Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BOOKTALK at Fresh Grounds

On Wednesday, September 29th, our book club met at the Fresh Grounds for our monthly meeting. Fresh Grounds Coffeehouse & Cafe is an upscale coffeehouse with an array of fine specialty coffees & teas, fruit smoothies, retro sodas, pastries, gelato, etc. It is a gathering place where singers & bands perform. Meeting rooms are available for meetings, study groups, etc. Our book club has been meeting here all summer and we feel very welcome.

We had all read a different book, so each of us gave a review of the book we had chosen. Here are the books we read:

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

Betty read 6 books in the last two months, but The Wednesday Sisters was her favorite. It is a story of 5 mothers who took their children to the park to play and met each other. They shared each other’s lives. This book is set in the ‘60’s and the events of that era are intertwined with the women’s stories. Betty really liked this book because she was a young mother in that era and she remembers many of the events and happenings that took place then and how it affected her family. She gives this book 5 of 5 stars.

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

Mary read Those Who Save Us which is set at the beginning of World War II. A young girl in Germany meets a Jewish doctor and falls in love. She gets pregnant, but her Jewish doctor is taken away. Later, the young girl gets involved with an SS officer. The story is about the little girl she had and this girl’s search for her real father. The little girl grew up thinking that the SS officer was her father and didn’t discover the truth until she was an adult. Mary says this book was good, but she was disappointed in the ending. It is based on a true story.

Clarence Thomas – My Grandfather’s Son by Clarence Thomas

Stella read this book about Clarence Thomas. He was raised by his grandparents and went to Catholic schools and eventually Holy Cross College. He got his law degree from Yale. He always thought he would go back to Savannah, Georgia to help the people there. George Bush asked him to be on the Supreme Court. Stella enjoyed this book but was surprised to realize that people were still suffering from integration woes today.

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Linda read Nineteen Minutes after reading My Sister’s Keeper also by Jodi Picoult. She says it is one of those books you can’t put down. It is about a school shooting. Jodi has the ability to give the same story from several different character’s perspectives. As always in Picoult’s books, there is a twist at the end. Linda highly recommends this book.

Scent of the Missing by Susan Charleson

Pat wanted to read something different, so she read Scent of the Missing about rescue dogs and how they are trained. She liked it very much and discovered how much more goes into training rescue dogs than she expected.

Fortunata and Jacinta by Benito Perez Galdos

I continue to read this book. It is 818 pages and I am on 400 something. It is the story of two women who are/were involved with the same man: Fortunata was his lover and Jacinta is his wife. Fortunata has a son and Jacinta desperately wants to have a child. Fortunata’s son is placed with orphans because she can’t afford to keep him and Jacinta discovers that he exists and goes about trying to rescue him and bring him home with her to be raised as her own. There are many interesting characters in this book. Some of them are very funny and the things that happen are quite amusing. The length of this book will no doubt be intimidating to some, but it portrays life in Spain in that era quite well and, if you are interested in those things, it is well worth the time put into reading it. It isn’t a page-turner, but it is worth reading.

After our booktalk, we also exchanged several books that members had brought. We decided to read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford for October and have another booktalk session on Christmas books in November. Normally we do not have a meeting the last week in December due to the Christmas holidays, so we decided to read a biography or autobiography for December/January. That wraps up our September meeting!


  1. I am a coffee-a-holic! So I think Fresh Grounds sounds like a great spot & perfect for a book club meeting.

    The Wednesday Sisters is a book I very much want to read. It's on my tbr list & I'm hoping to pick it up soon. The author, Meg Clayton, has a wonderful blog and is a very sweet woman, too! I'm thrilled that Betty liked it so much.

    It's tough when endings are disappointing. That happened to me very recently & I'd loved the book up until the end. It's interesting since Those Who Save Us is a tru story. It sounds very interesting and I think I might check it out!

    I wonder what Stella thought about Clarence Thomas. He's very conservative & doesn't believe in special help for minorities, or he didn't years ago. He worked hard to get where he is in his life and boy did he do an amazing job of it career-wise anyway! I also went to Holy Cross College & love that we're from the same alma mater!

    I haven't read Nineteen Minutes yet but I'm glad to read that Linda enjoyed it!

    Scent of the Missing sounds really interesting! I always wonder how the dogs do what they do so well. Glad Pat enjoyed her choice!

    Fortunata and Jacinta sounds very interwsting. I enjoy reading books set in other places about cultures different than my own. 818 pages is long but if it's a good book, it's worth it!

    I hope you enjoy Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I haven't read it yet but I've heard very good things about it.

    ~ Amy

  2. Thanks for your comments. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet turned out to be a great love story. I cried at the end. It was great!