Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Club: Dovekeepers With Guest Speaker




Our book club, 4B's Brigade better known as Beach Babes Book Brigade has been planning a book event with Rabbi Debbie Slavitt.  Her expertise is in biblical  history, and the bible.

  Rabbi Debbie is a member of  Temple Beth Elohim and , Temple Emanu-el, in Myrtle Beach. She is retired, and now teaches at a local university, a professor of religious studies.

Rabbi Debbie is a reform rabbi, most of the women, as well as the men from Temple Emanu-el, and Temple Beth Elohim love to come to events when Rabbi Debbie is the guest speaker.

I got this idea in my head last fall, after the release of Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman was released. I thought what a great way to get the Jewish community of readers of the Grand Strand together to talk about one book.  It would be of course a smaller scale than up north.
 Rabbi Debbie was excited as well as myself to do this.

When our book club, 4B's Brigade was forming we decided this would be a nice idea and a great way to get others to come together to discuss one book.  We had our book event this past Monday.



I have already written my review on my Jewish book blog. If you want the synopsis and my thoughts you can go to my blog. I will tell you this is women's fiction. There is Alice Hoffman's trademark, of magic and spells, women connection, and friendship, with strong women and men characters as well.

We opened up the book event to anyone by word of mouth and from emails from the two temples.
We had 20 people come to our book club. We opened it up to everyone. We had one brave soul that was from the male persuasion that also attended. 


Dovekeepers, is biblical historical fiction.  The novel, is a awesome book to discuss with book clubs, especially women.  The book ties in with the history of the Jerusalem Revolt, and the last stand of the Jewish people before 900 people were killed by their own hands, by suicide. The story is based on the account of a Jewish, Roman soldier, named Josephus.

Here are a few things she said, that I thought were interesting.  First she said, that there wasn't much proof  of how many Jews were killed.  There are remnants of bodies. But, only a few bodies ever showed up.  What excavation has dug up doesn't add up to be Jewish artifacts. Artifacts showed up, but did not make sense, to be at Masada, such as pigskins were found.   She thinks that Josephus had a certain agenda. She thought and other scholars that Josephus made up a number, of 900. This looked good for political propaganda.

One thing I did not realize, Masada was not the only fortress. There was another one in the north. I don't recall the name.  Where these people were zealots too, and held out for a time, and committed suicide.  She thought maybe he was combining the two places and for he's own gain was more.

The other thing I found interesting, King Herod built Masada. The place was actually smaller than you think.  There is plenty of cisterns, and waterfalls, and it was primary real estate. This was the highway between Rome and Jerusalem for trade. 

I feel Rabbi Debbie enriched, and enhanced the story. She filled in the blanks about life in Judea and Jerusalem for Jews. Conflicts of Roman vs. Jew, Jewish Man vs. Jewish women, Religion vs. Secular,  Jewish Priests vs. Roman, and Jew, traditions of Judaism from old traditions to new traditions, and politics that went on.

I was born a Askenzi Jew( Jews from Europe) I was brought up not on Jewish folklore, magic, and spells.  I was brought up in traditions, and religion of Judiasm, not on old folktales.

  I moved to Myrtle Beach, our Rabbi Avi from Temple Emanu-el, is Israeli. I did not have any knowledge of the culture of Israeli Jews( Sephardic Jews) till I met Rabbi Avi, and going to Jewish events by Sephardic Jews. 

This is where I saw amulets, folktales, and spells. This is when I realized there is much more to learn about the culture of the Jewish people. I am embarrassed because I thought I knew everything.

 My eyes opened.  What I thought was interesting, is magic is a form of control. You can control what happens by magic. But religion controls you. Interesting aspect. Never thought about it that way.

The temple in Jerusalem was not like a synagogue we know today. It was only used for sacrifices.  Prayer only began, after the second temple fell.  

Coming into the book, Dovekeepers. The doves were kept in a dovecote. They were sacred, and kept for sacrifices.  



One of the women in the story, was said to be a kept women by the Jewish priests. What I found interesting was what they were called was from the Jewish root word Kadosh, meaning holy, or separate.  Rabbi Debbie was telling us, that most likely this was more of made up tales, that sounded interesting, and magical, and witchery, and great story telling, but was not true.  I thought to myself what a scandal that would cause, and debate in Judiasm. Great another contradiction.

