Friday, August 15, 2008

Babes with Books

Six years ago my life was very different. I had only two small children, a tidy home and a young, strong body. Autism and twins were things that happened to other people and, basically, I had life figured out.


As you know, my life has changed a lot in the past six years. But one thing has stayed the same and kept me going through some of my darkest days. My book club.


We started over six years ago and have met faithfully, once a month, hardcovers in hand and opinions to share.


Over the years we've read lots of great books and shared personal stories, as well. The group is large and fluid. A few of the "original" bookbabes remain, with a whole cast of others rotating in and out. Nothing fancy. Each hostess chooses a book for the month (fiction or factual, contemporary or classic), sets the date and serves refreshments.


Last night we gushed over Jane Austen and strawberry cake. Next month is my turn to host and I've picked something completely different. In October, we'll each research a political candidate or issue and share our findings in preparation for election day. It's like being in school, minus the boring teachers and term papers. I love it!

Although I can't remember all the titles, here are some of the books we've read over the years.

Gift from the Sea--Anne Morrow Lindbergh, The Poisonwood Bible--Barbara Kingsolver, A Long Way Gone--Ishmael Beah, The Westing Game--Ellen Raskin, I Capture the Castle--Dodie Smith, A Girl Called Zippy--Haven Kimmel, Power of One--Bryce Courtenay, These is my Words--Nancy Turner, The Diary of Mattie Spenser--Sandra Dallas, The Lovely Bones--Alice Sebold, The Wednesday Letters--Jason F. Wright, Warriors Don't Cry--Melba Pattillo Beals, Train to Potevka--Michael Ramsdell, Escape from China--Zhang Boli, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister--Gregory Maguire, The Wedding--Nicholas Sparks, Snowflower and the Secret Fan--Lisa See, Five People You Meet in Heaven--Mitch Albom, Three Cups of Tea--Greg Mortenson, Leap of Faith--Queen Noor, The Runaway Quilt--Jennifer Chiaverinni, John Adams--David McCullough, The Birds' Christmas Carol--Kate Douglas Wiggin, I am a Mother--Jayne Clayson Johnson, A Woman of Egypt--Jehan Sadat


What's your bookclub reading?

17 comments:

Dancin Queen said...

Ours met last night too. We discussed Rachel and Leah by Orson Scott Card.

Bridget said...

I SO want to join a book club. I have never belonged to one. I guess this means I need to start one up myself.

andrea said...

sadly, as i age, i don't find more fulfillment in things i once loved, namely books.
they literally put me to sleep. it could be a spellbinding novel, and after 4 pages max, i'm out. it takes me months to get through a book.
so i quit. i figure i gotta give god the four pages i can handle with my scripture reading. i have to know my limitations.

Missy said...

I think you'd like "Rules", by Cynthia Lord. It's about a girl and her autistic brother and all the rules that she teaches her brother so he doesn't embarrass her in public. A sweet story. I read parts of the Al Capone book when my son was assigned to read it in 6th grade. It deals with an autistic child, too, if I remember correctly. I only skimmed it to get a feel, but maybe I should go read it more carefully. I wish I could come to your bookclub!! You've read some great books. Ours is a Deseret Book one and I've boycotted it because I can't check out the books (our small town Illinois libraries don't shelve those...) and I'm way too cheap to buy them every month! I think I just might start my own.

Check out www.rebeccacaudill.org for 20 book recommendations per year (Al Capone was a 2006 recommendation on this site). My kids' school gives a trophy to any child who reads all 20. They are for the 4th-8th grade set, but I've found them to be quite enjoyable and clean! A great resource.

(Marci L. is a friend of mine from H.S...just thought I'd mention that since you have no clue who I am! I love your perspective on life!)

Paige said...

My bookclub is reading Outlander- lots of good um, romantic scenes I hear! So gonna read it. But we just finished 3 Cups of Tea so needed something steamy for the summer, i guess.

Christie said...

The book club out here will only reach G-rated books. I wish I had a good one to go to. Yours sounds so fun.

Clair said...

I'm going to copy your list and take it to my new best friend- the library? Not currently in a book club but would love to be- anyone know of a good one online/ blogstyle? I cannot say enough about The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. (In fact I'm planning to post about it soon.) These books are light hearted with a bit of mystery. The characters are great-you can't help but love them in all their quirkiness. I just finished #9 and wish there was another, but I guess I'm going to have to give the author a bit of time to finish #10.

Ilene said...

Another title to add to Good Reads.

Joining a book club can be tricky so I'm glad you found a group who reads a lot of everything. I need to find one of those... a group that make me read something new but not a bunch of inspirational stories about Amish women.


Not that there is anything wrong with those stories...

Cathy said...

My friend has had a club ongoing for over 20years! I have yet to join it, but I usually read some of the books anyway! Someday I hope to be a part of the whole picture. I had another friend who only did children's books, I thought that was interesting too!

Kara Jayne said...

Oh Gab, as if I needed another reason to like you!! My sister has Autistic twins, so I know some of your pain.

I LOVE my book club and I am hosting this month. We are reading The Count of Monte Cristo and it is SO SO GOOD!!

I've read many of the books you have and just have to comment on one of my all time faves...Gift From the Sea. I try to read it every year. I'm so glad your book club has been there for you. I wish we were in one together!!

Lauren in GA said...

I am really happy for you that book club has helped you in some of your darkest times.

I am also impressed that you had a tidy house with 2 little kids. I only have 3 and I can't seem to keep my house tidy to save my life ;) I think that is why I love blogging so much...you have no idea what my kitchen floor looks like right now.

wenderful said...

Wow Paige! Outlander is one of my favorite series but I wouldn't have the guts to recommend it to a book club. It's very "romantic"!
Our book club just read A Girl Named Zippy, another of my favorites. This month we'll read The Power of Positive Parenting. Another great book. Not a fun read but definitely worthwhile.

lusciouschaos said...

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is a wonderful Juv Lit title.
I too have belonged to a Book Club for 14 years now. When I moved to SoCal 2 years ago, these women were some I missed the most. They continue to be gracious--e-mailing. I try to continue to read the books they are waiting to return some day.
I read Rules as well and love it. Also Flipped by Van Draennen is excellent.

Marilyn said...

I don't belong to a book club but I wanted to thank you for sharing your book titles because I have read some FABULOUSLY wonderful books in the last few months on your recommendations! Keep sharing!

Holly said...

I think it's wonderful that you have been part of a book club for 6 years--and still have some of your charter members. It makes me so happy when books bring people together--and help keep each other sane!

I think the Outlander series is highly entertaining, but also highly racy...so I have mixed feelings about recommending it.

Rochelleht said...

Oh, I think you know how I feel about my bookclub. Such good times, books and friends. I think books and bookclub are some of the best things in life.

Robin said...

you and I have lots of similar books. Are you at goodreads.com Add me.

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