Monday, October 3, 2011

September - One Day by David Nichols


No more of these stuffy-like entries...time to tell it how it is.  The Third Tuesday Book Club?  Well, we just ain't (are not) you're Grandma's book club.

Here's what goes down.  We gather.  It's an amazing sight to behold.  Strong, beautiful women with sass-atude and smarts joining together at one table.  I mean at three very small tables pushed together.  Anyways, as we start to gather and settle into place, the public stops to behold the sight: what's going on? Are those women gathering so that they may discuss world issues, and solve many of the world's greatest problems, such as finding ways to replace unrenewable resources and bring peace to all countries in strife? 

Actually, no.  But we could solve the world's problems, and look good while doing it too.  But what are we really doing there.

D'uh.  Looking at Edward Cullen.  And talking about the book for a minute.  And just talking.

There's something to be said for female camaraderie.  It's amazing to me that women from all different walks of life can come together and just talk.  We share stories, and similar interest, but in reality we are each so very different from one another, that I sometimes find myself astonished that such friendship has blossomed amongst us.

That being said, David Nichol's One Day did earn itself about 15 minutes of discussion.  It was well-liked, and Trish described it as book you could lose yourself in.  I, on the other hand,  could NOT get lost in this book!  It just seemed so...so...I don't know.

Anyways,

I guess the point of this post is to try and explain to you that I couldn't wrote a real blog post because we were too busy chatting about other things, laughing, talking, and looking at Edward Cullen to properly discuss the book.  A well, this isn't your Grandma's book club.  This is also not Ben's book club. (Sue!)

Next month's meeting is on Oct 18.  We will be discussing Mazerunner.

In Nov., we will be reading The Art of Chasing the Rain, by Garth Stein.  I am having a hard time finding this book in used book stores.  I am a poor, poor woman.  Anyone have a copy I can borrow?

Until then,
Be excellent to each other. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Summer that Wasn't

It is I, your ever-unreliable and oft nary posting blogmistress, Jenn O.  It does not escape me that there hasn't been a post since May. While I feel badly for letting things slip, I don't accept 100% of the responsibility here.  The Third Tuesday Book Club definitely took a summer break, but now with back-to-school also comes the new and refreshing spirit of "back-to-book club."

For a few weeks, I have had "blog post and organize book club," written on my to-do list.  So, I will start with a quick recap.

After reading Shilpi Somoya Gowda's The Secret Daughter in May, we read Justin Cronyn's The Passage.  A complete 180 from The Secret Daughter, this vampire-centric tale didn't feature any sparkly, mind-reading, bobcat-eating heartbreakers.  It was a raw vampire story that treated the condition as a disease.  It was a dense book, and sadly, I did  not have the time that this book truly commands to get through the story, although I did enjoy what I did manage to digest.

Following Cronyn's tale was the satirical peek into Canadian politics: Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis.  This highlarious peek into Canadian politics was a light summer read; the perfect way to kick back in a Muskoka chair at the cottage.

Cassandra Clare's first of the Mortal Instruments Trilogy, City of Bones, was next up.  This teen fic novel put a new twist on the usual, introducing the concept of shadow hunters, downworlders, and the land of Idris—all hiding in plain sight among the rest of us—among the "mundies."  This book was like Twilight with less whining, so in that respect, I liked it.  However, I found it not compelling enough to pull me in and make me want to commit to the rest of the series.

So, going forward, in September we will be reading One Day by David Nichols.  The meeting will be on Sept. 20 at 7:30 at the usual spot.  In the back-to-book club spirit of organization, let's also re-visit the list and see who's coming up next for choices.

Sept 20: Ashleigh's choice.  One Day by David Nichols.

Oct 18: Christine's choice. Mazerunner by

Nov 15: Lynne's choice. TBA

Dec 20: Tentative Dinner Date.

Jan 17, 2012: Jenn's choice.  TBA

Lynn, please start thinking about your choice for November.  See everyone on the 20th!

Be excellent to each other.

Monday, May 23, 2011

May--The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somoya Gowda

This month, The Third Tuesday Book Club met and discussed The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somoya Gowda. It was okay. It was a book about India. It was a book about the lives of women. It was a book about the lives of women in India. In other words: it's been done before, and in order to be a stand-out in this genre you have to be pretty darn mind-blowing. Needless to say, The Secret Daughter left our minds pretty un-blown.

In the spirit of last month's post, let us begin.

Vanessa loved the story, but she didn't like the ending at all. Vanessa was brave and brought her PIC Tallan (Partner in Crime, that is), despite the very high threat of kidnap posed by one Trisha of the FB Clan.

Jeanette read half of this book before falling asleep at her desk. When she awoke, she made up her own—completely inaccurate, and possibly politically incorrect—ending. So I guess that means she felt lukewarm toward the book, unlike how she feels about her man. She and he are still going strong, and things are heating up! Alright!

