Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Forgotten Garden

On Wednesday, October 27 Bookender's Book Group will meet to discuss The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton downstairs in the library at 7:00 p.m. The discussion will be led by Diane Marsh. Everyone is invited to attend.

A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.

 In 1913, a four year old girl arrives by boat at a wharf in Brisbane, Australia.  When her parents do not show up to get her, a dock master takes pity on her, and takes her home to his wife. Having hit her head on board the boat, the little girl does not remember her name, and the only clue to her identity is a book of fairy tales tucked inside a white suitcase. The dock master and his wife decide to keep her and raise her as their own. They name her Nell. On her twenty-first birthday they tell Nell the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and with very little to go on, she sets out on a journey to England to try to trace her story, to find her real identity.  She starts to piece together bits of her story, but just as she's about to trace the mystery to it's source, her granddaughter, Cassandra is left in her care. It is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled.  When her grandmother dies, Cassandra finds herself on an unexpected adventure that leads her to England and to a small Cornish village, and finally, to Cliff Cottage and its walled garden...a garden that harbors the secrets of the 1900s and buried within its grounds the fascinating and tragic story of the Mountrachets and the woman her grandmother, as a child, had called the Authoress. 

Shifting back and forth over a span of nearly 100 years, this is a sprawling, old-fashioned novel, containing stories-within-stories, with a maze and even a Dickensian rag-and-bone shop.  It’s a satisfying read overall, just the thing for readers who like multigenerational sagas with a touch of intrigue.

Kate Morton
Kate Morton is the eldest of three sisters. She was born in South Australia and moved with her family numerous times before settling, finally, on Tamborine Mountain. There she attended a tiny country school and spent much of her childhood inventing and playing games of make-believe with her sisters. 

Kate fell avidly in love with books very early. Her favorites were those by Enid Blyton, and Kate escaped many times up the Faraway Tree or with the Famous Five into smugglers' cove. It was a love deeply felt, for it is still mysteries and secrets that dance around the edges of Kate's mind, keeping her awake deep into the night, turning or typing pages.

When she finished school, Kate studied and earned a Licentiate in Speech and Drama from Trinity College London. After an ill-fated attempt to do something sensible and obtain an Arts/Law degree, she went on to complete a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and for sometime believed her future lay in theater. Until one day, quite simply and clearly, she realized that it wasn't performing she was in love with. It was words.

Although she'd read and scribbled from before she could remember, it hadn't occurred to Kate, until that time, that real books were written by real people. She began writing in earnest and completed two full length manuscripts (which lie deep and determinedly within a bottom drawer) before settling finally into the story that would become The Shifting Fog (The House at Riverton).

Meanwhile, Kate graduated from the University of Queensland with First Class Honors in English Literature and took up a scholarship to complete a Masters degree focusing on tragedy in Victorian literature. Kate is currently enrolled in a PhD program researching contemporary novels that marry elements of Gothic and mystery fiction.

Kate Morton's books are published in 36 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards, and The House at Riverton was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008. Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, was a #1 bestseller in Australia and a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008. It won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards and was an Amazon Best of the Month pick and a New York Times bestseller in 2009.

Kate is married to Davin, a composer, and they have two young sons.  All four live together in a nineteenth century home replete with its own ghosts and secrets in Australia.

Watch as Kate Morton talks about writing The Forgotten Garden.

Discussion Questions for The Forgotten Garden

1. On the night of Nell's twenty-first birthday, her father Hugh tells her a secret that shatters her sense of self. How important is a strong sense of identity to a person's life? Was Hugh right to tell her about her past? How might Nell's life have turned out differently had she not discovered the truth?

2. Did Hugh and Lil make the right decision when they kept Nell?

3. How might Nell's choice of occupation have been related to her fractured identity?

4. Is it possible to escape the past, or does one's history always find a way to revisit the present?

5. Eliza, Nell and Cassandra all lose their birth mothers when they are still children. How are their lives affected differently by this loss? How might their lives have evolved had they not had this experience?

6. Nell believes that she comes from a tradition of "bad mothers." Does this belief become a self-fulfilling prophecy? How does Nell's relationship with her granddaughter, Cassandra, allow her to revisit this perception of herself as a "bad mother"?

7. Is The Forgotten Garden a love story? If so, in what way/s?

8. Tragedy has been described as "the conflict between desire and possibility." Following this definition, is The Forgotten Garden a tragedy? If so, in what way/s?

