Book Club With A Twist

books-photoMost of my books fall into pretty neat categories — romance, religious, cleaning/organizing, self-improvement, auto/biography and on occasion history.  Because I read legal documents most of the day, I tend toward potato chips (no substance) when I get home and read for leisure.  I decided I needed to step it up a notch and created the following lists and invited people to join me.  Scroll to the bottom for the most recent list. Feel free to tag along! 


JanuaryChildren of Henry VIII by Alison Weir.  This was a little harder to get into than I had anticipated, but once I got going, wow!  It almost read like a novel.  Talk about a messed up family and a messed up political system.  I’ve just started Tocqueville’s Democracy In America and it’s interesting to see in the lives of Henry’s children the seeds of revolution being planted by the actions of the aristocracy.  Book club met last night with six people present.  I believe we had a really good discussion on the book and the time period without too much wandering off subject.  The field trip to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts was tabled since Saturday is so busy for so many people, but we’re planning to get together in the morning and see a movie.  No consensus on that, but I did go home and find a copy of A Man For All Seasons.  Not the children, but it does at least talk about Henry VIII and what fashioned their childhoods.

February–     I Hate It When Exercise Is the Answer (Emily Watts) – Deseret Book – I finished reading this already (while thought provoking, funny and insightful, she is thankfully not a russian novelist) and now I’m working through the exercises in the book — and enjoying it.  I’ve really enjoyed ALL of Emily Watts writings.  The field trip is to see a Romantic Comedy (at the theater if there is a good PG13 one, or at someone’s house if not).  Looks like I’ll be on my own for this trip, but that’s okay.  Good discussion with the group.

March Spiritually Anchored In Unsettled Times (Bruce C. Hafen) – Deseret Book So I finished this book this morning (Jan 3) and it was harder than I thought given that it’s such a small book.  There was just so much in there! My favorite section was called “With You”

“There is no greater source of inner peace than to know that our lives are acceptable to the Lord.”  “The Atonement simply means ‘with you,’ in two senses.  First it overcomes anything that separates us from our Heavenly Father, so we can be with Him; and Christ’s Spirit can be with us — each day and forever. [If we are faithful.]  Second, only through the Atonement can we be with our family members and friends forever.  No longing is deeper than our hunger to be with those we love.”

Another great discussion, but alas the field trip… – Hart Nautical Gallery at MIT  – Free Admission – Looks like we ran out of time to fit this trip in for March, but I’ll check tonight to see if anyone is up for a run down on Saturday (probably not as it’s Super Saturday!).  Nope.

April The Innocents Abroad (Mark Twain) –  Field Trip to The Mark Twain house, Hartford, CT during school vacation week.  Nope.  Okay, seriously struggling with this one.  Fits and starts of a good time.  Perhaps I’ll finish in time…  Well, it’s down to Gail and I, but we had a lively discussion of Mr. Moore’s thoughts on far off lands.

May Celia Thaxter’s An Island Garden — Field Trip to The Isles of Shoals – Isle of Shoals Steamship Company (Note:  Tasha Tudor (October) wrote the forward in some editions)  Actually Gail and I picked a fictional account of Celia Thaxter’s life to read.  It was really good.  I did hear from one of the other ladies that she had read the Island Gard and found it really interesting.  No meeting.  No field trip.

June Walden (Henry David Thoreau)  I haven’t finished it, but was truly amazed at the number of quotes from this book that are a part of every day jargon!  No meeting.  Field Trip to Walden Pond- Nope.  but this one is still on the calendar to take the family. 

July – Uncommon Clay: The Life and Works of Augustus Saint-Gaudens.(Burke Wilkinson)Augustus St. Gaudens Historic Site – July Concert Series concert included in park admission fee – Nope for the group, but I’m thinking the family will head over.

August – Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (Nicholas D. KristofSheryl WuDunn) Movie – Taken

September – Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (Laura Viera Rigler). All Day Movie Marathon – Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion,  Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey

October –      (Tasha Tudor Children’s Book) – Webster, NH, Marlboro, VT and/or Hildene Fall Arts Festival, Vermont

July November–   Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert) – Dinner of Italian, Indian and Asian foods.  I’ve finished Italy, about to start India.  I enjoyed her descriptions of the people she met and places she saw.  Finished this over the weekend (7/30/10) and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I am more excited than ever to visit Italy and while I don’t believe I’m cut out for time in an Ashram in a foreign country (snakes…) it is incentive to dig deeper spiritually.  Really excited to see the movie (8/13).

December –   The Christmas Shoes (Donna Vanliere) – Watch The Christmas Shoes movie and have a book swap

Audrey by Alexander Walker: Book Cover  Audrey:  Her real story by Alexander Walker.  If it’s a biography isn’t it by definition real?  That aside, I’ve only read the opening to this book and I am intrigued.  I have only read a few pages, but it would seem to indicate her big family secret was that both her parents were Nazi supporters at one point (apparently her mom switched sides).  Wow.  Weird.  In any event, I love Audrey and can’t wait to learn more about this wonderful human being.


Peace & Plenty – Flew through this one and plan to read it again.  Good stuff in here.  I just need it to really stick.  The Silence of God – I’m always up for a novel on Russian history even if it’s recent history in this case the 1940s.   Good insight on church members in other countries and the story of  one family  in Russia.  Night by Elie Wiesel since I couldn’t make it through The Berlin Diaries – Disturbing and it’s a good thing it is.  Every high school student should have to read it.   A Night to Remember – I actually picked up a few things I didn’t know about the Titanic.   As You Like It – Somehow I skipped right over this.  Weird.  A Year By The Sea – I’m so buying a copy for each of my girlfriends this year!   Self Portrait:  Gene Tierney – Not only was she breathtakingly beautiful, she was breathtakingly honest.  Fascinating read.  Outlander Okay this began as  a labor of love, but I did end up enjoying it.  I’m just not likely to follow the series.  John Adams – Interesting, but I didn’t finish it.   Daughter of Fortune – Didn’t get past the first few chapters…  Ballet Shoes – I was shocked that I didn’t fall instantly in love with this one –didn’t finish it.  The Serpent’s Tale – Haven’t had time to attempt it again. 

2012 – See the blog post here


2 responses to “Book Club With A Twist

  1. Gail Webster

    So Jenny – I am looking for the list of books you have been recently reading. You know I am pretty computer illiterate so if I am in the wrong place, please direct me to the right one.

    I am still working on the Children of Henry VIII and I will finish it soon. It was difficult to read while I was in Finland – and then I was so tired coming home on the plane, that it was even difficult to read there. But now I am just doing laundry, reading mail (thanks for the note) and paying bills, etc.

    • snydeen

      Hey Gail, try December 3d (I think) for the list. I’ll stick it under the book page also. The February book is Emily Watts, “I hate it when exercise is the answer.” Deseret Book.

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