Bookclub Book #30 Release

January 29, 2009

Still working on book #29? That’s ok! This post is just a ‘heads up’ on our bookclub #30 selection, Knit Two, by none other than Kate Jacobs. If you’ve read book #26, The Friday Night Knitting Club, then you already have an idea of what we have in store. Yes, you could say we have high expectations with this sequel. Can you blame us?

So now’s the time to download an audible, borrow from the library, visit your local bookstore, or click on over to Amazon here: Knit Two. Be sure to visit the book #30 web page under ‘Books‘ to the right of this page for the reading timeline and discussion posts. Then just get started reading, simple as that.

So have you started knitting yet? Tell us!

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Discussion #2 & Final Wrap-Up: The Middle Place

January 26, 2009

Alrighty, Chicken Lit’ers! Ready or not, here comes discussion #2 for book #29, The Middle Place. And once again, we’ll be answering a few questions from Kelly Corrigan’s reader guide, because why not? Here goes:

  • Given her attachment to her family, why do you think Kelly moves so far away from home at the age of twenty-five? Do you think families need to live physically close to one another to remain emotionally close? Why or why not?
  • How does Kelly change when she becomes a parent? In what ways does she choose the family she’s created over the one that created her? Do you think is a common occurrence as we mature into adulthood?
  • Do people need crisis—like the illness or death of a parent—to become full-fledged adults? Is it possible to outgrow childhood without losing a parent? In what ways do our parents keep us in the “child” role?
  • How does Kelly learn to be sick? How much help do you think she should have accepted from others, and how much should she explain and share with those trying to help? What are the benefits she finds from letting people be involved? How do Kelly’s attitudes about sickness differ from her father’s?
  • What is “The Middle Place”? Why is this the title of this book? What does being in The Middle Place mean to Kelly? What does it mean to you?
  • Rating alert: On a scale from 1 to 10 (1=hated it, 10=love, love, LOVED), what do you give The Middle Place? Are you interested in reading Kelly Corrigan’s next novel?

Well, what did you think?


Discussion #1: The Middle Place

January 22, 2009

The time is now for our first discussion on book #29, The Middle Place. Kelly Corrigan has so graciously provided questions to guide bookclub members such as ourselves, so let’s get started:

  • What is the effect of having the book structured as it is? Why do you think Kelly’s childhood is presented as flashbacks rather than chronologically? In what ways does her childhood affect her adult self?
  • What role does religion play in the Corrigan family? How do you think Kelly feels about her parents’ faith? About her own? What sorts of things does Kelly believe in?
  • How do Kelly’s parents help her to feel secure and protected as a child? How does that continue or fade in her adult life? Which of her parents does she emulate in her own role as a parent?
  • How does Kelly’s breast cancer diagnosis prepare her for her father’s cancer? Does her own experience help her to help her father, or does it hinder her ability to cope?
  • Why do you think it is important for Kelly to travel in Australia and Nepal? What need does the act of traveling fill for her?
  • Our standard CLBC question: How do you feel about Corrigan’s writing style? Interested in reading more of her novels?

We want your thoughts!


Discussion #3 & Final Wrap-Up: Flirting with Forty

January 16, 2009

Here it is Chicken Lit’ers, the third and final discussion on book #28, Flirting with Forty! Let’s see if we can answer these last few hand-picked questions from the reader guide:

  • The divorce of Jackie and Daniel upset the status quo of their circle of friends, and even those who remained by Jackie’s side disapprove of some of her life choices. In what ways could it be argued that the lack of support actually proves beneficial for Jackie?
  • Wanting more out of life is a key issue for Jackie. But the harder she fights the ordinary, the expected, the conventional, the deeper she runs into conflict with her family and her surroundings. Is she justified in her pursuit, or, as those around her seem to think, unreasonable or even unfair? Do you think that by the end of the book she has been successful?
  • Nic demands, “How are you ever going to get used to being
    single if you’re always running away?” Is there such a thing as a ‘proper’ single life? Does being a parent make spending time on your own, independent needs taboo?
  • Kai comments “Nothing lasts forever… eventually everything always ends.” What do you think he means? Does he change his mind during the course of the novel? How do you see this affecting his relationship with Jackie? Have you ever been in a situation where you had to let go because something beautiful had to end? How did you cope with it and learn to move on?
  • Rating alert: On a scale from 1 to 10 (1=worst book ever, 10=most amazing), what do you give Flirting with Forty? Are you interested in watching the book in movie form on Lifetime?

