Our Picks

  • Weight of Silence- Heather Gudenkauf
  • The Castaways- Elin Hilderbrand

Friday, December 17, 2010

December 2010 Meeting

I love our Book Club.  Really I do.  I know that the rest of you probably feel the exact same way.  I always look forward to our monthly meetings and new book picks!  This months pick wasn't one of our favorites, but that's okay... cause every once in a while we just need a quick read that doesn't take a lot of brain power:)
We read Playing for Pizza by John Grisham.  The girls who read John Grisham said this wasn't a "typical" book of his.  It was kind of slow, you needed to be a football fan too (which many of them are so that wasn't a huge issue).  To be honest, we all just felt it was kind of boring.  We wanted the love interest to evolve into something, it didn't.  So, I'd say most of us wouldn't recommend it unless you love Italy & football and need a simple easy read.
We were missing two girls this month:(  Jodi was sick so she couldn't make it.  

Erin was home with her new baby boy Lowen!
Isn't he adorable?!  He was born on November 30th. 

We also had another "newbie" join us this month!  Michelle went to college with us and she joined the book club in December!  We are having so much fun with everyone & I'm anxious to see what the new girls picks will be when it's there turn!

We hope everyone can make it in January!  
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 2010 Pick-Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her injured. Needing a place to rest and pick up the pieces of her life, Rhoda packed her bags, crossed the country, and returned to her quirky Mennonite family's home, where she was welcomed back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda's good-natured mother suggested she get over her heartbreak by dating her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.)
Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Pick: Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game against Denver, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock and, of course, was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.

But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent, Arnie, find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in fact now be a starting quarterback. Great, says Rick—for which team? The mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.

Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player—any former NFL player—at their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers—at least until a better offer comes along—and heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma—not even where it is—has never been to Europe, and doesn’t speak or understand a word of Italian.

To say that Italy—the land of opera, fine wines, extremely small cars, romance, and Football Americano— holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October Meeting- Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

We met at Granite City to discuss our latest book-  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  It was a great pick that we all enjoyed.  It was violent, raw, descriptive, etc.  I don't think any of us really realized how graphic some of the details would be, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.  There were several different story lines going on throughout the book so it kept us engaged and wanting to read more.  I think we'd all recommend this book, as long as the reader is aware of some of the violent & graphic details.  A few of us have already begun the 2nd book in the trilogy The Girl Who Played with Fire.

We welcomed another new member to our group!  Kathryn joined us last night and we are so excited to have her join us!
LBBC is growing again!  Amy L. is our 3rd member to announce her pregnancy!  She is 9 weeks along!  Here are our cute little mama's...
Erin is 36 weeks, Amy is 9 weeks & Bre is 20 weeks!
By our next meeting Erin will of had her little boy!  We can't wait to meet him!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October's Book!

We are so excited for Erin's pick this month!  This book has been on all of our "must read" lists for a while now.  Erin chose the bestseller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  I can't wait to get started on it and see what everyone is talking about!

SUMMARY: An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel. Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pieced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption. -- Vintage Crime

We are all really wanting this to be a great book, we've had a few doozies lately!:)

You can also read Booking Mama's review of the book here. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September Meeting- War by Sebastian Junger

It's been 7 long weeks since our last meeting!  Tonight we got together to discuss War by Sebastion Junger which was Breana's pick.  I think we all came to the meeting not "liking" the book but after discussing it we left appreciating it more.  We all agreed we didn't care for his style of writing, we craved to know more of each characters life since it was non-fiction.  I think we all wanted to find a connection with one or more of them but with his style of writing it made it fairly difficult to do that.
It was an interesting read and even though we didn't "love" it, at least it gaves us lots to discuss.  It sparked discussion on war in general and the lifestyle of a soldier.  The book made us appreciate what is going on in our country and what our soldiers are fighting for.  For many of us war is a topic we don't want to talk about, because it gets a little uncomfortable I think.  It was good for us to talk about it though, and even though the book isn't on any of our Top 10 lists I think it's one we can all appreciate the writers journey and telling of the story.

