Books! Books! Books!

Barbara's Book Club

Paula Walters - Thursday, October 03, 2013

Barbara’s Book Club—Twenty Years of Good Reading

When two newly-retired teachers, finally free from papers and preparations, decided it would be nice to read something other than Old Yeller and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, our book club was born. Our first meeting was in September, 1993, and our first book was The Bridges of Madison County. At that time we reached a consensus on a few basic rules: maintain a membership size that would be comfortable for meeting in our homes, females only, members are expected to read the book agreed upon, keep refreshments simple. At its inception, our club was simply known as “Book Club.”

Over the twenty years of our existence, our membership has varied from six or seven women to as many as twelve. Our format is that annually each member chooses a book that she would like to read and discuss. For several years, we bought our own copy of each book. Then one of our members, Dawn Clark, alerted us to the fact that it was possible to coordinate with North Central Washington Regional Library to schedule lending multiple copies of our chosen books for a given month. We explored this possibility, and have now availed ourselves of this wonderful service. Paula Walters has done all the scheduling for us, and we are deeply indebted to this very competent and patient lady for all the help she has given us.

An added benefit of procuring our books from the library is that we often receive a set of Reader’s Guide questions along with our books. This has helped to keep our discussions on track. We do not operate with a moderator; we simply begin our discussion and over the years have found that this encourages all members to get involved. We have read a great variety of literature ranging from light, highly entertaining novels to classics, biographies, histories, poetry, and plays. Connie Bean has served as our historian and coordinator for several years, keeping track of books read, meeting dates and hostesses. Because of her record-keeping, we have determined that to date, we have read at least 208 books over the twenty years.

One of the greatest fringe benefits of our club has been the meaningful friendships that we’ve formed over the years. Twenty years has brought many joys and many sorrows to members, and there is always a strong sense of support from fellow members. In November, 2007, one of our members, Barbara Smith, a dear friend to all of us, passed away. That prompted us to change our club’s name to Barbara’s Book Club. We have many precious memories of this remarkable lady.

Cicero said, “A room without books, is like a body without a soul.” It’s even better when you have good friends with whom who can share books. Here’s to book clubs around the world!

NCRL has over 300 book clubs.  I think it is amazing that we have so many people that like to get together each month and share comments about the book they have read.  How wonderful that Barbara's Book Club has been together for twenty years.  Whether your group has been together for twenty years or one year I would like to hear from you. Please email me with comments about your club.  My email address is on our Website on the Book Club page. 

June 13th Author Event/ Wenatchee Public Library

Paula Walters - Monday, June 03, 2013

Erica Bauermeister and Jennie Shortridge will be discussing their new novels at the Wenatchee Public Library on Thursday June 13th  7 pm - 9pm.

Erica Bauermeister's novel The Lost Art of Mixing is a sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients.  It is about the power of love, food and companionship .

Jennie Shortridge's novel is Love Water Memory.  This novel asks the questions how well do we know the people we love and how well do we know ourselves.

This is a free presentation and will be followed by a book signing.  A Book for All Season's will be selling copies of the author's books.

Seattle Author Jonathan Evison

Paula Walters - Thursday, May 16, 2013

Please join Jonathan Evison for a free public reading of his new novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, at the Wenatchee Public Library, Thursday May 30th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm.

This is a heartwarming story of a caretaker and a 19 year old disabled man that travel across America.  

Jonathan Evison's previous novels are All About Lulu and West of Here.  

Last May Jonathan visited Wenatchee Public Library.  I am sure those of you that attended that presentation will agree with me that he is a delightful speaker.

All three novels are available to check out from  the Wenatchee Public Library.  

NCRL's Book Groups

Paula Walters - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lake Wenatchee Book Club, from 2007 ongoing

Lake Wenatchee Book Group meets once a month, in the evening, in our members’ homes. We’ve been getting together since 2007.

We started with one rule: the gathering was not to become an eating and drinking club. Although we enjoy our hosts’ generosity, and do nibble and sip, we are there to discuss books. We socialize for one half hour as we gather, then we discuss the book: there are also no side discussions.

We generally have our book list sketched out five or six months in advance. We choose our books rather informally. Usually someone has read the book, or read a book review. We try for a certain amount of balance and a certain amount of diversity in our choices: popular/classic, fiction/nonfiction, genre/literary, and now we have an evening scheduled with a choice from juvenile fiction, enhanced by our own favorites from childhood. Before one December, a member suggested a poetry reading aloud rather than a book discussion; we tried it, we liked it, and we’ve done it in December every year since. I think we all would say that the real pleasure of that month is the search for the poems. In our busy time, immersion in poetry is a real luxury.

