Monday, February 21, 2011

Alice I Have Been
By Melanie Benjamin

First of all, this is my first book review. My name is Tara, and I am the girlfriend of Susan's son, David. I have been reading some books out of her massive collection and she asked if i would like to write on her blog as well. Of course I said yes, tho I am nervous as to how my first review will turn out.

Alice I Have Been, tells the story of Alice Liddell Hargreaves approaching 81 and looking back on her life. For those of you who are known to have a bit of precipitation around the eye area in the midst of a somewhat saddening book, be forewarned. You should expect cloudy with a light drizzle when reading this book. Do not expect a happy ending, because this is NOT the fairy tale of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, but rather the real Alice. The one for whom the story was written, the story of Alice Liddell in the 3 most signifying and relevant stages of her life.
     The story starts out when she is a young girl. She was wild, outgoing, and crazy in love for someone quite a bit older than she. This part will make you wonder a bit and then drop off suddenly just as you're expecting it to tell you exactly what happens. But fret not, it will eventually let you in on the secret. After a brief expedition into her childhood, it moves on to when she is in her early 20's and a bit more ladylike and practical then her younger self, but doesn't that usually happen to us all? This part of the novel tells you about her quest for love and marriage and then the sudden unexpected loss of 2 loves in her life. (HINT: One is a family member and the other is the loss of the marriage she thought she would have.) Then after that saddening beat-down, it picks back up in her older years, telling of the man she ended up marrying and the children they had. This part also includes some very saddening losses as well.
     Nearing the end of the book, she spends most of her time sad and thinking back on her life, and eventually accepting her title as Alice, the girl who went to Wonderland. I felt this was a very good, well thought out book. It will definitely keep you guessing and wondering what happens next. It leaves you hanging sometimes, but don't freak out, everything is explained in the end and it will all make sense. Enjoy. Let me know how you liked my blog. And if you read the book, let me know your thoughts and opinions on it.

Thanks for reading!
Tara of Seaside Book Corner

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February Book Club

We met yesterday for our monthly book club. We have a couple of snow birds join us. What a treat it is to have new blood energize our book club each year.

We discussed the book, The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard.  I was a bit late arriving because of school. But, what I gathered everyone enjoyed reading the book. I have been raving about Joyce's books since I read both of them.  I am so glad everyone enjoyed reading her latest book.

 I did not have time to read the book again. I could not remember much from the book since it has been quite awhile since I read it. You can read my review at my blog here.

One member, did some research and found out that the writer, JD Salinger( author of Catcher in the Rye) had a affair with Joyce during her college years.  Bohemian life, flower child, free love in the 60's.She summed up the reason for Joyce's book, thinking she had such a scandalous life, it shows in her novels.  I don't know about that, I just enjoyed reading
her books.

I am not sure if I agree with our book club's rules. We have to read the book before recommending it. I don't agree. Because, then you have to read the book again. There are many books out there.  But unfortunately, I have not read any to recommend.

Our snow bird recommended, Dinner with Anna Karenina. She actually know the author personally. We will be reading in March. Not sure if I will like since it is under the genre, romance. I will let you know next month.

In April we will be discussing Dara Horn's novel, All Other Nights.  I am so excited that we are reading this novel. I wanted our book club to honor her for donating two sets of books. This is a nice way to do this, by reading and discussing her novel. brought up a few months ago if anyone has brought in the discussion about the e-readers. I thought never would our book club even discuss that. Since most of our members are of the above 60 crowd.

I was wrong, the discussion was brought up, who has a E-reader, and which one do you own? What is the difference between all the other readers?  I found at least 4 members have one. It is slowly infiltrating our discussion group. This was a great discussion. We told everyone we each would bring our at the next meeting.  It was discussed which is better the Kindle or the Nook?

We discussed the differences.  My reason for the Nook was the technical support at Barnes and Noble. The Kindle, you don't get face to face contact.

 The only thing, I find is that the books are a bit more money.   Next month, we all our bringing our electronic devices to our next meeting.
 I think it is just so funny, that it is infiltrating our book club. I did not think it would.

 I don't like the electronic devices when I am reading a book for the book club. I  find I don't have the patience to find the page and highlight.  It is too tedious for me, and time consuming. Reading a book for enjoyment is one thing. But taking notes is still the best finding the physical page, and writing it on sticky notes for the book club.

What do y'all think??
Happy Reading
Susan of Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe