Our book club is a monthly book club in conjunction with our online discussion forum. If interested in joining my book club, email me at cardinspired@gmail.com for more information.

Stop by the Group's Discussion Forum: Click Here

Discussions for the book of the month starts on the 15th of each month. Join in the discussion!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

September's Book Suggestions - Voting 08-05-09 to 08-08-09

Below are the September book suggestions that were chosen by club members.

September book genre is "Mystery" or "Thriller"

For September book suggestion, please review the books below.

Members, please vote on the book you would like to read for August's Book of the Month. Every member should vote including those who suggested a book.

For those who suggested a book, you may vote for you own book or vote for a book suggested by the other members.I provided a video interview by the author or a video related to the book. The ones that don't have a video, I could not find a video for the suggested book.

To vote, members please comment on this blog post and not on the forum. Voting will begin August 5th to August 8th. Voting will close at 11:00 pm PST August 8th. If there's a tie, I will make the final decision. I will post the selected book for August Book on August 9th. Thank you for voting!!

Heather's Suggestion:

Miss Julia Delivers the Goods
by Ann B. Ross

Published: April, 2009
Pages: 352

Synopsis

Get ready for double the trouble and twice the fun in Ann B. Ross's tenth Miss Julia adventure. If there's no rest for the weary, Miss Julia must be absolutely exhausted. She's just learned a secret—Hazel Marie is pregnant with twins and the prospective father has cleared out of town. But good things come in unexpected packages. Abbotsville finds itself the scene of a heist; and Miss Julia knows there's only one man who can solve the crime.

It's J. D. Pickens, P.I., renowned investigator and Hazel Marie's wayward love. When he's summoned, one thing becomes clear: Miss Julia must help set things right between them or find herself the only one who can, quite literally, deliver the goods.Ann B. Ross consistently draws crowds at bookstores, not only to purchase her books, but also to meet her in person. Her tenth Miss Julia novel will bring the goods to her tried-and-true fans and new readers alike.

Reviews:

Amazon
Barnes and Nobles

Mary's Suggestion:

Relentless by Dean Koontz

Published: June, 2009
Pages: 368

Synopsis

#1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Dean Koontz delivers a mesmerizing new thriller that explores the razor-thin line between the best and worst of human nature—and the anarchy simmering just beneath society’s surface—as a likeable, successful family man is drawn into a confrontation with a foe of unimaginable malice….Bestselling novelist Cullen “Cubby” Greenwich is a lucky man and he knows it.

He makes a handsome living doing what he enjoys. His wife, Penny, a children’s book author and illustrator, is the love of his life. Together they have a brilliant six-year-old, Milo, affectionately dubbed “Spooky,” and a non-collie named Lassie, who’s all but part of the family.So Cubby knows he shouldn’t let one bad review of his otherwise triumphant new book get to him—even if it does appear in the nation’s premier newspaper and is penned by the much-feared, seldom-seen critic, Shearman Waxx. Cubby knows the best thing to do is ignore the gratuitously vicious, insulting, and inaccurate comments. Penny knows it, even little Milo knows it. If Lassie could talk, she’d tell Cubby to ignore them, too.

Ignore Shearman Waxx and his poison pen is just what Cubby intends to do. Until he happens to learn where the great man is taking his lunch. Cubby just wants to get a look at the mysterious recluse whose mere opinion can make or break a career—or a life.But Shearman Waxx isn’t what Cubby expects; and neither is the escalating terror that follows what seemed to be an innocent encounter. For Waxx gives criticism; he doesn’t take it. He has ways of dealing with those who cross him that Cubby is only beginning to fathom. Soon Cubby finds himself in a desperate struggle with a relentless sociopath, facing an inexorable assault on far more than his life. Fearless, funny, utterly compelling, Relentless is Dean Koontz at his riveting best, an unforgettable tale of the fragile bonds that hold together all that we most cherish—and of those who would tear those bonds asunder.


Review:



Theresa's suggestion:

Fresh Kills by Bill Loehfelm

Published: July, 2009
Pages: 336

Synopsis:

When John Sanders, Jr., learns that his father has been murdered, his only regret is that he didn't pull the trigger himself. Yet despite his rage at his father for a lifetime of abuse, he becomes obsessed with finding the killer.But as a string of dead ends and violent encounters leave Junior no closer to any answers, his relationship with his beloved sister crumbles, while his affair with an old high school sweetheart wreaks havoc on his fracturing psyche. Only when a chance for revenge finally arrives must Junior decide whether he will continue the chain of violence or accept the challenge of a new beginning.

Review:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

September Book Suggestions - July 29 to August 1st

Members. . . please comment on this post with your "book title", "author", and a link to a website that provides a synopsis of the book and a review if available.It's that time again. It's book selection time.

For the month of August. . .the book genre will be "Thriller/Mystery". This is a very broad genre so it's up to you on what you define as a "Thriller" or "Mystery. To help you out a bit. . .you should visit the Barnes and Noble or Amazon website and search under "Thriller" or "Mystery" and if you want to focus on best sellers, narrow down your search to that category.

You may also search the Internet for book lists or book guide specially in the genre that is chosen for the month. Here are a few book guide sites that you may want to look at. Keep in mind, there's many of them so what I list below are a few I found online to help you out:

Amazon
Book Browse - Thriller
Book Browse - Mystery

You may also find book guides and book list at the library or at the book store.When choosing a book, choose a book that "you" want to read, not what you think others may want to read. The reason for this is well, we all don't know one another personally.

