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Favorite Books For Book Clubs

July 12, 2013

favorite books for book clubs, book club recommendations, what to read this summer, best books for book discussion, suggestions for book clubsI love to read so I’m happy to share with you some of my favorite books. It’s nearly impossible for me to give a limited list because there are so many books I call my favorites, but I’m going to name some top reads.

Right now, I’m in four book clubs, two women’s groups and two mother-daughter book clubs, one with each of my girls. Shout out to my book clubs: the Panera Book Club (we close our local Panera once a month as we’re deep in chatter) and Reading Between the Wines.

Squeezing in the time to read can be difficult with our busy schedules but it’s something I value and love, so I make the time. The deadlines of book clubs are the perfect thing to keep me going and to compel me to do something I care about.

Here is a list of some of my most favorite books in no particular order. Well, they may in fact be in the order of what I’ve read most recently first since that’s how my memory seems to fare best. Images and links to all of my book recommendations are at the end of this post.

All of these are terrific for book club reads and rich discussion. Please, take a moment to share some of your favorite books in the comments – perhaps you agree or disagree with some on my list!

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Teen

May 10, 2013

sarah cynthia sylvia teen, sarah cynthia sylvia  stout, shel silverstein, shel silverstein drawing, shel silverstein death date, bio of shel silverstein, poems by shel silverstein Today marks the 14th anniversary of Shel Silverstein’s death (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999).

I grew up treasuring my “Where the Sidewalk” ends book and I wrote poems inspired by his style and quirky subjects. I wrote about shaving cream, making friends with seaweed and other questionable poems as I emulated the master poet and artist. Read a biography of Shel Silverstein here.

I’ve read these poems to my children for over a decade, they’ve been the center of school poetry projects and my old “Where the Sidewalk Ends” book has been well loved; the book jacket tinged yellow at its edges.

One of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems has always been “Sarah Cythia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out.” (I also love the the King and his Peanut-Butter Sandwich, the Magical Eraser and my kids crack up at the Invisible Boy and Warning – the one about the snail in the nose.)

Since this poem rattles around in my head from time to time, in my frustration at my daughter’s messy bedroom, I began composing this poem. It’s based on my beloved Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout and here I present it in celebration of Shel Silverstein’s life.

The Beauty of Humanity Movement

May 8, 2013

the beauty of humanity movement, camilla gibbs, vietnamese art, read across rhode island 2013 book, rhode island center for the book, reading across ri,I was so moved by The Beauty of Humanity Movement and it’s author, Camilla Gibb.

As I got onto Amazon months ago to purchase this year’s Reading Across Rhode Island book selection, I gasped aloud as I saw the cover image. Artwork of a Vietnamese woman standing in a boat peered out at me.

I attended the May 3rd breakfast with some members of my book club, Reading Between the Wines, and I brought my Mom.

Last year, my mother and I spent an amazing 20 days in Vietnam and it is a place that is now a part of me. Wherever I go, I hold that place dear and take a piece of it with me, but there is something different about Vietnam. Some stronger hold that country has held on me. It felt like serendipity that this year’s book was about Vietnam – I couldn’t wait to read it.

As I savored this story and its rich imagery, the tastes and smells of Hanoi pulled me back to the other side of the world. I craved a bowl of pho and felt a special connection to the characters and even to the author. I was intrigued to learn her story and how she came to write about Vietnam since she is Canadian. It seemed that Vietnam had captured her spirit as it had mine.