Monday, July 27, 2009

Daisy Mom's Book Club Suggestions

Daisy Mom (aka Melissa Mc) is a mother of 3; wife of 1; daughter, sister, friend, aunt; lover of football, politics, food, travel, walking, theatre and all things literary. She’s without talent in most normal Mormon activities – she doesn’t paint, sew, craft, scrapbook or quilt – but she does read ALL THE TIME. Her youngest was born with a congenital heart defect and had open heart surgery at 5 weeks old. She knows more about Children’s Hospitals than she ever wanted too. She can be found blogging at her personal blog, http://www.gerberadaisydiaries.blogspot.com/ OR http://www.mormonmommywars.com/

The Big Love Book Group Recommendations
I’d like to think I was a book groupie long before Madame Oprah made it vogue to belong to a book group with her official Oprah stamped books. I moved to Washington DC in 1993 (Oprah’s club started in 1996, I think?) to start my first “real” job out of college. Not soon thereafter, my friends from church invited me to their book group. Keep in mind, I’d never read for pleasure. College reading was a necessity and I don’t remember much about High School lit classes, nor did I read any of the childhood classics that I should have. So, the thought of picking up a book for enjoyment was totally foreign to me.

The book selection that night was Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Between the book and discussion, my world was changed forever. First, I discovered that I love food writing! The glories of reading about the delicacies in her book made me weep. Plus, I had no idea how much fun it would be to sit around talking “book talk.” And the refreshments after were, quite literally, icing on the cake.

After nearly 5 years of living in DC, my future husband swept me off my feet and moved me to NYC, where my monthly book group ceased. We had no friends and we commuted/worked 15 hours a day. It was like living in a vast literary waste land. NYC was not meant for us, so after two years of wrangling the Big Apple, we were happily pregnant and off to the South.

My first goal (after trying to figure out how to deal with a sleepless/screaming newborn), was to start a book group. I knew it would be essential to my survival as a new mom and individual. When my daughter turned two, I took the plunge. I sent out postcards to nearly every member of my ward’s Relief Society. The following month I had 10 ladies sitting in my very cozy, living room. We picked the classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the rest is history.The following is the accumulated reading list of our six years together. We meet once a month for 11 months out of the year (we don’t meet during December because of the holidays); so during our 6 years together, we’ve read over 66 books – most of which, I would consider “clean reads.”

Please heed this warning: I don’t always remember EVERY word, sentence, scene of every book I’ve read. So, if you decide to read a book on this list and find something objectionable, I apologize in advance!!

April-Dec 2003
To Kill a Mockingbird** - Harper Lee
At Home in Mitford* - Jan Karon
Uncle Tom’s Cabin* - Harriet Beecher Stowe
Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom
A Painted House - John Grisham
Fried Green Tomatoes - Fannie Flagg
Expecting Adam - Martha Nibley Beck
The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown
Gone With The Wind** - Margaret Mitchell

Jan-Dec 2004
Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes
Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier (RFS Review)
The Red Tent - Anita Diamant (This book contained objectionable material)
In the Time of the Butterflies - Julia Alvarez
Pride and Prejudice** - Jane Austen
Ender’s Game - Orson Scott Card
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd (RFS Review)
Emily of New Moon - L. M. Montgomery
The Glass Blowers - Daphne DuMaurier
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
The Agony & The Ecstasy - Irving Stone (I don’t remember enough about this book to make a comment )

Jan-Dec 2005
A Return to Modesty - Wendy Shalit
Jerusalem Vigil** - Bodie & Brock Thoene (This was a great discussion!)
Evelina* - Fanny Burney (this was a SNOOZER!)
Song of Survival - Helen Colijn
The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros
My Name is Asher Lev** - Chaim Potok
Life of Pi** - Yann Martel (This was a great discussion!) (RFS Review)
Sarah: Women of Genesis* - Orson Scott Card
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
The Samurai’s Garden - Gail Tsukiyama
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

Jan-Dec 2006
My Side of the Mountain - Jean Craighead George
Mutant Message Down Under - Marlo Morgan (RFS Review)
The #1 Ladies Detective Agency* - Alexander McCall Smith
Family : the ties that bind -- and gag!* - Erma Bombeck
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou (may contain objectionable material)
Rebecca - Daphne DuMaurier (RFS Review)
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
The Secret Garden - Frances Hogdson Burnett
Alas, Babylon* - Pat Frank
Light on Snow - Anita Shreve
The Count of Monte Cristo* - Alexandre Dumas (this was REALLY LONG!)

Jan-Dec 2007
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax* - Dorothy Gilman
The Heavenly Village and Missing May - Cynthia Rylant
The Stolen Child - Keith Donohue
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
The Hiding Place - Corrie Ten Boom
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
My Antonia* - Willa Cather
The Memory Keepers Daughter - Kim Edwards
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer - James L. Swanson

Jan-Dec 2008
The History of Love - Nicole Krauss
Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer (may contain objectionable language)
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (may contain objectionable material)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn* - Betty Smith
Cold Sassy Tree - Olive Ann Burns
Peony in Love - Lisa See (may contain objectionable material)
In Search of Eden - Linda Nichols
The Gift - Richard Paul Evans
My Sister’s Keeper - Jodi Picoult (RFS Review)
The Giver - Lois Lowry
Devil in the White City - Erik Larson

Jan-Present 2009
Prisoner of Tehran - Marina Nemat
Dreamers of the Day - Mary Doria Russell
The Poisonwood Bible** - Barbara Kingsolver
Moloka’i - Alan Brennert (may contain objectionable material)
Julie** - Catherine Marshall
Back When We Were Grownups - Anne Tyler (this book was BORING!)
Peace Like a River - Leif Enger (RFS Review)
Enemy Women - Paulette Jiles (current book group selection)

* I didn’t read it due to new baby, sick baby in hospital, out of town, or it was so boring I couldn’t manage it.
**Exceptionally awesome book or awesome book discussion

1 comment:

Sweet Em said...

If I ever move to "the south" I'm going to join your book club, and if you ever move to Boston you must join mine. They sound like fruit from the same tree.

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