We also have a new LBBC member!!!  Our sorority sister Jodi from college joined us tonight!  Hopefully we didn't scare her off & she'll join us again next month:)   

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oprah's New Pick!

Oprah picked her next Book Club pick this week!

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen 

"In his latest novel, Jonathan Franzen returns to fiction with a comic and tragic epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the responsibility of privilege. Charting the characters' mistakes and joys as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever-changing and confusing world, Freedom is an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time."
I think it sounds pretty good!  Has anyone read this?   

Friday, August 13, 2010


Over fifteen months, Sebastian Junger followed a single platoon based at a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan. His objective was both simple and ambitious: to convey what soldiers experience - what war actually feels like.

In these pages, he fives insight into the truths of combat: the fear, the honor, and the trust among men. He describes things that few civilians will ever witness or go through: the endless, body-numbing anticipations of battle; the unquestioned and automatic risks soldiers take in combat situations to protect their brothers; the adrenaline-fueled confusion of being ambushed. Junger shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a constant basis.

This hits home for me, so I am extremely interested in what is written. I think I will have a better appreciation for everything after this. Enjoy!

The Passage & Our Growing Club...

Last night we met in Lawrence at The Oread Hotel to discuss The Passage by Justin Cronin.  We ate at Slice of History, a cute little pizza place in The Oread Hotel.  If you haven't been to The Oread yet, you must!  It's such a beautiful hotel!
We all agreed the book was LONG.  Too long for us to be honest.  After discussing it more we all {I think} started liking it a little more once we got some questions cleared up and talked about.  This book is part of a trilogy, thank goodness because there is a lot to clear up!  Breana {thankfully} noticed a lot of little things that some of us didn't {me & Erin} so she brought to light a few things that we didn't catch about the book that put a little extra twist on the storyline!  I'm so glad Breana is a thorough reader... I was bored with the book at times so I started skimming {which Amy said she did too:)} so when I do that then I obviously miss out on parts of it that end up being kinda important!
Even though the book wasn't our favorite it did give us a lot to discuss.  I guess that's what a Book Club is about; we may not always like the pick but at least it gives us something to talk about!

Our Book Club is GROWING!
Our Book Club now has TWO Mommys to Be!!  Breana is 10 weeks pregnant and is due March 14th.  Breana's baby will be joining Big Brother Logan who is 2.  Erin is 26 weeks pregnant and due on November 23rd!  How exciting that in just a few months our Book Club will grow by two precious babies...we can't wait girls!

We are SO excited to pass on our love of books to the babies, so last night we threw Erin a SUPRISE Book Shower!  Since our last Book Club meeting she found out that she is having a baby BOY so we wanted to celebrate her news & "shower" her with books she can start reading to him.
She was so surprised!
We each brought her books and signed inside the covers so Baby L will know who gave him the books {& so Mama Erin will remember forever too!}  We had such a fun time finding the books & enjoyed reading them ourselves. 

Thanks for a fun night girls!  Can't wait for next month!!
Cute Amy... always brings a smile to your face:)

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Pick! The Passage by Justin Cronin

I was SO excited to pick our next book!  There is so much pressure to pick the "right" book and one that the entire group can enjoy.  After a lot of research I decided to pick The Passage by Justin Cronin. 

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.

The Carrie Diaries Meeting

Last night was our June meeting reviewing The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell.  We met at Free State Brewery in Lawrence.  Emily got to join us this month also, we are hoping she can be a "full-time" member of LBBC:)
We had LOTS of laughs last night, I had such a good time... and as always I really look forward to our meetings cause it's our excuse to get together with the girls!  We all felt the same way about the book... about 3 stars, nothing too exciting but was a quick and easy summer read.  Everyone is a Sex & the City fan so many of us were wanting more of a connection from Carrie's high school days to what we saw on the TV show and there was no connection until the last sentence of the book!  Erin thought the author could have made Carrie more into fashion because she rarely mentions it.  Also, her family is never mentioned or included in the TV show so it was a little strange to hear so much about them in the book.  We all agreed that her friend Lali (we all pronounced this name differently by the way!) was a total "B"!  I think many of us can recall friends like that from high school! 
Breana thought the author did a great job telling the High School story, we all agreed.  We remember feeling like that "one guy" was going to be THE ONE... & then he breaks your heart as he moves on to the next girl.  It feels like your world is ending... yada, yada yada.  It was sad that at the end she felt like she didn't really have any friends, but I think a lot of girls feel like their real friendships don't develop until after high school.
Overall we thought the book was OK, if you are looking for a quick & easy read then this is it.  Don't set your expectations too high {like many of us} because the TV show is still MUCH better!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Reading Challenge on Amy's Blog

