here waiting for you when you finish. Now that the particulars are out of the way, I’ll remind you of the premise here. I’ll pose questions in bold and answer them in regular type.  If you don’t want your opinions influenced by my rantings, stick to the bold first. Feel free to answer questions in the comments, or if you’re so inclined, leave a comment linking to your review or discussion of A Tale for the Time Being on your own blog! I fully encourage shameless self promotion, so don’t hesitate to get your link on. Let’s do this!

  1. One of the things that struck me about this novel was how quickly Ruth became attached to Nao through her writing. Have you ever found yourself becoming attached to someone you don’t actually know through their writing? Have I ever! Some of my blog friends I feel as close to as anyone I’ve ever met in real life. Heck, there’s usually even a period before I pluck up the courage to “talk” to a blogger I admire where I feel like I know them only to realize they literally have no idea I exist. And still I care about them. Worry about them. Want to know that things turn out okay. I totally get Ruth’s predicament!

2. How much did you love Old Jiko? Do any of you have an impossibly wise older relative who has shaped who you became? I don’t know that I could say that I’ve ever had a relationship with a relative the way Nao bonds with Jiko, but reading about Jiko’s life in the temple, I couldn’t help but think of my great aunt. She was a Catholic nun and lived in a convent. People (myself included most of the time) tend to imagine that those who devote themselves entirely to religious pursuits tend to by stodgy and out of touch. That certainly wasn’t the case with Jiko and it definitely wasn’t true of Sister ataleforthetimebeingBernard either. While she never left me with cryptic words of wisdom, but she used to send THE BEST mail. That’s partially why I’m so fond of greeting cards. And stickers. A number of you have received mail from me, and I’d be willing to bet that there was at least one fun sticker on it. Sis used to include sheets of stickers in my birthday cards. She was pretty much the best, much like Jiko.

3. Did any of y’all break down when reading about the bullying Nao went through at school? Um, are you kidding me? I might have started crying a bit when Nao’s mom discovered her physical injuries, but hearing Nao describe her OWN FUNERAL and thinking that everyone pretending she was dead was an improvement in her situation? Why are people so awful? Whyyyyyyyy??? And that teacher. I can’t even. I literally can’t even. FICTIONAL RAGE PUNCHES ALL AROUND!

4. I feel like we can’t actually discuss this novel without addressing the elephant in the room, suicide. Despite Haruki #1’s kamikaze mission, Haruki #2’s failed suicide attempts, and Nao’s suicidal thoughts, the overall tone remains hopeful. How do you think Ozeki pulled that off? I am of the opinion that Ruth Ozeki is of Japanese, American, and unicorn descent. That magical gift had to come from somewhere, and my money is on unicorn. Don’t ask me how that works, I have no answer. I think that this book that the potential to be the most depressing book in the history of ever, but I think the humor injected into Nao’s narrative helped to lighten the mood. That and Jiko. Have I mentioned how much I love Jiko? “Up, down. Same thing.”

5. Nao’s narrative finding Ruth is pretty much the ultimate message-in-a-bottle scenario. Have you ever fantasized about leaving your story for an unknown reader to discover? What would you tell them? Sometimes I daydream about this sort of thing. I blog about books, and though I often discuss my personal life, I’m not really interested in publicly airing my dirty laundry, so to speak. I think the idea of a full Nao-style confessional document thrown out into the world for posterity is appealing, but I don’t think I could ever do it. I’m afraid that even if I made an attempt, I’d end up presenting something less than true and very tainted by my mood of the day. I mean, how often does something drive you ABSOLUTELY BONKERS when in hindsight it really wasn’t that big a deal? I’d be worried my mythical reader would think I was a whiny brat. I recognize my privilege and all, but those first world problems, man.

Sound off, Bookworms! I want to know your what you thought of A Tale for the Time Being. Tackle some of the questions in the comments, or if you’ve written a post on your own blog (discussion or review, anything goes!) LINK IT UP! 

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Feb 09

The Fellowship of the Worms: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Book Club, World War II 11

Happy Monday Bookworms!

smarty-mcwordypants-199x300It’s time that time again, y’all! The Fellowship of the Worms is in session! Today we’re going to be chewing on the brain food that is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. WARNING: We will be discussing the WHOLE book. This will no doubt include SPOILERS. If you did not read the book and would like to participate, pick up a copy of All the Light We Cannot See and give it a read. This post will be here waiting for you when you finish. Now that the particulars are out of the way, I’ll remind you of the premise here. I’ll pose questions in bold and answer them in regular type.  If you don’t want your opinions influenced by my rantings, stick to the bold first. Feel free to answer questions in the comments, or if you’re so inclined, leave a comment linking to your review or discussion of All the Light We Cannot See on your own blog! I fully encourage shameless self promotion, so don’t hesitate to get your link on. Let’s do this!