Bring on your comments, opinions, ideas… or whatever you have to say!


Discussion #2: Flirting with Forty

January 14, 2009

Now that we’re really cruising through, why not go ahead with the second discussion on book #28, Flirting with Forty? While trying not to spoil the ending, here are some safe questions for chatting purposes:

  • Why do Jackie’s friends find her expectations about happiness disturbing? And at one point in the novel Nic even suggests that children should be taught not to want so much, do you agree or disagree?
  • Does age really make a difference? Why do you think most people find it easier to accept the idea of a romance between a younger
    woman and an older man more acceptable than a romance between a younger man and an older woman?
  • Are you optimistic about Jackie and Kai’s chances of successfully carrying out a longterm long-distance relationship? Why/why not?
  • Our children become part of the world so fast and it’s our job to prepare them, transition them, our job to love them and gracefully step back and let them go.” How do you relate to this as a parent? Do you think you’ll be prepared to let your children go when the time comes?
  • Jackie asks “Does anyone else ever feel like a faker? Does anyone else ever feel like a pretend grown-up, someone masquerading
    as a mother or the nice woman next door?” What’s your response? Why do people seem to think it’s important to play the part, wear the clothes, even when they don’t feel like they fi t into the role?

Thoughts?


Bookclub Book #29 Release

January 14, 2009

While we’re not actually done with reading book #28, here’s a ‘sneak peek’ at our bookclub #29 selection, The Middle Place. With this novel, we’ve got ourselves another new author by the name of Kelly Corrigan. And wouldn’t you know – more discussion questions are posted on her website for our chatting convenience. Excellent, I know!

So now with this big ‘ole advanced notice, you’ve got plenty of time to get a copy before we get started. What to do? Download an audio version, request a copy from the library, borrow from a friend, or purchase online from Amazon: The Middle Place. Then after we’ve completed #28, a new book #29 web page will magically appear under ‘Books‘ in the right sidebar of this page. Check back soon.

Don’t be left out in the Arctic cold… this one’s sure to be a hit that you don’t want to miss.


Discussion #1: Flirting with Forty

January 11, 2009

What better time than now to open up our first discussion on book #28, Flirting with Forty. Yes folks, we’ve got our hands on yet another fast-paced read, so hopefully you’ve reached the end of the first segment of the novel, at the very minimum. Even if you’re ahead, please take a few moments to post your spoiler-free thoughts on the following:

  • Jackie’s trip to Hawaii is a turning point for her. What roles do the contrasting climates and cultures play in Jackie’s learning process? Would a vacation anywhere else have had the same effect?
  • Have you reached your big 4-0 birthday yet? If so, how did you celebrate? Did you dread turning 40 (or 50 or any other landmark birthday)? How does age impact a woman’s self-image and self-esteem?
  • The physical challenge of surfing and her attraction to a surf instructor reconnect Jackie with her own body and with sexuality in ways she has not experienced in years. Are her insecurities and skepticism warranted? If so, why does she “feel like me, only better”?
  • Jackie says “I don’t know if it’s life, motherhood, or marriage but women start giving pieces of themselves up, little by little, year after year, and then one day you wake up and you’re not even there anymore. All the things that made you fun and fiery and hopeful… are gone.” Can you identify with her point of view?
  • Now here’s that typical question we ask our bookclub members after reading from a new author on our site: What are your thoughts on the author’s writing style? Are you interested in reading more Jane Porter novels?

Your turn – answer away!