I posted a Summer Reading Challenge on my blog, if you are interested in it you can visit my blog here.  It's from the awesome blog Booking Mama!

Friday, May 28, 2010

June's Book is.... The Carrie Diaries!

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Before Carrie Bradshaw hit the big time in the City, she was a regular girl growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut. How did she turn into one of the most-read social observers of our generation?
The Carrie Diaries opens up in Carrie's senior year of high school. She and her best friends -- Walt, Lali, Maggie, and the Mouse -- are inseparable, amid the sea of Jens, Jocks and Jets. And then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture. Sebastian is a bad boy-older, intriguing, and unpredictable. Carrie falls into the relationship that she was always supposed to have in high school-until a friend's betrayal makes her question everything. With her high school days coming to a close, Carrie will realize it's finally time to go after everything she ever wanted.
Rabid fans of Sex and the City will love seeing Carrie Bradshaw evolve from a regular girl into a sharp, insightful writer. They'll learn about her family background -- how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. We'll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where the next Carrie Diaries book will take place.

May 2010....Law, that was a good book!

Last night we met at Erin's to discuss her pick, The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  We loved the book!  It gave us a lot to talk about.  I think we talked more about this book than we have any other book... kudos to Erin for picking such a good book!
The book was based in the 1960's in Jackson, Mississippi.  The world was a little different then compared to now obviously.  The way that blacks were treated was pretty appalling to all of us.  Erin said she cried a lot during the book {that could have something to do with the little one that is growing in her belly... She's 13 weeks pregnant!}
I think all of us were left feeling sad and with the question, if we were living in the 60's what would we have done?  Would we have done something like Skeeter?  Or treated the maids like they weren't "worthy" like Miss Hilly?  I don't think any of us are capable of being as mean as Miss Hilly, but I wonder if we'd of had maids? {assuming we were wealthy of course} 
Amy L. read the book while visiting her sister in Mississippi and said it made the book very real for her, being in the south.  She said that things are still a little segregated {in the small town she was in}.  There aren't a lot of interracial couples, and she felt like the minority actually because she was white.  Another interesting thought is that this book was dated only 40-50 years ago, that made it even more "real" instead of "fiction".  Many of our parents and grandparents remember the segregation.
I know I'm thankful for this book, it gave me a greater sense to appreciate what the African Americans have had to overcome and I felt so sorry that they were ever treated so horribly.
If you want a good book to stir up lots of discussion and step a little into the past, pick up The Help...you won't be disappointed!
{Do you like the 1960's photo edit?}

See you girls next month to talk about Amy L's pick!!!!  {Insert clapping & screaming here}

Friday, May 7, 2010

Baby-Sitters Club... did you read it?

I cannot believe what I heard today!  The Baby-Sitters Club is coming back! 
Schlastic announced they are reissuing the series with updated covers!  I LOVED the Baby-Sitters Club books in elementary school...I would anxiously await their delivery to my front door (I was signed up to automatically receive the books in the mail as soon as they were released...yes, I was obsessed!)  Most of the time I started & finished the book in the same day... I couldn't put them down!  I'm SO excited to see the new books & share them with the little girls in my life.  If you want to read the interview that Ann Martin did with Oprah you can see it here. She also has an article in the NY Times that you can read here.
I still have my entire collection & I just might have to buy the newly released books too!!! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May's Pick!

Erin Larson picked The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women:

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town...

I'm excited to get reading it...now if only Barnes & Noble could deliver the book to my doorstep!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nickel and Dimed

Nickel and Dimed turned out to be a great book club book. Ehrenreich's experiences gave us a lot to discuss and think about.

