It’s my birthday, I’ll read if I want to!

While counting the days to my birthday, and moving up to the next demographic, I decided that I should plan a birthday party. They aren’t just for preschoolers anymore! My husband and I brainstormed several options and finally I decided to have a Birthday Bookclub Party. Lame? Think again.First, I needed the perfect location. One phone call to the Southern inspired Mint Julep Bistro in Palatine, IL and the party quickly started taking shape. This intimate, gourmet restaurant offers an afternoon tea service with tea, soup, finger sandwiches and desserts.Next, a book to read and discuss together. Why, you ask? Well, most of the party goers would be the diverse, quirky, and never-shy-about-their-opinions women that have become the Women Walking Fast bookclub. Given the ambiance of the Mint Julep, I chose to provide a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with each party invitation.The afternoon spent with dear friends, delicious food and literary discussion went beyond my expectations. We were definitely on Southern time and were able to savor the food and conversation.An added bonus was a visit by one of the owners who gave us an impromptu history lesson on English high tea. After the party, I learned that the other owner of the restaurant was from Savannah and she shared thoughts on the book, the movie, and the events from the best-selling true crime novel. We also learned that the soon to be opened Mint Julep Room would be hosting literary events in the future!All in all, it was a memorable afternoon. Many thanks to the party goers who made arrangements to spend their Saturday afternoon celebrating my birthday, good friends, and great literature.


Life As We Knew It

After a rousing and thought provoking discussion about Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It, I offered to post some of the titles mentioned here in this blog. Feel free to add others in the comments if I missed any! I’m hoping to put together a wiki for us to use that will be a little more interactive and useful for our bookclub!Author Information: Susan Beth Pfeffer’s BlogSuggested Read-alikes for Life As We Knew It:The Road by Cormac McCarthyHow I Live Now by Meg RosoffOther Titles Mentioned:The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrauThe Golden Compass by Philip PullmanMovie Link: http://www.goldencompassmovie.com/Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (There is a page on IMDB about a movie…who knows if anything will come of it!)One for the Money (Stephanie Plum) by Janet EvanovichThem Bones by Carolyn Haines (Southern belle version of Stephanie Plum)The Giver by Lois LowryThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonFuture Books:Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsLady Chatterly’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence


WIRT: Beans and Compasses

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.This complicated fantasy is the first in the His Dark Materials trilogy. I’m listening to the audiobook (again!) and it’s among the best with a full cast of performers and narration by the author.

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. (SK, LH)A story of friendship, family, loss and love told in a down-home, lyrical language. Looking forward to the book discussion!