Saturday, February 8, 2014

Book Clubs and I'm Invited

I've always been a reader.

I read a lot.

I read fast.  I cannot get to the words fast enough to satisfy myself.  I pour through a good book like there's no tomorrow.  I get attached, I can't put it down and then it ends.

Sometimes it's weird because I've been in "book land" - kind of similar to blog land except the blog land characters sometimes converse with me - and then all the characters in book land disappear and I feel lonely until I find new friends in a new book.  Yep - I'm weird.
Click on the book to see it at Amazon.  This series is one of my all time favorites.  If you haven't read it and you don't know "Jamie and Claire" goodness I'm excited for you!  Truly one of my faves.

I remember hot summers in Maryland where I grew up.  My neighbor Rachel and I would walk to the PG County Library and get as many books as we could carry home.  The walk was a good mile away!  Sometimes we'd bring home 12 or more chapter books each.  In about 2 weeks we had both finished them all.  When we ran out of book recommendations, we'd walk along the stacks with our eyes closed and pick out whatever we touched and try to read it and like it - sometimes that worked out.
Here's another series I like.  It's a simpler subject matter but I really wish there was an Elm Creek Quilts retreat center in Pennsylvania - I'd sign up in a second!

Anyway, I've always liked to read.  My love of reading helped me pick my college majors (English for the reading and Journalism for the writing).  I would read an entire bookshelf of novels every college semester.
I think I've pretty much read every novel written about Arthurian legend.  I specialized in that for my English degree and have read most of the classics and anything else I could find as well.

Once I graduated and had kids, I was still reading regularly - to my kids - to myself.  I read adult books as well as just about everything in the young adult section and most of the Newberry book winners.  I tried to read everything the kids were assigned in English that I hadn't before read.

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This one is a great series too - I've read them all!

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Another great series.  I went to west Africa 10 years ago but this series has me dying to visit Mma Ramatswe in Botswana in the south.  Wonderful characters and Alexander McCall Smith can REALLY write his female characters!

So you get it, I love books and I love to read.  A lot of people know this about me.  I talk often of my love of reading with loads of acquaintances and friends.  Bunches of my friends started or were already in book clubs.  Every time I heard of a book club I'd say, "I've always wanted to be in a book club."  That was followed by total silence and a lack of invitations to join.  And believe me, there have been tons and tons of book clubs in the neighborhoods around where I live.  Every time I heard of one, I suggested my interest.  Never have I been invited to join.  I've lived here 18 years.

Yes, it hits a sore spot.  Yes, I'm confused. 

So last month, for the first time EVER I was invited to join a book club.  The club has been going on for years and years - 15 years, maybe longer.  I know almost everyone in it.  It's always been a closed group.  And somehow, it opened and someone asked me to join and I said YES before she could finish her sentence.  She told me what we were reading and I bought it from Amazon, free 2 day shipping (typically I'm a library borrower but I was too excited for that) and had the book finished in 2 days!

The day after I finished the book, I came across a blog post about a girl who wanted to start a very informal blogger book club.  It would just be a group of people who would read a book once a month - any book, blog about it and join the linky party connecting their blog about the book.  There is also a group on GoodReads but I haven't figured all that out just yet.

Nonetheless - YAY!  I feel like at age 50, I finally get to do something I've always dreamed of!  SO SO excited.  We had our first meeting in the neighborhood for the January book club meeting.  There is one other girl that is new to the group - she's also new to the neighborhood and she's a fab gal so I'm excited to join alongside her.

Here's what I read in January:

Here's my review:  I love historical  fiction and I'm always interested to learn about a place or a time period or a historical even that I don't know much about.  Much of the setting of this book was in Spain in the 1500s, during the time of the Spanish Inquisition.  Much of it takes place in a convent.  Some of it carries across the ocean to "new Spain" aka Latin America.  The book covers a lot of angles about women through the centuries and has some interesting characters and stories.  However, there are a LOT of characters who have a lot of stories and sometimes I got a little confused.  The ending wraps up all a bit too nicely, but you want it to do that as much as you don't want it to be predictable.  There are some inconsistencies in characterizations but mostly I really enjoyed the book and was quite blown away by the time span over which the Spanish Inquisition had such an influence!

Here's what I'm going to read for the next neighborhood book group:

We have 2 months to read this one because it's apparently very very long.  AND as an English major I cannot believe I haven't read this.

Because I read fast, and we have 2 months for Middlemarch, I'm also going to try and read this book:

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One of my reading goals is to read all the books that are coming out as movies this year and next.

You can find a list of those books by CLICKING HERE and CLICKING HERE.

There are some REALLY awesome books being made into movies.  I can't wait for The Giver, one of my favorite young adult books.

So if you noticed, I added photos of books between my paragraphs - some of my favorites and put a little caption about each one.  I hope you enjoy my referrals.

And I don't think it's too late to join along with the GOOD READS bloggy book group.  There's a button in my side bar that will take you right there to the post about it.

Happy Reading, Sher

PS.  If you need more book selections I could give you LOADS of them.


Linda Gilbert said...

I feel your excitement !! Thank you so much for all the good tips. Have you read the series called " the Clan of the Cave Bear?" Maybe worth a look.

Edwina said...

Hello from Norfolk in England.
Lovely post, so lively and enthusiastic... obviously someone who loves to read, and that may just be an understatement. I understand how you feel about books and reading, I am the same, so far having read 12 books this year. I joined the Year in Books too, mainly to find interesting new authors, and interesting new blogs - and there you were!
Enjoy your reading time, you'll probably have more of it now that the nest is empty.

Sher said...

Edwina - so nice to have you visit the blog. I'm also excited to hear about new books and authors and find some new bloggers! Glad you stopped by. Sher

Sher said...

Linda - yes, Clan of the Cave Bear - definitely. I have read them all and first met Ayla and Jondular when they were very first invented. A great series. Sher

Amy at love made my home said...

I am so glad that you have been invited to join your local book group, I hope that you love it! Laura's idea for the read what you like book club is a good idea too isn't it, I hope that you have fun with that too. I haven't joined because I have been so awful at reading lately! xx

Laura said...

It's definitely not too late to join in!

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