Here are a few links to other work from Barbara Ehrenreich:

Barbara's Blog:

"Smile! You've got cancer":

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hunger Games Meeting

Tuesday we had our Book Club meeting.  In fact, we all read the book so fast that we moved our meeting up 2 weeks!  So, you can assume that we all really enjoyed the book!  Hunger Games is part of a trilogy, Catching Fire is the next book & Mocking Jay comes out this summer.  We had lots of discussion which was awesome, I think we talked more about this book than we have at any of the others.  I think all of us are going to read the 2nd book.  Breana even set out items to represent each of the Districts (hence the random items in the picture below).  She's so creative!  Fun night, good discussion with good friends!  Great Pick Bre!

I need to see the picture!!

Where is it? I had so much fun that night and love the club!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Up Next: Nonfiction

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

by Barbara Ehrenreich

Millions of Americans work full-time, year-round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6-$7 an hour? To find out Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing home aide, and Walmart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity--a land of Big Boxes, fast food and a thousand desperate strategems for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Breana's choice!!!

Hello all, let me just say I am very excited about this book! It is a Trilogy and somewhat different than what has been chosen in the past. Here you go....


In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
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"Once I am on my feet, I realize escape might not be so simple. Panic begins to set in. I can't stay here. Flight is essential. But I can't let my fear show."

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Last Chance Saloon Meeting

Last night we met in Topeka at my house for the discussion of Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes.  We were missing two girls, Amy & Shandal...we missed you girls! 
I had chosen this book so it's a little ironic that I was THE ONLY one to not finish it...yes, you heard me correctly...I didn't even finish my own book club choice!  I have been super busy the last few weeks and read all but the last 80 pages...and according to the girls last night that's when it gets good!  It took all of us a while to get into it, but overall we all thought it was an "okay" choice.  We agreed that it was pretty straight forward, not leaving much discussion for a Book Club.  So, instead of chatting only about Book Club it was nice to talk about other things going on in our lives since we are all married and don't get much "girl time".  Breana picked the next book so stay tuned because she'll reveal it on the blog later today!  I'm excited for something new and different!

Even thought I didn't have time to finish the book I DID have time to find a beverage that I thought was fitting for our Book Club....

Little Black Dress Wine!
I was pretty excited when I saw this so I had to have it for us last night!  And, it was good wine too!
Until next month...Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How is everyone doing with the book?

Is anyone finished? I am on about 340. I like it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lovely Bones Meeting

We had a great time @ Amy's in Olathe talking about the book she picked, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.  We had a great discussion about what we liked and didn't like about the book.  Many of us like Susie's view of heaven...excluding her "return to Earth" via Ruth's body which was weird!  We felt like some of the characters were built up to have a "big part" in the book but it was never revealed (i.e. Ruth's Dad & Ray's Mom?)
If you followed along this month we hope you enjoyed it!

February's Book!

Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
Ever since legwarmers were cool, best friends Tara, Katherine, and Fintan have survived small-town ennui, big-city heartbreak, and endless giddy nights out on the town. But now that they've graduated to their slightly more serious thirties, only Fintan has what can honestly be called a "love life." With Tara struggling daily with her eternal diet—and her dreadful, penny-pinching boyfriend—and Katherine keeping her single existence as organized as her drawer full of matching bra and panty sets, it seems they'll never locate the exit door out of the "last chance saloon."
But it's always when you are least ready for change that fate insists on one. And when catastrophe inevitably follows crisis, the lives of three best friends are sure to change in unexpected ways ... and not necessarily for the worse.

Friday, January 15, 2010

SPOILER ALERT...Ending of Lovely Bones

I'm totally confused, not sure if I'm looking too much into it but @ the end of the book why is it a shock to the family that the house that Lindsay & Sam are going to buy is a rental of Ruth's Dads?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Book Club Suggestions?

I am responsible for picking next months book...do any of you have a favorite author, or a book that you would suggest that is good for a Book Club?  I am wanting something upbeat and uplifting!
Thanks for your input & suggestions!