Although your book may not be chosen, I want you to be excited about reading the book. If your book isn't chosen, well obviously you can read it on your own or suggest it at another time.Please do a little bit of research before suggesting a book. Sometimes availability may be a problem. Choose a book that is widely available. For example, don't choose a book that is so old that it may no longer be in circulation!! Can't wait to see what you all come up with!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day #2 Discussions - Elizabeth Edwards Resilience

Click Here for Day #2 Discussion

For new members, you will need to register to post your discussion.

The discussions are open to the public. If you read the book, stop by the forum and discuss the book with us .

The discussion format will be a in a one to two questions per day format. There will be a total of 3 days starting from July 15 to July 22.

Each member or participant, answers the question and it's recommended that members start an active discussion with other members or participants.Each day two new questions will be posted, i.e., Day #1 Discussion, Day #2 Discusion, etc. for a series of 7 days.

Here are a few suggestions to get the discussions going:

Do you agree or disagree with the member's analysis?

Elaborate further with your own views in regards to a member's post.

Compare and contrast with a member's analysis of the question.Ask additional questions of the member to explain her/his answers further.Please note. . .the discussion will be active in the "discussion section" of this forum (see side bar - click on either the "Home" or "Discussion" tabs")

You may answer one or both questions. For members or participants, please respond to any of the other members answers so we can get an active discussion going.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day #1 Discussions - Elizabeth Edwards Resilience

Click Here to enter the discussion forum.

For new members, you will need to register to post your discussion.

The discussions are open to the public but non-members will be moderated. Stop by and join in the discussion if you've read the book.

The discussion format will be a in a one to two questions per day format. There will be a total of 3 days starting from July 15 to July 22.

Each member or participant, answers the question and it's recommended that members start an active discussion with other members or participants.Each day two new questions will be posted, i.e., Day #1 Discussion, Day #2 Discusion, etc. for a series of 7 days.

Here are a few suggestions to get the discussions going:

Do you agree or disagree with the member's analysis?

Elaborate further with your own views in regards to a member's post.

Compare and contrast with a member's analysis of the question.Ask additional questions of the member to explain her/his answers further.Please note. . .the discussion will be active in the "discussion section" of this forum (see side bar - click on either the "Home" or "Discussion" tabs")

You may answer one or both questions. For members or participants, please respond to any of the other members answers so we can get an active discussion going.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

August Book of the Month - Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson

Margie's Selection:

Sundays at Tiffany's
by James Patterson

Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Vision (June 1, 2009)

Jane Margaux is a lonely little girl. Her mother, a powerful Broadway producer, makes time for her only once a week, for their Sunday trip to admire jewelry at Tiffany's. Jane has only one friend: a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael. He's perfect. But only she can see him. Michael can't stay forever, though. On Jane's ninth birthday he leaves, promising her that she'll soon forget him.

AN UNEXPECTED LOVE Years later, in her thirties, Jane is just as alone as she was as a child. And despite her own success as a playwright, she is even more trapped by her overbearing mother. Then she meets someone–a handsome, comforting, funny man. He's perfect. His name is Michael...

AND AN UNFORGETTABLE TWIST This is a heartrending story that surpasses all expectations of why these people have been brought together. With the breath taking momentum and gripping emotional twists that have made James Patterson a bestselling author all over the world, SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY'S takes an altogether fresh look at the timeless and transforming power of love

Source: James Patterson Website

Reviews:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble


Sunday, July 5, 2009

August Book Selection Voting - 07-05-09 to 07-08-09

Below are the August's book suggestions that were chosen by club members.

August's book genre is "Romance"

For August's book suggestion, please review the books below.

Members, please vote on the book you would like to read for August's Book of the Month. Every member should vote including those who suggested a book.

For those who suggested a book, you may vote for you own book or vote for a book suggested by the other members.I provided a video interview by the author or a video related to the book. The ones that don't have a video, I could not find a video for the suggested book.

To vote, members please comment on this blog post and not on the forum. Voting will begin July 5th to July 8th. Voting will close at 11:00 pm PST June 8th. If there's a tie, I will make the final decision. I will post the selected book for August Book on July 9th. Thank you for voting!!

Wendy's Selection:

On Mystic Lake
by Kristin Hannah


Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 27, 2004)

Annie Colwater's husband has just confessed that he's in love with a younger woman. Devastated, Annie retreats to the small town where she grew up. There, she is reunited with her first love, Nick Delacroix, a recent widower who is unable to cope with his silent, emotionally scarred young daughter. Together, the three of them begin to heal. But just when Annie believes she's been given a second chance at happiness, her world is turned upside down again, and she is forced to make a choice that no woman in love should ever have to make. . .

Source: Reading Guides

Reviews:

Amazon
Good Reads

Tracy's Selection:

The Pact
by Jodi Picoult

Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Avon; Very Good edition (August 29, 2006)

In this contemporary tale of love and friendship, Jodi Picoult brings to life a familiar world, and in a single terrifying moment awakens every parent's worse fear: We think we know our children… but do we ever really know them at all?

For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty-- they've grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other's lives. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. They've been soul mates since they were born.

So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There's a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris took from his father's cabinet-- a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris has described.

The profound questions faced by the characters in this heart-rending novel are those we can all relate to: How well do we ever really know our children, our friends? What if…? As its chapters unfold, alternating between an idyllic past and an unthinkable present, The Pact paints an indelible portrait of families in anguish… culminating in an astonishingly suspenseful courtroom drama as Chris finds himself on trial for murder.