The thing that I was upset about, I became sick the day before the event. Ended up in the hospital. I was not expecting to attend.  I got a break, I was able to go home. But, I was still late, and not prepared to discuss the book. The notes were at home, and not prepared.  I was discharged later than expected.

 Oh well, best made plains by Mice and Men!! There was so much to discuss, if I did not leave my notes home.  I am sure there was a lot more to re-cap, but I was not prepared.

On another note, the book event was successful.  We had talked about doing this yearly. Not sure what to call it.  If it is not about books, then a Jewish woman's topic we can discuss.  Till next time.







Awesome Video- Adele Inspired

Love this video, found it on youtube.com. If you are anything like me, you will be humming to the tunes, Adele inspired to promote reading. Love it. Also posted it on my facebook page. Share your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Favorite Books of 2012 Released Today




The World Without You
By Joshua Henkin



Today is the release of one of my favorite books so far for 2012.
The World Without You. I had posted my thoughts on my other blog a few weeks ago.  I am re-posting here for the celebration of the release of The World Without You.

The World Without You, was given to me by the author a few months ago. I was very excited to receive this novel.

He is a large promoter of book clubs. He was one of the first author's when I started our book club to ask if he would do a conference call, for his novel Matrimony. Unfortunately, that did not work out.

I just love how he believes in book clubs and goes out of he's way to support book clubs. If you don't believe me, check out he's website. He will come to your book club if you live in the metro NYC area That is pretty impressive.

It is fourth of July weekend in the Berkshire Mountains. A Jewish family, the Glucksman's. have come together for a very unhappy reunion.  They all have come from different parts of the country, and  Israel for Leo's unveiling at their parents home in the Berkshires. .

Leo was a daredevil, and only son of three other sisters of the family. He was always trying to make the rights of the world. He was living with his free spirit girlfriend, Thisbe in California. Eventually they were married and had a child, named Calder. Thisbe never felt accepted by Leo's parents.  She always felt like a outcast.

His parents, Marilyn and David have been married for years. They have a winter home in the upper east side of New York City, and have a summer home in the Berkshires.
 During the reunion, something slips about Marilyn and David. This will change the family dynamics for good.

Then there are the three sisters, and their husbands. Oh, what pairs they make for each other.
Clarissa, Lily, and Noelle.

Clarissa, the older sister watched over Leo. She was proud of her younger brother and hovered over him.    When she got married she did not know if she wanted to become a parent or not.  But, her husband Nathaniel has convinced her to have children.  Now, for the sake of their marriage she wants children.  

 On the eve of the reunion, she learns the news about her and her husband's fertility issues. Can she? or can't she?  Then there is the issue of Clarissa trying to show up her husband, he won a prize for teaching. Her sister Lily thinks she is trying to show off.

On the drive up to the Berkshires, she was suppose to pick up Noelle and her husband and small children, they were traveling from Israel. Instead Lily, came through.

 Clarissa made some kind of  excuse, but she had Nathaniel had to stop at one of the sleezy hotels, as this was the best time to have sex according to the fertility stick. You just knew this was what was going to happen. It flowed with the story. I was cracking up, laughing.

Noelle, is the youngest sister to Leo. She  is a observant Jew, living in Israel with her young children, and her husband Amram.  At one time she was not observant. She lived in New York City. She was not a studious student, she was the lost soul,  she was playing around with every guy she could meet. She, and her future husband went to the same school, but didn't know each other.

She decided she wanted to go to Israel.  She kept bumping into this young man that she knew in the United States.  They would meet each other every Shabbat at the Rabbi's house. But, she was not a observant Jew then, and either was her future husband. Until they repeatedly would show up at the Rabbi's home for Shabbat dinner. 

 Something rubbed off on both of them.  They both wanted to become observant Jews. With the long skirt, no leg showing, or elbows, and wearing a wig,

Noelle, was the last person to see Leo alive. He spent Shabbat dinner with them and then left for Iraq.
Where he was captured, and eventually killed.  She was the jealous sister. Always ratting on each of them and was jealous of each of their accomplishments. It felt like she regretted her decision to become observant.  Noelle spills the beans again about something. SHE JUST HAD TO TELL!! To make that person look bad.