The person advocating the book often also facilitates the discussion: that means finding out information about the author, and having a few questions to ask should the discussion lag. Often the discussion has no evident facilitator. A very lengthly book (Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, or Trollope’s The Way We Live Now are examples) may be divided in half and discussed over two meetings.

We also have a fall-back position of three questions. We seem to use it if the conversation wanders, or is sluggish, or if the book seems like it will be difficult. The procedure is for each member to write down and put a question about the book that s/he would like to hear answered in a hat. Then we go around the participant circle three times: 1) each member identifies the most memorable part of the book for him/her, and says why; 2) each member draws a question out of the hat, and answers it; 3) each member says whether or not s/he liked the book, and why. Frequently the conversation livens so much that we do not get to #3, or even #2. On occasion, when a movie is available, we have shortened the discussion and viewed parts of the cinematic version.

Our group’s regulars are 5 men and 7 women, scattered in age from late 40s to late 70s. We come from a variety of family origins and a variety of life experiences. We are politically and religiously diverse. We have a couple of occasional members, who come depending on book choice, and some ‘lurkers’ who receive our e-mail postings but do not attend (perhaps they will some day). We all live in the same neighborhood, if a neighborhood stretches ten or so miles in all directions.

I think that the diversity of our group keeps our reading fresh and interesting, and our conversation dynamic. We have read Westerns (‘guy’ book), novels of manners (‘girl’ book), science fiction (‘nerd’ book), mysteries (‘popular’ book), classics (‘literary’ book), and current issues (‘politico’ book). We are careful not to become focused too much on one type of writing, and to appeal to the interest of each and all of our members, from time to time.

I think that for all of our members, book group night is a ‘regular’ on the schedule that other events get scheduled around. I know how much I look forward each month to the assurance of getting together with my friends.

I have asked our book club members to write something about their club that I can publish on my blog.  Thank you Lake Wenatchee Book Club members for sharing.  North Central Regional Library has over 300 book clubs.  I think that is amazing.  There is an average of ten members in each club.  That is a lot of people that love to get together and discuss books.  If you are not in a book club and would like to start a club please contact me.  Contact information is on NCRL's web site.  Click on How Do I and then click on Book Clubs. 

Jack Nisbet

Paula Walters - Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Naturalist Jack Nisbet will be presenting a slide show of his mid-Columbia collections at the Wenatchee Public Library.  The program will be Thursday February 21st at 7 p.m.  His work focuses on Scottish naturalist David Douglas and his travels through the Pacific Northwest in the 1800's.

Jack Nisbet is a teacher, naturalist and writer.  He lives in Spokane, Wa.

David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work: An Illustrated Exploration Across Two Centuries in the Pacific Northwest  was published last November.  

Mr Nisbet's books are available at NCRL.  

A Book for All Seasons will be selling his books at the program.

Please join NCRL for this free program and book signing.

Seattle Author Sandra Byrd

Paula Walters - Monday, November 05, 2012

Please join Sandra Byrd for a public reading and discussion of her second novel in the Ladies in Waiting series, The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.  There will also be a slide show on Henry VIII and his wives. 

The presentation is Thursday  November 8th at the Wenatchee Public Library 7 pm.

This is a free presentation and will be followed by a book signing.

The first book in the series is To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn.

The third book in the series, Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I will be published in 2013.

Please join NCRL in welcoming Sandra Byrd to Wenatchee.

Wenatchee Public Library

Thursday November 8th  7p.m.

The Light Between Oceans

Paula Walters - Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman is another book that is hard to put down.  Tom Sherbourne, a war hero, returns to Australia and is the new lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock.  He takes his young wife Isabel to this island where a supply boat comes once a season and the couple receive shore leave every other year.  They are very isolated from the outside world. The first few years Isabel suffers through two miscarriages and one stillbirth.  Days after the stillbirth Isabel hears a baby crying and Tom discovers a rowboat washed onshore.  In the boat is a dead man and a crying baby wrapped in a woman's sweater.  Tom wants to report this immediately but Isabel talks him out of it.  She asks him to wait until the next day. By the next day Isabel has talked Tom into not reporting the incident.  She is sure the baby's mother has also died.  If they report the incident the baby will be put up for adoption and because of their living circumstances they would not be chosen. They decide to keep the baby and name her Lucy. Isabel truly believes this is a miracle and the baby is a gift from God. Two years later when they return to the mainland for a short stay, they realize that their decision has devastated others. Now they both have to make a decision on what to do.  This is an enjoyable book and I have to say more then once I was in tears. It is hard not to care about all the people involved.  Book clubs will enjoy this book. Whether it is a favorite or not I can guarantee clubs will have a lot to discuss.

