Book Club Loved The Invention of Wings

The Invention of WingsThis wonderful dramatization of real-life events, The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd, sparked one of the best book club discussions our neighborhood book club has had in its short life of about a year-and-a-half. There was something in this book to which that almost all of us could relate in one way or another:  human rights, women’s rights, social mores, to name a few. Of course, the story engendered a discussion of how far women’s rights, in general, have come.

One member thought we have come too far, but the rest of us are eager to continue progressing. After all, women still are not paid the same as men for doing the same job. What’s up with that, anyway? Slavery still exists in our world, but these days, it is more likely to be human trafficking of girls, young women, and young boys. To read my review of this masterpiece about real people in American history, click right here.

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Book Club Christmas Book

keeping-christmasOur book club chose Keeping Christmas, by Dan Walsh, thinking it would be a fun Christmasy book to discuss at our December meeting. Not! Only one of the members present at our meeting really liked the book. Everyone else said the main character should “get a life”.

There were a couple of life lessons, though:

  1. we can’t live our lives through others, even — especially — our children; true happiness must come from within; and
  2. the line spoken by Stan, “You don’t put your hobbies and toys ahead of your family’s needs.”

To read my review of this sad/sweet story click right here.

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Invention of Wings Blew Me Away

The Invention of WingsOur book club will be reading Sue Monk Kidd‘s The Invention of Wings in January for our February 2, discussion. I reserved it at the local library, and it became available far sooner than needed, so I went ahead and read it. It was fantastic. Kidd has a way of developing characters with whom the reader can almost see. They seem to come to life right on her pages. I recommend The Invention of Wings to everyone who reads. To read my review of this impressive book, click right here.

 

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Sweet Potato Queens is Drivel, Pure Drivel

sweet-potato-queensI tried, I really tried to read this book. I just couldn’t get through it. The most telling thing is that before our book club meeting, one of the members sent out an e-mail asking what we thought of the book. My reply was short and to the point: “Not much.” The next time I saw her she said my reply was the nicest response she received. You can read my review of this book by clicking right here. What about this book made me grumpy?  Everything!

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Reading Indelible Ink

img_5608Last week, there was a book segment on the Today show with a panel of authors and publishers. One of the featured books was Indelible Ink, which explores the work of a courageous early-18th-century journalist in the face of the strict censorship of British rule in the American colonies; and how his work led to the freedom of expression as we know it today. Of course, I was hooked immediately. I ordered it for my Nook, but had to finish a beach read I had already started. I’m now reading Indelible Ink, loving it, and can’t wait to finish it and tell you all about it.

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The Black Widow, 16th in the Series

IMG_5364I just published my review of Daniel Silva’s The Black Widow. Already waiting for the next book in this series. To read my review of this great book click right here.

I’ve been chasing bad guys for a while, now it’s time to move on to a different genre. Stay tuned for reviews of some fantastic books that are “must reads”.

 

 

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Reading The Boston Girl

The Boston GirlOf all the books we have read in our book club, so far,  Boston Girl, by Amanda Diamant, is my favorite. It’s a must-read. Main character, Addie Baum, was a woman ahead of her time.  Here’s the link to my review:  https://grumpybookreviewer.com/book-clubbooks/the-boston-girl/.  You will love it. I know I did.

 

 

 

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The Golfer’s Game Book

Golfer's Game Book - FrontThis book is different from the novels, biographies, and children’s books I usually review. It is a book of golf side-games that add interest to the game of golf, as well as practice exercises to improve your game. This little book for golfers is now in its 3rd printing, was written by Bridget Logan, the 2008 women’s champion at Glenview Championship Country Club in The Villages, Florida. The book is sophisticated enough for experienced golfers, and is also user-friendly for the novice golfer — like me.

The book is well-written, easy to understand, and has cross-referenced tables for looking up games by differing names. For example, there is Scramble, then there is Florida Scramble, Texas Scramble, Reverse Scramble, 2-Person Scramble, and so on. There is also Garbage, Junk, Goodies, and Trash: all names (also probably regional) for the same game. The Golfer’s Game Book has approximately 250 side-games, and is:

  • conveniently sized for use on the golf course, use at home, and especially for storage in your golf bag;
  • ideal for the everyday golfer as well as tournament coordinators;
  • contains a unique multi-functional game reference chart that:
    • references games alphabetically, by alternative names, and by number of players;
    • provides a quick way to find a game for 3 players when one of your foursome suddenly becomes a three-some or a five-some;
    • includes practice games, side bets, and games for any number of players.

My husband and his neighborhood men’s golf group have used this book for their weekly play, and seemed to enjoy the games. They have returned our copy of the book, but still play side games (and side-bets) each week. This book belongs in your golf bag (the size is perfect), not on your bookshelf.

In talking with Logan, I learned that playing a side game allows the novice player to relax and enjoy golf, thus removing the pressure of trying to play well. Having a partner to cheer you on doesn’t hurt, either.

About the Author:

Articles about Ms. Logan and her book can be found in Golfweek and a local publication, Lake & Sumter Style; and an interview with her can be heard in an audio podcast by TravelGolf.com. She has written numerous articles on golf, published in magazines such as Golf Fitness, and has  designed a specialized game scorecard with enough space to keep up with the various game points. She shared with me that she is currently working on her second book: Golf Games for Kids and Grandkids. She now lives in central Florida, surrounded by golf courses.

In the interest of full disclosure, Ms. Logan is my cousin, and I am so proud of her. I recently learned that a local golf-pro has said this book is, “A must for every golfer.” Now that’s high praise.

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A Visit to the Home of a Writer

Typewriter

This is where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote her award-winning books.

Our book club recently discussed Cross Creek, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. It is the story of the people, time, and place in the Ocala National Forest where she wrote her award-winning books. Most of us didn’t finish the book, but we did gather at a member’s home to see the movie by the same title. So I suppose I should say we discussed the movie. Both revealed how Rawlings transformed a run-down shack into a cozy home, gradually made friends with the somewhat shy, somewhat suspicious backwoods neighbors, met her new husband, got the inspiration for her stories and characters, and developed them into award-winning books.

Front Door

This is Rawlings’ cabin today.

In 2007, the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings farm was designated as a National Historic Landmark, the highest historic recognition in the United States. It has also been a designated as a Florida state park.

One family who Marjorie met and befriended were the Longs: Mary and Calvin. In 1872, their ancestor, Reuben Long, originally settled in the forest that, in 1908, became the Ocala National Forest. It was from Calvin’s colorful stories that Rawlings first learned of a young boy, one of the earlier Longs, who raised a fawn to a yearling.

Rawlings’ 72-acre farm in Cross Creek is right here in central Florida, only about a hour away from our homes. So, on the day that we would have had our June meeting, the group traveled to see this beautiful part of old Florida. Unfortunately, I did not get to make the trip, but a friend and fellow book club member has generously shared her photos, and has given permission for me to share them with you.

Living Room

Barn

After seeing the Cross Creek movie, I read The Yearling. It was set in the late 19th century, but some of the characters’ experiences are still in existence today. There are still people who live deep in the Ocala National Forest. Unfortunately, there is still extreme poverty and hunger in that population.

There are many local organizations who donate to smaller groups who go into the forest. For example, there is a local minister who grew up in the forest and, therefore, has their trust, and goes there frequently taking food and clothes, and repairing homes. The Cross Creek movie showed the poverty of the area, but did not do enough to reveal the extent of said property. On the other hand, Cross Creek was intended to chronicle Rawlings’ experiences. The stories of the people are in her award-winning books. I can’t wait to read the others.

 

 

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Do You Ever Re-Read Books You’ve Read Before?

Have you ever read a book that was so good you read it again? I have, but only a few.

Lola Reading - c GBR

Among the books I have read more than once are The Witness by Nora Roberts, The Forgotten by David Baldacci, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, A Necessary Woman by Helen VanSlyke, and now, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, is one of them.

OutlanderIn fact, the whole Outlander series fits that description. A couple of years ago, between December and March, I read all eight books of the Gabaldon’s wildly popular time-travel / historical fiction series.

In this series, Claire Beauchamp Randall accidentally steps between two standing stones in a place similar to Stonehenge. She suddenly finds herself in 1743, and her life is changed forever. Eventually, she meets several historical figures, and saves lives with her knowledge of modern medicine and sanitation.

Book 2:  Dragonfly in Amber

2 Dragonfly in AmberI am currently reading the series again, and am now reading book two, Dragonfly in Amber, and am enjoying it as much as I did the first time. I notice things I either missed, or simply did not pay attention to in my first reading. It’s the same as when you see a movie more than once. You pick up on things you missed the first time, especially near the beginning of the story.

Do You Like to Re-read Old Favorites?

Do you like to re-read favorite books, especially if it has been a few years since you first read them? What are your favorites? If you know of a great book, please share it’s title. I may need to read it, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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