1. Marie-Laure is stricken blind at a young age. Despite her disability, she goes on to do some pretty amazing things. Were there any instances in Marie-Laure’s experiences that surprised you?

I am amazed at the way the human mind compensates for a compromised sense. Marie-Laure’s acute senses of smell and hearing were impressive. Of course, I think she’d have been in much rougher shape were it not for her AMAZING father. Oh that Daniel LeBlanc! Creating a miniature model of their neighborhood in Paris? Teaching Marie-Laure to navigate? The lengths he went to protect her? Their relationship was so incredibly sweet.

2. Werner has, without question, a brilliant mind. Unfortunately, being raised an orphan he is afforded few opportunities. When he is accepted into the prestigious Nazi school, his sister Jutta is opposed to his attending. What would you have done in Werner’s shoes?

Oh goodness, how I felt for Werner! And for Jutta! Seriously, there were so few options. Could Werner have declined the invitation to join the school? Maybe. Without consequences? That’s hard to say. I mean, did you SEE what happened to Frederick? The Nazi regime was really effing scary. I’d like to think I’d be noble and amazing, but I think I’d have taken Werner’s route. He had the best of intentions to make a difference from the inside, but it proved impossible. Luckily he managed to hold on to his humanity in the end, poor kid.

3. When Etienne and Marie-Laure are working for the resistance and broadcastingallthelightwecannotsee coded messages, Etienne frets that his actions will certainly get people killed. Marie-Laure tries to console him by telling him that they’re “the good guys.” Etienne expresses that he hopes so. Do you think there are ever any clear “good guys” or “bad guys” in war?

Ooooh, Katie, GOOD QUESTION. There’s nobody who would argue that the Nazi regime was a good thing. (Well, nobody who isn’t horrible on a fundamental level.) However. How many Werners were there in that army? How many innocent civilians would be caught in the crossfire? How many Allied soldiers did awful things of their own accord? War is such a big nightmarish sticky mess. Could we maybe stop having them already?! Gah!

4. That doggone Sea of Flames! It’s got quite the tale attached to it, what with its curse and all. A number of people believe this to be true, Von Rumpel among them. In fact, it’s almost as though the curse of the diamond started the whole dang war. Do you think it was cursed and/or brought protection to the one who held it?

Yeah I’m not big on superstitions, but wouldn’t it be nice to blame WWII on an evil diamond? I think Von Rumpel’s buy in was based directly on the fact that he was dying of cancer and desperate. You can’t deny that Marie-Laure, despite some super dangerous extra-curriculars survived. I doubt that Doerr really meant for the reader to believe a supernatural stone had all kinds of power, but it provided a nice narrative element.

5. Do you think if Werner hadn’t succumbed to illness, he and Marie-Laure might have had a future together?

Hi, I’m Katie and I want people to be happy! It would have ruined the book and I’d have hated it for having a cheeseball ending, but there’s a significant part of me that REALLY wanted Werner and Marie-Laure to have a happily ever after! They could move to Switzerland and she could have studied things and he could have made scientific breakthroughs and had babies. Jutta and Etienne could have lived with them in their modest ski chalet and they could collectively have worked to heal all their various broken psyches. Siiiiiiiiigh.

Sound off, Bookworms! I want to know your what you thought of All the Light We Cannot See. Tackle some of the questions in the comments, or if you’ve written a post on your own blog (discussion or review, anything goes!) LINK IT UP! 

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*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Jan 09

Fellowship of the Worms Announcement: All the Light We Cannot See

Book Club 19

Howdy Bookworms!

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Mark Zuckerburg decided to start a book club in 2015. I think it’s awesome, I’m ALWAYS in favor of encouraging people to read. But really. Move over, Zuck, you’ve got nothing on The Fellowship of the Worms, yo! Let’s kick off the new year in style and tackle one of last year’s most celebrated works of fiction, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See. Check out the Goodreads Synopsis:

allthelightwecannotseeMarie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.

I know, right? It sounds pretty awesome to me. I’m going to be listening to this one as I won an audio copy during Armchair BEA this spring, but I’m really excited. I love me some historical fiction, and it’s been a while since I visited WWII. I’ll post discussion questions on Monday, February 9, 2015. Who’s with me?!