9. In what ways do Eliza's fairy tales underline and develop other themes within the novel?

10. In what ways do the settings in The Forgotten Garden represent or reflect the character's experiences? 

To find out more about Kate Morton and her other books you can visit her website here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Great Reads for Girls

An Evening with the Witches

Tammra, Taylor and Yara
It was a spooky night indeed when Great Reads for Girls met to discuss The Witches by Roald Dahl.  Young girls were left to wonder if there were REAL WITCHES there amongst them. REAL WITCHES are bald so they wear wigs.  They wear pointy shoes to hide their square feet and gloves to hide their witchy hands. They hate children and hope to turn them all into mice. Things seemed suspicious indeed...

The fun began with scenes from The Witches movie (coming soon to the library) and an on time drawing.

One lucky girl won glow in the dark bracelets and another won a fun Halloween sticky note pad.

After that we learned about Roald Dahl and his interesting life from Taylor.  To learn more about him you can scroll down to our previous post.


 Then the girls and their moms split up into two teams - the brown mice and the white mice.  Yara asked them questions to see who could remember the most trivia from the book.  The girls had such great memories and were able to answer all of the questions with ease.

Tammra led the book discussion.  Everyone LOVED the book. We talked about stereotypes, mottos, witches and grandmothers. The girls speculated on how the story may have continued and what it might be like to live life as a mouse.

Every one of the girls had an interesting perspective to add to our discussion. 

After the discussion it was time to make our own Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse Maker potion.



Recipe for  Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse Maker

1 gruntle’s egg
The claw of a crrrabrrruncher
Beak of a blabbersnitch
Snout of a grrrobblesqvirt
Tongue of a catsprrringer

Our Recipe for the Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse Maker
(Brew-Ha-Ha Punch)

2 cups sugar     2 quarts water     2 (0.13oz) envelopes lime drink mix
46 oz can pineapple juice     1 quart ginger ale     1 pound dry ice

Stir together sugar and 2 quarts water until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Add dry ice.
Makes 4 quarts

Next, afterTammra had a special spell put on her hands, she took her gloves off and showed the girls how to make mice out of pipe cleaners.

You can find the instructions to make the mice here.

The girls had fun making mice in the colors they would be if they happened to be turned into a mouse by a witch.

For refreshements we caught a few mice to serve to our guests along with crackers and cheese and the Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse Maker potion.

Recipe for Munchable Mice

6 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips     2 t. shortening
24 marachino cherries with stems, well drained
24 chocolate kiss candies     48 almond slices
Garnish:  white and red gel icing

Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler over low heat; stir until smooth.  To make each mouse, hold a cherry by the stem and dip into melted chocolate mixture.  Set on wax paper; press a chocolate kiss onto opposite side of cherry from stem.  For ears, insert 2 almond slices between cherry and chocolate drop.  If desired, pipe 2 white icing dots with red icing centers for eyes.  Cover; diip refrigerated.  Makes 2 dozen.

You might like to watch this video of Roald Dahl talking to children about witches.

The book we are reading for next month's discussion is Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko.  Copies are available to check out at the library.  You can read more about Great Reads for Girls here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Great Reads for Girls book selection for October was Roald Dahl's classic The Witches. It tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches! In fairy tales witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They wear wigs to cover their bald heads and pointy shoes to hide their square feet. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ordinary jobs. That is why they are so hard to catch. Witches, as our hero learns, hate children and turn them into mice. With the help of a friend and his somewhat-magical grandmother, our hero tries to expose the witches before they dispose of him.

Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 in Landaff, Wales to Norwegian parents.  His father, Harald, and his older sister, Astri, died when Roald was only three years old.  His mother, Sofie, was left to raise two stepchildren and her own four children.  Roald was her only son.  He remembered his mom as "a rock, a real rock, always on your side no matter what you had done. It gave me the most tremendous sense of security."  Roald based the character of the grandmother in The Witches on his own mother - it was his tribute to her.

 The young Roald loved stories and books.  His mother told him stories about trolls and other mythical Norwegian creatures.  As he grew older he loved adventure stories and eventually came to enjoy Dickens, Thackery and short-story writer Ambrose Bierce.

Roald kept a secret diary from the age of eight.  He went to great lengths to keep it hidden from his sisters.

Roald attended the Landaff Cathedral School as a young boy.  His chief memories of the time were trips to the sweet shop.  The seeds of his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were being sown as he and his friends would linger outside the shop window gazing at the big glass jars of sweets.  Sherbet suckers were one of his favorites.

He later went to St Peter's boarding prep school where he suffered from acute homesickness.  Consequently he became in the habit of writing his mother at least one letter per week.  He continued to do so until her death 32 years later.  Later when his own children attended boarding school he wrote to them twice a week to help brighten their day.