Vivian said Ahhhhhhh. Tallan seconded that motion.

Lynn said it was fine. It was easy to get through, and it was fine. That's it, just fine. Hey! You wanna what's not fine? What is more than fine? Olivia peed on the potty! Commence happy dancing and celebratory "no more paying for diapers!" cheer…now.

Dar had something profound to say: she identified with Asha's plight as an adoptee. She was able to understand the feelings that Asha described, and for that reason, Darline's connection to the book was stronger.

Christine forgets this book, because she read it a long time ago. She never contributes anyways, and so she was reluctant to destroy her reputation this time around. Next time, missy! Also—nice shirt:P

Jes is new. Greenbean.

Sue read this book. It was her least favourite India book. Oh and just to be clear—her book choice was NOT an India book. It was, however, about Indians. But they lived in Africa, so that's totally different!

Ashleigh read most of this book, and she is anxious to see how it ends. Don't hold your breath, sister. This ending was pretty un-spectacular.

Trisha liked Usha, but would have liked her more if she were some sort of blood-sucking fiend that wanted to find her birth parents only so that she could drink from the veins of her makers!

Jenn had the following gem to offer. Stuff from India should be exotic, and spicy. This book was not Indian at all. It was as bland as a Midwestern shepherd's pie. Jenn is special.

Jasu is not a member of this book club, but he deserves mention. He tore a rip in the strong seam that is our book club. Some of us felt that Jasu was a great man, when it was all said and done. I say no. He's nothing but a big ol' baby-killer. So his hands didn't do the deed—they still have that baby's blood all over them.

Anyways, that all being said, there have been the following changes made, all for the sake of higher education. Our own fashionista, Paddy K, has a night course in textiles for the next while, and so we made some light changes to the schedule.

The new schedule is as follows:

June is now Trisha. She picked The Passage by Justin Cronin. We will meet on Tues, June 21 at 7:30 pm in the usual place to discuss this big, big book.

July is now going to be Jeanette's pick: Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis. (Tues July 19 at 7:30 pm)

August is now Paddy, with her already selected City of Bones by Cassandra Clara. (Tues Aug 16 at 7:30 pm)

Sept is Ashleigh. She selected One Day by David Nicholls. (Tues Sept 20 at 7:30 pm)

October 2011: Christine

November 2011: Lynn

December 2011: Christmas Dinner and Party Time!

January 2012: Jenn

If you have complaints or concerns about the list, please click here to submit a complaint to the Complaints Dept. I promise this form will get forwarded to someone who cares:)

Until next month,

Be excellent to each other.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

March—The In-between Life of Vikram Lall

This month, the Third Tuesday Book Club met, and was supposed to discuss, The In-between Life of Vikram Lall by MG Vassanji. However, something very, very strange indeed happened. These events, in fact, may represent the very first time such a thing has ever happened:

NO ONE READ THE BOOK. (Except Sue. But it was her choice, so she had to! Or else, she would be banished to a place where the choosers of the books are not allowed to watch Royal Weddings.)

So, that being said, there was no discussion about this book. But, Dear Readers, I wouldn't dream of leaving you without you monthly fix of Third Tuesday Book Club wisdom!

So, without further ado, I give you: The State of The Book Club Address:)

Jeanette:
Jeanette is still seeing the same guy that she was seeing last month. This is record for her, and we are all happy that she's happy. Jeanette has also moved into her own place. A cute little one-bedroom, Jeanette is enjoying living sans-roommate for the very first time. Unless you count Jack. No, Jack isn't her latest Plenty of Fish conquest—he's her new kitty-cat.

Vivian:
Vivian is a whole new baby. She's happy, smiley, and lives to drool on giraffe. A day spent with grandma last month proved to be her kryptonite. She's no longer plotting o keep Ashlie awake indefinitely, and both are sleeping well.

Darline:
Darline has been taking a coaching course. Now known as Coach Dar, she is looking forward to coaching me in my new chosen career as a marksman.

Lynne:
Lynne wasn't at book club, but that's because she was celebrating her wedding anniversary with Sir Terrance. We're not sure exactly what they did to celebrate, but we expect details next month!

Sue:
Sue was extremely excited about Prince William's pending nuptials. She invited us all to her house at 3am to watch Britain's most eligible bachelor become Britain's luckiest bald prince. (I mean seriously, Catherine looked BREATHTAKING!) Sue was deeply disappointed in us all for not reading her book. And I quote: "Bad book club! Bad! You did not read my excellent and specially selected book!" (Just kidding—she never said such a thing. She did, however, dream night and day all last week about becoming a paparazzo who specializes in pictures of the Royal Family.)

