Sarah’s Book Club Plan!

March: The Friday Night Knitting Club or SLAM (or both!)
Also, I think we should meet the last Monday of March instead of the first week in April.  (I’m open for a different date… with Easter and spring break there’s room for flexibility!)

April: The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. The Glass Castle is a very quick read and Half Broke Horses looks to be quick as well.  (Saw both books listed on Random House website (see links on the side!).  Look interesting! You own both?)

May: Olive Kitteridge or The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (I haven’t heard of the second one… but I’m game!)

June: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Catcher in the Rye (Maybe in the summer we can meet more frequently and read more books???? What a dream…)

July: The Power of One or Best Friends Forever

August: The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desi or The Hummingbirds Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

September: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons or Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler

October: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close or Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

November: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle or What is the What

December: A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve (haha)

This is a great plan and I’m up for adopting it in its entirety!  I haven’t heard of some but am open.  Others, as I wrote below, to think about are “The Girls from Ames” and “The Abstinence Teacher.”  Also, “What is the What” !

And now, I’m really off to read!

So many books…

The library is inspiring and overwhelming!  Sarah’s list of ideas is posted in a comment, and I’ll try to post it as its own post. Others I’d like to add are “The Girls from Ames” by Jeffrey Zaslow, “The Abstinence Teacher” by the guy who wrote “Little Children,” (Peretto?) and I’m sure many others.

Tonight we made a plan to read TWO books for March!  We’ll see how that goes.  “The Friday Night Knitting Club” by Kate Jacobs and “SLAM” by Nick Hornby.  I’m almost done with “The Moment Between” and enjoying it.  We’ll meet Monday at the mall and walk and talk!

Well, off to read!

Book Blogs and Newsletters

As I opened up my email tonight (and entered a contest for another free book!) I started wondering what book blogs or newsletters do you follow/subscribe to?  I’ve listed a few links on the side and I’ll post more! Let me know your “goodies” and I’ll list them!

Off to read!

Discussion Questions for “The Moment Between” by Nicole Baart

discussion questions (from

1. “Abigail Bennett was the definition of unexpected.” Explain.  Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? How does Abigail change throughout the book? What is the impetus for that change?

2. Hailey’s mental illness affects everyone around her. What sort of emotions does Hailey evoke in you? Do you like her or dislike her? Do you have compassion for her or does she frustrate you?  Explain.

3. How is Abigail shaped by her youth? What role does Lou play in her life? What role does Melody play in her life? What about Hailey?

4. Abigail calls herself a “lapsed Catholic.” Why do you think she has allowed her faith to lapse? Hailey, on the other hand, seems to cling to her faith. Why is her belief system so important to her?

5. Why is Abigail so driven to atone for her sister’s death? Do you understand her motivations? Why or why not? Why does she blame Tyler? Do you agree with her assessment of Tyler’s guilt?

6. Though she doesn’t claim to be a Christian, until she finds herself obsessed with Tyler, Abigail lives an exemplary, by-thebook life. Hailey, on the other hand, is a Christian, but there seems to be a disconnect between Hailey’s faith and her lifestyle choices. What does this seem to say about faith and actions?  Do you agree or disagree? Why?

7. What does Eli mean when he asks Abigail, “What if your life is an offering poured out in a single glass?” Do you agree or disagree with his assessment of Abigail’s role in Hailey’s death?

8. In the final chapter, Abigail says, “If home is where the heart is, my heart has been homeless for a very long time.” And earlier in the book we learn that “her heart existed in many more places than simply the cage behind her arching rib bones.”  What does she mean by that? Was there ever a time in your life when you could relate to these statements?

9. The symbol of communion is used repeatedly throughout the book in both obvious and subtle ways. Locate several references to the sacrament of communion. What purpose does this symbol serve?

10. Throughout history and even today there are many religious groups that consider suicide to be an unpardonable sin. In fact, some churches won’t even allow victims of suicide to be buried in the same cemetery as people who die of natural causes. Do you agree or disagree with this conviction? Why or why not?

11. Near the end of the book, Abigail narrates, “Hailey’s death, like her life, is an unfathomable mix of brokenness. And, I think, grace.” What does she mean by this? Do you agree that Hailey’s life is a mix of brokenness and grace? Use specific examples from the book.