With this riveting psychological drama, Jodi Picoult explores the dynamics of intimate relationships under stress-- from the seemingly inexplicable mind of a teenager to the bonds of friendship and marriage. Few writers have such a gift for evoking everyday life coupled with the ability to create a level of dramatic tension that will keep you up reading late into the night. The Pact is storytelling at its best: wonderfully observed, deeply moving, and utterly impossible to put down

Source: Jodi Picoult Website

Reviews:

Amazon
Trashionista Review

Amanda's Selection: **Amanda selected any book from Richard Paul Evans so I chose the one with the highest rating

The Gift
by Richard Paul Evans

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1ST edition (October 9, 2007)

There is no hurt so great that love cannot heal it.

Nathan Hurst hated Christmas. For the rest of the world it was a day of joy and celebration; for Nathan it was simply a reminder of the event that destroyed his childhood until a snowstorm, a cancelled flight and an unexpected meeting with a young mother and her very special son would show him that Christmas is indeed the season of miracles.

Source: Barnes and Noble

Reviews:

Barnes and Noble
Amazon

Margie's Selection:

Sundays at Tiffany's
by James Patterson

Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Vision (June 1, 2009)

Jane Margaux is a lonely little girl. Her mother, a powerful Broadway producer, makes time for her only once a week, for their Sunday trip to admire jewelry at Tiffany's. Jane has only one friend: a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael. He's perfect. But only she can see him. Michael can't stay forever, though. On Jane's ninth birthday he leaves, promising her that she'll soon forget him.

AN UNEXPECTED LOVE Years later, in her thirties, Jane is just as alone as she was as a child. And despite her own success as a playwright, she is even more trapped by her overbearing mother. Then she meets someone–a handsome, comforting, funny man. He's perfect. His name is Michael...

AND AN UNFORGETTABLE TWIST This is a heartrending story that surpasses all expectations of why these people have been brought together. With the breath taking momentum and gripping emotional twists that have made James Patterson a bestselling author all over the world, SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY'S takes an altogether fresh look at the timeless and transforming power of love

Source: James Patterson Website

Reviews:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Theresa's Selection:

Black Hills
by Nora Roberts

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult (July 7, 2009)

A summer at his grandparents' South Dakota ranch is not eleven-year-old Cooper Sullivan's idea of a good time. But things are a bit more bearable now that he's discovered the neighbor girl, Lil Chance, and her homemade batting cage. Even horseback riding isn't as awful as Coop thought it would be. Each year, with Coop's annual summer visit, their friendship deepens from innocent games to stolen kisses, but there is one shared experience that will forever haunt them: the terrifying discovery of a hiker's body.

As the seasons change and the years roll, Lil stays steadfast to her dreams of becoming a wildlife biologist and protecting her family land, while Coop struggles with his father's demand that he attend law school and join the family firm. Twelve years after they last walked together hand in hand, fate has brought them back to the Black Hills when the people and things they hold most dear need them most.

An investigator in New York, Coop recently left his fast paced life to care for his aging grandparents and the ranch he has come to call home. Though the memory of his touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge, but something...or someone...has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks and acts of destruction escalate into the heartless killing of Lil's beloved cougar, recollections of an unsolved murder in these very hills have Coop springing to action to keep Lil safe.

Lil and Coop both know the natural dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. But now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey

Source: http://thebestreviews.com/book20795

Reviews:

Errant Dreams Review
Amazon

Dianne's selection:

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman

Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Harcourt (October 8, 2007)

Originally published in 1972, William Goldman's delightful abridgement of S. Morgenstern's classic tale of true love and epic adventure, The Princess Bride, has reached an enormous audience, thanks greatly to Rob Reiner's wonderful film version featuring Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Andre the Giant, and William Goldman's sharp and vivacious screenplay. If you enjoyed the movie, you're certain to treasure the newly published 25th-anniversary edition for many years to come. It's a delightful, romantic, and entertaining read

Source: Barnes and Noble

Reviews:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review: Dead & Gone by Charlaine Harris

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris:

Synopsis:

For Sookie Stackhouse, the day to day activities of the vampire and were communities in and around Bon Temps, Louisiana, are of vital interest, She's blood-bound to the leader of the vamps, a friend to the local were pack, works for a man who is shifter, and has a brother who is a were-panther…

But for most of the humans in Bon Temps, the vamps are mysterious seductive creatures-and they don't even know about the weres.

Until now. The weres and shifters have finally decided to follow the lead of the undead and reveal their existence to the ordinary world.

At first it seems to go well. Then the mutilated body of a were-panther is found in the parking lot of the bar where Sookie works. The victim is someone she knows, so she feels compelled to discover who-human or otherwise-did the deed.

But what she doesn't realize is that there is a far greater danger than the killer threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings--older, more powerful and far more secretive than vampires or werewolves-- is preparing for war. And Sookie will find herself an all-too human pawn in their battle…

Source: http://www.lovingtruebloodindallas.com/2009/02/dead-and-gone.html

Review by Theresa:

Those who follow Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series are well aware that the 9th book in the series was released on May 5th, 2009.

In breathless anticipation, I pulled my copy up on my Kindle at about 5:30 AM that morning and was done by 7PM the following day. As usual, I found the book too short and wanted MORE, but that's really my only complaint.

