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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Titles for Book Clubs and a New Giveaway!

New Giveaway: The Red Tent

Enter to win a copy of The Red Tent by leaving a comment on this post by September 21, 2012. This is a copy I picked up at my local library's used book sale. I have bought many copies of this book the past few years to share with others. Read more about it below.

The following books received high ratings in my reading group and offer a lot of topics for successful discussion:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
This book was a favorite of my group. This title easily resonates with female book clubs due to numerous, strong female characters throughout the story.

Book Description from amazon
     Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood--the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers--Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah--the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.

Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber


This book is part of the Blossom Street series but each one stands independently so you don’t need to have read others previously. In this title, the characters each make a list of twenty wishes or a bucket list. At our discussion for the meeting, each member was asked to construct their own list of things they would like to try or accomplish in the upcoming year. Several years later, many of our members continue this tradition and make a new list each year to share with the group as well as highlights of experiences they have crossed off their previous lists. Your group could even create a reading list- books that you would like to challenge yourself to read next year.

Book Description from amazon
     What Anne Marie Roche wants is to find happiness again. At thirty-eight, she's childless, a recent widow, alone. She owns a successful bookstore on Seattle's Blossom Street, but despite her accomplishments, there's a feeling of emptiness.
On Valentine's Day, Anne Marie and several other widows get together to celebrate…hope. They each begin a list of twenty wishes—things they always wanted to do but never did. Anne Marie's list includes learning to knit, falling in love again, doing good for someone else. When she volunteers at a local school, an eight-year-old girl named Ellen enters her life. It's a relationship that becomes far more involving—and far more important—than Anne Marie had ever imagined.
     As Ellen helps Anne Marie complete her list of twenty wishes, they both learn that wishes can come true…but not necessarily in the way you expect.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan


This book revolves around the affair of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney and their life together following the demise of their marriages. It is fiction based on real occurrences and offers a lot of topics for discussion. For my group, this also provided the opportunity to learn more about architecture and we created a visual board of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work for our meeting. I love when you can further enhance the reading by learning about subjects that are detailed within the pages.

Book Description from amazon
     "I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current." So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.
     In this ambitious debut novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly. While scholars have largely relegated Mamah to a footnote in the life of America’s greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Cheney’s profound influence on Wright.
     Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horan’s Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world. Mamah’s is an unforgettable journey marked by choices that reshape her notions of love and responsibility, leading inexorably ultimately lead to this novel’s stunning conclusion.
Elegantly written and remarkably rich in detail, Loving Frank is a fitting tribute to a courageous woman, a national icon, and their timeless love story.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls


This was a popular title when it was released so your group likely has read this one. If not, you will definitely want to add it to your list. This memoir offers plenty to discuss and is an encouraging view of looking back at an unpleasant past and not letting it interrupt your present or future. The author does not bear any grudges toward her parents for their lack of care. She accepts her childhood with grace and understanding and does not let it define who she is or will become.

Book Description from amazon
     Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
     Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
     What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

Visit my sidebar for a complete listing of books my group has read.

Happy Reading!
Rebecca

 

5 comments:

  1. I found it - duh! I just hadn't scrolled down far enough. Please enter me in your Red Tent drawing. Thanks! Sim

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have not read The Red Tent and it sounds like a book I would like. Thanks for the giveaway chance.
    mesreadsATgmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have been entered in the giveaway for The Red Tent. Thanks for visiting and have a great week!
      Rebecca

      Delete
  3. The Red Tent is a FABULOUS read, I'd love to win a copy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have been entered in the giveaway for The Red Tent. Thanks for visiting and have a great week!
      Rebecca

      Delete

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