Book #49 Release

October 7, 2009

Here is one you’ve probably seen perched on the Bestseller shelf at your local bookstore for a very long time. So guess what? The Chicken Lit’ers are finally reading it right here and now. The novel is called The Girl Who Stopped Swimming written by Joshilyn Jackson, a new author to our bookclub. Let’s hear what others say about this book:

“With her Southern flair for drama, witty dialogue filled with Southern cheeky drawls, and well-built characters, she is a brilliant storyteller who gets better with each book.” – Denver Post

“Do you crave a novel that will cause you to skip work or miss meals or put off sleep in order to keep reading it? In that case, you will definitely want to get hold of Joshilyn Jackson’s latest.” – Homer Hickam, author of October Sky and The Far Reaches

Let’s see if the reviewers are right, shall we? Read away and be sure to post your comments/review on the book #49 web page under ‘Books‘ whenever you are ready.

Prepare to get completely sucked in… watch out for that riptide.

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Discussion #1: The Wildwater Walking Club

May 16, 2009

So how about if we get started with discussion #1 for book #36, The Wildwater Walking Club? If you’ve read through chapter 18, then give us your take on these starter questions:

  • Noreen takes a buyout from Balancing Act partly because of Michael’s influence. Have you ever let a career decision be influenced by a man you were dating? Kind of dating?
  • If you were Rosie, would you have uprooted your family and moved them to the lavender farm to help your father? If not, which of your siblings might have stepped up?
  • Balancing Act sneakers and slogans include: Dream Walker. (You’ll Swear You’re Walking on Clouds.) Step Litely. (Do These Sneakers Make Me Look Thin?) Feng Shuoe. (New Sneakers for a New Age.) If you were creating your dream sneaker, what would you name it and what would its slogan be?
  • Do think clotheslines should be outlawed or encouraged? Why?
  • Which character in The Wildwater Walking Club is most like you? Which one would you most like to hang around with?

Or maybe you have other questions you’d rather discuss? Bring it on!


Book #36 Release

May 12, 2009

This time around we are reading The Wildwater Walking Club, another fine (so we hope!) novel by Claire Cook. After getting the biggest kick out of reading two other Claire Cook novels, we thought Why mess with a good thing? So even though this novel is not exactly a summer beach read, it does look to be inviting with twists and turns walking-style.

Now just download an audio book, check out a copy from the library, shop at a local bookstore, or click on over to Amazon in support of our club: The Wildwater Walking Club. Then, keep a watchful eye on the discussion timeline posted on the book #36 web page under ‘Books‘ in the right-hand sidebar. Dates are always negotiable, so there’s absolutely no stress in keeping up with discussions. That’s a promise!

The Wildwater Walking Club looks just peachy. Why not jump in?


Discussion #2 & Final Wrap-up: Handle with Care

April 12, 2009

Now with the final discussion and wrap-up of book #33 Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult. To help finish up, let’s give these questions a try:

  • All the characters in the book are telling their stories to Willow. Willow doesn’t have a voice until the end of the book. How is that effective to the entire story? Does it seem that the characters can be more honest in their feelings when they’re directed to Willow?
  • The author inserts recipes throughout the book that highlight certain baking techniques such as tempering, blind baking, and weeping. How do these recipes provide further insight into the story and into Charlotte’s character in particular?
  • Discuss the roles that honesty and deception play in this novel. How do the characters lie to themselves? To each other? Is it sometimes better not to know the truth?
  • Amelia, understandably, has conflicting emotions concerning Willow. How does Amelia show her compassion? How does she show a lack of such? What are your feelings toward Willow? Toward Amelia? How do you think Amelia’s testimony affects the outcome of the case?
  • We follow Marin through the search for her birth mother, and what she eventually finds out about the circumstances surrounding her conception are truly devastating. Why do you think she thanks her birth mother for this information? Discuss Marin’s reaction to what she learns.
  • How do you feel about the ending? Why do you think the author chose to write it this way?
  • What rating do you give Handle with Care on a scale from 1-10 (1=awful, 10=amazing)?

Simply… wow.


Discussion #1: True Colors

February 23, 2009

Ready or not, here it comes – Discussion #1 of book 31 True Colors by Kristin Hannah. Not ready? Be warned! Stop back again later so as not to encounter any spoilers in reading the following discussion questions:

  • True Colors starts out with the three preteen sisters, Pea (Winona), Bean (Vivi Ann) & Sprout (Aurora) at the time just after their mother’s death. How did their personalities foreshadow what was to come later in the book?
  • What role did the sisters’ father play in the way each of the women developed emotionally throughout the first half of the novel? Is he successful in “taking care of the garden” as their mother requested?
  • Do you think Winona should have taken Aurora’s advice early on in Vivi Ann and Luke’s romance? How might the story have changed if she had?
  • Why did Winona, the supposed ‘smartest’ of the sisters, choose to hire Dallas as the farm hand without checking into his background first? What initially attracted her to hire him? In what way was Vivi Ann so quickly drawn to Tattoo Boy at Outlaw Tavern?
  • Do you find the sisters to be codependent on one another as a result of their mother’s death? In what ways do they support each other? How did the subsequent rift between the sisters negatively impact their lives?
  • Is Dallas bluffing by giving Vivi Ann the impression that he was the guilty party in Cat’s death? Why or why not? Do you think Vivi’s extreme naiveté flawed her decision-making abilities? Is she too hopeful?
  • What are your thoughts on Kristin Hannah’s writing style? Have you ever read any of her other novels? Are you interested in reading more by this author?

As always, discussion is not limited to these questions. Got any others? We’ll take ’em!