Then there is Lily, she is very independent, and self reliant.  She lives in Washington D. C. with her boyfriend Malcolm. He works in a restaurant. They are both hoping he will own a restaurant soon. During this time.

The grandmother, Gretchen is hidden in the story till the end. Until Noelle's husband. flips out and leaves and doesn't come back for the unveiling.  Avram goes to New York City, not sure if it was to bring Gretchen the grandmother to the unveiling or for some other reason.   But, Noelle, was worried sick where he is, because he did not come back for a few days. Then there is FIREWORKS,  Actually, in this book there is plenty of fireworks.

There are many hidden surprises during this weekend. Actually this story reminded me of Jonathan Tropper's novel, This is Where I Leave You. in both novels there is a death, there is a reunion, and family troubles too.  But that is where the similarities stop. Each of those characters were mean spirited.  This novel, was still emotional and they still loved each other.

My Review: I am sorry, but I had to tell the entire story this time. There are plenty of spoilers.
This was a terrific read. If I am going to read a book, on character study or family dynamics it has to hit me like a ton of bricks, and has to captivate me. Well, it did, right from the get go.

 The story grabbed me, and did not let me go. I wanted to know what happened to the characters. There were characters I loved, and others not so much. Not because the author did a terrible job. But, because the story was that good. The story flowed, and I did not feel like I had to flip back a few pages to comprehend, because sometimes character driven novels sometimes make me distracted.

There were times I was thinking of my brother, because my brother is a photojournalist for the Army Times. The family's fears were the same thought that go through my brain. Fearing for my brother's when he is in Afghanistan or Iraq can be near wrecking especially when I hear what is going on over there.  He was in Iraq in the beginning when he crossed over into Iraq. That was quite scary, and I was scared for him.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summerland's Blog Tour and Giveaway





 
Summerland, takes place on Nantucket Island. It begins with the three families, and their high school children.

Zoe, is a widowed mother raising her twin children, Hobson and Penelope by herself. She is a working mother, and works on Nantucket Island as a private chef to a family.

Jordan, owns the newspaper, the only newspaper on the island. They have a child, Jake. Only a few years ago, they had a son name Ernie. Ernie died from SIDS and Ava, and Jordan can't seem to get their marriage back together. Ava has lost all of her connection of friends, and isolates herself from everyone. She misses her homeland of Australia.

Lynn, and Al are competitive people, they don't even notice their daughter, or her problems of alcoholism. They are wrapped up in their competitive life and can't slow down and smell the roses. They have three children, two boys, that have left home, and their Daughter Demeter.

Every year the end of the school year, the teens attend the annually bonfire. The friends get into the car with Penny. But, what is wrong with Penny, she is a raving lunatic, she is speeding so fast. Then the car goes over the ravine, and kills Penny, and leaves her brother, Hobby in a coma for days. This leaves her boyfriend, Jake and Demeter unscathed. What led her to be so upset, and angry. Everyone is wondering, what happened to the beautiful, and vivacious Penny, with the beautiful voice.
The whole mystery behind the book, what drove Penelope to get so angry and drive so fast that killed her, and almost killed the three others traveling with her, her brother Hobby, and her boyfriend, Jake, and Demeter.

SPOILER**********SPOILER****************SPOILER**************SPOILER***

We will never truly know why she got so angry But, we do know Demeter is behind it all. She is the last person that Penny spoke to before the before the accident. Hobby learns that Penny has a close relationship with Ava, Jake's mother. Too close maybe, that may have caused her to be so angry? Or learning that Jake had sex with one of the friends at school?  Penny heard that Hobby, got Claire pregnant? Or her mother Zoe, and Jordan was having a affair?

The last part of the novel, is self discovery and forgiveness. The parents and the children learn how to forgive each other and move on to find their happiness. There is such enlightenment, Hobby told Demeter it was not your fault, her behavior was not caused by what you did. It was, her and her alone, and she reacted, by causing the accident, and pretty much killed herself.

Sometimes, we as adult think teenagers do things so stupid, and not a big deal but, to a teenager it isn't. Did not make sense to me, why did she over react?  It was not a big deal, but to Penny it was.

