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. :)

Friday, March 27

Books for April - June 2009

We tried something new this time with our book voting and it worked out VERY well. So here’s how we will do things from now on:
  • You get to nominate a book if you’ve been to at least 3 meetings. The same criteria goes for voting.
  • If you nominate a book and it is chosen, you cannot nominate one in the next round (but you can in the round after that).
  • A week before the voting you should submit the title, summary and reason you want to nominate that book to me. I’ll compile a list and send it to the entire club.
  • Everyone will rank the books in order from most preferred to least preferred and email me their list.
  • The three books that get the most “top 3” votes will be our choices.

So … here are the results of this round of voting, with the three winners first:

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
9 votes
nominated by Beth

Queen of the Road
9 votes
nominated by Amy

Little Bee
8 votes
nominated by Heather

The Art of Racing in the Rain
7 votes
nominated by Stephanie

Alias Grace
4 votes
nominated by Jennifer

Still Alice
3 votes
nominated by Nancy

If your book was not chosen, feel free to nominate it again next time. The only people not eligible to nominate books in the next round will be Beth, Amy, and Heather (me).

I’ll get a meeting schedule posted sometime next week so stay tuned …

Meeting Recap: The Bean Trees

This month’s book, The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver, was nominated by Bev. At the meeting Bev explained the she chose the book mostly because she loved The Poisonwood Bible so much. I think we can ALL agree with that sentiment!

We had a small but lovely meeting last night at Cyndi’s house. Cyndi chose a Mexican theme for us and the food was delicious. There were 6 of us in attendance - the smallest group in quite some time - but discussion was not lacking, that's for sure.

Some things we talked about were:

  • Creating a family vs. being born into one
  • Taylor’s growth from simple independence to more mature relationships
  • LuAnn’s drastic – and welcome – changes throughout the novel
  • Kingsolver’s amazing grasp of language – the believability of the characters, the way we all felt like we were actually THERE when she described the settings (esp. the desert during the rain)

Two of the girls listened to the audio version and said it was very well done. Their only complaint was that Taylor's voice came across as being older than she actually was.

The six of us in attendance agreed that Kingsolver’s writing was strong but that the story wasn’t as in depth or as gripping as The Poisonwood Bible.

I’m still waiting on more ratings but here is what we have so far:

  • 5 x 1
  • 6 x 4
  • 7 x 1
  • 8 x 1

So not a bad book by any means, but I think we all were expecting more after our wonderful experience with The Poisonwood Bible.

At the end of the meeting we voting on our books for the next three months. I'll be posting those later today so be sure to check back.

Tuesday, March 3

Meeting Recap: Change of Heart

This past Sunday we met at Beth’s house in Annapolis to discuss Kara’s pick, CHANGE OF HEART, by Jodi Picoult. For the most part, the book was a disappointment. Kara hoped to have a good discussion on the ethics of capital punishment but the way the story progressed there was no discussion to be had on that topic.

As a group we had a LOT of complaints about this book. Here’s a list of some of them:

  • too many things going on, too many subplots - one gal called it “a muddle”
  • the story has been done before (The Green Mile?!)
  • most of the characters were bland and unbelievable (Fr. Michael was the worst culprit – no one believed a priest would act the way he did)
  • the comparison of Shay to Christ was not only odd but unbelievable as well
  • the writing wasn’t very good
  • the opinions in the book were all “politically correct” – no one was allowed to believe strongly in one thing and think that other people were wrong in their beliefs

The only redeeming quality was Maggie and her relationship with her mother. With all the mother/daughter groups in our club, this was a fun topic to discuss … although I think the moms got more out of it than the daughters did!

Our meal theme was a lot of fun though. Beth decided we should each bring something we'd want for our last meal if we were on death row. Some of the items that showed up were antipasto and wine, chocolate strawberry cake, dessert shooters, and peanut butter cups.

We rated the book as follows:

  • 8
  • 7 x3
  • 6.5
  • 6
  • 5.5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2 x2
  • 0

Quite the range, huh? With 12 voters, that gives us an average of 4.8.

(I also reviewed this on my blog if you want to check it out.)

Our next meeting is at Cyndi's house on March 26th and we'll be discussing Bev's pick, THE BEAN TREES, by Barbara Kingsolver.