Books and the beach just go together. Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry takes place in the seaside town of Palmetto Beach, where Riley and her mother own the Driftwood Cottage Bookstore. It is a place of gathering, and hosting get togethers for book clubs, such as the Cookbook Club and the Blonde Book Club. But the bookstore is in financial trouble. Riley calls on her two sisters to come back to Palmetto Beach to help save the family bookstore. During this “Driftwood Summer” the sisters must face their past of sibling rivalry and kept secrets.Tags: 2000-2009, general fiction,
Book Club Party Ideas
The tyrannical Nathan Price, a World War II veteran and evangelical Baptist missionary, takes his family into the Belgian Congo in 1959 to run a mission in the small village of Kilanga. Nathan and his family are ill-prepared for dealing with the indigenous culture, and are caught in the political firestorm of an African nation seeking independence from white rule.Tags: 1990-1999, general fiction, top pick,
How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal is about the power of baking to get you through the rough times. Ramona owns a bakery and when absorbed in her craft she is able to forget about the rough times in her life, such as having a baby as a teenager, bitter relationships in her family, and her son-in-law in Afghanistan. When her son-in-law is injured her pregnant daughter must head overseas to care for him and leaves her 13 year old stepdaughter, Katie, with Ramona. Through the art of baking, Ramona and Katie develop a friendship.Tags: 2010-2013, general fiction,
Skippy is a fourteen-year-old boy attending Seabrook College, an esteemed boys’ private school in Dublin. The novel begins with Skippy and his roommate Ruprecht engaging in a doughnut eating contest at Ed’s Doughnut House, the local teen hangout. Ruprecht slows down enough on his munching to realize Skippy has keeled over. Ruprecht rushes to his friend’s aid, but Skippy dies after writing on the floor in raspberry syrup, TELL LORI.Tags: 2010-2013, general fiction,
In 1990, Chris McCandless got in his Datsun and left everything behind – his real name, his family, his possessions and ventured into the wild. He traveled through the United States for almost two years, living as a vagabond, walking and hitchhiking towards his ultimate destination, Alaska.
He walked into the wilderness of Alaska in April 1992 with a .22 caliber rifle, a camera, a ten pound bag of rice and his books. He found shelter in an abandoned bus left from the 1960′s to shelter construction workers hired to upgrade The Stampede Trail. He hunted game and foraged for food using Tanaina Plantlore for guidance.
Chris McCandless did not make it out of the Alaskan wilderness. He left behind notes written in the side bars of his books, letters to people he met along his journey, writings on the walls of the bus and a camera. His writings and photos opened a window into the life of McCandless during his two years on the road.Tags: 1990-1999, non-fiction,
Jane Eyre is the story of a young woman’s struggles to uphold her convictions despite her painful upbringing and the strictures of society and religion. Jane does not compromise, even at risk to her own happiness and health, that which she holds as truths. She is an ageless heroine for all young girls today.
Penned by Charlotte Brontë under a pseudonym in 1847, Jane Eyre, at the time, was criticized as having an anti-Christian slant. Today this semi-autobiographical novel is considered one of the top literary classics of all-time.Tags: 1800's, classics, top pick,
If I Stay tells the story of young Mia, an aspiring cellist, trying to decide if she should stay after a tragic car accident. While in a coma in the intensive care unit, Mia has flashbacks and observes her family and friends trying to deal with her being on the brink of death. The thought of living seems too much to bear, but she realizes it is her choice…should she stay?Tags: 2000-2009, top pick, young adult,
Glory Solomon is a widow who is not sure where her life is going to take her. Juniper McGuire is a teenager who has suffered a great tragedy and is trying to figure out where she fits in. Joseph Vigil is an ex-crime lab photographer whose dream is to photograph California’s giant trees. One day their paths meet at Solomon’s Oak and their lives will forever change.Tags: 2010-2013, general fiction,
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, set in the 1920′s, is the partly fictional/partly factual account of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Elizabeth Hadley Richardson and their life together in Paris among other British and American expatriates. The bohemian lifestyle of these expats led Gertrude Stein to dub them the “Lost Generation.”
The Paris Wife is movingly told in Hadley’s voice from her first meeting of Ernest, their courtship and wedding, life abroad, the birth of their son, and the painful unraveling of their marriage.Tags: 2010-2013, historical fiction, top pick,
Ladies and Gentlemen! Step right up for the amazing, the unbelievable, the marvelous wonders we have gathered for this book club party inspired by Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The main character, Jacob Jankowski, jumps on the circus train after suffering a tragedy in his life. He encounters “the most dazzling collection” of people and animals “gathered from all four corners of the earth”.Tags: 2000-2009, general fiction, romance, top pick,