Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Welcome Back and Book Club 2016

Wow! I feel like I've been gone from this space for ages. And in's been 18 *gulp* days. I am ashamed. But now that we're back and into a new year, I think it's time for some excitement around these parts.

How about a little update on what's been happening and what's coming up? Yes? Okay.

Christmas was a great time to be with family. We are so blessed to be close (less than 3 hours) to both sets of our parents and since we both teach, we figure it's a great time to see everyone. We were with Kyle's family for Christmas Eve this year and it was such a lovely time to celebrate different traditions from those celebrated with my family. We were there for 3-ish days and then we were off to my parents' house. I grew up on a farm in a small community and it was so fun to be back in that atmosphere. Unfortunately we had to travel to Montana for a funeral. The blessing is that she is with her Lord and Savior. So we rejoice in that fact.

So we are home and back at school for two days already. And we're ready for routine again!

Since routine is what we're ready for...let's get this year started with our 2016 Second Chance Book Club!

The titles for this year are:

January: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 
by Rebecca Skloot

The journey starts in the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s, her small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo. Today are stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells, East Baltimore children and grandchildren live in obscurity, see no profits, and feel violated. The dark history of experimentation on African Americans helped lead to the birth of bioethics, and legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. (goodreads)

February: Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
This is a movie coming out in 2016! The release date isn't until 
November...but this way you'll have it crossed off your list!

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time. (goodreads

March: Seabiscuit
by Laura Hillenbrand


Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes. (goodreads)

April: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith

The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness -- in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience. (goodreads)

May: The Light Between Oceans
by  M.L. Stedman
This is also coming to a theatre near you in 2016!

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.  (goodreads)

 June: The BFG 
 by Roald Dahl
Apparently we have a theme 
will be released in July!

Captured by a giant! The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It's lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, the Bonecruncher, or any of the other giants-rather than the BFG-she would have soon become breakfast.
When Sophie hears that they are flush-bunking off in England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her! (goodreads)

July: The Lost City of Z  
by David Grann
Will be released as a movie this year!

A grand mystery reaching back centuries. A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon. (goodreads)
August: Maus  
by Art Spiegelman

 A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself. (goodreads)

September: Passing 
 by Nella Larsen

Irene Redfield, the novel's protagonist, is a woman with an enviable life. She and her husband, Brian, a prominent physician, share a comfortable Harlem town house with their sons. Her work arranging charity balls that gather Harlem's elite creates a sense of purpose and respectability for Irene. But her hold on this world begins to slip the day she encounters Clare Kendry, a childhood friend with whom she had lost touch. Clare—light-skinned, beautiful, and charming—tells Irene how, after her father's death, she left behind the black neighborhood of her adolescence and began passing for white, hiding her true identity from everyone, including her racist husband. As Clare begins inserting herself into Irene's life, Irene is thrown into a panic, terrified of the consequences of Clare's dangerous behavior. And when Clare witnesses the vibrancy and energy of the community she left behind, her burning desire to come back threatens to shatter her careful deception. (goodreads)

October: Yes Please  
by Amy Poehler

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.  (goodreads)

November: Bossypants 
by Tina Fey

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true. 
December: The Paris Wife 
 by Paula McLain

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.  (goodreads)

As always, please join Aubrey and myself for our discussions on the last Saturday of every month! We will attempt to get the discussion questions up during the week leading up to our discussion. I've also had some requests for an in-person if you're around and you'd like to get together, let me know!

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