**CLOSED** Summer Giveaway – The Good Dream, by Donna Vanliere

the-good-dream**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**

In honor of summer a favorite book of the Club’s, we’re going to be giving away a gently used library-bound copy of The Good Dream, by Donna Vanliere.As posted earlier, this is Meg’s favorite Love Story (although it has nothing to do w/ the typical “romance” but delves deeper into the ties of motherhood-by-adoption). And AB has now become a fan too! We recently found a used copy of this book that we want to share with one of our readers – and we’re focusing this giveaway on our “follow-by-email” button. (But hear us out before you run away in fear of more spam email!) Continue reading

Favorite Love Stories

The month of February is almost gone, so for one last “love” post, we’ve all submitted our favorite love stories found in books. 

Beauty, by Robin McKinley beauty

AB’s Thoughts on Why: Few love stories can compete with that of Beauty and the Beast–a classic fairytale that I have loved since I was a little girl. Maybe it’s the mystery surrounding the Beast’s story or the enchantment that holds his castle captive, but I think I love this story most because of Beauty herself. Unlike the heroines in most fairytales, she is intelligent, independent, brave, kind, and most of all, she loves to read. As a little girl, I could identify, especially, with that last characteristic, so she quickly became one of my favorite characters in literature. Robin McKinley captures these qualities better than anyone else in Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast. Written in the first-person narrative, Beauty describes herself this way: Continue reading

2017 Book Challenge (with so many book ideas)

by Meg

Last year, Tim Challies (a favorite blogger of mine) posted a reading challenge for his followers, with leveLogo_FrenchPressls of reading goals (like “Light Reader,” “Avid Reader,” etc.) and categories of books. I really, really wanted to take the challenge. But in typical Emma Woodhouse fashion, I started out with great plans, but made little headway as far as the chart went.

I did, however, find a few book friends and start a book blog.

And that has gotten me reading in a more disciplined way again. So for this upcoming year, 2017, I’m going to take a modified challenge from Challies’s idea chart. What I’ve listed for you all below is my combined list of books I read LAST YEAR highlighted in blue (ideas for you), and books for me to read THIS YEAR highlighted in red. And that way it fills out almost all of the categories. All books have links so you can read the synopises online (and see if the covers catch your eye). Books that we’ve reviewed this past year also have links to the articles.  Continue reading

1×3 Review: Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler

1×3 Review: 1 book – 3 reviews. We picked this book out to be our first 1×3 review when we first launched. So in a sense, we’ve been eagerly awaiting this review. Back in the spring, Natalie shared an article with us about Anne Tyler and the Hogarth Shakespeare Project – a publishing group tasked with finding acclaimed novelists of today and enlisting them to retell the works of Shakespeare. Anne Tyler, a 1988 Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (for Breathing Lessons), takes on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew in her own adaptation as Vinegar Girl. Continue reading

Flavia de Luce

flavia
In 2009, the title of a book – and it’s cover – both grabbed and maintained my attention: and that book was The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley’s first novel in the now-continuing Flavia de Luce series. Flavia is the heroine of his 1950s era Great Britain-in-a-crumbling-estate-setting mystery novels. She’s an eavesdropping, bike-riding, braces-wearing 12-year-old with a passion (and unique talent) for chemistry. I fell in love with these books from the first page – actually the first sentence. My creative writing teacher in college stressed the importance of a good metaphor or simile – not using cliches, etc. And that is why that first sentence grabbed me. I think you’d all love them too, but just in case you’re hesitant, here are 3 reasons I think you should read them: Continue reading

Top 5 Faves: School Edition

As one of our Special Features, we each want to share quick blurbs about our “Top 5 Fave”-orite books in a particular category. And for our September edition of this, we’re reeling in the nostalgia of our favorite books that we met “in the classroom.” These books come from all periods of our schooling lives and were either a part of a set curriculum or just something we found in the school library. We hope you recognize some and enjoy hearing about them all. We’d love to hear about some of your own favorites as well!

AB

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The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Doreen Hallford, read this book to my class, and I was captivated by the antics of J.D. and his middle brother Tom, aka “The Great Brain.” If you like humorist Patrick McManus, you’ll love Fitzgerald’s style. My husband, kids, and I were guffawing as JD tells of how his family gets the first “water closet” in their town and how JD turns it into a money-making venture.

Silas Marner by George Eliot
This 19th century novel written under a pseudonym was required reading my sophomore year of high school, but it quickly turned into one of my favorite books. A tale of injustice and ultimate redemption, Silas Marner tells the story of an outcast, wrongly accused, who finds himself rescued by the love he has for an abandoned baby that he raises as his own. Continue reading

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr                       Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewed by AB                           5/5 stars

all the light we cannot seeFor Christmas 2014, I received the Pulitzer-prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. The work is over 500 pages, and I read it in 48 hours. I know this is so cliché, but, really, it was difficult to put down, and I may have skipped out on a few games and movies with the extended family because I was so enthralled.

It’s not just another World War II novel. Continue reading