At this point in the series, most fans have developed attachments to the characters and are sad when something bad happens to one they care about or elated when a storyline involving them goes the way they'd hoped. In a world with so many characters and threads, there will always be both disappointed and happy readers. With DAG, this is fairly evident from the chatter on the review sites and on Ms. Harris' forum. Practically no one is in the middle...they either love this book or they hate it.

As a fan of Eric, I LOVED this book!! I found the developments in his character and relationships lusciously satisfying. His scenes, sadly short in the last book, were my favorites in DAG. The viking is BACK in a gracious-plenty sort of way.

That said, there are some very dark aspects to DAG. Secondary characters, some of whom I liked, are murdered in atrocious and taboo-breaking ways. More are hurt and treated cruelly. The violence level is pretty high and shocking, although when vampires, werewolves and fey are involved, should anyone be surprised by this?

There are, as always, threads left dangling at the conclusion...enough to keep the boards humming with speculation until #10 is released in 2010.

If you haven't read the previous 8 books, you really need to do so before reading Dead and Gone. There are far too many different characters and backstories to start the series with this book. And the books are also not to be confused with the HBO series Trueblood. Season 1 is based on the first book, but it has taken some of the characters & relationships in different directions.

I recommend this book to those who have read the previous novels and especially to those who like Eric. Those who haven't read the previous books won't enjoy this one. Start with Dead Until Dark.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

August Book Suggestion 05-25 to 05-28

Members. . . please comment on this post with your "book title", "author", and a link to a website that provides a synopsis of the book and a review if available.

It's that time again. It's book selection time. For the month of August. . .the book genre will be "Romance". Any type of romance is fine. . . it can be a Romantic Comedy, Harlequin type, Classical,or any book with romance or love story being the primary focus. A good example of a romance book is the "Notebook" or even "Romeo and Juliet".

Search the Internet for book lists or book guide specially in the genre that is chosen for the month.Here are a few book guide sites that you may want to look at. Keep in mind, there's many of them so what I list below are a few I found online to help you out:

Amazon
Romantic Times

Barnes and Noble

You may also find book guides and book list at the library or at the book store.When choosing a book, choose a book that "you" want to read, not what you think others may want to read. The reason for this is well, we all don't know one another personally. Although your book may not be chosen, I want you to be excited about reading the book. If your book isn't chosen, well obviously you can read it on your own or suggest it at another time.

Please do a little bit of research before suggesting a book. Sometimes availability may be a problem. Choose a book that is widely available. For example, don't choose a book that is so old that it may no longer be in circulation!!Can't wait to see what you all come up with!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day #2 Discussion - No Time For Goodbye - Linwood Barclay


The discussions are open to the public but non-members will be moderated. Stop by and join in the discussion if you've read the book.

The discussion format will be a in a one to two questions per day format. There will be a total of 3 days starting from June 15 to June 22.

Each member or participant, answers the question and it's recommended that members start an active discussion with other members or participants.

Each day two new questions will be posted, i.e., Day #1 Discussion, Day #2 Discusion, etc. for a series of 7 days.

Here's a few suggestions to get the discussions going:

Do you agree or disagree with the member's analysis?
Elaborate further with your own views in regards to a member's post.
Compare and contrast with a member's analysis of the question.
Ask additional questions of the member to explain her/his answers further.


Please note. . .the discussion will be active in the "discussion section" of this forum (see side bar - click on either the "Home" or "Discussion" tabs")

You may answer one or both questions. For members or participants, please respond to any of the other members answers so we can get an active discussion going.

Monday, June 15, 2009

No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay - Discussion Day #1


The discussions are open to the public but non-members will be moderated. Stop by and join in the discussion if you've read the book.

The discussion format will be a in a one to two questions per day format. There will be a total of 3 days starting from June 15 to June 22.

Each member or participant, answers the question and it's recommended that members start an active discussion with other members or participants.

Each day two new questions will be posted, i.e., Day #1 Discussion, Day #2 Discusion, etc. for a series of 7 days.

Here's a few suggestions to get the discussions going:

Do you agree or disagree with the member's analysis?
Elaborate further with your own views in regards to a member's post.
Compare and contrast with a member's analysis of the question.
Ask additional questions of the member to explain her/his answers further.


Please note. . .the discussion will be active in the "discussion section" of this forum (see side bar - click on either the "Home" or "Discussion" tabs")

You may answer one or both questions. For members or participants, please respond to any of the other members answers so we can get an active discussion going.

Monday, June 8, 2009

July's Book of the Month - Elizabeth Edwards Resilience

Maria's Seleciton:


Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities by Elizabeth Edwards


Memoir

Pages: 224
Published: May 8, 2009

Synopsis:

She's one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she's no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband's infidelity became public fodder. And her own life has been on the line.

Days before the 2004 presidential election--when her husband John was running for vice president--she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the cancer went away--only to reoccur in 2007. While on the campaign trail, Elizabeth met many others who have had to contend with serious adversity in their lives, and in "Resilience," she draws on their experiences as well as her own, crafting an unsentimental and ultimately inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life's biggest challenges.

This short, powerful, pocket-sized inspirational book makes an ideal gift for anyone dealing with difficulties in their life, who can find peace in knowing they are not alone, and promise that things can get better."

(Source: Tower Books)

Review:

LA Times
Barnes & Noble
Amazon






Monday, June 1, 2009

July's Book Selection Voting 06-01 to 06-04

Below are the July's book suggestions that were chosen by club members. Each month, at least 5 members will suggest a book and all members will vote on which book to select for the month.

July's book genre is a non-fiction - autobiography or memoir. Few members have selected biographies rather than autobiographies but I will accept the biography selections.

For July's book suggestion, please review the books below.


Members, please vote on the book you would like to read for June's Book of the Month. Every member should vote including those who suggested a book.

For those who suggested a book, you may vote for you own book or vote for a book suggested by the other members.I provided a video interview by the author or a video related to the book. The ones that don't have a video, I could not find a video for the suggested book.

To vote, members please comment on this blog post and not on the forum. Voting will begin June 1st to June 4th. Voting will close at 11:00 pm PST June 4th. If there's a tie, I will make the final decision. I will post the selected book for July on June 5th.


Amanda's Selection:

Steve and Me: Life with the Crocodile Hunter by Terri Irwin


Biography

Pages: 288
Published Date: October 30, 2007

Synopsis:

Few celebrities touch as many people as Steve Irwin did. He was loved by people from all walks of life and his vast efforts at conservation continue to make a difference all over the globe. Steve and Terri's story is not just one of taking a noble cause to a new height, but is also a fairytale love affair. When Terri, an American tourist in Australia, first laid eyes on Steve, she saw a real-life action hero. She was, however, disappointed to hear that his heart belonged to another. Steve then offered to introduce her to his girlfriend, whistled and presented his best girl: a Staffordshire bull terrier called Sui. Later, Steve took Terri on a unique first date - a canoe ride through the swamps at night. She describes how Steve climbed out of the boat into the crocodile-filled water and how she knew she was with the bravest man she'd ever met.

Steve and Terri married in June 1992 and the footage of their crocodile-trapping honeymoon became the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter. WIth the opening of the Australia Zoo, the couple brought conservation to the people and became ambassadors for the native wildlife. Together, Steve and Terri changed the perception of conservation and sparked global interest in the animals of the Australian bush. Terri's book chronicles this work with their children Bindi and Bob and is her tribute to keeping Steve's memory and mission alive.

(Source: Amazon)

Review:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Other selections by Amanda:

A Little Bit Wicked by Kristen Chenowith
Multiple Blessing by John & Kate Gosselin

Jacquie's Selection:


The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan


Memoir

Pages: 272 Pages
Published date: January 8, 2008

Synopsis:

For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything. At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But even as a thriving adult, Kelly still saw herself as the daughter of garrulous Irish-American charmer George Corrigan.

She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place—"that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap"—comfortably wedged between her adult duties and her parents' care. But Kelly is abruptly shoved into coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast—and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear. When George, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, it is Kelly's turn to take care of the man who had always taken care of her—and to show us a woman who finally takes the leap and grows up.

(Source: Barnes & Noble)




Review:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Borders

Maria's Seleciton:


Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities by Elizabeth Edwards


Memoir

Pages: 224
Published: May 8, 2009

Synopsis:

She's one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she's no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband's infidelity became public fodder. And her own life has been on the line.

Days before the 2004 presidential election--when her husband John was running for vice president--she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the cancer went away--only to reoccur in 2007. While on the campaign trail, Elizabeth met many others who have had to contend with serious adversity in their lives, and in "Resilience," she draws on their experiences as well as her own, crafting an unsentimental and ultimately inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life's biggest challenges.

This short, powerful, pocket-sized inspirational book makes an ideal gift for anyone dealing with difficulties in their life, who can find peace in knowing they are not alone, and promise that things can get better."

(Source: Tower Books)

Review:

LA Times
Barnes & Noble
Amazon






Amber's Selection:


Wu: The Chinese Empress Who Schemed, Seduced and Murdered Her Way to Become a Living God by Jonathan Clements


Biography

Pages: 256 pages
Published date: February 1, 2007

Synopsis:

Wu was the first and only woman in Chinese history to become a reigning empress. Jonathan Clements tells the dramatic and colourful story of the seventh-century daughter of a lumber merchant who used her looks, cunning and connections to rule one of the largest empires of the world.

Before Wu was born, prophecies predicted that she would become an emperor. It was thus a source of disappointment to her family when she turned out to be a girl. But they underestimated Wu's steely determination to succeed. At the age of 13 she took the first steps on her path to power when she was selected as a concubine to the 40-year-old Supreme Emperor (Taizong).

When the emperor fell ill, the ambitious Wu committed a capital crime by seducing his heir. Her gamble paid off, and when the emperor died, his besotted heir, now the High Emperor (Gaozong), rescued Wu from life in a convent. Back in the palace, Wu wasted no time in framing and executing her opposition, the empress and the beautiful Pure Concubine. Her ruthlessness even extended to her own family. After her husband had died, she poisoned her strong-willed eldest son, tried to rule through his two more malleable brothers but eventually took the throne herself.

Coloured by intrigue, murder, incest and seduction, Wu's incredible true story is a rich and fascinating tale. Drawing on the original Chinese sources, Jonathan Clements reveals the life of this extraordinary woman who proclaimed herself a living god, founded a new dynasty and was only deposed, aged 79, after jealous courtiers had murdered her two young lovers.

(Source: Amazon)

Reviews:

Amazon

Carisa's Selection:

A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash by Sylvia Nasar
Biography


Pages: 464
Publishe date: November 27, 2001

Synopsis:

How could you, a mathematician, believe that extraterrestrials were sending you messages? the visitor from Harvard asked the West Virginian with the movie-star looks and Olympian manner.

Thus begins the true story of John Nash, the mathematical genius

who was a legend by age thirty when he slipped into madness, and who -- thanks to the selflessness fo a beautiful woman and the loyalty of the mathematics community -- emerged after decades of ghostlike exixstence to win a Nobel Prize and world acclaim, the inspiration for a major motion picutre. Sylvia Nasar's award-winning biography is a drama about the mystery of the human mind, triumph over incredivble adversity, and the healing power of love.

(Source: Learn out Loud)

Reviews:

The Powell's Book
Amazon
Library Thing

Heather's Selection:

The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner


Autobiography

Pages: 320
Published date: October 2004

Book Description:

The astounding yet true rags-to-riches saga of a homeless father who raised and cared for his son on the mean streets of San Francisco and went on to become a crown prince of Wall Street



At the age of twenty, Milwaukee native Chris Gardner, just out of the Navy, arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. Considered a prodigy in scientific research, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance. Yet no sooner had he landed an entry-level position at a prestigious firm than Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him as part of the city's working homeless and with a toddler son. Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving among shelters, "HO-tels," soup lines, and even sleeping in the public restroom of a subway station.

Never giving in to despair, Gardner made an astonishing transformation from being part of the city's invisible poor to being a powerful player in its financial district.

More than a memoir of Gardner's financial success, this is the story of a man who breaks his own family's cycle of men abandoning their children. Mythic, triumphant, and unstintingly honest, The Pursuit of Happyness conjures heroes like Horatio Alger and Antwone Fisher, and appeals to the very essence of the American Dream.

(Source by Harper Collins)






Friday, May 22, 2009

July's Book Suggestion: Genre: Non-Fiction (Autobiography or Memoir) 05-22 - 05-27)

Members. . . please comment on this post with your "book title", "author", and a link to a website that provides a synopsis of the book and a review if available.

It's that time again. It's book selection time. Every 3rd book, we will select a non-fiction book and it's that time!! For July we will be selecting a non-fiction book.

July' book genre will be a non-fiction in the category of "autobiography" or "memoir.

When looking for a book to suggest to the club, here's a few things you can do when researching for a book.

Search the Internet for book lists or book guide specially in the genre that is chosen for the month.

Here a few book guide sites that you may want to look at. Keep in mind, there's many of them so what I list below are a few I found online to help you out:

The Good Book Guide
Amazon
Reader's Digest
Book Browse
Ezine Articles

You may also find book guides and book list at the library or at the book store.

When choosing a book, choose a book that "you" want to read, not what you think others may want to read. The reason for this is well, we all don't know one another personally. Although your book may not be chosen, I want you to be excited about reading the book. If your book isn't chosen, well obviously you can read it on your own or suggest it at another time.

Please do a little bit of research before suggesting a book. Sometimes availability may be a problem. Choose a book that is widely available. For example, don't choose a book that is so old that it may no longer be in circulation!!

Can't wait to see what you all come up with!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day #2 Discussions - the Host by Stephenie Meyer

Please join us at the group forum to discuss the book "the Host" by Stephenie Meyer. The forum is an open forum meaning you don't need to be a member to join in the discussion but your posts will be moderated.

Click Here for the discussion

For this discussion, the format will change to a 1 to 2 question format rather than a "list of questions" format. Each member or participant, answers the question and it's recommended that members start an active discussion with other members or participants.

Each day two new questions will be posted, i.e., Day #1 Discussion, Day #2 Discussion, etc. for a series of 5 days. The discussion questions will be posted from May 15th to May 20th but the discussions will remain open until May 22nd. July's Book recommendations will begin May 23.

Here's a few suggestions to get the discussions going:

  • Do you agree or disagree with the member's analysis? Elaborate further with your own views in regards to a member's post.
  • Compare and contrast with a member's analysis of the question.
  • Ask additional questions of the member to explain her/his answers further.

You may answer one or both questions. Please respond to any of the other members answers so we can get an active discussion going.

Day #2 Questions:

  • Were the struggles between the humans and the souls symbolic of racial prejudice, ethnic cleansing, or genocide? Explain. (Credit to Heather for inspiring this question)

  • Do you feel the relationship between Jared and Melanie (with Wanderer already inserted into Melanie's body) should have been developed more into the story line? Why do you feel that the relationship between Ian and Wanderer was more prominant in the book as opposed to Jared and Melanie? Were you disappointed?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day #1 Discussions - the Host by Stepenie Meyer

Please join us at the group forum to discuss the book "the Host" by Stephenie Meyer. The forum is an open forum meaning you don't need to be a member to join in the discussion but your posts will be moderated.

Click Here for the discussion

For this discussion, the format will change to a 1 to 2 question format rather than a "list of questions" format. Each member or participant, answers the question and it's recommended that members start an active discussion with other members or participants.

Each day two new questions will be posted, i.e., Day #1 Discussion, Day #2 Discussion, etc. for a series of 5 days. The discussion questions will be posted from May 15th to May 20th but the discussions will remain open until May 22nd. July's Book recommendations will begin May 23.

Here's a few suggestions to get the discussions going:

  • Do you agree or disagree with the member's analysis? Elaborate further with your own views in regards to a member's post.
  • Compare and contrast with a member's analysis of the question.
  • Ask additional questions of the member to explain her/his answers further.

