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February 25, 2015
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.
Once 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.
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.
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?
June 23, 2013
Amazon readers gave Me Before You 4.7 stars
Goodreads readers gave Me Before You 4.35 star
Thought provoking, emotional, touching, sad, sensitive, must read, are a few of the words our readers have used to describe Me Before You.
When I first read that Me Before You was about a man involved in an accident, who becomes a quadriplegic I was not at all sure that I even wanted to read it. After all I knew that even the happiest ending could not really be a happy one. Me Before You ended up being one of the best books I have read in a long time. Yes, it is sad, however it is a beautiful story and at times I could not help but to smile. It may not have gotten 5 omelets, but it came closer to 5 than any other book we have read in the last few years. You do not want to miss out on this book!
June 16, 2013
I had a dream last night, a series of dreams actually, where I was a disembodied head hovering over a wheelchair. It was, undoubtedly, the result of reading Me Before You. I guess my mind was processing the quadriplegic experience. That was my unconscious mind. In my conscious mind, the phrase “Love each other or perish” kept popping up, over and over, so much so that I had to look up where the quote came from. The poet W.H. Auden said it. If it weren’t five words, I would have entered that in “Describe Me Before You in three words.” Love each other or perish.
The same theme was in Tuesdays With Morrie. That story was different yet similar. Morrie was an old man struggling with a progressive disease. Will was a young man struggling with a sudden accident. They both had to make huge accommodations in their lives. What they both are, are guides for the rest of us. What I learned from them (well, it greatly reinforced what I knew to be true) is this:
1.) Unexpected things, good and bad, really do happen….and sad things do happen to good people.
2.) Real intimacy (as in great friendships, great love) is the most important experience in your life.
3.) Be grateful for everything good. Every mundane thing. The orthodox Jews say a prayer for everything, including using the bathroom. It’s something like, “Thank you, Lord, for letting my body work.”
4.) Live with no regrets. Both Morrie and Will had interesting and purposeful lives. They worked hard to find work they loved and have experiences they wanted. They were active participants in life, not passive observers. At the end, they never had regrets of wasted time.
5.) Learn from others. Let everyone teach you something, challenge you, inspire you, shake you out of complacency. Even strangers. Even people we don’t particularly like can be a type of teacher, if only to show us how not to behave. Just listen, observe, and learn.
We have the power to bring ourselves and one another joy or misery, companionship or loneliness, right up to the very end. Even though other critical themes come up in this story, like whose life is this any way, who has the right to make decisions for you and tell you what to do, the theme of intimacy is what resonated with me.
June 14, 2013
June 10, 2013
Here is what some of our readers have to say:
Thought provoking, disturbing.
Emotional Love Story
A must read!
How would you describe Me Before You in three words?
May 10, 2013
We were so very excited to receive Advance Readers’ Copies of Barbara Delinsky’s latest book Sweet Salt Air. It looks like just the kind of book we need to read after just finishing The Dinner, a very disturbing book! Sweet Salt Air is about two women, their friendships and yes their secrets. Charlotte and Nicole used to be the best of friends, but they had grown apart, each going their own way. When Nicole invites Charlotte to join her at her family’s island house where they had once spent their summers, to work on a cook book, Charlotte cannot refuse. Between them lies an explosive secret. Sweet Salt Air is a book about friendship, secrets, betrayals and forgiveness.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is being described as a heart breaking romantic novel. Will is an unhappy, angry 35-year-old man and he has every right to be so. Once active, he has spent the last two years as a quadriplegic. Louisa is a 26-year-old girl hired by his mother to help keep his spirits up. “They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose.” Get your Kleenex ready….you are going to need it!
Please join us in reading Sweet Salt Air AND Me Before You!