Penny was depressed, lonely,  her voice and her future. These things were  revealed in her journal. We realize there was much more pain than her brother, Hobby realized.

Realize, this is a deep book. It was well written and flowed but for me, It was just so depressing. The book also reminded me of other movies I have seen about teenagers and their families, and how they deal with the self destruction of sadness, loneliness, etc. 

 I was not expecting this kind of book,Elin Hilderbrand is known for her beach reads. Let me tell you, yes this is a page turner. But, the story is so sad to me. During the summer months I like to read books that are light reading, with some meat to it. Yes, it had meat, but it was so hard to get through with the sadness.

Perhaps because I know two friends of mine, that children went through rehab, and both died the same tragic death. It was just so tragic, and the story was so hard because each of the children and family had something to hide, and find themselves. This is a tough book to read, even if it wasn't summer

.  Not knowing what the actual book was about, I was going to lend it to my friend, who lost her son almost a year ago. Thank g-d, I decided not to tell her about it.  I am going to lend her Silver Girl instead.  who likes  light. I don't call this romance even though her mother's romantic interest came back.

Summerland is my third novel, I read from the author. I do appreciate her writing style. Especially, she doesn't divulge the events right away, but it is savored slowly, and revealed slowly, with tidbits here and there until the puzzle fits. That is why her novels appeal to me.
Ms. Hilderbrand, did this with her last novel, Silver Girl.

In honor of the release of Summerland.  Here are the other stops for Summerland's blog tour.
                                                     Enjoy
                             paranormalromanticsuspensereviews.blogspot.com
                                                masoncanyon.blogspot.com
                                                      undermyappletree.net
                                                   www.BethFishReads.com
                                                 hangingwithbells.blogspot.com              
                                                 www.myfriendamysblog.com
                                                   maryinhb.blogspot.com
                                                      www.sosaloha.blogspot.com
                                                    thebooktree.blogspot.com
                                                      silversolara.blogspot.com
                                                   abookishlibraria.blogspot.com
                                                     fredasvoice.blogspot.ca
                                                   nisefunpages.blogspot.com
                                                    www.myfriendamysblog.com           
                                                     www.BethFishReads.com
                                                          bermudaonion.net                    
                                                www.masoncanyon.blogspot.com 
                                                  abookishlibraria.blogspot.com
                                                    amusingreviews.blogspot.com
                                                booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com       
                                                       teddyrose.blogspot.ca
                                                        www.simplystacie.net
                                                    www.upstateramblings.com
                                                        www.iheartmonster.com                  




Reading Progress

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Silver Girl: Elin Hilderbrand





Silver Girl
By Elin Hilderbrand


Silver girl is the story of Meredith and Connie. They have known each other since they have been small children, living on Nantucket Island.

They both have tragedies that are hard to shake.  Connie's husband dies a couple of years ago, from Cancer. Her daughter blames her for his death.
They were very close, father and daughter.

Meredith's husband, Freddie is involved with a Ponzi scheme. Where her adult children as well as Meredith are accused of knowing what happened. But, Meredith had rose colored glasses, and her husband kept bringing home the bacon, with out question. In reality Fred, has swindled many people for years, and left some penniless.  Her boys are eventually cleared, but she is still under suspicion.

While the heat is on, Meredith has not  spoken to Connie in years. Since Meredith, and Connie's brother, Toby  were having a teenage love affair, but then broke up.

Meredith  Pours her heart out to Connie. Connie invites her to stay at her summer home in Nantucket.  She disguises herself every time she goes to the market, book store, beauty shop. She is so afraid she will be recognized by someone that has traveled in the same circles on Nantucket Island. 

While they are at the market, someone paints graffitt on Connie's home. That is when the sparks fly.
She falls romantically involved with someone she hires. Then Connie forgot to tell Meredith that she invited her brother Toby to her summer home.  Romantic sparks fly with Meredith.

Through all this Meredith helps with the investigation and finds out the secret that happened with her husband's money. There was a connection of Silver Girl, a star that her husband bought her, and the bank accounts. If you want to find out more you will have to read the book.

My Review:  I love to read Elin Hilderbrand's novels in the summer. I anticipate her books every summer.  I started reading her books, when Barefoot was published.