You may answer one or both questions. Please respond to any of the other members answers so we can get an active discussion going.

Day #1 Questions:


  • Why do you think Stephenie Meyer referred to the "aliens" as "souls"? Do you feel she was suggesting that our souls as we know it in the biblical sense were actually "aliens" that invades a "host" such as humans?

  • Stephenie Meyer, in both the Twilight Series and the Host, created female characters with inherent weaknesses but yet possessed strengths that helped them overcome adversities. If you've read the Twilight books, do you see any similarities between Bella and Wanderer or Melanie? If you haven't read the Twilight books, what strengths and weaknesses did you see in Wanderer and Melanie?

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer Discussion (05-08-09 - 05-14-09)

Click Here to enter the New Moon Discussion
Discussion open to the public! Come join us!!!

Hey Everyone!! We'll be starting a discussion on the book "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyer at the group forum. Hope you'll stop by and join in the discussion.

The discussion of the book will be an open forum meaning you don't have to be a club member to join in the discussion. Non-member's messages or posts will be moderated.

The discussion will be posted as a "page" but the discussion thread will be under the "discussion" section above. . The discussion is posted in the "discussion" section titled "Discussion - New Moon by Stephenie Meyer - 05/08/09 - 05/14/09".

Please be kind and courteous when participating in the discussions. Although stimulating discussions are welcomed, no bashing is allowed. LOL! I will not approve messages that I deem disrespectful to others or derogatory in a manner. I'm sure we'll be civil. . .considering this is a young adult fiction book . No dramas to be expected!

The discussion questions will be posted on the discussion page: Click Here.

.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Review by Theresa: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Pages: 368
Published: Original: 1966 Latest: 2006

Synopsis:

"In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, describes the events preceding and following the murder of the Clutter family in their small town Kansas home. This "nonfiction novel" is based on events that truly happened but are portrayed novelistically.

Capote depicts the thoughts, actions, and conversation of the killers in the weeks and hours before the murders. Also depicted is the homey domestic life of the doomed Clutter family, denizens of the good and virtuous life in small town Kansas.

Dick Hickock, the dominant of the two killers is a psychopath--charming, pleasant, fearless, but with deficient conscience and little understanding of the pain he causes others. Perry, an American Indian who grew up without means, is stunted in appearance, deluded about the riches that await him, constantly nibbling on aspirin to thwart pain from injured joints, and tormented by memories of a sad and deprived youth. Meanwhile, Herb Clutter, the father of the doomed family, is a pillar of the town, honest and good, caring for a disabled with, with children as promising, sweet and hopeful as any parent could wish for.

The family is murdered one by one in blazing shotgun blasts. Perry, ironically, shows some humanity by positioning a cushion under one victim's head. But not a cent is found in the safe the killers had heard, from a jailbird, held millions. Perry finds himself chasing a rolling silver dollar on the floor, a souvenir of Clutter's just killed daughter.

The efforts, eventually successful, of law enforcement and justice to identify, track down, arrest, interrogate, convict, and finally execute the killers is detailed, and the story ends with the visit of a family friend to the small country graveyard where the family was laid to rest."

Source: http://www.allreaders.com/topics/Info_21234.asp


Theresa's Review:

I just finished this classic book by Truman Capote last week. This True Crime type of novel is a departure from the type of book that I usually prefer, but it had been sitting in my wish list for ages---I decided to order it up to my Kindle and take a break from vampires and werewolves.

Having grown up in New York City, surrounded by tales or murder and mayhem on our nightly news, I’d thought myself too jaded to be moved by the account of a murder committed 50 years ago. I was wrong.

As I read through Capote’s re-enactment of the crime and subsequent investigation (think ‘America’s Most Wanted’ where conversations and events are projected from the facts, so that you are placed into the middle of the events and motivations of all involved) I found myself horrified by the grisly murders, petty motives and the sad loss of life.

I also felt a small glimmer of pity for the killers…they seemed doomed from the start to become what they were by difficult childhoods and freak accidents. A very, very small glimmer, though.

At any rate, it took me about a week to get through this book. The subject matter is so heavy, that I felt the need to occasionally flip to something lighter just to break it up.

I would recommend In Cold Blood to someone looking for a masterfully-written, thought-provoking read.

Other reviews online:

Amazon.com

Blog Critics

Saturday, May 2, 2009

June Book of the Month: No Time For Goodbye - Linwood Barclay



June Book of the Month:

No Time For Goodbye - Linwood Barclay

Official Website

The house was deathly quiet. That was the first sign that something was terribly wrong. Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke that morning to find herself alone. Her family - mother, father, and brother - had vanished without a word, without a note, without a trace.

Twenty-five years later, Cynthia is still looking for answers. Now she is about to learn the devastating truth.Cynthia and Terry Archer still live in Milford, Connecticut, not far from the old Bigge house on Hickory Street. With a solid marriage and a young daughter, the Archers seem on track for a successful future. But the questions raised by Cynthia's past still haunt her, and her obsession to find the answers threatens to destroy everything they've worked for.

For Cynthia, there can be no closure until she finds out why her family disappeared - and how they could have left her behind. Terry thinks the segment on the popular TV crime-stopper program Deadline is a mistake. But his wife hopes that someone watching will have a lead to her missing family. Sure enough, it's Cynthia who spots the strange car cruising the neighborhood, hears the untraceable phone calls, and discovers the ominous "gifts."

