Discussion #1: Life’s a Beach

It’s that time… time for the first discussion of book #27, Life’s a Beach. This novel seems to just *zip* by in comparison to book #26, doesn’t it? So then let’s get chattin’ with a few questions from the online reader guide, such as these:

  • Are you a Ginger? Do you have a sister just like Geri? Do you think most women you know fall into one category or the other?
  • Have you ever met an Allison Flagg in real life? Was she dead-heading a beach rose?
  • The father in Life’s a Beach is a bit of a dump picker. Do you have a family member who can’t stay away from the dump? Is there a Take It or Leave it, a Put ‘n’ Take, or a Swap Shop in your town? (Or a great dumpster in your city?) What’s the best thing you ever found there?
  • Ginger Walsh, the heroine of Life’s a Beach, is transitioning from a life in sales to what she hopes will be a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist. Claire Cook always wanted to be a novelist, yet didn’t go after her dream until she was in her forties. If you decided to quit your current job, what dream would you pursue?
  • What are your thoughts on Cook’s writing style? Based on your first impression, would you read/listen to another of her novels?

Or perhaps you have other things you want to discuss about the first half of this book? That’s perfectly fine, too. Sometimes thinking outside of the box (or pre-formulated reader guide questions) happens!

As you were saying?

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8 Responses to Discussion #1: Life’s a Beach

  1. * Are you a Ginger? Do you have a sister just like Geri? Do you think most women you know fall into one category or the other?
    No, definitely not a Ginger. And while I wouldn’t call myself a ‘Geri’, others might argue with that – especially in my constant Palm Treo usage, similar to Geri’s Blackberry addiction. Most women I know share similarities with Geri, yet they are more directly involved with family activities. Although, a friend mine has a daughter who could double as Ginger – no clear direction in life, artsy, trouble holding a job, lived at home until late in her 20’s, etc. Do more women than I realize fall into one or the other category? Not sure I believe that.

    * Have you ever met an Allison Flagg in real life? Was she dead-heading a beach rose?
    Oh Lordy, have I ever met up with Allison Flagg types – more than I care to admit. Unfortunately, ruthless-catty-competitive parents are out there in full force, whether it be related to orchestra, sports, academics, drama, you name it! Like Ginger, I steer clear… toxic types.

    * The father in Life’s a Beach is a bit of a dump picker. Do you have a family member who can’t stay away from the dump? Is there a Take It or Leave it, a Put ‘n’ Take, or a Swap Shop in your town? (Or a great dumpster in your city?) What’s the best thing you ever found there?
    No, thank goodness, I don’t know of any dump pickers. We have local Goodwill stores, which are closest in comparison. The best thing I ever found? As a poor college student back in the day, I scored a full set of china and a barstool, both of which were huge finds for me back then. (The barstool is still with us to this day!)

    * Ginger Walsh, the heroine of Life’s a Beach, is transitioning from a life in sales to what she hopes will be a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist. Claire Cook always wanted to be a novelist, yet didn’t go after her dream until she was in her forties. If you decided to quit your current job, what dream would you pursue?
    I would be a Personal Shopper or a Fitness Trainer – or maybe even both, simultaneously. A complete ‘about face’ from technology – what a dream come true!

    * What are your thoughts on Cook’s writing style? Based on your first impression, would you read/listen to another of her novels?
    Cook’s style is light & witty, qualities that I most enjoy reading. She gives us the human side of sister/daughter-hood that seems real to me. So yes, based on this impression I’d consider reading more Claire Cook novels.

  2. maksbestfriend says:

    * Are you a Ginger? Do you have a sister just like Geri? Do you think most women you know fall into one category or the other?

    Heavens I am so not a Geri. I have a life and a man who loves me and I am not afraid to take chances in life. I do not let setbacks stop me in my tracks and I most certainly would not be living with my parents at 41. Ugh. I have not lived at home since I was 18.

    * Have you ever met an Allison Flagg in real life? Was she dead-heading a beach rose?

    There are those types of people everywhere. You just have to be careful and pick and choose your friends carefully. Thankfully, I consider the friends that I have in my life the farthest from them.

    * The father in Life’s a Beach is a bit of a dump picker. Do you have a family member who can’t stay away from the dump? Is there a Take It or Leave it, a Put ‘n’ Take, or a Swap Shop in your town? (Or a great dumpster in your city?) What’s the best thing you ever found there?

    I don’t think that we have them here, but then again, I have never actually been to look for them. But we have been known to go into our Goodwill to see what types of furniture that people are getting rid of. You would be surprised. I think that I would consider my biggest source of bargains these days is EBay. I never, ever, pay retail on that site and I save lots of money.

