First things first, I want to explain my long absence! I was under the impression that I would have plenty of time to blog while my husband was deployed, but that was not the case at all! A lot of travel for work, fun and at least two visitors a month, I was so busy I couldn’t keep my head straight. I did however have some time during my travels for reading. Which was perfect because earlier this year I found myself a member of a second book club on top of the Officers’ Spouses’ Club (OSC) book club I blogged about in November.
We didn’t end up reading many of the books featured in my post, but we read some other really great ones. The OSC ladies and I have had a lot of fun getting together. Sometimes we talk about the book a lot. Other times we barely speak about the book at all. Either way I’ve had a great time and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year!
Since my last post on book clubs elicited so many comments, I thought I would share our selections for the past year and some books I’m looking forward to reading in the coming months either with the book club or on my own. Once again, for full descriptions click on the book title.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
This book was hands down the book club favorite. It is no surprise to me that it is being made into a movie (starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson). Check out this movie website here. Water for Elephants is an absolute page-turner. The writing, the story, the way it played out. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can’t recommend it enough. I have been telling everyone I know who enjoys reading to get it now. A must-read before the movie comes out next fall.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Set during the Civil Rights movement and told from the perspective of two African-American maids and an affluent white woman. Everyone in the OSC book club had heard that it was great, but none of us really knew what it was about. We all really enjoyed it. The topic is heavy, but there are moments of humor to balance out the seriousness. My second favorite book from the year.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
I enjoyed this memoir about Walls’ tumultuous childhood with nomadic, sometimes crazy parents. It was definitely a heartbreaker, but very well-written and poignant. A lot of us wanted to reach through the book and shake some sense into her parents.
Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
A historical novel uncovering the truth behind the real Alice in Wonderland, Alice Liddell Hargreaves. I first read about it in Entertainment Weekly. This book paints a portrait of what might have happened between Lewis Carroll and Alice and how she dealt with being Alice as an adult. To be honest, some of the women in the book club felt that this book ruined the innocence of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I didn’t mind it as much, but found it slow-moving. I prefer a book I can’t put down and the action is constantly moving.
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
I recently watched this movie for the first time last year. I know, what was I waiting on?! Chocolat is now easily one of my favorite movies. A friend mentioned it was a book first, so we decided to tackle it for my second book club. We thought it might be fun to choose books that have been made into movies. For the first time ever, I can honestly say the movie was better. The details in the book were quite a bit different than the movie. Either way, it was an interesting read.
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
I can’t resist a book about a group of friends and this one is no different. Set in 1968 in a sleepy cul-de-sac, Angry Housewives is funny, sad and sweet. We all enjoyed this book.
We didn’t finish a ton of books in the first half of 2010, but this year should be a good year. A small group has already formed and we are all ready to start reading once OSC kicks off in September. We choose these two books for our summer reading:
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
Beach Trip by Cathy Holton
My second book club has decided to go with the books to movies theme, beginning with the book and movie that no one can stop talking about:
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I’m 100 pages in and can’t believe it took me this long to read it. I love it thus far, though I know a lot of people don’t care for it. I’m hoping to be finished by next week, and then my friends and I will be hitting up the theater to see the magnificent Julie Roberts.
Some other books that I’d like to see on the book club circuit this year:
The Life and Death of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood
I know Zac Efron makes some people groan. Since 17 Again keeps playing on HBO, I can’t resist him. I have to read this before watching the movie. The book sounds wonderful.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
One Day by David Nicholls
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen
Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
What books has your club read lately and liked? What books are on your list to read? Book clubs are a great way to get to know people, especially in a larger organization like OSC. Are you in a book club? Or interested in starting one? If you want to join a book club, but don’t have a lot of friends interested, Erin from EAD Living and Blue-Eyed Bride and Rachel from In No Simple Language have started a blogger’s book club: Book Beginnings and Bookends. If I weren’t already in two book clubs, I would totally participate!