I did not think I would like this novel, because of the subject matter. It sounded familiar of the Ponzi scheme of Madoff. Doesn't it???

I don't usually read books that are beach reads, I don't get into romance. I like to read something with some meat, and grips you. Silver Girl. was suspense, romance, page turner, and you wonder what happens. I enjoyed reading it, with happy ending and all.  I thought the star, and the connection of the bank accounts was unique.  I would recommend this for a fun beach read.

I am now reading her about to be published novel, Summerland for a book blog tour. I will be posting in the next couple days. So, if you are interested come visit me.  You will have a chance to win a giveaway for the novel Summerland.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

BEA: Blogging Opportunities

Has blogging opened up opportunities for you beyond getting free, advance copies of new books? Has it helped you get offers to write or review elsewhere (maybe even for pay)? Have you gotten invites to special events or places you might not have been to otherwise? Today, we'd like you to talk about those opportunities in you own posts, and later this morning, we'll have a guest post from one of our own Armchair BEA team members, about her freelancing experiences.

I blog as a hobby, and not looking to make profits off my reviews or thoughts on books. My passion is for the written word, and my love for books and spreading the word about them. If someone reads my blog that is awesome, and some don't that is ok too. I am not looking for compensation. The blog is for me, as a journal to keep track of the books I read, and also my readers.

When I first started my blog, I was always surfing the book blogging community. It would take up most of my day. I would comment, and try to do meme, do guest posts and giveaways, and blog tours.  But, this year I fell back, and not doing much on my blog but reviews.

What opportunities I do receive is the emails and contacts of authors and publishers. It is awesome, when I can talk to author, and discuss the writing business and publishing. It is just too bad I don't have as much time to dedicate myself to my blog.

I am excited about a blog tour, I am participating in. The blog tour is Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand. Perhaps that will get me on the radar, and get my juices flowing again.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Today's Armchair BEA Discussion: Best of 2012

Today’s suggested posting topic is “Best of 2012”

Share some of your favorite books so far this year, and/or the the books being promoted at BEA that you hope will end up among your favorites for the year!
This is a hard question, because there are so many good books I read this year. How do I narrow it down to five.  Well, let me think and ponder this before I post.

Only to be fair, I consolidated my books from two of my blogs, Susan's Literary Cafe, and Bagels, Books, and Schmooze. So, I think I am allowed to pick a couple more than 5. Drum roll please! Here are my pix:

I know the first novel, I read before looking on my cheat sheet is going to be drum roll please.  Is Sarah McCoy's novel Baker's Daughter. Is was the first book I read for the year. I found it through a recommendation of Chris Bohjalian, one of my oldest, and favorite authors.
First, let me tell you what a sweet person she is beside being one of my new discovered author's I am sure to read again..
Baker's Daughter takes place in Texas. It is a  contemporary story of  intertwined with history.  You can read further about the novel on my blog post here.








The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan is so full of suspense. I am recommending it for one of my book clubs when it comes out in paperback. It is full of suspense. Asks you the question, who should live and who should die? How do you pick? You can read my review here.
















Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison, is another book that would be good for a discussion.  It is a spring board for a discussion about the slave trade in India. It is about two young girls in a Tsunami, their parents are killed. No where else to turn. … You will just have to read the novel to find out.   This book opens your eyes to what the slave trade, and prostitution is. 










I had Jamie Ford's novel sitting on my desk for a couple of years. I was given his galley, but never had a chance to read it until now. I am sorry it took me that long. Sorry it is over because I loved the characters.  I loved the book cover too. Don't you agree?



I Am Forbidden, actually was reviewed on my other blog, Bagels, Books and Schmooze.  It is a Jewish novel, about one community that usually is not understood and talked about, The Satmar community.  The novel is historical fiction that takes place in Hungary, where the Satmar community originally started during the holocaust.

It is the story about two sisters, both brought up observant Jewish girls. One of the girls is radical, and leaves the observant community. Where the other sister is very judgemental of the other sister.  Something happens to change the family structure forever after living a lie.




I had to sneak in, Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  This book was out of my comfort zone. I usually don't read books that are magically. But, because it was a hot buzz book at BEA last year, I had to buy it.  Night Circus is being considered for production for a movie.  I hope it does.

The Circus comes to town only at night, and then something magically happens....