When Roald was thirteen he attended Repton, a famous day school in Derbyshire.  He excelled at sports, especially boxing and squash.  His English master deemed him "quite incapable of marshalling his thoughts on paper." Roald's childhood and school days are the subject of his autobiography Boy.

In 1943 Roald's first published book was The Gremlins which was a picture book and later bought by Disney to be turned into a movie.  For the next 15 years he wrote for adults.  After that he became a beloved and favorite author of children's books.  He said he was more pleased with his children's books than with the stories he wrote for adults.  "Children's books are harder to write. It's tougher to keep a child interested because a child doesn't have the concentration of an adult. The child knows the television is in the next room. It's tough to hold a child, but it's a lovely thing to try to do."  In 1961 he published James and the Giant Peach and that was followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Those were followed by more bestsellers such as The BFG, Danny the Champion of the World, The Twits, The Witches, Boy and Going SoloSales of his book Matilda broke all previous records for a work of children's fiction with UK sales of over half a million paperbacks in six months. His work has been translated into 34 languages.

Roald was the father of five children.  He admits that he could have not written children's books without them.

Roald Dahl died on November 23, 1990 at the age of 74.  His birthday of September 13 is celebrated every year as "Roald Dahl Day" in several different countries. 

Roald Dahl was a great believer in the importance of reading.  "I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers," he once said, "to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn't be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage."

Trivia Questions for The Witches Book Discussion

What is the name of the hero of the story?
We never find out.

What happened to the hero’s parents?
They died in a car accident.

What are the six characteristics of a witch?
Blue spit
No hair
No toes
Hate children
Large nostril holes

What is the official title of the Head of All Witches?
Grand High Witch

What is the Grand High Witch’s secret plan called?
Formula 86

Where is the Grand High Witch’s secret castle?

What’s the name of the greedy boy that the main character befriends in the story?

What does the first witch try to offer our hero?
A Snake

Why does the summer trip to Norway get cancelled?
Grandmother gets pneumonia.

What were the names of the main character’s pet mice?

William and Mary

How does the main character get the Mouse Maker formula to the witches?
He puts it into their soup.

Discussion Questions for The Witches

Did you like the book?  Did you think it was funny?  Scary?  Weird?

Could you relate to anything in the story, or do you like to read things that are totally different from your life?

What is a stereotype?

What is our stereotype for a witch?

How were the witches in this book different?  What are their most notable features?

Were the witches in this book scarier than or not as scary as traditional witches?    Why do you think the author decided to make them different?

What did you think when he wrote that for all you know you might have witches around you right now in your neighborhood, your teacher, etc.  Did you think twice about someone you know?

What other witch stories have you heard? 

Do you think there really are witches?

Why are all the witches rich?

What is our stereotype for grandmothers?

How is the grandmother in this book different?

Did you like the grandmother?

What did you think about the grandmother telling the boy all these scary stories about witches?  Was this mean or was she doing it so that he would be prepared? 

What if she hadn’t told him anything?  What would have happened?

Would you have believed the stories like he did if your grandma would have told them to you?

How do you think the grandmother lost her thumb?

Does the boy have a name?  Why do you think Roald Dahl did not give the boy name?

What is a motto? 

What was the witches’ motto?  (Page 8)

One child a week is fifty two a year.
Squish them and squiggle them and make them disappear.

What were some of the spells put on children at the beginning of the book?

Ranghild-vanished              Solveg-appeared in a picture             Birgit- became a chicken
Harald-turned into stone     Leif-became a porpoise

What do you think would be an interesting fate for a child caught in a witch’s spell?

In chapter four the boy has his first encounter with a witch.  He said, “That was my first witch.  But it wasn’t my last.”  What do you think your thought and feelings or reaction would be if you met a witch?   If you wrote about it in your diary what would you write?

What did the grandmother and boy plan to do for the summer?

What happened that changed their plans?

Why was pneumonia so dangerous for the grandmother? 

Who was Mrs Spring?

What did the doctor suggest they do for their holiday?  Did they do what he suggested?

Did the grandmother follow all of the doctor’s advice?

Have you ever been on a vacation with your grandmother before?

What did the grandmother give to the boy as a gift?

How did the grandmother convince Mr Stringer to let the mice stay at the hotel?

Why did the boy go to the ballroom?

What happened when he was in there?

What would have done in his situation?

What did you think of the Grand High Witch?

Do you think the Grand High Witch looks like a traditional witch when she is not disguised?

Did you think it was hard to read what she was saying?

What horrible things do you think the Grand High Witch did in her life to become the Grand High Witch?

If you could make a magic potion what would you want it to do?  What would you put in it?