    * Ginger Walsh, the heroine of Life’s a Beach, is transitioning from a life in sales to what she hopes will be a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist. Claire Cook always wanted to be a novelist, yet didn’t go after her dream until she was in her forties. If you decided to quit your current job, what dream would you pursue?

    Since I don’t have a current job, any job would be a dream job! I think that I would love to go to college and become a lawyer. Heaven knows I love to argue a case to death, or so I have been told!

    * What are your thoughts on Cook’s writing style? Based on your first impression, would you read/listen to another of her novels?

    I like her style of writing and I would be inclined to read/buy another book.

  3. Dory says:

    Hey hey Chickies… here I am! :o) (By the way, my FNKC book FINALLY arrived yesteray! But of course, I’m in the middle of this one so I haven’t had a chance to even open it yet. But I will!)

    * Are you a Ginger? Do you have a sister just like Geri? Do you think most women you know fall into one category or the other?
    Sometimes I wish I could BE a Ginger… sort of footloose and fancy-free, but she seems so lost. Doesn’t look like its as much fun as I would have thought it would be. I don’t think I have a sister like Geri either – so focused on work that her family seems to be barely noticed. I do think most of us fall in one category or the other… but it would seem that finding a way to balance a little bit of both of them into one person would be the best!

    * Have you ever met an Allison Flagg in real life? Was she dead-heading a beach rose?
    Women like Allison Flagg are alive and well in small-town America. Blecht…she’s the type I avoid in a crowd so the need to strike up conversation is deterred.

    * The father in Life’s a Beach is a bit of a dump picker. Do you have a family member who can’t stay away from the dump? Is there a Take It or Leave it, a Put ‘n’ Take, or a Swap Shop in your town? (Or a great dumpster in your city?) What’s the best thing you ever found there?

    I think just about everyone in my family tends to be a bit of a pack-rat…. but usually with our own junk…. not really into to dragging other ppl’s junk into the house! Er… well….. not that often!

    * Ginger Walsh, the heroine of Life’s a Beach, is transitioning from a life in sales to what she hopes will be a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist. Claire Cook always wanted to be a novelist, yet didn’t go after her dream until she was in her forties. If you decided to quit your current job, what dream would you pursue?
    Oh my. The options are limitless: A novelist. A jewelry designer. A website designer. The list could go on… ;o) hehe

    * What are your thoughts on Cook’s writing style? Based on your first impression, would you read/listen to another of her novels?
    I like her style of writing… and YES I would read more!

  4. clairecook says:

    Hi to Rebecca and everyone at the Chick Lit Book Club!

    Thanks so much for reading Life’s a Beach, and I’m so glad you’re enjoyed it!

    Rebecca emailed me and said she ended up with a signed copy! I’m thrilled and honored it’s her first autographed book. It’s real, by the way — I always try to sign as many copies as possible, since I treasure my own collection of signed books.

    Please stop by http://clairecook.com and make sure you’re signed up for my e-newsletter. And I hope you’ll think about reading Summer Blowout soon. It goes into paperback in April, complete with book group guide, Q&A and a teaser chapter of my next novel, The Wildwater Walking Club, which comes out in May.

    Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

    Thanks again!
    Claire Cook

    Claire Cook is the bestselling author of Must Love Dogs, made into a movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack, Summer Blowout, Life’s a Beach, Multiple Choice and Ready to Fall. Her new novel, The Wildwater Walking Club, will be published by Voice/Hyperion in May. Find out more at http://clairecook.com.

  5. Welcome, Claire Cook, to our bookclub site!

    As the administrator/moderator, I feel assured to speak for all of our members when I say that we are honored by having you visit & post a comment here on the site. We’re highly selective in the authors from which we choose to read, and your novel has been quite a treat for us. Speaking of, Becca is even more blessed by having her hot little hands on an autographed copy of your novel – how sweet is that?

    In the meantime, we’ll be signing up for your e-newsletter to stay current with your latest events and look forward to reading Summer Blowout in one of our future selections. Did you say ‘group guide’? Oh how we love those.

    The best New Year to you in 2009!
    Chicken Lit Bookclub Admin

  6. Dory says:

    I’m finished with the book and starting to backtrack and read FNKC…. since my copy finally arrived. Sheesh. Those darn snails get slower and slower!

  7. maksbestfriend says:

    I finished the book and am reading “The Love Season” while I wait for Knit 2 and Comfort Food to find their way to me. Someday my books will come, someday, my books will come…sigh…

  8. Just got ‘Knit Two’ between salon morning & kid shuttling. Did UPS take a few extra days off, or what? Anyhoo, discussion #2 is ready for posting. Check back later & be ready to unleash your thoughts on us – great book, once again!

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