I just finished Joshua Henkin's new novel. It is about to be release in a couple of weeks. I recommend this highly, even if you don't like family and character study novels.  The author also is a big book club lover, he will visit your book club if you live in the metro New York City area.

This is my list of my favorites so far. What are yours? Any novels that you would never read and loved? Let me know.

The Story of Beautiful Girl





The Story of Beautiful Girl
By Rachel Simon


The adventure, spans from 1968 to 2011.  It  is about two runaway children., Homan, and Lynnie.

 Lynnie is intellectually challenged, and Homan is Afro-American, that happens to be deaf.  The book opens up with both of them on the run with a baby in her arms. When they come upon the home of Martha, a widowed, retired school teacher.

The authorities are looking for both of them, they have escaped from the School of the Incurable and Feeble Minded. When Martha invites them into her home before the authorities find them. Unfortunately the authorites do find them. But before they are taken away, Lynnie whispers to Martha's ear, HIDE HER.  Homan runs away and on on the run for a span of forty years.

I posted my review last year about this novel. But, I decided to post again, this time mainly, the discussion our book club had. To read my entire review without spoiler, please go to my post here.

I enjoyed going on the adventure again with Lynnie and Homan. What a ride it was. There is adventure, suspense, romance, family relationships, history, and social commentary.

There is so much to talk about and discuss if you are in a book club. This is one novel I wonder why Oprah overlooked for her book club, or perhaps since it is resurrected she will discuss it.

The book takes place during the 1960's, there was so much upheaval happening in the medical field, especially with mental illness, and intellectually challenged. The doors to institutions was beginning to close realizing that the conditions were terrible, and most of them could live independently thanks to President JFK.

 During the book club these things were brought up:
 The father was ashamed of his daughter, Lynnie. He pushed his wife to place her in the school.. In those days, that is what most families did.

The conditions of the institutions were terrible. Most of the staff were uneducated, and treated the residents inhumanly. There was a institution in New York City, called Willowbrook.  a news broadcast opened up to controversy and eventually closure thanks to Geraldo Rivera reporting this. When a child was placed in the school they all eventually contracted Hepatitis, and was experimented on. This is a unfortunate part of medical history.

In the novel, there was one person that cared about Lynnie, that was Kate she pushed her emotionally and physically.  Kate saw Lynnie's talent was art. If  Kate never did this for Lynnie, she would never have become independent, and live on her own after the institution was closed.

During the entire book, we read  after the authorities take Lynnie back, and Homan is on the run. Martha sells her house and makes a new beginning for her and the baby, Julia.   We realize things are not necessarily what they seem.

We think we know what happened, how Lynnie got pregnant. But, there is a confession that is told years later, and Kate realizes the terrible thing that happened.

In the novel, Homan is not intellectual challenged, he is just deaf.  What is terrible there were many children that were put in these schools because they were different. They were not intellectually challenged, but may have had cerebral palsy, or some other disease.  But not to warrant them to be put in these schools. Many years later, it was found out that Homan did not need to be in this school.

In reality, there are children just like, this and they did not get the help they needed.  They are grown and over the age of childhood.  The education system said it is too late for them.

In Homan's case, his files were coincidentally lost.  If the authorities found out he was missing there would be repercussions for the superintendent If they could not account for one of their own.

The book club agreed we loved the different adventures of Homan, because what he encountered was the hippie movement,  revivals, those are the things that were happening during the late 60's and 70's.

The one thing we all had a problem with the ending. But, because the story was  sad, we decided it had to have a happy ending the way it did.  The way the author connected everything was well done.

Everyone in our book club enjoyed the ride with Lynnie and Homan. I recommend for you to join them in their adventure and read the novel.  



Monday, June 4, 2012

Introductions to Armchair BEA


I am excited about Armchair BEA. Last year, I had a good time on the sidelines of BEA. I did feel like I was there. Learning about the other book bloggers, and the authors, and publishers.

Thanks to some of the great bloggers, that posted their experiences I learned so much about the publishing business.

With no further adieu, I would like to say, Hi Y'all and welcome to my book blog, Seaside Book Blog. My original name was Susan's Literary Cafe, but I had to change the name because the graphic's don't fit.  But, I am hoping to find someone to help me with the re-design of my blog some time soon, when I am not so busy with work, and school.

