Friday, March 4, 2011

Rainy Day Books

Does Blogger giveth and then taketh away? One blogger was gone and then four more appeared. Woo Hoo, how nice to have four new followers. Welcome Ellie, Dominic, Margo, and Lynn!

It is a rainy March day, the kind of gentle rain that moistens things but not enough volume to race in the gutter. I hear cars roll down the street, the wet tires splashing against the pavement. Non-threatening thunder rumbles in the distance and there is something comforting about this moderate rain. Maybe it is making the arms of the earth unfold and cease shuddering with cold chills. The jonquils and crocus might appear and when the rain stops, maybe we will hear birdsong again. I do know the days are starting to grow longer, light lingers later 5:00 p.m. now.

The week has been hectic and trying so a quiet day today was a pleasant reward for all the previous bustle. In addition to four new followers, the day offered an editor nibbling on a story of mine, the mail with an actual handwritten personal note, a phone chat with a friend since college full of nostalgic thoughts, and some blog reading. It all made the day a nice rainy rest. In between times, I curled up with a good escape book. Nothing like a good story on a rainy day!

The last event of the week was book club yesterday. We had missed in February due to snow, so we actually did two books yesterday. Our classic was The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie written in 1961 or so. Everyone agreed the book started slow but in the middle they realized they were learning something about the power of manipulation. Group average rated it between a 6 and 7 overall, but all agreed they were glad they had read it.

The second book was Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls. Most readers had read The Glass Castle, the author’s earlier book, on their own. While the book was easy reading and entertaining, everyone agreed that some of the events seemed too stretched to be realistic. Again the group average fell between a 6 and 7. Walls is a good writer; she can tell stories. But she gets so involved in her own tales that they sometimes sneak over to the fairy tale genre.

March usually opens up the book choice discussion for the following year. We take the summer off due to vacations, visitors, and travel so we make up the next year’s reading list before we break in the spring, allowing members to buy their books ahead for the next year. This year we are way off schedule. The members will email suggestions in the next couple of weeks, and I will assemble a list for us to discuss at the April meeting. While the members usually have tons of book suggestions ahead, so many as to be a problem, this year readers have not been so enticed by new books. It will be interesting to see what appears on our list.

Next month we read Olive Kitteridge, a Pulitzer winning novel. It will be a reread for me, but I am still looking forward to it. First I have to finish the new Jodi Piccoult novel and The Lady in the Palazzo, a memoir by Marlena de Blasi about her life in Umbria region of Italy. (She wrote A Thousand Days in Venice.)

What is on YOUR spring book list?


Rebecca said...

What an interesting day - and interesting report of your book club! I just saw Maeve Binchy's new book, Minding Frankie, at Borders. I am putting a hold on it at our public library and hope to have it in my hands soon!

Congratulations on your new followers AND the "nibble" on your story, Claudia!

Susan said...

Hello Bookie....Where have you been? I haven't seen any visits from you lately. I saw the movie "The Pride of Miss Jean Brodie" and liked it very much. Hope you have a great weekend. We are nowhere close to having crocuses pop up. Still buried under mounds of snow! Susan

Ellie said...

Yay! New followers!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

New followers rock! Your book club sounds like fun. Something like that would encourage me to read things I might not choose otherwise. I tend to get in a rut with my reading, authors and genre. Creature of habit, I guess. I never read "The Pride of Miss Jean Brodie" or saw the movie, but I remember the theme song "Jean" by Bobby Goldsboro. :)

Betty Craker Henderson said...

I've read Half Broke Horses and the Glass Castle and unfortunately I believe that the stories in the Castle are more fact than fiction.It stretches the imagination of those of us brought up by more conventional methods but I've worked with some children who came from families that weren't too far from that kind of life! Ugh.