Book Club Update: Author Interview & 2 Books!

It’s a new month (okay, so it’s the middle of the month…time is really flying this season!) and that means a new book club update!

Last month, my book club read The Hunt and met with the author, Jan Neuharth in the very town that the fictional murder mystery takes place. It was a great experience and the club really liked it!

Book club members and Jan Neuharth

We asked Ms. Neuharth about her writing process, about the publishing industry and who she would want to cast as her characters in a movie (the main character would be George Clooney!). We met at a lovely coffee place that was gracious enough to allow us to descend on their establishment. As you can see, we had copies of the book to have Ms. Neuharth sign them.

So for October, we were all a little indecisive. There are just so many cool things to do in the fall and so many appropriately themed books to get us in the mood for Halloween and autumn. In fact, the poll we had to decide our next book was so close that we are trying to read two books in one month for the first time. The first pick is The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, which I have already finished and loved! The second book I’m working on now, The Black Country by Alex Grecian. It’s really the perfect book for the rainy weather we’ve been getting this week. We plan on going to one of those pumpkin patch, corn mazes, apple butter kinds of places for our meeting next Sunday so I’m definitely excited to see these girls again!

Are you in a book club? How does your club select the books to read?

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Book News: Fangirl Chosen as First Book in Tumblr’s Club

16068905I think I’m fast becoming one of the few people who have not read Rainbow Rowell’s book Fangirl. I could create quite a list of all the book bloggers’ raving reviews of this book. If you’re like me and haven’t read the book yet, you’ve probably heard some of the buzz around it. If not, well clearly you’ve been hiding underneath a tome. 😛 But Fangirl has been chosen as Tumblr’s first book pick for their official book club.

Still, there’s two little news tidbits in this that were definitely news to me.

  1. Had we heard that Tumblr was going to have an official book club? I admit, I don’t really use Tumblr like that masses do. I have my blog posts pushed out to an old account I have on there and I occasionally get a few followers from there. But, I just haven’t fallen prey to the meme and gifs that, to me, seem to dominate the site. I imagine that with Yahoo recently buying Tumblr, that the book club is one way that they intend to continue this trend of online companies trying to dominate the world by the way of controlling our lives.  Yet, I have to admit, this seems pretty cool. I already participate in quite a few book clubs on Goodreads (though I have been bad at actively participating lately), and had before never considered Tumblr as an outlet for that kind of discussion. I can see how the very mechanics of reblogging and liking could be fun to add to what can become just a discussion thread. (I imagine that gifs and memes will continue to be a mainstay of the interactions though.)
  2. I knew that Fangirl was a popular book these days, but I admit that I was a bit surprised initially that it was picked for this book club. Then, I thought about it and it made complete sense. Why pick something that has the airs of being literary for a social media site that has the reputation of being a little informal? You certainly would want to attract a lot of people to your first book club month. Picking a popular book with a lot of people (and the fact that it deals with fans, considering fandom = Tumblr) makes a lot of sense. Kudos to the Yahoo/Tumblr people.

I’d love to ask Ms. Rowell what she thinks of her book being chosen by Tumblr. I might get the chance next week when she comes to Politics and Prose in DC on Wednesday, September 18.

What are your thoughts concerning Tumblr’s book club? Have you read Fangirl? Do you think it was an appropriate choice as their book club pick?

Book Club: August’s Recap

8442457I am in a book club, the Virginia Wine and Book Club. It’s a great group of women and each month we read one book and meet to discuss it over various Virginian wines. It’s been a great opportunity to learn more about wine and read those books that perhaps I needed an extra push to get to.

This past month, the book was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. As per usual, I was about the last one to get my hands on the book. Each time, I think that I have a lot of time left to get the book and read it and each time I discover that I misjudged. I end up trying so hard to finish the book on time. There has only been one month where I hadn’t finished the book before the meeting and it is my goal to make that the only time that happens.

August was a busy month for most of us, so instead of meeting a winery, we met at a member’s house for some snacks and wine. This month we sampled James River Cellars’ table red and white, as well as a few other bottles that I didn’t take note of. I think it’s safe to say that the book inspired some heated reactions from all of us. “That b—h is cray-cray,” is one quote. 🙂1086850

For September, we are reading The Hunt by Jan Neuharth. If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, feel free to email me and I can give you the details of our meeting–this month it’s open to the public! We will be meeting with Jan to discuss her book. We hope to have more author meetings in the future, but we have to balance that with the other goals of our club and people’s schedules, so we’ll see what happens!

Book Club: June’s Meeting

Sunset Potomac Point Winery

I have been very fortunate to have a wonderful group of friends from college and other acquaintances that meet once a month to discuss out month’s book pick and indulge in some lovely Virginia wine. For June, our book pick was The Casual Vacancy and we met at the Potomac Point Winery and Vineyard in Stafford.

Sneak Peak at our October Wedding photo shoot at Potomac Point Winery!    by Lisa Boggs PhotographyThis was the second time we did a tasting at a winery. We did the premium tasting so we all got a wine glass and tasted a lot of their wines. I bought a bottle of the Voigner and Cabernet franc. We are all learning so much more about wine through these little trips, though I’m still guilty of picking a bottle of wine based on its label on occasion. We all loved the scenery at the winery…it really would be like the perfect venue for a wedding.

I wish I had a lot of cool pictures that I took myself to show everyone, but unfortunately I was not feeling 100% at last month’s meeting of my Virginia Wine and Book Club to think of taking too many pictures. So here are some pictures from the winery’s website.

We had a bit of a time trying to get our hands on the book.  I certainly did. The The Night Circuspaperback version of the book is coming out sometime in July, so for whatever reason, three different brick and mortar bookstores were no longer selling the hardback. It seems silly to me to be out of stock of a popular book for a month, but I guess I just don’t have the insider knowledge to have that explanation. I would have gotten from the library, but there are so many holds on their copies it’s almost ridiculous. Thankfully, I have my Kindle so I was able to buy the ebook and start reading as soon as possible.

hatThe consensus on the book was all about the same. The beginning near had us all quitting because of confusion over the characters and the need to slog through it. However, the ending all convinced us that it was actually quite good.

Our July’s book pick is the Night Circus and I think we are just going to have a simple meeting at someone’s house to discuss and taste the next wine.

I will say that I took this month’s meeting as a great opportunity to wear one of my fancy hats! I go to quite a few fancy horse events where fancy hats are almost mandatory and so I’m slowly collecting some fantastic hats that are generally too fancy to wear to most things…except to a winery! I wore this hat with a great yellow dress. 🙂