I started blogging, because when I moved to SC, and couldn't find any connection with others to talk about books. The book clubs they had were terrible. Then after a few years I finally was able to form a book club, 38th Ave. Diva Readers.

 Then I found Book Club Girl on the web, and found some other bloggers.  Then thought to my self,  I can do that too.

 To promote business Barnes and Noble was trying to start some different clubs. One of them was a web design club.  I did not know anything about computers, other then surfing the web, and emails.  One of my friend and I decided to give this a try and see what happens.

The club did not get much attention, that was great news for me but not for him. Because I was able to get one on one attention to develop my blog, and thanks to him susansliterarycafe.blogspot was born. That was approximately seven years ago.   I then decided to develop a Jewish literary blog as well.

My blog has went through a few changes and ups and downs. In the beginning I surf, and did more surfing of other book bloggers. One of the first book blogging friends was Marie, at Bostonbibliophile. She helped me learn the best way to proceed. But, since then then my blog has suffered. I am not a stay at home mom, and working, and school has put the book blog on the back burner.

I have only had time recently, to post my review on books, occasionally a guest post.  My blog has never picked up which, is mainly my fault because I don't have time to connect with other book bloggers. But, I am not in any competition like other bloggers. My blog is, what it is.  It is for my pleasure, and if I get readers to comment occasionally I am happy.

One of my favorite authors, for years has been Chris Bohjalian.  I found him, at a small book store in Martha's Vineyard, called Bunches of Grapes.  I would love to have dinner with, Chris since I have read his novels for years. The other thing is he admires, and loves book clubs. He spoke to ours a few years ago. 

I read literary fiction, but I am trying to get out of my comfort zone, and read things books that I usually don't read.  I have read authors. and some debut authors,  I would not have read since becoming a blogger. This year, I read Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It was awesome. You may read my thought here, on my blog.

I do like to read historical fiction, but not books in the normal romance, kings and queens. Historical fiction has changed. I like to read novels with some historical reference but not straight historical narrative.

The books that stand out of my mind, is Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy, A Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon. Just finished Joshua Henkin's novel, World Without You.
That was wonderful.  I just started, Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand, that will be coming out soon.

I have a couple secrets,  I have another book blog, called Bagels, Books and Schmooze. Only Jewish literary fiction, and I moderate two book clubs, the original 38th Ave. Diva Readers, and now I just formed Beach Babes Book Brigade.

 We are so excited, of forming because we just organized a special guest to come to our book club, to discuss Dovekeeper by Alice Hoffman. I like to organize special guests from the local university,  to discuss books.
Dovww
Thanks Armchair BEA for hosting, stop by and say hi and leave your comments.



Friday, June 1, 2012

She's Back- Oprah's Book Club 2.0



Oprah just announced online her decision to resurrect her book club. But, this time she want's to make it interactive through social media, re-naming it Oprah Book Club 2.0.

Her first pick is the memoir, Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Oprah's brand will be on the digital version. It will be interactive on the e-reader. Meaning, she will have discussions, and notes in the digital version of the book. That sounds very interesting. On the sidelines I am assuming her thoughts of different passages. Digitals books, will have Kindle, Nook, and Google, etc.

 The memoir sounds a bit like, Eat, Pray Love.   A woman on a journey, to find answers and find herself.  I don't like to compare books, and judge a book. Since I have not read it.  I did read the excerpts of Wild in a magazine, More.  What I was reading grabbed me.  I will tell you, I did not like Eat, Pray Love. 

At first I was very excited that Oprah was resurrected her book club.  But, then I savored it, and marinated a bit in my head. Unless, I misunderstood this means it will not be televised.  Her book club will be through social network only. I am hoping I am wrong, but when I saw the video of her explaining what she plans to do. She never talked about it on OWN.

I am hoping she will do both, televised and social media. Perhaps I am reading into it. We will have to just see on Monday, when it is launched.

If any of you can let me know if I misunderstood. I would appreciate it, Thank You. Just leave your comments.

Check out my Review of Small Great Things

Check out my review of Jodi Picoult's novel, Small Great Things https://bagelsbooksandschmooze.blogspot.com/2017/08/small-great-things...