*If you purchase your copy of All the Light We Cannot See through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Nov 14

Fellowship of the Worms Announcement: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Book Club 12

Dear Bookworms,

It’s November, and if you’ve been hanging around the book-ternet, you’ll know that non-fiction is all the rage this month. (You can check out Non-Fiction November if you don’t believe me. Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness, Becca from I’m Lost In Books, Leslie from Regular Rumination, and Katie from Doing Dewey are hosting it!) Now, I’m not huge on non-fiction, but I was inspired by the event to choose a non-fiction title that I’ve been meaning to read for AGES as our Fellowship of the Worms pick this month. We’re going to be reading Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed! Check out the Goodreads synopsis:

tinybeautifulthingsLife can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills—and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.
Tiny Beautiful Things brings the best of Dear Sugar in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond.  Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.

I’m really excited about this one! I’ve heard raves about it from lots of other bloggers (cough cough, SHANNON at River City Reading, cough.) If you’d like to participate in the discussion, we’re going to start chatting it up on Monday, December 15, 2014. There will be discussion questions and a link-up option, as per usual. I hope you’ll join me!!!

UPDATE: I wrote this post last week. Then I read this book. I absolutely devoured it and I’m DYING to talk about it. It’s been less than 24 hours and I’ve already recommended it to two friends. Seriously, y’all. Holy guacamole.

*If you purchase your copy of Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar from a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Sep 12

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: A Fellowship of the Worms SHOCKER

Book Club, Coming of Age 27

How Now, Bookworms?

smarty-mcwordypants-199x300 The Fellowship of the Worms is back in session! As you know, this month we read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. It occurred to me that this book title would have been equally appropriate had it been by G. Lockhart, but I can only assume he’s still chilling in St. Mungo’s thanks to his own treachery. Way to be an ass, GILDEROY. WARNING: We will be discussing the WHOLE book. This will no doubt include SPOILERS. If you did not read the book and would like to participate, pick up a copy of We Were Liars and give it a read. This post will be here waiting for you when you finish. Now that the particulars are out of the way, I’ll remind you of the premise here. I’ll pose questions in bold and answer them in regular type.  If you don’t want your opinions influenced by my rantings, stick to the bold first. Feel free to answer them in the comments, or if you’re so inclined, on your own blog. A linky list will be provided at the end of this post for anybody who has reviewed We Were Liars on their own blog, even if it has nothing to do with the following discussion questions. Don’t be shy, please link up! Oh, and since the whole hook of this book is a surprise ending, please remember to issue spoiler alerts to your readers if appropriate.

1. Normally I attempt to work through these questions chronologically, but I simply can’t help myself. Was anybody well and truly shocked by the revelation at the end of this book? Knock, knock. Who’s there? Disappointment. Seriously, you guys. I wrote myself a note when I was 20% of the way through this book saying “the twist had better not be that the other three liars are dead, because that’s not much of a shocker.” I feel like I played a big part in my own disappointment though. If I hadn’t been on such high alert to suss out the shocking ending, maybe I wouldn’t have seen it coming. I mean, I probably still would have, because even hands-off parents don’t allow teenagers a house to themselves with zero family interaction on vacation, particularly if one of the teenagers has recently suffered a traumatic brain injury. Plus, even the most self absorbed youth respond to the emails and texts of their severely injured friends/cousins. Nobody’s that big a jerk. Maybe I should blame pop culture though… I’ve seen The Sixth Sense, and am now abnormally attuned to we were liarsthe details that might give away the secretly dead.

2. That said, do you think Cadence was lying about interacting with dead people? Having full on hallucinations? Or, you know, were there legit ghosts hanging around? I think she was hallucinating. Cadence was troubled, no doubt, and the Sinclairs were a hot mess, but I don’t think she was manipulative enough to have played off memory loss the way she did. And, despite my willingness to embrace the paranormal, I don’t think Cadence was being haunted. Brains do weird things when they experience trauma. Score one for hallucinations.

3. Despite the tragic end of the crime perpetrated by the Liars, did they in any way succeed in their goals? That’s tough to say. I mean, they wanted the family to quit fighting about money. They wanted their grandfather to quit pitting his daughters against each other. In some ways I suppose they were successful, since the Sinclairs were hit with a mega-dose of perspective when they compared the loss of their children to the money squabbling they’d been engaged in. Still though, they didn’t magically become the Cleavers or anything. Moral of the story? Arson is never the answer, kids!

4. Did you like the allusions to King Lear, Wuthering Heights (review), and fairy tales, or did you find them distracting? I love a good literary allusion. When Gat started explaining how he was Heathcliff to Cadence, I was all “YES! Spot on!” He also went on to talk about how Catherine and Heathcliff were horrible characters and in no way an appropriate model for romance (okay, maybe I’m projecting a little…) at which point I wanted to high five him. It made a nice change to want to high five a character instead of punch him. Way to go, Gat.