When the Boy is turned into a mouse, he tells us that while he should feel sad about it, he sees the advantages.  “Boys have to go to school.  Mice don’t.”  What are some of the advantages of being a mouse?  What would be the disadvantages of being a mouse?

If you had the choice to be a mouse for just one day to see what it is like, would you do it?  What would you want to do as a mouse?

Did you think it was weird that the boy didn’t mind being a mouse?

Do you think he was thinking clearly when he said he didn’t mind having a shorter lifespan?

Do you think there should have been an anecdote?  Were you surprised the he didn’t turn back into a boy?

He seemed to have the attitude that “it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”  Do you agree with that?  Does it also apply to the witches?

Did you like Bruno?  What do you think happened to him?  Why weren’t the grandmother and the boy worried about him?  Why did they leave him?

How would your life be different if there really were witches going around turning children in to mice?

If that were the case, what would you say to warn other children who do not know about the witches?

Can you imagine what the headlines in the newspaper would be like if children everywhere were being turned into mice? 

What did you think about their plan to get rid the world of witches?

What did you think of the ending?  Do you think there needed to be another chapter or were you happy with the way it was?

If you wrote another chapter –
     How did the mouse and the grandmother get into the castle?
     Did they succeed at getting rid of the witches?
     Did anything disastrous happen to them?
     What was the final showdown like?

To read more about Roald Dahl and see a list of all of his books you can visit his website here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010



On October 7th Yara Wilson reviewed the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley for the R.E.A.D. Book Group.  The review and the discussion afterward were enjoyed by all who attended.  

Frankenstein is the perfect spooky read for the month of October.  It was first published in 1818 and has been in print ever since.  This classic story tells of the epic battle between man and monster as it reaches its greatest pitch.  In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor himself to the very brink. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship …and horror.

The subtitle to Frankenstein is The Modern Promethius. In Greek mythology, Promethius is a Titan who became a hero to humankind because he stole fire from the gods and gave it to men.

The author of Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, lived a very interesting and tragic life. 
Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Her mother died from giving birth to her. She and her older half-sister, Fanny, were raised by their father. He father never fully forgave Mary for causing her mother's death.  When Mary was four, her father married his neighbor, Mary Jane Clairmont. He provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging her to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley who was also a poet. Together with Mary's stepsister, Claire, they left for France and travelled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816 after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was 18 years old.  In 1816 she and her husband, Percy Shelley, spent much time with Lord Byron in Geneva, Switzerland.  During the course of their socializing, the suggestion arose that they should each write a ghost story. That is when Mary created the story of Frankenstein.  Everyone was so impressed with this tale and they encouraged her to turn it into a full length novel. 

Frankenstein was written at the time of scientific discovery. Priestly had discovered oxygen, a vital element of life. Galvani had discovered electricity, the vital spark of life. It was a time when it was felt that the peeling back of a few more layers would uncover the source of life itself.  Shelley and Byron discussed 'the principle of life and whether there was any probability of it's ever being discovered'.

The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm in the Bay of La Spezia. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumour that was to kill her at the age of 53.

Frankenstein's Monster was the result of medical experimentation by Victor Frankenstein, 'a pale student of unhallowed arts', that went badly wrong, using stolen body parts. Frankenstein has become the byword for any monster, especially something artificially created, out of control. It has stood the test of time as a modern parable that man should not attempt to play God, and should he try, his creations will turn upon him.

Frankenstein's monster has undergone a big transformation over the years.
This is one of the first visual depictions of the monster:

Anti-Irish propaganda from Punch magazine, published in May 1882.

Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, and the famous character of Frankenstein's monster have influenced popular culture for at least 100 years. The work has inspired numerous films, television programs, video games and derivative works. The character of the monster remains one of the most recognized icons in horror fiction.

This image is the most famous depiction of Frankenstein.
 This is how he is depicted in many of the movie versions.

You might like to watch the 1910 movie version of Frankenstein which was made by Edison Studios.

Along with movies, there are many books that feature the monster or the mythology.

Many artists have come up with their own depictions of Frankenstein such as this illustration by Marek Oleksicki in his graphic novel titled Frankenstein's Womb.

This Dean Koontz series is very popular at the library. The third one in the series, Dead and Alive, is set in New Orleans and was slated to be released right after Hurricane Katrina. The publication was delayed until the summer of 2009, which frustrated a lot of loyal Frankenstein fans.

Frankenstein (Graphic Horror)

Graphic novels such as Frankenstein by Elizabeth Genco are based on the novel by Mary Shelley.  Young horror fans will enjoy the graphic (not gory) renditions in this one.

There are even picture books about Frankenstein such as this one titled Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex.

