Friday Morning Bookclub

September 27, 2013

Look What I Received In The Mail!

Filed under: Book Festivals,Book Recomendations — susanbright @ 8:38 pm

2013-09-27 20.09.52Yes! A box of books. I am the winner of the Reading Group Choices Gaithersburg Book Festival random drawing. So many wonderful authors and titles! Some I have heard of, others are totally new to me. There is a little of everything in this box and I can’t wait to get started!

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls – absolutely loved The Glass Castle!

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter- this has been on my to read excuse now!

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin- also on my to read list!

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver- loved her earlier books!

One Glorious Ambition by Jane Kirkpatrick- historical fiction based on Dorothea Dix and her crusade on behalf of the mentally ill.

Counter Clockwise by Lauren Kessler- My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate and Other Adventures In the World of Anti-Aging!

The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri

Next to Love by Ellen Feldman

Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff

The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel

Love Slave by Jennifer Spiegel

The Lighthouse Road by Peter Geye

Thank you Reading Group Choices and the Gaithersburg Book Festival. i can’t wait to read and share these wonderful books with The Friday Morning Bookclub!


May 22, 2013

4th Annual Gaithersburg Book Festival, May 18, 2013: A Review By Ann

Filed under: Book Festivals — susanbright @ 10:27 pm


Pretty unbelievable but I won. I won an IPAD! I found out two days after the festival. And, I was already going to tell everyone how great this festival is anyway. Susan and I had attended last year with Dana who also won an IPAD (Obviously every bookclub member should go to the festival with Susan!!!) and while the weather wasn’t as great this year, the authors and the format for talking about the books was just as engrossing.  I found the caliber and the breath of author presentations more enriching than the Baltimore Book Festival too … but hopefully that one will grow.

The format of the sessions I attended was author interviewing author.  The process of creating the narrative, the discipline of writing, and how characters are developed was as much of each authors story as the actual book they were discussing.  Briefly, here are the some of the authors and books that they were talking about – most had published multiple books.

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The author Vaddey Ratner, who wrote IN THE SHADOW OF THE BANYAN: A NOVEL  was definitely the most contemplative and poetic. She was five years old when the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia’s came to power in 1975. It is a fictionalized work that parrallels her personal tale of survival. I have not read her book but I was struck by her grace and eloquence. You could feel her emotion and desire to memorialize the loved ones she lost and document the atrocities, while writing a story that is filled to an even larger extent with opportunism and beauty

Jami Attenburg was just a hoot. … fast-talking, honest to the point of bluntness. I thought THE MIDDLESTEINS a beautifully written book, very wry and sharply funny. It peels back the layers of one family’s struggle to hold together even as its members fall apart. Each family member gets their own voice. The author interviewing Jami said something about the book along these line that really resonated with me: Sometimes all Jami needs to capture a soul is a couple of sentences. It’s true.

Therese Anne Fowler’s book, Z: A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD, sounded really really great and well researched, which impresses me in fictionalized historical novels. According to the program, it is named “one of the most anticipated books of 2013.”

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Susan asked Caroline Leavitt of the The New York Times best-seller, PICTURES OF YOU, if she would come to our bookclub to discuss her new book Is It Tomorrow and she said yes! Frances De Pontes Peebles, author of The Seamstress told Susan she would Skype with us. Both of these books sound amazing!

A book of parallel historical and contemporary fiction that I think we might like for bookclub is, THE HOUSE GIRL, by Tara Conklin. See what you think.

I have not done the day justice but I do hope you can join us at the 5th Annual Gaitherburg Festival. Who knows … in addition to a fantastic day, you might win an IPAD!

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