Reschedule Feb Book Club

Kim Hall mentioned there was a party scheduled for Thursday, Feb 8 that many would like to attend, (over bookclub?! I can’t imagine!). While we are always hesitant to reschedule, I thought I would put out a poll to see what worked best for everyone. Please use the poll below to select EVERY date that would work for you in Feb to meet.

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March Book: The Return of the Dancing Master

Ela has suggested three great reads and I am excited to have European best-seller as our March Read. See below for the review as well as two other suggested reads.

Penning Mankell’s  ”The return of the dancing master”. My favorite writer.He is the one who gave the idea  for “the Girl with a dragon Tattoo” Bestselling author  in Europe and this is my favorite book of his.

 

From the dean of Scandinavian noir, come s a riveting mystery set in frozen north of Sweden. .
When retired policeman Herbert Molin is found brutally slaughtered on his remote farm in the northern forests of Sweden, police find strange tracks in the snow — as if someone had been practicing the tango. Stefan Lindman, a young police officer recently diagnosed with mouth cancer, decides to investigate the murder of his former colleague, but is soon enmeshed in a mystifying case with no witnesses and no apparent motives. Terrified of the disease that could take his life, Lindman becomes more and more reckless as he unearths the chilling links between Molin’s death and an underground neo-Nazi network that runs further and deeper than he could ever have imagined.

 

Other suggestions:

Allison Weir “The six wives of Henry VIII”

The tempestuous, bloody, and splendid reign of Henry VIII of England (1509-1547) is one of the most fascinating in all history, not least for his marriage to six extraordinary women. In this accessible work of brilliant scholarship, Alison Weir draws on early biographies, letters, memoirs, account books, and diplomatic reports to bring these women to life. Catherine of Aragon emerges as a staunch though misguided woman of principle; Anne Boleyn, an ambitious adventuress with a penchant for vengeance; Jane Seymour, a strong-minded matriarch in the making; Anne of Cleves, a good-natured and innocent woman naively unaware of the court intrigues that determined her fate; Catherine Howard, an empty-headed wanton; and Catherine Parr, a warm-blooded bluestocking who survived King Henry to marry a fourth time.

 

Henryk Sienkiewicz “Quo Vadis”. This is a Polish writer, who got the Nobel price for this book.

Rome during the reign of Nero was a glorious place for the emperor and his court; there were grand feasts, tournaments for poets, and exciting games and circuses filling the days and nights. The pageantry and pretentious displays of excess were sufficient to cloy the senses of participants as well as to offend the sensitive. Petronius, a generous and noble Roman, a man of the world much in favor at the court of Nero, is intrigued by a strange tale related by his nephew Marcus Vinitius of his encounter with a mysterious young woman called Ligia with whom Vinitius falls madly in love. Ligia, a captured King’s daughter and a one-time hostage of Rome, is now a foster child of a noble Roman household. She is also a Christian. The setting of the narrative was prepared with utmost care. Henryk Sienkiewicz visited the Roman settings many times and was thoroughly educated in the historical background. As an attempt to create the spirit of antiquity, the novel met with unanimous acclaim, which earned the Nobel Prize in literature for the author in 1905. As a vision of ancient Rome and early Christianity it has not yet been surpassed, almost a century later.

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January 18 Bookclub

Hi All,

Bonnie has come to the rescue and will be hosting our group this coming Thursday for our firs tweeting of 2018. We will be discussing “LAB Girl”. Bonnie is making a stew and I am sure will need salads, bread, wine & dessert. Please “Leave a comment” below to let us know if you can come and what you will bring.

 

Thanks!

Feb Book Choice-Manhattan Beach

Kim Hall helped us with our Feb read: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. Kim:   “This is in my stack of “books I want to read in the New Year!” I love historical fiction and my sister just finished this.  She said it was a real page-turner, and the book has gotten a lot of critical acclaim!”

 

New York Times Bestseller 
* A San Francisco Chronicle Top 10 Book of the Year
* A New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of 2017
* A Time magazine and USA Today Top 10 Novel of 2017
* Winner of the Booklist Top of the List for Fiction
* Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction
* Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal
* Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, The Guardian, Vogue, Esquire, Kirkus Reviews, Philadelphia Inquirer, BookPage, Bustle, Southern Living, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Immensely satisfying…an old-fashioned page-turner, tweaked by this witty and sophisticated writer…Egan is masterly at displaying mastery…she works a formidable kind of magic.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

The daring and magnificent novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.

With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan’s first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world. It is a magnificent novel by the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, one of the great writers of our time.

 

Other “almost reads”

“Eleanor Oliphant” by Gail Honeyman

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon.

“Warm and funny…plus Reese bought the rights to this one…You’ll want to read it.”—TheSkimm

“A charmer…satisfyingly quirky.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times “Books to Breeze Through This Summer”

“This wacky, charming novel…draws you in with humor, then turns out to contain both a suspenseful subplot and a sweet romance….Hilarious and moving.”—People

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . The only way to survive is to open your heart.

The summary doesn’t really fully do this book justice.  I just read this book a month ago and it really moved me.  It took me a few chapters to get into it, but then I couldn’t put it down and finished it in two days!  Eleanor is NOT completely fine!  She is grabbling with something that keeps her from fully living a full life.  I can’t give it away, but her life changes when she makes a decision to faces her struggles …..A friend recommended this book after her book club read and discussed it and loved it!

alizes. . . The only way to survive is to open your heart.

A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.

Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives.

In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change.Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city.

After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.

I am currently reading this book and am really enjoying it!  It  is historical fiction and a suspenseful  book about families, women, Chinese culture, and mother-daughter relationships!  I think our Book Club read another book by Lisa Lee, or maybe I just read it – Snow Flower and the Magic Fan.