Saturday, January 20, 2018

Up Next: Beyond the Blue

We had a great discussion of the book Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker on Tuesday evening.  Thanks Sarah for leading the discussion.

Alecia has picked our book for February, Beyond The Blue by Leslie Gould.  We will meet on Tuesday February 20 at 7pm at Debby's house, to discuss the book.

Here's a little info about the book.  

Two Worlds. Two Women. One Love.

In 1975, an American girl named Genevieve loses her mother when a plane full of orphans crashes in war-ravaged Vietnam. Miles away in the countryside, seven-year-old Lan, a Vietnamese girl, is forced out of her family home by her own brother who has joined the Viet Cong. Worlds apart, these two girls come into womanhood struggling to recover a sense of family–until their journeys suddenly converge. 

Lan has grown up in the harsh realities of post-war Vietnam, but she yearns for a better life for her children. Meanwhile, Genevieve marries and, faced with infertility, decides to adopt a child from the country her own mother loved so deeply. But the uncertainty and risk of international adoption threatens to overwhelm both women before their hearts and their families can be healed.

Beyond the Blue is the story of enormous losses, unthinkable choices, and the transforming power of God's love for the children of the world.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Of Mess and Moxie

Our book pick for January is: of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker.  Sarah selected the book this time and will lead our discussion.  We will meet at Debby's house on January 16th at 7pm.  You will be able to also try the new semicircle drive which makes getting in and out of the driveway much easier!

A synopsis of the book is:
In this highly anticipated new book, beloved author Jen Hatmaker parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere. Whether it’s the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip (“Why are we in San Antonio?”) or the way she learned to forgive (God was super clear: Pray for this person every day, which was the meanest thing He ever said to me. I was furious.), she offers a reminder to those of us who sometimes hide in the car eating crackers that we do have the moxie to get back up and get back out. We can choose to live undaunted “in the moment” no matter what the moments hold, and lead vibrant, courageous, grace-filled lives

Here are some quotes from the book:
“You are far more than your worst day, your worst experience, your worst season, dear one. You are more than the sorriest decision you ever made. You are more than the darkest sorrow you’ve endured. Your name is not Ruined. It is not Helpless. It is not Victim. It is not Irresponsible. History is replete with overcomers who stood up after impossible circumstances and walked in freedom. You are not an anemic victim destined to a life of regret. Not only are you capable, you have full permission to move forward in strength and health.” 

“This life is not a race or a contest, there is enough abundance to go around, your seat at the table is secure, and you have incredible gifts to offer. You are not in competition with your peers.”

“Of course, in a hundred years, no one will remember any of us and our story will be lost in obscurity, but for us, for all these years when we were kids and then grown-ups, when you were young parents and then grandparents, this is the only story that ever mattered, and it was such a marvelous one. The best story I ever imagined.” 

“If you want to make good friends, be a good friend. Send kindness out in big, generous waves, send it near and far, send it through texts and e-mails and calls and words and hugs, send it by showing up, send it by proximity, send it in casseroles, send it with a well-timed “me too,” send it with abandon. Put out exactly what you hope to draw in, and expect it back in kind and in equal measure.” 

“If understood, believed, and lived out, God’s plan would naturally place Christians at the epicenter of their communities, like hope magnets, like soft places to fall, like living sanctuaries. We’d be coveted neighbors and trusted advocates, friends to all and enemies of none. Our reputation would precede us, and we would be such a joy to the world.” 

“Love refuses to deny or dismantle another’s perspective simply because I don’t share it.” 

“Isolation concentrates every struggle. The longer we keep our heartaches tucked away in the dark, the more menacing they become. Pulling them into the light among trusted people who love you is, I swear, 50 percent of the recovery process.” 

Hope to see you there for a fun discussion and refreshments.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Book Club Update

We finally met in October to discuss The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  It was a great discussion led by Sarah Gravelle.  Dari picked our next book, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
     In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
     Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

We will be meeting at Debby's house on Tuesday December 5 at 7pm to discuss the book.  Stay tuned for information about a Christmas book exchange too!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Book Pick For Our September Discussion

Our book pick for our September book club discussion is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  Here is some information about the book:

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

We will meet at Debby's house at 7:00 pm on Tuesday September 19 to discuss the book.  Hope to see you there.  Even if you don't finish reading the book, you are welcome to come join in our discussion.  If you have a suggestion for our book club to read, let us know.  
Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Pick for August

We had a great discussion about The Zookeeper's Wife led by Sarah.  It was interesting to see how we all had similar thoughts as we read.  Sarah also made some yummy s'mores bars for our treat.

Debby selected Wonder by R.J. Palacio for our August book club meeting.

Here is some information about the book:
Over 5 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller WONDER and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. 

The book that inspired the Choose Kind movement.

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. 

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. 

The book has been made into a movie which will be released in November.  Here is a trailer for the movie.  Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson star in the movie.

Hope to see you on Tuesday August 15 at 7pm at Debby's house for our book discussion.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Book Pick for July

Sarah picked our book for July.  We are reading The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman.  Her is a blurb about the book:

A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.
After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these "guests," and human names for the animals, it's no wonder that the zoo's code name became "The House Under a Crazy Star." Best-selling naturalist and acclaimed storyteller Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story―sharing Antonina's life as "the zookeeper's wife," while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism. Winner of the 2008 Orion Award. 

We will have our book discussion on Tuesday, July 18 at 7:00pm at Debby's house. Hope to see you there. 

Book Club in June

Last night we had a great discussion about our June book pick Ms. Bixby's last day.  Since it was Alecia's book pick, she lead the discussion and supplied a yummy treat.  In keeping with the theme of the book, we had cheesecake and sparkling Italian soda. We had a great time discussing the book and reminiscing about our favorite teachers and what we would do on our last day.  It is a great book and a quick read.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.