Friday Morning Bookclub

January 5, 2014

The Results Are In! The Friday Morning Bookclub’s Favorite Book For 2013 Is Once We Were Brothers….Or Is It?

When listening to the news I am always skeptical of the results of polls. I am a skeptic at heart and after all, no one ever called me and asked me my opinion. But voting on your favorite book…what could be more simple? So the results of our recent poll are in and the winner is Once We Were Brothers by Ronald Balson. So why did it only receive 3.9 omelets while other books received over 4 omelets on earlier polls? Regardless of the numbers, our top three books were all amazing  and all three are on my personal list of top books for 2013 as well. Check them out.

brothersOnce We Were Brothers grabs you from the start. Elliot Rosenzweig is a wealthy, well-respected philanthropist.  When Ben Solomon, a retired Polish immigrant, puts a gun to  Elliot Rosenzweig’s head and accuses him  of being the former SS office Otto Piatek, Ben is quickly knocked to the ground and arrested. After all Rosenzweig is a concentration camp survivor himself and has the numbers tattoo on his arm to prove it. Ben Solomon is not about to back down and hires a young attorney to help him bring Elliot Rosenzweig to justice. Bit by bit we hear Ben’s story and how Elliot Rosenzweig (Otto Piatek) and Ben Solomon once were brothers. You will not be able to put this book down. I know that I couldn’t! Rated 3.8 omelets.


Me befor you A close second goes to Me Before You. This book, which I was hesitant to read at first (another depressing book?) ended up being one of my favorites, and not just for the year! Will Trynor was living life to its fullest. He had it all, a beautiful girl friend, a thriving career, a motor cycle and the resources to do whatever he wanted to do. But that was all before the accident which left him wheel chair bound and contemplating ending his life. Louisa Clarke lived at home with her parents, had a steady boyfriend and had just lost her job and with it the salary her parents depended on to pay their monthly expenses. She needed a job, so when the opportunity arose to work as a care taker to Will she had no choice but to accept. What follows is a beautiful story which will have you laughing out loud at times and crying at others. Rated 4.7 omelets.


husband The Husband’s Secret involves three different women and a secret which had the potential to change all of their lives forever. Cecilia Fitzpatrick considered herself a “typical suburban mom.” She was a planner and always organized. Other moms had no idea how she did it all, but it was easy for Cecilia. But when she finds the old yellowed envelope addressed to her in her husbands handwriting, to be only opened upon his death she is torn. She knows that she shouldn’t open it, but does so anyway. This thoroughly entertaining book left us all wondering…..would we open the envelope? Rated 4.12 omelets.



Fourth place: And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini 3.86 omelets

Fifth place: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Sixth place: American Dervish by Ayad Aktar 4.2 omelets

Seventh place: The Dinner by Herman Koch 3 omelets

Eight place: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner 3.5 omelets

What was your favorite book for 2013?


December 21, 2013

What Were Your Favorite Books From 2013…Please Vote!

Filed under: Favorite Books,Polls — susanbright @ 8:51 pm
Tags: ,

We read some really good books this year! Please help us choose our favorite book for 2013.

Vote for your top two!

December 26, 2012

What Were Your Favorite Books For 2012? Please vote!

Filed under: Favorite Books,Polls — susanbright @ 7:08 pm

The Friday Morning Bookclub has read some interesting books this year and now it is time to choose our favorites. This is a tough decision and we need your help. How do you even begin to compare a harrowing book about America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany (In The Garden of the Beast) to a sci- fi dystopian novel which takes place in a futuristic Chicago (Divergent). How about The Story of Beautiful Girl and The Lost Wife? Both were heart wrenching stories yet that is where the similarities end.

We read several mysteries this year. Gone Girl, Defending Jacob and State of Wonder were all page turners, and Night Road had us reliving the days when our children were teenagers. Once again we read a book by local author Laura Lippman (And When She Was Good) and also one by Jeffrey Eugenides, the author of  Middlesex (The Marriage Plot). The Song of Achilles, a modern telling of The Iliad was very different from anything we had read before and we finished off the year with Faith a book based on the 2002 sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church.

While it may be difficult to compare these books, we hope there may be a couple of books which really stand out in your mind. What two books did you most enjoy? Please vote!

You have TWO votes!

December 3, 2012

What Are You Reading?

Filed under: Favorite Books,Literary Tidbits — susanbright @ 9:31 pm


So everyone knows what I have been reading. How about telling me what you are reading! Do you have any recommendations? What was your favorite book for 2012? is that time of year!

May 7, 2011

Must Reads!

Filed under: Book Recomendations,Favorite Books,Literary Tidbits — susanbright @ 3:20 pm

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett was one of my favorite books. It is an amazing historical fiction set in 12th-century England. Who knew that the building of a cathedral could be so exciting! Although this was a long book (close to 1000 pages) I did not want it to end. Thankfully there was a sequel World Without End which took place in the same town of Kingsbridge 200 years later. I am not sure which of the two I liked best!

Thank you Jeanie! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel  Pie Society is now on my “to read” list!

Ilene would like to add:

The Glass Castle By Jeannette Walls
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Cathy would like to add:

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Anna Karenina by Larissa Volokhonsky

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Do you have a list of books that you loved so much that you think everyone should read them?  What are some of the must reads on your lise?

January 16, 2011

Justin Kramon & Finny Fan Club

Filed under: Book Discussions,Favorite Books,Finny — annwalter @ 4:40 pm

When I read a “good” book, my current life is suspended. I live with the characters in the world created by the author. I talk to them, get mad at them, feel their sorrows and joy. This was my experience with Finny. The exasperation of a five-hour plane delay became an opportunity to experience the headiness of a first kiss, the puzzlement of alien parents, the resignation to thwarted desires, the sickening of betrayal, the utter joy and, latter, caution of loving.

