Monday, September 17, 2012

Calling all Readers: Bloggy Book Club!

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...I had friends. No, really. I had friends and I had a book club and we met each  month at a house and we talked about a book we'd read the month before. The host chose the book and we all brought goodies and left our kids at home.

It was sure fun while it lasted.

And now, here I am a MILLION miles from those friends and without the means to have a local, in-person book club, because, you know, those things require that you have real, live friends. That want to meet up with you. And like, hang out. I'm sorely lacking that ingredient in my new life in Texas, so I'm doing the next best thing and scouring the Internets for imaginary friends.

Ok, I know you're all real. And it's this real-ness that I'm after.

I miss talking books and bonding and the thought hit me last month to put together an online version of that great group gathering.

What do you think?

Here's what I had in mind:

1. Each month, a new hostess offer up a choice of books and lets the group vote (I found some great free poll makers on the web)

2. At the assigned date, we all meet up at the hostess' blog and chime in. Hopefully, she'll have some questions about our impressions of the book to take back to our own blogs and ruminate on.

 3. I'm even going so far as to offer a goodie giveaway for my month. I love getting cute stuff in the mail!

Since I don't really have an idea of what sort of group we'll get together, I'll go first for October and we'll choose November's hostess in the next couple weeks. (Randomly, of course.)

Curious about the three books I'm suggesting? I tried to choose books with a paranormal-ly, curious vibe in honor of October. Oh, and then one non-fiction book in case that's your taste. Read on!

1. The Diviners by Libba Bray

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures—if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father—and every other witch there—fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

3. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick—why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. “Of all the elements of a happy life,” she thought, “my home is the most important.” In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home.

And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her, and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wanted to be happier at home, she wanted to appreciate how much happiness was there already.

So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school year—September through May—to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love.

In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood. How can she control the cubicle in her pocket? How might she spotlight her family’s treasured possessions? And it really was time to replace that dud toaster.

Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions—and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well.

With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy, and experimentation, Rubin’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives. 

The poll:


More details:
So we'll meet back here the week of October 29 and have serious, nerdy book girl fun. Leave a comment to let me know you're in, and in a week or so, we'll pick November's hostess. I'll post in a few weeks when I come with a groovy prize package to send out to a lucky winner/reader.

Happy reading!


1 comment:

  1. I used to have a book club too. LOVED it. Have tried getting one since we moved here, but to no avail, people round these parts aren't interested...

    I AM reading happier at home, BUT (I stress BUT) my BFF do it as the ascribed annual challenge. (we did it the Happiness Project too) so if you guys choose that one, I will bow out til next month.

    But any rate- super excited!