Gone Girl

Paula Walters - Monday, October 15, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is a psychological thriller about a marriage that has gone wrong.  Amy and Nick have been married for five years.  Both have lost their New York magazine jobs as journalists. They decide to move from their Brooklyn home, which Amy loves, to Nick's hometown, Carthage  Missouri.  Nick and his twin sister have bought a bar, which takes up a lot of Nick's time.  Nick's mother is dying from cancer, and the couple are also helping Amy's parents financially.  Her parents made their money from writing a children's book series, Amazing Amy, based on their daughter, or based on a fictional character that Amy thinks they wished their daughter would be.  Due to the popularity of the series Amy has a trust fund which she is now using to help her parents.  Nick and Amy are a couple that are going through a lot of changes in their life. On their fifth wedding anniversary Nick arrives home and finds the front door wide open.  In the living room there is a sign of a struggle, in the kitchen signs of blood that has been cleaned but not completely and Amy has disappeared.  As the investigation begins, even without a body people are assuming that Amy has been murdered.  In the early stages of the investigation no one believes that Nick could be guilty of the crime.  However as the investigation continues he certainly seems to be guilty, and the only person who believes in his innocence is his twin sister.  Every anniversary Amy has made up a scavenger hunt for Nick taking him all over town, and eventually at the end he will discover his anniversary present.  This year is no exception.  While the police are investigating this disappearance, Nick is following Amy's clues in her current scavenger hunt. The novel goes back and forth from Nick's day by day existence since the disappearance, to excerpts from Amy's journal. There are many twists in this novel that I did not expect.  Although I am not a reader of thrillers I did enjoy this novel and would highly recommend it.   I would like to hear from others that have read this book, especially those of you who do love thrillers.  What did you think? 

Author Visits in September: Sandra Bryd and Amanda Coplin

Paula Walters - Thursday, August 30, 2012

We have two authors coming to NCRL in September.

Author Sandra Byrd's program will be Thursday September 20th at the Wenatchee Public Library  7 pm - 9 pm.  She will be reading from her second novel in her Ladies in Waiting Series, The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.  The first novel in the series is To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn.  NCRL has copies of both novels available.  The third novel will be published in 2013, Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I.

There will also be a slide show about Henry the VIII and his wives.  Sandra Byrd will also have recommendations of other books about England's history.  She is a local author living in Washington.  Please join us on the 20th of September.

Author Amanda Coplin will be reading from her historical novel, The Orchardist, which takes place in Monitor. The program will be Friday, September 28th, 7 pm - 9 pm at the NCRL Distribution Center, 16 N Columbia St. Wenatchee. 

Ms. Coplin was born in Wenatchee and spent much of her youth at her grandfather's orchard in Monitor.  This is her debut novel.  The Seattle Times wrote, "The Orchardist beautifully conveys the sights, smells and landscape of Eastern Washington orchard country in an era before telephones and automobiles." The book was named one of Publisher's Weekly's top ten literary picks for this fall.  NCRL has copies of her novel available. A local author she now lives in Portland, Oregon.  Please come to welcome Amanda Coplin back to Wenatchee.

Thursday September 20th, Sandra Byrd, Wenatchee Public Library 7 pm - 9 pm.

Friday September 28th, Amanda Coplin, NCRL Distribution Center 16 N Columbia St 7 pm - 9pm.

Author Sandra Byrd Coming to WPL

Paula Walters - Monday, August 06, 2012

Washington State author Sandra Byrd will be at the Wenatchee Public Library September 20th 7p.m - 9 p.m.

She will be reading from her Ladies in Waiting series.  Book 1, To Die For is a historical novel about Anne Boleyn. Library Journal listed this as one of the best books of 2011, and the book is also a  2012 Christy Award Finalist.  Book 2, The Secret Keeper is about Kateryn Parr. This novel was just published in June 2012 . The third novel in the series, Roses Have Thorns is about Elizabeth I.  This will be published in 2013.  At the program Sandra will read from her novels, and there will also be a slide show about Henry VIII and his wives.  She will also recommend other Tudor books.  It should be an interesting program. I enjoy historical novels about England.  

Hard to believe that it is the 6th of August.  I hope everyone has had an enjoyable summer so far, with fun vacations and plenty of time to read!!  

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