Our Friday Morning Bookclub was especially fortunate to host the author, Justin Kramon, and learn how Finny and the “Dickens-like” crew of characters in Finny evolved. Warm and utterly unassuming, Justin shared with us how he leaves room for the reader to interpret and add their own feelings to those he develops in the story. This, I believe, is part of the “good” book magic that makes me want to keep turning pages and tune out the outside world. Justin seemed genuinely interested in drawing out and understanding our different interpretations.

Although this is his first novel and he’s relatively young, Justin talked and answered questions about the process of writing with a thoughtfulness that bespoke of a “comfortableness in his own skin”… the coming of age that he so eloquently writes about from a feminine perspective in Finny. While I always love bookclub, Susan’s hospitality, the yummy food, and having Justin meet with us (as well as the many friends of book club members who also attended) added a wonderful depth and richness to our meeting.  To learn more Finny and Justin, visit

Thanks for sharing with us Justin!

January 5, 2011

2010 in Books

Filed under: Favorite Books,Literary Tidbits — Esther @ 11:17 am

2010 was quite a year for books!  This year, I read 53 books.  The first book that I read last January was “Her Fearful Symmetry” by Audrey Niffenegger; the last, “Faithful Place” by Tana French.  “Her Fearful Symmetry” takes place in London, and “Faithful Place” takes place in Dublin.  In between these two, I’ve visited India, Ethiopia, China, Viet Nam, Hawaii, Japan, Sweden, Israel, Russia, Italy, Indonesia, Canada, many areas of the United States, and even my own home town of Baltimore.

In looking back through my list of books, some of them stand out as truly memorable.  There are others that are, sadly, forgettable.  I read books from favorite authors, and from new authors.  I read some memoirs, and some non-fiction, although the majority of the books were fiction.

Now, as a new year is upon us, I am considering which book I would consider as my own personal “Book of the Year”.  Here are some of the contenders:

“The Linnet Bird” by Linda Holeman was the fascinating tale of a young English prostitute.  This book was a favorite of The Friday Morning Book Club, and it was certainly a favorite of mine.

Another book club choice was “My Enemy’s Cradle” by Sara Young.  Set during World War II, during the Nazi regime, this book told of Germany’s “lebenhausen” program – where young Aryan girls were impregnated by German officers and sent to live in special homes where their babies could be raised to further the “superior” German race.

I was totally engrossed in “Moloka’i” by Alan Brennert.  Set on the island of Molokai, in Hawaii, this historical novel tells of the formation of the leper colony there, through the story of a young girl taken from her family when she is diagnosed with leprosy.

Fans of Victorian fiction are sure to enjoy “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield.  A young woman travels to the mansion of one of England’s greatest woman authors to help this woman write her memoirs.  A mysterious twin, locked rooms, dark secrets all lead to a suspenseful tale and a real page turner.

“Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese was on many Best Books of the Year list.  I found it to be totally engrossing, and enjoyed it from the very first page to the last.

Adrienne Sharp’s “The True Memoirs of Little K” totally blew me away.  Maybe because the author is a childhood friend, I was particularly impressed by all of the research that went into this book.  Adrienne grew up across the street from me – how could she so beautifully and accurately describe Romanov-era Russia?  And the story itself, based on fact, was part love story, part suspense, part history. I loved it.

How can I choose just one book as a favorite?  At the time I read each one, I was thoroughly enjoying it.  Now, at the beginning of 2011, I am embarking on a new year of reading.  How many books can I read this year?  I am already well into my first book….I’ll let you guess what that one is!

January 1, 2011

The Results Are In !

Filed under: Favorite Books,Polls,Rate The Book,The Linnet Bird — susanbright @ 2:53 pm

It is official. The Friday Morning Bookclub’s favorite book for 2010 is….. The Linnet Bird by Linda Holeman. This makes sense as it is also the only book that was voted 5 omelets on a scale of 1-5. The Linnet Bird takes place in the 1820’s in Liverpool, England. After the death of her mother, 11-year-old Linny Glow is forced into prostitution by her step father. Linny eventually escapes this life and flees to India on the “fishing fleet” a boat filled with young women heading to India to meet wealthy, suitable, available men. The Linnet Bird was beautifully written and a wonderful book club choice. A must read!

It was a tight race, and coming in second is Cutting For Stone. Third place goes to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Here are the complete results:

  The Linnet Bird 19.4% (13 votes)

  Cutting For Stone 17.91% (12 votes)

  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 16.42% (11 votes)

  Little Bee 13.43% (9 votes)

 The Thirteenth Tale 10.45% (7 votes)

 Olive Kitteridge 8.96% (6 votes)

 Moloka’i 5.97% (4 votes)

 My Enemy’s Cradle 4.48% (3 votes)

 Pride and Pejudice 1.49% (1 votes)

 My Name is Mary Sutter 1.49% (1 votes)

 The Memory Thief 0% (0 votes)

 The Red Thread 0% (0 votes)

    Total Votes: 67

December 15, 2010

What Were Your Favorite Books For 2010? Please Vote!

Filed under: Favorite Books,Polls — susanbright @ 9:59 am

It’s that time of year again! Time to look back at all the books we have read in 2010 and see which were the favorites.  Everyone has three votes. The results will be hidden and revealed December 31st!  We welcome all votes and comments. Please vote!

July 19, 2010

Time To Vote! What Are Your Top 10 Discussion Books?

Filed under: Favorite Books,Polls,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 8:02 pm

Help us complete our top 10 list. You can vote for up to 10 books! All votes are welcomed!

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