Christine:
Christine finally did not wear her pink t-shirt. Ravishing in green, Christine spent most of her night detailing her devious plan to capture photos of GSP's crotch when she travels to Toronto for the UFC expo. For those of you who are curious—she was successful.

Vanessa:
Vanessa chose to not attend, as she is quite busy these days. She also chose to stay away as she was slightly nervous—with reason—that Trisha was plotting to kidnap young T.

Trisha:
Trisha is the leader of the Third Tuesday Book Club on Facebook. Is she my competition? Or my partner in crime? A little from column A; a little from column B—and that's all I have to say about that.

Ashlie:
Ashlie regales us with hilariously entertaining tales about her leader, Vivian. In addition to many stories about the ever-changing and evolving baby, she also speaks to us in French. We don't know what she's saying.

Jenn:
Jenn shacked up with her lover. All is going well. In addition to living in sin, Jenn has also run a couple 5k races, and she will be running her next one in Ottawa at the end of May. When she runs past Parliament Hill, who will she be waving to? That my friends, remains to be seen. Oh Canada!

Paddy:
Paddy K, designer and mother, recommends the following: do not dislocate ribs. It it not only painful, but also extremely detrimental to the creation of original Irish dance dresses.

Speaking of our very own Paddy K, Paddy has selected the book for June. We'll be reading Cassandra Claire's City of Bones.

So, we will be meeting on Tuesday May 17, at 7:30 in the usual location to discuss Vanessa's pick: The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.

In June, we'll meet on Tuesday, June 21 at 7:30 in the usual location to discuss Paddy's pick: City of Bones by Cassandra Claire.

Trisha and Ashley, you're on deck! Be ready to pick at the next meeting. Trisha, you're up for July, and Ashlie's it for August.

See you on the 17th of May!

Be excellent to each other.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

February—Room

This month, we met and discussed Emma Donaghue's Room. On said night, my cellular telephone was acting mighty strangely—actually it completely crashed that night after I left book club, and then rose from the dead the next morning (thankfully!). I generally use the Memo Pad App to take notes, and this meeting was no exception. Unfortunately, I lost the note that I took. Stupid technology, making life "easier" and whatnot! So, needless to say, most of this post is from memory, and so I invite you all to add to the discussion in the comments section.

Emma Donaghue's Room was a huge surprise. After reading and discussing The Sealed Letter by Donaghue, I expected another trite novel featuring retched characters. Not so. 5-year old Jack acts as narrator throughout the book, and his insightful, innocent story-telling style makes the book readable and immensely enjoyable—despite the fact the subject matter is that of our most gruesome nightmares.

27-year old Ma, and her 5-year old son, Jack, have been being held captive in a room for over seven years by Old Nick. In a fine example of cleaver narration and story telling, we learn how, from day-to-day, Ma incorporates survival strategies with everyday tasks and raising Jack. For example, games such as screaming, and chores such as turning on and off Light are actually survival tactics, but Jack views them merely as part of his normal, everyday life.

The most heartbreaking aspect of this novel is understanding that Jack has never known anything except Room. So, when he and Ma escape, it is almost unfathomable that Jack misses Room—but of course he does! It is so strange to put yourself in Jack's shoes, and try to understand desperately wanting to return.

And just never mind what poor Ma went through! She is an admirable and very strong character and mother. Her ability to do with Jack what she did, given her very limited resources, is nothing short of

The Third Tuesday Book Club was immensely impressed with the strength of Donaghue's narrative—specifically during the episode of Jack's escape from Room. We were sweating bullets! Hearts were pounding, and stomachs were turning! What powerful, intense story-telling! A far, far cry from The Sealed Letter, I must say. I also absolutely loved how Jack referred to items as proper nouns, such as Room, Bed, and Light.

I apologize again for the brevity of this post, and the lack of details. I will ensure that my phone is in working order next meeting!

Admin:

Our next meeting is on March 22nd at 7:30 in the usual location. We will be reading discussing Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry.

In April, we will be meeting on the 19 at 7:30 in the usual place. We will be reading and discussing Sue's pick: The In-between World of Vikram Lall by MG Vassanji.

Vanessa has selected her book for May: We are going to meet on the 17th at 7:30 in the usual location, and we will be reading and discussing Shilpi Somaya Gowda's Secret Daughter.

See you all March! Oh, and may I note, that the February post was actually posted in February?

Be excellent to each other.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

January—The Bishop's Man by Lyndon McIntyre

In January, we met and discussed Lyndon McIntyre's The Bishop's Man. This read provided a bleak and dreary look at the priesthood in the Catholic Church during the early nineties in the Canadian Maritimes.

This book does not tie-up nicely at the end—but in life, what does?

