January's book choices

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm putting up the poll for January early, because I know things get crazy around Christmas time, and I want everyone to have a chance to vote. So here are Corinna's three choices:

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch

by Annemarie Selinko

Discussion for Extremely loud and Incredibly Close has started in the forum. Don't forget to tell us your thoughts about the book.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Having never read this months book before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I am almost finished with the book right now, and I know there are a few parts that might be a little offensive to some of you. So, just thought I'd warn those of you that aren't to page 192 yet... you might want to skip the 3rd paragraph. You wouldn't be missing much, as it isn't important info. I hope no one is offended by some of the content.

I hope the few "explicit details" in the book haven't stopped anyone from continuing reading it.

Top 10

Time Magazine just came out with it's Top 10 Everything of 2008 list.
The list of their top 10 fiction book picks is Here.
Have you read any of them? If you have, do you agree or disagree with their choices?

December's Pick

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The poll winner for December is Jonathon Foer's Extremely loud and Incredibly Close.

Some information about the book, from the pub
In Brief
Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history.

And from Wikipedia:
In his second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, published in 2005, Foer uses 9/11 as a backdrop for the story of 9-year-old Oskar Schell learning to deal with the death of his father in the World Trade Center. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close utilizes many nontraditional writing techniques. It follows multiple but interconnected storylines, is peppered with photographs of doorknobs and other such oddities, and ends with a 12-page flipbook.

The book sounds very interesting, and I'm excited to read it!

I would also like to thank everyone that participated in the forum discussion for last month's book, The Memory Keeper's Daughter. We hope that more of you will join us at the end of this month to discuss December's book.

Tie Breaker Please

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It looks like we have a tie between Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and The Giver. We need a tie breaker so if anyone hasn't voted please do it soon!

December book

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ok, I think it's my (Ashlie's) turn to pick 3 books for everyone to vote on.

The Secret Life of Bees- Sue Monk Kidd

The Giver- Lois Lowry

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer

I will put up a poll here in the next few days for you all to vote. Also, we were thinking that the discussion forum could just be open to anyone as soon as they finish each book. I am thinking that we will want to try to shoot for the end of November to finish up The Memory Keepers Daughter so we can start on the next book for December. However, anytime you finish is fine. Right Mellissa? Did I leave anything out?

Book Review - Austenland

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Since I have so far been unable to procure a copy of The Memory Keeper's Daughter (hopefully I'll be able to get a hold of one during the weekend) I picked up Austenland by Shannon Hale this week instead. Being a huge fan of Mr. Darcy a la Colin Firth myself, I found this book pretty hilarious.
Austenland is the story of Jane Hayes, a 'thirty something' woman who has let her unhealthy fascination with the fictional Mr. Darcy ruin her real-life relationships.
Jane's great aunt, having learned about Jane's obsession, gives her an all-expense paid trip to a place called Pembrook Park in England, where visitors dress in Regency style clothes and basically pretend to be living in a Jane Austen novel.

This is a fun book, and one that I'd recommend to anyone looking for a good lighthearted read, as well as anyone who has ever fantasized about men in breeches or finding their very own Mr. Darcy. The narrator has a sarcastic sense of humor, and I found myself laughing out loud more than once. It is a bit 'cute', but not the kind of cute that makes you want to gag... well, at least not until the last chapter, which I found a tad disappointing. All in all, out of 5 stars I'd give Austenland about 3 and 3/4,
0 stars meaning I couldn't even finish the book and 5 stars meaning I absolutely loved it.

Read more book reviews, get recommendations and discuss the books that you're reading right now over at our forum.
The newest topic up for discussion: The Twilight Series. love it? Hate it? leave your comments on our Twilight thread.

And the winner is:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.
Thanks for voting, everyone!

Some Information about the book:

(Taken from the litlovers website)

"A few months after my story collection, The Secrets of a Fire King, was published, one of the pastors of the Presbyterian church I'd recently joined said she had a story to give me," Kim Edwards explained in an interview on the Penguin Group web site. "It was just a few sentences, about a man who'd discovered late in life that his brother had been born with Down syndrome, placed in an institution at birth, and kept a secret from his family, even from his own mother, all his life. He'd died in that institution, unknown. I remember being struck by the story even as she told it, and thinking right away that it really would make a good novel. It was the secret at the center of the family that intrigued me. Still, in the very next heartbeat, I thought: Of course, I'll never write that book."

Despite Edwards' quick dismissal of the idea, it would not unhand her. She let several years slip by without going to work on the story, but she never forgot it. When she was invited to run a writing workshop for mentally disabled adults, the experience affected Edwards so profoundly that she started mulling over the pastor's story more seriously. It would be another year before Edwards actually began working on The Memory Keeper's Daughter, but once she did, she found that it came quickly and surprisingly well-developed.

In The Memory Keeper's Daughter, a man named David discovers that his newly born son is in fine health, but the child's twin sister is stricken with Down Syndrome. So, the distraught father, who harbors painful memories of his own sister's chronic illness, makes a quick but incredibly difficult decision: he asks the attending nurse to take his daughter to an institution where she might receive better care. Although he tells his wife that the child was stillborn, David's decision goes on to affect the lives of himself and his wife for the following 25 years.

I hope that you all enjoy the book. Don't forget to register for our forum so that you can share your thoughts with our other members.

Dear members,

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We want to get to know you! Here are a few questions to help us get better acquainted.

1. What is your favorite genre?

2. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What is it, and why do you love it?

3. Is there a book that you read during your youth that has stayed with you into your adult years?

4. What do you look for in a book?

I'll start things off.

1. I love reading fantasy and science fiction, but I'll read almost anything, if it's well written.

If I had to choose just one it would have to be Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, a book about what might happen if people stopped reading. Bradbury has a beautiful style, his writing is very poetic.

3. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. I read it when I was 10 years old, and it was the first book to make me cry. It also started my love affair with dragons and the fantasy genre.

4. The most important thing, to me, are the characters. If the characters aren't believable and understandable then the whole book falls on its face, no matter how great and original the plot is.

Now it's your turn.

Our Forum

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I wanted to remind all of our members to register for our forum, which is located at www.mixedbagbookclub.azureforum.com
There is a permanent link to this forum right above the newest blog post.
The forum is where we will be holding all of our discussions. Discussions can start at any time, and anyone can post a topic. Also, remember to vote for whichever book you would rather read next month. The poll is located in the upper right hand corner of this page. There are only five days left to vote!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Hi, just checking if I can make posts...
Ok yep, it looks like I can post. However Mellissa, I can't do anything else besides make posts, so, I can't add members or anything. Can we try to fix that so I can add Megan?

lets get things started!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

All right, everybody, this is how things are going to work:
Each member is going to have a chance to choose which book we read. When it is your turn to choose you will email one of our Admins ( me or Ashlie) with 3 book titles and some information about each book. A link to somewhere like B&N or Amazon will do just fine. We will then put up a poll and each member can vote on which of those 3 books they would most like to read. We will vote for a new book every month.There will be information posted here about the selected book each month, as well as study guides (when available) and other fun stuff. Check back often, I will try to keep this page well updated. I have also set up a forum for easy book discussion, which is located at mixedbagbookclub.azureforum.com
Now. I will start things off for November, after which we will go down our member list alphabetically.

My 3 picks for November:

The Memory Keeper's Daughter - by Kim Edwards

Watership Down - By Richard Adams

The Human Stain - By Philip Roth

I have already read Watership Down, but I would like to read it again. The other two are books that I have been meaning to read for a while, and just never gotten around to. Anyway. Go! Vote! And invite other people to join our little club, as well, or else we are going to be a bit lacking in the book discussion department.