Thursday, September 29, 2011

September's Meeting

This is just a reminder about tonight's meeting on September 29, 2011.  We have switched back to our fall schedule so the meeting will be at 6:00 pm instead of 5:30.  Also, it's a busy night at the library and we have been moved to the Board Room, located through the Children's department on the first floor.  It's a little hidden, but we will have signs posted.

We have two more signed books by Joyce Lamb to give away as our door prize, True Vision and True Colors.  For our "something sweet" I'm attempting to make chocolate chip and hazelnut cookies, with some nut free ones of course!  :o) 

Our online vote was amazing and I can't wait to hear your input in person!

Hope to see you tonight!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

book jacketReview by Jan:

Garden Spells came highly recommended to me by one of our NYOBG members.  I was compelled to pick this book up simply because of her recommendation, but I must confess what finally motivated me was the awesomely low page count of 286!  :o)  I was in the mood for a short, light read--but what I received was something so much more.  From the moment I started the first page I literally could not put it down until I read the very last amazing word, and consequently went to work the following morning yawning with a very large coffee in hand to get me through the day.  So, while this is a shorter book, the content is filled with some of the most beautifully written characters I have read in a very long time.

What touched me the most about this book was the relationship journey between four Waverly women: two sisters, a distant cousin, and a five-year-old daughter.  It is set in a quirky southern community, with some magic realism thrown in.  Each Waverly woman is born with a "gift."  Evanelle, the distant cousin, described as "79 but looks like 120", is compelled to give people items like a lighter, or bed sheets, or a mango peeler.   Every item she gives will have a significant meaning in the receiver's life.  Claire runs a catering business while using herbs from the Waverly garden to weave a magical evening for her clients through her menu.  Sydney has a gift for making people look good, and her daughter, Bay, knows where things belong.

Claire has always accepted her gift, unashamed of being one of the "odd" Waverly women, while Sydney hated the distinction and left town as soon as she was old enough.   Now Sydney is running from an horrifically abusive boyfriend, knowing he will eventually harm their daughter, and returns home to the only safe place she knows.  Although this is a secondary story line, there is a charming love story involving Claire and her neighbor.  There is also a mischievous apple tree who (and I will say who because it has emotions) throws apples at people.  If a person eats an apple from the Waverly tree, they will see the most important event of their life, which isn't necessarily a good thing.  So, the Waverly women are always burying the apples.

I cannot rave enough about this book!  There isn't a character or line I would change.   There were moments when the author wrote in Bay's perspective, the young daughter, that were simply beautiful, although heart-wrenching.  I was thoroughly touched by this book.

Garden Spells is officially on my top ten favorite reads of the year.  It was that perfect!

Hope to see you in our library someday soon,

Request Garden Spells from the Bangor Public Library

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vote for our October books!

Welcome back to our book vote.  You will see some old favorites, along with a few new suggestions.  Remember this vote is only the first round of eliminations, the top three from each category will be voted on in person at our next book group meeting on September 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm.  If you have a particular book you want in that final vote, be sure to make a comment and let us know which one and why! 
~Jan and Sarah

The winners will be announced by Friday, Sept. 30th!

We thought you might like to see the actual tally of online votes, so we put the votes to the right of each cover.  The final two will be chosen at the meeting.

: :  Request each book from the Bangor Public Library by clicking on the cover  : :
book jacket 9   book jacket 3   book jacket 6   book jacket 3
 book jacket 12   book jacket 4   book jacket 5   book jacket 1
book jacket 8   book jacket 4   The Secret History of the Pink Carnation 6   book jacket 7
book jacketbook jacket5    Soulless 8   You Slay Me 7 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Evolving Book Group

Our Not Your Ordinary Book Group is a project that Sarah and I started a little over a year ago, and has become such a joy for us to run together.  It is wonderful to see our project highlighted in the latest Library Journal issue.  Though while I was the contact for this article, I want to take a moment to express that our group really is a team effort with Sarah and I; we are equal cohorts in this endeavor--along with our library patrons who give their time every month to discuss books with us.  Our members are absolutely fantastic, both in person and those who join us on the blog.  Our book group night is so much fun, and it reminds us of what's most important, that reading is supposed to be for enjoyment and not a chore.
If you have a moment, here's a link to the article that highlights our book group:

As always, hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan and Sarah

Friday, September 2, 2011

Book Suggestion for October's Read

SoullessOne of the books that I will be suggesting for an October read is Soulless by Gail Carriger.  While I haven’t read this book the premise seems very interesting.  The book looks like a great mixture of alternate history, paranormal and romance.  The book is set in the Victorian era where vampires, werewolves and ghosts co-mingle with humans. But even in this society Alexia Tarabotti is a bit of an oddity because she is a spinster and also doesn’t have a soul, which is not generally known.  Trouble starts when Alexia is at a party and she kills a vampire with her parasol.  This does get the attention of Queen Victoria, who sends Lord Conall Maccon, who happens to be a Scottish Alpha werewolf, to investigate. The reviews that I have read make me think that this is a great blend of romance, paranormal, with some steampunk thrown in for good measure.  As I said I haven’t read it yet but I probably will before September’s meeting so I can give the book group members a little more insight.
The Library will be ordering a copy of the book for our collection. If you can’t wait there are available copies on the MaineCat system.