The characters in this book were many, and in true Maritime fashion, they all seemed to have similar—if not same—names. This made following the story a bit confusing at times. That, and the fact the book jumps around in time frequently, and without pattern. The jumps in time seemed to primarily serve as a platform to tell the story of Father MacAskill's time in Honduras, were he met the love of his life, Jacinta. Of course, the problem here is that priests are celibate, and so his love of—and with?—Jacinta was forbidden, and life was lost because of it. It seems to be McIntyre's fashion to only allude to goings-ons, and not come right out and say. He certainly alludes to an awful lot of misconduct between priests and young boys and girls, and he alludes to a love affair between MacAskill and Jacinta, but he never actually says. I guess he leaves it to the readers. The only misconduct the he confirms is that between Danny Mac and his incestuous relative. McIntyre's attempt a "twist" ending by introducing the cousin last-minute is transparent at best.

Overall, the Third Tuesday Book Club did not overly enjoy this book. I personally only recommend it if you like total speculation, and if you like to be bored to tears from start to finish.

Admin:

We are meeting this Tuesday, February 15 at the usual place at 7:30pm at the usual place. We will be discussing Emma Donaghue's Room.

Our next book is Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry. That meeting will be on Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30pm at the usual place.

Sue and Vanessa should both be ready to pick books, please.

Last, please note that the list has been revised again. It is as follows:

March 2011: Darline

April 2011: Sue

May 2011: Vanessa

June 2011: Paddy

July 2011: Trish

August 2011: Ashley

September 2011: Christine

October 2011: Lynn

November 2011: Jeanette

January 2012: Jenn

Alrighty—I do believe that is all for now. See everyone this Tuesday!

Be excellent to each other.

Monday, January 17, 2011

November: Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins

Hi all,

I know, I know. I am the slacker-est Blog-Mom ever. But seriously, right? There’s been so many big changes in my life! I figure my neglect of the blog is worth celebrating. I have lost more than 80 lbs so far, and ladies and gents—that takes timeJ I am also finding myself busier these days with life—it’s a great feeling.

Either way, this blog is a friend of mine, and I don’t want you to think I have forgotten it. Certainly I haven’t. I already lost 80 lbs and quit smoking in 2010—Hmmmmm…maybe my 2011 resolution should be to take better care of the blog? OK! That’s it—I resolve to take better care of the blog in 2011.

First things first: last time we met, we discussed the third and final installment of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy—The Mocking Jay. What a read! It didn’t disappoint—Collins’ story wraps up without a fairy-tale ending. It just wouldn’t have done this work justice. Instead, she leaves her damaged heroes less than perfect, mourning, slightly more broken—but surviving and victorious against the capitol.

Some members of the Third Tuesday Book Club found parts of the ending problematic. For instance, Katniss’ decision to bear children; she swore she would never serve up children to the capitol, and yet she does. Is this because she concedes/is broken/ Or is it because the capitol proper no longer exists? Some members also were not sure if Peeta was the right man for Katniss to end up with. Collins does a great job of explaining that Katniss’s fire is balanced by Peeta’s cool, and that her Gale would have been to fiery. However, some of us Gale fans just didn’t see a problem with an extra-hot pairing—we like Gale’s fire! Unfortunately for those of us playing for Team Gale, Katniss would never be able to allow her passion for Gale to burn if she was constantly nagged by the thought that it may have been his bomb that killed Prim.

Prim’s death served a great purpose in this story. Without it, the horror of war and revolution would not have been made as evident, apparent, or real. Many writers will not touch the theme of death of children or innocents. Collins does so unabashedly, and without being gory. Collins’ ability to portray Katniss’ profound loss of innocence through the death of Prim was the breathtaking.

Overall, this trilogy was one of the best I’ve read in a long time, and an upstanding example of how great Teen Fiction is right now. Un-put-down-able.

Admin:

We are meeting on January 18th at 7:30 in the usual place to discuss Helen’s pick: Lyndon McIntyre’s The Bishop’s Man. Can’t wait to see you there.

In February, we are meeting to discuss Christine’s selection: Room by Emma Donoghue. We will be meeting on February 15th at 7:30 in the usual place.

Christine’s selection also brings us to the end of our list. I have re-done the list, and it is included below. I hope everyone is happy with it, as it was created based on a very random pattern. Try to see if you can guess how I came up with itJ

Without further ado:

March 2011: Darline

April 2011: Sue

May 2011: Helen

June 2011: Paddy

July 2011: Trish

August 2011: Ashley

September 2011: Christine

October 2011: Lynn

November 2011: Jeanette

January 2012: Jenn

Alright, I think that ties everything up for now. I realize the pressure is on for Dar, who has to come with a book fairly fast—everyone else has a few months to think!

See everyone on Tuesday, January 18th at 7:30!