Welcome to Storie delle Sorelle

Welcome to the blog for SdelleS. To learn more about our book club check out my first blog entry or read about our members. Or check out our ReadingGroupGuides.com interview here! Using the links to the right, you can browse the books we've read and rated or visit some of my favorite sites for book clubs on the web. How about some questions to consider as you read a book? This site is meant to provide a wealth of information for all readers so I hope you enjoy your visit! Please post a comment or contact me with any questions or thoughts. :)

Monday, August 4

New Guidelines for SdelleS

Thanks to the wonderful group of ladies in our book club we are a thriving and growing group! After our recent growth spurt - we've added 5 new members since March and 3 of those joined last month! - we realized the need for some "official guidelines".

We want our club to continue to be successful and the only way to do that is by assuring that all our members are active in the decisions we make, and happy with the direction our club is going. With that in mind, we spent some time at our last meeting discussing ways to improve the club. Here are the guidelines that we agreed on:

New Book Club Guidelines for SdelleS

1. Choosing books and scheduling meetings:

  • After we finish our current “book picker” rotation (next up is Annette, then Nancy, and finally Joan) we are changing the way we choose books. Here’s how it will work:
    • Three times a year we will have a planning meeting. This will be part of our regular meeting that month (not an extra meeting, so don’t worry). Everyone can bring one book to suggest and take a few minutes to “make a case” for that book. Then each person will vote for the books she wants to read the most. The four books with the most votes will be our selections for the next four months.
    • At that planning meeting we will also set dates for our next four meetings. Because of our group size, we realize that we cannot plan a meeting that everyone will be able to attend. Our best option is to rotate between weekend and weeknight meetings to better accommodate everyone’s schedules.

    • Our first planning meeting will be part of our Christmas party this year.
2. Meeting locations:
  • Our current policy is that if you want to host a meeting, you volunteer. If you don’t, you don’t. We’re sticking with that policy but with one addition. If you want to host but can’t do it in your home, you are welcome to find an alternate locations (a church, park, office, etc.) and host us there.

  • We also agreed that weeknight meetings at Chevy’s (Happy Hour!) would be back on the schedule.

3. New Members:

  • We agree that new people bring new perspectives and fun to our group; however we realize that if the group gets too big it will lose some of its charm. For now we will continue to accept new members but we will reevaluate that decision at each planning meeting and we may decide to close the membership at some point.

4. Reading Speed:

  • We agree that 100 pages per week is a reasonable goal for our club. At the same time, we understand that some months are busier than others. We expect our members to make every effort to read the book before each meeting; however if you just can’t fit it in one month, you are still welcome to attend the meeting and participate in the discussion.

  • At the same time, if you are consistently not reading the books from month to month, you may want to reconsider your commitment to the book club. [Of course we do have “maternity leave” for those members with new babies – come when you can, read what you can, you’re welcome whenever.]

5. Author Meetings:

  • We definitely want to pursue additional meetings with authors, either in person or via speakerphone. If the opportunity arises, we will bump our next planned book to the following month and fit the new book in as quickly as possible.

6. Annual Family Party:

  • This topic split the group evenly. Half were opposed to the idea while half were in support of it. However since no one was willing to plan or host this event we decided to stick with our “girls only” meetings.

Recap: Eat, Pray, Love

Yesterday we had our meeting for Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was also our annual pool party at Nancy’s house. Nancy always has such a gorgeous setup for us! We had two out-of-town guests, my Gram, Eileen, (from Florida) and Melissa’s mom, Marlene (from Tennessee).

Stephanie chose this book for us because she received it for Christmas and needed an excuse to read it. Unfortunately she still hasn’t read it because her new baby girl arrived last month and just about eliminated her reading time. Nicole was in the same boat, with her 2nd son arriving last month as well. Both babies attended their first book club meeting yesterday.

As usual for us, opinions on this book were mixed. Bev wasn’t a big fan, mostly because the book came across as very self-centered to her. She shared the belief that if you’re only looking inside yourself for happiness, you’re not likely to find it; she was disappointed that the author did so little for anyone other than herself. Melissa wasn’t all that impressed with the book either, but (sorry!) I can’t remember what her reasons were. Annette tried to listen to the audio version but was bored practically to tears by the narrator’s monotone reading.

Personally I expected to hate it and I actually liked it quite a bit (I’ll be posting a complete review on my blog today or tomorrow). I was in the minority at the meeting though. Nancy did enjoy it for the most part. There were sections that she could relate to in some ways. And she and I agreed that the writing style was very engaging.

Two of the gals who couldn’t make it to the meeting loved the book (I know, because they told me!) and I’d love to hear their thoughts as there was NO ONE at the meeting who really loved this book. Carrie and Amy – please post your thoughts in the comments!

Our discussion mainly focused on two topics:

  • Gilbert’s refusal to explain the reasons behind her divorce – none of us were happy with this at first, but some of us were able to get past it, appreciate her reasons and focus on the rest of the book while others were stuck on her refusal to divulge more info
  • Did she or did she not change by the end of the book? If so, in what ways? And did that make her a “better person”?

I’m still compiling votes and will update this as more come in, but for now here’s where we stand:

3 members gave it a 7

1 member gave it a 3

(I’ll post the average once I get the rest of the votes in.)

Friday, August 1

Guest Blog Posts & Reminder

Remember me telling you that I'm now an official contributor to the blog at ReadingGroupGuides.com? Well my newest post is up!

Click here to read my recap of our meeting with DL Wilson, and then click here to read HIS thoughts on our meeting - how cool is that?!

(His post is dated Aug. 1 so if you click over after today you'll have to scroll down the page a bit.)

Please post a comment over there and let me know what you think about both posts!


Nancy wanted me to remind you all to bring bug spray to the pool party at her house on Sunday. She says the mosquitoes are getting worse every day. :(