And as Cynthia's nerves begin to unravel, no one's innocence is guaranteed, not even her own. By the time the first body is found, it's clear that her past is more of a mystery than she ever imagined - or may ever survive.Someone has returned to this Connecticut town to finish what was started twenty-five years ago. And by the time Terry and Cynthia discover the killer's shocking identity, it will be too late even for goodbye.




Pages: 480
Published: 2008

Links to Book Reviews:

Barnes & Noble
Amazon.com
Good Reads
The Richard & Judy Book Club

Voting results for June's book selection are as follows:

No Time for Goodbye: 5 votes
Angels & Demons: 4 votes
Boneman's Daugthers: 2 votes


July's book suggestions/recommendation: May 25 to May 28
July's book voting: May 28 to May 31st
July's book selection: June 1st
Meeting date for June's book discussion at the forum: July 15 to July 22
August book suggestion/recommendation: June 23 to June 27
August book selection voting period: June 27 to June 30
August final book selection: July 1st

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Twilight Book (1st Book) - Discussion 04/30 - 05/07


Discussion open to the public! Come join us!!!


Hey Twilight Book Lovers. . .I think it's time we discuss Bella and the crew? It seems everyone have read the Twilight books, except for a few . . .who are most definitely missing out! LOL!

We'll start off with the first book and I'll have the discussion up for a week starting today. The Twilight (1st book) discussion will run from April 30th to May 7th then we'll start on New Moon which will run from May 7th to May 14. What do you think? Is that a good schedule.

Anway, the discussion will be at the book club's group forum and it'll be an open forum meaning you don't have to be a club member to join in the discussion. Non-member's messages or posts will be moderated.

On the forum, the discussion will be posted as a "page" but the discussion thread will be under the "discussion" section. Please don't reply via the "page".

Please be kind and courteous. Although stimulating discussions are welcomed, no bashing is allowed. LOL! I will not approve messages that I deem disrespectful to others or derogatory in any manner. I'm sure we'll be civil. . .considering this is a young adult fiction. No dramas to be expected!

The discussion questions will posted on the group forum. Hope to see you there!!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

June Book Suggestions/Voting by Club Members

Below are the book suggestions that were chosen by club members. Each month, at least 5 members will suggest a book and all members will vote on which book to select for the month.



For June's book suggestion, please review the books below. Members, please vote on the book you would like to read for June's Book of the Month. Every member should vote including those who suggested a book. For those who suggested a book, you may vote for you own book or vote for a book suggested by the other members.


I provided a video interview by the author or a video related to the book. The ones that don't have a video, I could not find a video for the suggested book.


To vote, members please comment on this blog post and not on the forum. Voting will begin April 28th to April 30th. Voting will close at 11:00 pm April 30th. If there's a tie, I will make the final decision. I will post the selected book for June on May 1st.



Tracy:

Angels & Demons - Dan Brown
Official Website
Pages: 480
Published: 2000
Review on Amazon.com









Margie:

No Time For Goodbye - Linwood Barclay
Official Website
Pages: 480
Published: 2008
Review on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com







Stephenie:

The Women's Murder Club - James Patterson (Book Series - Total of 8 books)
Official Website
First book: 1st to Die
Pages: 488
Published: 2002
Review: Barnes & Noble

Taylor:

Boneman's Daughters - Ted Dekker
Author's Website
Pages: 416
Published: 2009
Review: Barnes & Noble










Amanda:

First Family - David Baldacci
Author Website
Pages: 464
Published: 2009
Review: Amazon.com

Mary:

Duma Key - Stephen King
Author's Website
Pages: 800
Published: 2008
Review: Literary Guild






Saturday, April 25, 2009

June's Book Suggestion - Genre: Thriller (04-25-08 - 04-28-09)

Members. . . please comment on this post with your "book title", "author", and a link to a website that provides a synopsis of the book and a review if available.

I am doing the "June's Book Selection" a month early in advance so that members will be able to have time to suggest a book, vote, and buy the book.

June book genre will be a "thriller" book.

When looking for a book to suggest to the club, here's a few things you can do when researching for a book.

Search the Interntet for book lists or book guide specially in the genre that is chosen for the month.

Here a few book guide sites that you may want to look at. Keep in mind, there's many of them so what I list below are a few I found online to help you out:

The Good Book Guide
Amazon
Reader's Digest
Book Browse
Ezine Articles

You may also find book guides and book list at the library or at the book store.

When choosing a book, choose a book that "you" want to read, not what you think others may want to read. The reason for this is well, we all don't know one another personally. Although your book may not be chosen, I want you to be excited about reading the book. If your book isn't chosen, well obviously you can read it on your own or suggest it at another time.

Please do a little bit of research before suggesting a book. Sometimes availability may be a problem. Choose a book that is widely available. For example, don't choose a book that is so old that it may no longer be in publication!!

Can't wait to see what you all come up with!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

May Book of the Month - Stephenie Meyer - The Host

Stephenie Meyer (Website)

Published 2008
617 pages
Science-Fiction

Summary (from the book jacket)

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.






Links of book reviews:

Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
Powell's Books
BC Books

June's book recommendation: April 25 to April 28
June's book voting: April 28 to April 30
June's book selection: May 1st
Meeting date for May's book discussion at the forum: May 15 to May 22
July's Book Suggestion/Recommendation: May 23 to May 27th
July's Book Selection voting period: May 27 to May 31
July's Final book selection: June 1st