Friday Morning Bookclub

January 25, 2012

Looking Back on 2011!…… Favorite Book: The Invisible Bridge By Julie Orringer

This year The Friday Morning Bookclub read a little bit of everything. Fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, a memoir and of course a mystery or two. We even listened to our first audio book (The American Heiress), complements of Reader’s Choice and Macmillan Audio. We took a tour of China (A Thread of Sky) also courtesy of one of the many book sites we visit and traveled to the Middle East and learned about life in modern-day Saudia Arabia (Finding Nouf). We glimpsed into the lives of the Ultra Orthodox Jews of Borough Park, New York (Hush) and read about Mathilde Kschessinska, Prima ballerina of the St Petersburg Imperial Theater (The True Memoirs of Little K). We learned all about the amazing HeLa cells, which were discovered at Johns Hopkins, a hospital in our own back yard (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) and read two of Laura Lippman’s mysteries, which also take place in our home town of Baltimore (What The Dead Know and The Most Dangerous Thing). We had the pleasure of meeting with Justin Kramon, the charming author of Finny who just happened to grow up in Baltimore. How lucky were we to receive copies of Heaven’s Keep, the 9th book in the Cork O’Connor mystery series courtesy of Book Movement. And of course we continued the tradition and invited the men in our lives to join us for our annual pot luck dinner meeting to discuss Unbroken.

Our favorite book of the year, The Invisible Bridge was an epic story of the Hungarian Jews  before and during World War II.  It is a beautifully written and haunting love story.  Although we read many very good books this year, several people felt that there were no “stand out ” books. Maybe 2012 will be the year of the 5 omelet book! Any recommendations?

Here is a run down of the books we read in 2011:

  • Finny by Justin Kramon (3 1/2 Omelets)
  • Heaven’s Keep by William Kent Krueger ( 2 1/2 Omelets)
  • The True Memoirs of Little K by Adrienne Sharp (4 Omelets)
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (3 Omelets)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (4 1/2 Omelets)
  • The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (4 1/4 Omelets)
  • The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin (3 1/2 Omelets)
  • A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei ( 3 1/4 Omelets)
  • Finding Nouf by Kristin Hannah ( 3 1/2 Omelets)
  • Hush by Eshes Chayil (3 3/4 Omelets)
  • The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman ( 2 3/4 Omelets)

June 28, 2011

The Friday Morning Bookclub Gives The Invisible Bridge By Julie Orringer 4 1/4 Stars

Filed under: Polls,Rate The Book,The Invisible Bridge — susanbright @ 10:48 am

 Amazon readers gave  The Invisible Bridge 4 1/2  stars

Barnes and Noble readers gave The Invisible Bridge 4  stars

The Invisible Bridge is a touching  story about Andras Levi, a young Hungarian Jew who leaves his home to study architecture in Paris in the 1930’s. Unfortunately Hitler has other plans. It is historical fiction as well as a love story and will keep you up late at night reading!  Although it is a long book, it is definitely worth reading. I gave it 5 omelets!

June 15, 2011

The Invisible Bridge: A Review By Carol

Filed under: The Invisible Bridge — susanbright @ 7:39 pm

Our book selection for June was The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, an epic story of a group of Hungarian Jews whose lives are caught in the vortex of World War II. It’s a story about contrasts: about minorities and majorities, the rich and the hard-up, the intellectuals and the fascists, the artists and the uninspired, the good-hearted and the cold-hearted, and the violent and the peaceful. These opposing social forces tear apart the lives of the characters, as they did everyone who lived through the war, and we see how the violence traumatizes each one, in its own unique way.

The backdrops to all these stories are Paris, Budapest, Florence, and the mountains of eastern Europe. Their descriptions are as striking as the set designs that Andras, the young architecture student/ protagonist, builds for the grand stage productions in Paris. The reader is transported into European society of the 1930’s and 1940’s, not so long ago as far as time goes, but so very, very different from our contemporary world of today. For readers who don’t know many details of the war, this book is very enlightening, and for readers who know the details but not the profoundly personal toll it took on individuals, this book is so very moving.

I thought of many other stories as I read this book: Gone With the Wind, Crime and Punishment, Doctor Zhivago, and others. And the analogy that’s often used to describe climate change also kept coming to mind: the frog sitting in water which gets slowly but steadily heated beneath him, fails to react to the increased temperature and perishes. As humans, we aren’t very different from the frogs in responding to danger. This story is about that phenomenon.

June 9, 2011

Rate The Book: The Invisible Bridge By Julie Orringer

Filed under: Polls,Rate The Book,The Invisible Bridge — susanbright @ 8:51 pm

Please help us rate this month’s book! All comments and votes are welcomed!

May 25, 2011

Meet The Author Of This Month’s Book: Julie Orringer

Filed under: The Invisible Bridge — susanbright @ 3:44 pm


Julie Orringer was born in 1973 in Miami, Florida where her parents attended medical school. At the age of 4, they moved to Boston and two years later they moved to New Orleans where Julie  was one of the few Jewish students in her school. Julie always loved reading and writing.

In 1996 Julie Orringer graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford from 1999-2001, and was Stanford’s Marsh McCall Lecturer in Fiction from 2001-2003.   Her short story collection How To Breathe Under Water, which was published in 2003 was a San Francisco Chronicle and LA Times Best Book of the Year as well as a New York Times Notable Book and was made into a short film and a full length play. Orringer received a 2004-5 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for The Invisible Bridge. The Invisible Bridge is Julie Orringer’s first novel.

Other than being a writer, some of the jobs Julie held were Fertility Clinic Receptionist, Fabric Warehouse Assistant, Fax/Copy Clerk and Calligrapher.  She lives in Brooklyn with her husband  Ryan Harty who is also a writer and is working on her second novel.“>

May 16, 2011

This Month’s Book: The Invisible Bridge By Julie Orringer

Filed under: The Invisible Bridge,What is next?? — susanbright @ 9:38 am

The Invisible Bridge is being described as “a grand love story set against the backdrop of Budapest and Paris and an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are torn apart by war.” It is being compared to Dr. Zhivago (New York Times) and according to Bookmarks Magazine it ” is destined to become a modern-day classic itself.”

It is 1937 and Andras Levi, a Hungarian Jewish Architect arrives in Paris with a single suitcase and a mysterious letter that he is to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné. The Invisible Bridge  follows Andras , as well as his family as World War II sweeps across Europe, changing everyone’s lives forever. Please join us in reading The Invisible Bridge.

January 26, 2011

The Invisible Bridge

Filed under: Book Recomendations,Literary Tidbits,The Invisible Bridge — Esther @ 11:09 am

We have read many novels about World War II, the Holocaust, Jews in Europe.    Julie Orringer’s novel, “The Invisible Bridge”, is among the best of these.  Andras Levi, a young Hungarian architecture student, travels to Paris to begin his studies.  There he meets Claire (Klara) Morganstern, a beautiful ballet teacher with a mysterious past.  As the turbulence in Europe intensifies, Andras must return to Hungary.  This is a love story, as the love between Andras and Klara weathers the war, their separation, illnesses and death.  This is a story of family, as Andras and his brothers fight to maintain their family, and to support each other.  This is a story of friendship, as Andras forms bonds with people, and is helped by people of various backgrounds.  Ultimately, this is a story of war.  Of the horrors that always accompany it, of the hardships that must be endured, of the horrible toll that it takes on a country, and on its people.

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