5. The Sinclairs own their own island and have named all the houses on it. Clairmont, Windmere, Red Gate, and (gag) Cuddledown. Would you ever name your home? I am neither especially wealthy nor especially pretentious, but I have been calling my home “The Gingerbread House” since the day we bought it. Of course, I’m also the sort of person who names cars, house plants, and the occasional penguin statue, so I’m not sure I’m a great case study. Seriously though, at least it’s not “Cuddledown.” I’m of the opinion “cuddle” should only be a part of something’s name if that thing is inherently fluffy. Or especially unfluffy, because irony is fun.

Talk to me Bookworms! What did y’all think of We Were Liars? If you’ve reviewed We Were Liars on your own blog or have answered the discussion questions, please link up! 

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*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Proceeds will be put toward the “buy Katie an island” fund.*

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Aug 04

Fellowship of the Worms Announcement: We Were Liars

Book Club 31

What’s up, Bookworms?

What’s that you say? You’re sad because I haven’t chosen a new book for the internet’s premiere book club, The Fellowship of the Worms? The wait ends today, my friends, because I have finally picked a book! I’m happy to announce that I’ve chosen We Were Liars by E. Lockhart for our next discussion. I’ve read several reviews of this book, but most of them say “OMG I don’t want to spoil anything, just read it!” So. We’re going to read it. And then discuss it and ALL THE SPOILERS because that’s how we roll in the Fellowship. (We warn people of spoilers, OF COURSE, but you know you want to be able to talk about it when there’s a big twist, right?!) If you don’t believe me on the secrecy thing, check out the Goodreads synposis:

we were liarsA beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

How am I supposed to not be intrigued by this?! Discussion questions will be posted on Friday, September 12. There will be a linky available for anybody who has reviewed We Were Liars or would like to answer the discussion questions on his or her own blog. If you’re going to tackle the discussion questions on your own blog, PLEASE issue a spoiler alert. Nothing is more hostile than an angry internet. If you just want to stick to discussing in the comment section of this blog, that’s cool too. I love talking about books with you crazy kids, I can’t wait for this one! Let’s conquer this mystery shall we? Who’s in?! 

*If you purchase a copy of We Were Liars through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 01

How To Name Your Book Club

Book Club 27

Howdy Bookworms!

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by the fabulous Annabel Smith and she asked what my most popular post of all time was. In terms of longevity and search terms, the most popular post I ever published was the contest I held in order to name The Fellowship of the Worms. Apparently, people really want help in coming up with unusual names for their book clubs. I live to serve, and naming things is among my favorite activities. Here are some of my tips on choosing a fun and funky name for your book club!

BookClubNames

 

1. Who Are You? I know, it sounds kind of obvious, but one of the easiest ways to choose a book club name is to consider how it is that the book club came together. I’m involved in a book club with my neighbors which I’ve lovingly dubbed “My Neighbors are Better than Your Neighbors.” Did your group originate in the workplace? How’s about “Everybody’s Working for the Reading?” Are you a group of parents who met while sneaking in a few pages of reading during a little league game? School chums?  The way your crew came together can be a great resource for name mining!

2. What Do You Do? It’s rare that a book club talks about the book, the whole book, and nothing but the book. What else do you like to do? I book club I once belonged to (that has, sadly, disbanded) liked to drink wine and chat socially after book talk died down. I called it (rather cheekily) “Wine and Whining.” One of my favorite suggestions from the contest I ran came from Jen at The Relentless Reader. She suggested “BEER CHEESE BOOKS.” She’s from Wisconsin, if you couldn’t tell. But seriously! If y’all drink beer, eat cheese, and talk about books, GO WITH IT!

3. Alliteration is your friend. Have I ever told you about my fake band? It’s called The Alliterations and you can only fake join if your initials are the same for your first and last name. I play the fake drums. I’m spectacular, obviously. Is it weird to fangirl over a cheap literary device? “Raucous Readers.” “Badass Bookworms.” “Literary Ladies who Lunch.”  The possibilities are endless.

fake drums

My fake drum set. Obviously.

4. Make it Punny! How many times have you seen that picture of the bar called “Tequila Mockingbird?” And how many times have you chuckled at its cleverness? Get down with your punny self! “The Book Stops Here,” “Readers of the Lost Ark..”  For real, somebody stop me!

5. Bookspiration. Dude, our book club here ended up being named “The Fellowship of the Worms,” but that wasn’t the only fabulous suggestion. Most of them revolved around worms, but I understand that not EVERYONE wants to be associated with slimy invertebrates. What about “Gone with the Book” or “Through the Book-ing Glass”? Take a famous book title and make it your own.

A fun and funky name for your book club awaits! Use this list as a brainstorming guide and you’ll have something amazing in no time! Any Bookworms out there in a cleverly named book club?

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