Frankenstein even has its own musical! Check it out here. The music is pretty good.

If you plan to read Frankenstein it is helpful to know -

The primary narrator is Robert Walton, who, in his letters, quotes Victor Frankenstein’s first-person narrative at length; Victor, in turn, quotes the monster’s first-person narrative; in addition, the lesser characters Elizabeth Lavenza and Alphonse Frankenstein narrate parts of the story through their letters to Victor.The point of view shifts with the narration, from Robert Walton to Victor Frankenstein to Frankenstein’s monster, then back to Walton.  The shifts are not always clear but if you are aware of this it's pretty easy to figure out.

The monster is often referred to as the Demon in the book.  Frankenstein is actually Victor Frankenstein, his creator.

Discussion Questions to enhance your reading -

Is Robert Walton's ambition similar to Frankenstein's, as Frankenstein believes?
Why is the fifteen-year-old Frankenstein so impressed with the oak tree destroyed by lightning in a thunderstorm? 
Why does Frankenstein become obsessed with creating life?
Why is Frankenstein filled with disgust, calling the monster "my enemy," as soon as he has created him? (p. 62)
What does the monster think his creator owes him? What do you think his responsibilities to the monster are?
Why does Frankenstein agree to create a bride for the monster, then procrastinate and finally break his promise? 
Why can't Frankenstein tell anyoneeven his father or Elizabethwhy he blames himself for the deaths of William, Justine, and Henry Clerval?
Why doesn't Frankenstein realize that the monster's pledge "I shall be with you on your wedding-night" threatens Elizabeth as well as himself? (p. 173)
Why does Frankenstein find new purpose in life when he decides to seek revenge on the monster "until he or I shall perish in mortal conflict"? (p. 206)
Why are Frankenstein and his monster both ultimately miserable, bereft of human companionship, and obsessed with revenge? Are they in the same situation at the end of the novel? 

Why doesn't Walton kill the monster when he has the chance?
For Further Reflection

Was it wrong for Frankenstein to inquire into the origins of life? 
What makes the creature a monster rather than a human being? 
Is the monster, who can be persuasive, always telling the truth?

Who is the actual monster in Frankenstein?

Frankenstein has many elements of a horror story. What strategies and devices does Shelley use to make the story scary? How does Shelley go beyond the usual horror story elements to focus on characters and the differences between their behaviors, beliefs and values?

One of the novel's tragedies is the inability of characters to recognize the humanity of the creature. What qualities make us human? Which of these qualities does the creature possess? What qualities does he not have?

Scholars sometimes use Frankenstein as an argument against scientific technology that creates life forms; others argue that it is not technology itself but the use to which it is put that presents an ethical problem. What is Shelley's position? What is your position?

Explain the novel's popularity. What makes the novel a classic? How is the story appropriate for today and our society?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

R.E.A.D. Book Group

A Post by Tammra Salisbury

I started working at the Pleasant Grove City Library in the fall of 1991.  In 1992 I was asked to organize a book group for library patrons. I came up with R.E.A.D (Reading Entertainment and Discussion) and started to advertise. During that first year I would prepare a book review and discussion every month.  Occasionally a few people would show up. Often the only person who attended was Maxine Davis. I would sit across from Maxine and review the book I had prepared and then we would talk about it. I am so glad she kept coming because it kept the book group going.

In the fall of 1993 I heard that Jane Robinson had given a book review on Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes for different groups in the community so I asked her if she would be willing to come and review it for R.E.A.D.  She was happy to and we drew quite a crowd.  The review was wonderful!  After her review she invited all of us over to the Bungalow for a delicious lunch of soup and homemade bread.  Many of us bonded on that day and membership at the book group really picked up.

The book group became unique because those attending asked that we do book reviews like traditional literary groups used to do rather than everyone reading the book and then discussing it.  At first I did about six or seven reviews a year and invited friends to do the other three or four.  Today I only do one or two per year and all the other months are filled with wonderful and talented reviewers.  Each year we have had book reviews by people such as Jane Robinson, Yara Wilson, Etta McQuade, Howard Carpenter, Eloise Fugal, Edith Chiles, Camille Hadley, Cheryl Carson, Diane Marsh and others. 

When we get together we laugh and we cry and we discuss things that are important to us.  We have reviewed and talked about hundreds of books over the years.  We have heard from authors and had parties.   We have especially loved meeting new people who decide to join us.   

In September 2010 I reviewed Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles Shields.  Sitting across from me, this time with several people, was Maxine Davis.  Bless her heart.  She has hung in with me all these years!

R.E.A.D. Book Group meets on the first Thursday morning of every month at 10:00 a.m.  Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.  Hope to see you there!!