Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher is a series of recommendation letters written by a midwestern college professor of English who is having a rough time in his life and not suffering in silence and who has a penchant for telling the truth. Laugh out loud lines in many letters – but some of them are rather poignant and he isn’t the curmudgeon he wants you to think he is as you discover at the end of the book – loved this book for both its humanity and its humor.
A panel got together to pick Julia Child’s favorite 100 recipes – in honor of her 100th birthday – from the 3700 she published. Here’s the link.
Do you have any of her books – have you cooked any of these recipes? Do they deserve to be among the honored 100?
We have had fewer people able to attend than we had hoped. Maybe it’s the format – maybe it’s the time.
We are looking at when we hold it – if we hold it. Should we make it totally on-line. Do you like having the meetings? Would you come to a meeting if it was a different time?
Should bagels and books on Saturday morning be brownies and books on Saturday afternoon?
Please give us some feedback as we are looking at putting together the fall event schedule.
Just started English Passengers by Matthew Kneale and think I’ll really enjoy it but I occasionally find myself reading books that don’t sound that appealing because a good friend has said I must read them.
How susceptible are you to recommendations – do you just ignore them if you aren’t attracted to the book?
Pretty sure I already talked about The Rosie Project but it remains one of my favorite summer reads – author is Graeme Simsion.
Read a number of books that promised more than they delivered and picked up a few that didn’t make it through the first few pages. I have decided there are so many good books that there isn’t time to read the rest. So here’s what I enjoyed the last few weeks.
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian and – a little less – Sand Castle Girls. These are both historical novels and a bit of a departure for this author. Sand Castle Girls is about the Armenian genocide and Skeletons at the Feast is set in the last few months of WWII in Germany.
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (who we all know is J. K. Rowling). Second in the Cormoran Strike series, I really enjoy her main character and found this a fun read.
Reread Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes – some of the old ones are still really good ones.
Saints of New York by R. J. Ellory – main character is a policeman who had a father who was a decorated officer but who his son knows was a bent cop. Interesting look at guilt and motivations.
The Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh is the continuation of the Lord Peter Whimsey series from Dorothy Sayers. Think the author does a decent job of getting the sound of the characters.
Herbie’s Game by Timothy Hallinan is a Junior Bender story – the crook’s crook.
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey is billed as a mystery but is really a look at a woman who is suffering from dementia and quite well done.
Can’t we Talk about Something More Pleasant is Roz Chast’s graphic novel about taking care of her elderly parents.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Tilia Klebenov Jacobs is an interesting story about a strong woman character who is kidnapped by a man who has a reasonable motive and her struggle to come to terms with this.
Do you place any reliance on author blurbs – on comparisons to other books – on quotes from reviews?
OK – so I am really ticked because I bought a book based on an author comment that it was similar to a book I really loved. Well – it was nothing like that book and I was really annoyed.
Now this is all my own fault because the person making that comment/recommendation is an author I won’t read so why – you might ask – would I pay any attention to his recommendations. Good question.
But I still wonder if I am the only one so susceptible or if you all have better sense and actually sit and read a chapter before you whip out the credit card.
Lots of newspapers, radio shows, etc, put out their summer reading lists but a book you really enjoy reading may not be the best book for a discussion. So I am always interested when the Indie book store group puts out its list of books especially recommended for reading group discussions. And I was particularly pleased because #1 on their list is a book I really liked – Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. Check out the website for all the lists – separated into several categories to help you decide what kind of reading you want to do.