12. In the final paragraphs of the book, Abigail talks about the irony of snow in the Summerlands. What other ironies can you pick out as you look back over the book? What metaphors stand out to you? What symbols do you find meaningful?

“The Moment Between” by Nicole Baart

I’m almost halfway through “the Moment Between” and I’m enjoying it!  I’ll post the discussion questions here and the Rochester Branch of the Walkie Talkies plans to meet on March 1 to walk and talk about the book.  Hopefully that’ll work for all.  We haven’t picked out our next month’s book, but we should get on that!  It would be nice to have at least a four month plan.

Well, off to read!

What else are you reading?

I just finished the Young Adult book by Nick Hornby called, “SLAM.”  Wow, I forgot how good Nick Hornby was as a writer.  I think the only book of his that I didn’t enjoy was “How to be Good,” and I wondered at the time if it was because it was written from a woman’s perspective and he is better at writing from the man’s perspective.  It was just OK, rather than spectacular and brilliant.  I really enjoyed “SLAM” – a story about a 15 year old boy who becomes a father.  Heavy stuff.  Funny stuff.  Life changing stuff.  Great stuff.

Book choices we discussed on 2/1/10

“Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson
“The Friday Night Knitting Club” by Kate Jacobs
“Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert
“The Glass Castle: a memoir” by Jeannette Walls
“The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski
“The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship” by Jeffrey Zaslow
“The Moment Between” by Nicole Baart
“Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
“What is the What” by Dave Eggers
“I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti” by Giulia Melucci
“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison
“Best Friends Forever” by Jennifer Weiner

Any others you want to add????

Reading Groups Questions for “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

1. Who was your favorite character? Why?

2. What do you think motivated Hilly? On the one hand she is terribly cruel to Aibileen and her own help, as well as to Skeeter once she realizes that she can’t control her. Yet she’s a wonderful mother. Do you think that one can be a good mother but, at the same time, a deeply flawed person?

3. Like Hilly, Skeeter’s mother is a prime example of someone deeply flawed yet somewhat sympathetic. She seems to care for Skeeter–and she also seems to have very real feelings for Constantine. Yet the ultimatum she gives to Constantine is untenable; and most of her interaction with Skeeter is critical. Do you think Skeeter’s mother is a sympathetic or unsympathetic character? Why?

4. How much of a person’s character would you say is shaped by the times in which they live?

5. Did it bother you that Skeeter is willing to overlook so many of Stuart’s faults so that she can get married, and that it’s not until he literally gets up and walks away that the engagement falls apart?

6. Do you believe that Minny was justified in her distrust of white people?

7. Do you think that had Aibileen stayed working for Miss Elizabeth, that Mae Mobley would have grown up to be racist like her mother? Do you think racism is inherent, or taught?

8. From the perspective of a twenty-first century reader, the hairshellac system that Skeeter undergoes seems ludicrous. Yet women still alter their looks in rather peculiar ways as the definition of “beauty” changes with the times. Looking back on your past, what’s the most ridiculous beauty regimen you ever underwent?

9. The author manages to paint Aibileen with a quiet grace and an aura of wisdom about her. How do you think she does this?

10. Do you think there are still vestiges of racism in relationships where people of color work for people who are white? Have you heard stories of parents who put away their valuable jewelry before their nanny comes? Paradoxically, they trust the person to look after their child but not their diamond rings?

11. What did you think about Minny’s pie for Miss Hilly? Would you have gone as far as Minny did for revenge?

Hello world!

Here we go!  Tonight was the first official meeting of the Walkie Talkie Book Club – Rochester Branch.  We discussed “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett and what a great discussion it was!  It was followed by a great walk around the mall.  And the added bonus of spying on jewelry buying lovers!  🙂  Ha!

We started creating a list of books we’d like to read.  It’s an ever-changing list, but we’d like to nail down a plan for a year (or so) at a time.

We also decided that we would meet on the first Monday of the month (or maybe the first Friday of the month occasionally).

So our next meeting will be March 1 and we will be discussing “The Moment Between” by Nicole Baart.  I won a dozen (it must be a dozen as I still have 10 copies here!) from the author and follow her blog (  She’s fun to read, and if you’re interested in learning more about the writing process (or about adopting beautiful children), she’s a good go-to-gal!

This is it for a first post.  I’ll create some more topics – such as What Would You Like To Read; any discussion of “The Help” from other branches, etc.  Yippeee!!!!