May 22 - House of Silk

At our April 24th meeting, we discussed Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Some of our group members liked the book and others did not.  Those that did liked the ideas of ways to incorporate creativity and beauty into our everyday lives.  Those that did not felt that the book was "for younger people."  Personally, I think that people can experience "big magic" at any age.  For refreshments, we had fruit and Raspberry-Rhurbarb Slab Pie.

Our next book group meeting will be a week earlier than usual due to the Memorial Day holiday.  We will meet on Monday, May 22nd at 3pm in the Turner Room.   We are reading House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz and copies are available for pickup in the library.  The discussion sheets are also available in the library or online.  

Summary: For the first time in its one-hundred-and-twenty-five-year history, the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate has authorized a new Sherlock Holmes novel.

Once again, THE GAME'S AFOOT...

London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap - a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place.

Almost unwillingly, Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston, the gaslit streets of London, opium dens and much, much more. And as they dig, they begin to hear the whispered phrase-the House of Silk-a mysterious entity that connects the highest levels of government to the deepest depths of criminality. Holmes begins to fear that he has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society.

April 24-Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

At our March 27th meeting we discussed the book, Suspect by Robert Crais.  Many members like the mystery genre and felt this was a good selection for the group.  Refreshments included: Sticky garlic noodles in wonton cups (wonton wrappers baked in muffin cups for 10 mins at 375) and Churro creme brulee bars. Several in the group were interested in reading the second Scott & Maggie mystery, Promise.

Our next meeting with be April 24th at 3pm in the Turner Room.  We will be reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Copies of the book are available at the LME Library desk.  Discussion sheets are available for pickup or can be found online.  

Summary: "Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the "strange jewels" that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy."

March 27 - Suspect

At our February 27th meeting, we discussed Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts.  Most of the readers liked the subject but felt the chronological arrangement of the book made it difficult and confusing.  We had Martha Washington's candies and Abigail Adam's Indian Pudding for refreshments.

Our next book club meeting will be on Monday, March 27th at 3pm in the Turner Room.  The book we are reading is Suspect by Robert Crais.  Copies are available in the library for pickup.  Discussion sheets are also available in the library or online.

Summary: Struggling to reclaim his career after the devastating murder of his partner eight months earlier, LAPD cop Max Kent is teamed with a traumatized military canine named Maggie who assists Max in an effort to track down his late partner's killer.

February 2017 - Founding Mothers

At our January 30th meeting, we discussed Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. Almost all our readers absolutely loved the book.  The fact that it was based on real people and instances only heightened the interest of most of the readers. Discussion centered on surviving World War II and whether this could happen again.  Refreshments included coconut washboard cookies and Sernik Babci (Polish cheesecake).

Our next book group meeting will be Monday, February 27th at 3pm in the Turner Room.  Copies of the book, Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts are available for pickup at the library's front desk.  Discussion questions can be picked up in the library or are available online.  
Summary: Founding Mothers is an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families -- and their country -- proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it. While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. Roberts brings us the women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their businesses, raised their children, provided them with political advice, and made it possible for the men to do what they did. The behind-the-scenes influence of these women -- and their sometimes very public activities -- was intelligent and pervasive. Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favored recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed, and Martha Washington -- proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might never have survived. Social history at its best, Founding Mothers unveils the drive, determination, creative insight, and passion of the other patriots, the women who raised our nation. Roberts proves beyond a doubt that like every generation of American women that has followed, the founding mothers used the unique gifts of their gender -- courage, pluck, sadness, joy, energy, grace, sensitivity, and humor -- to do what women do best, put one foot in front of the other in remarkable circumstances and carry on.

Lilac Girls - January 2017

At our December 12th meeting, we had a variety of treats brought by members, and we chatted about our favorites from 2016. Most member really enjoyed the books chosen to read this past year especially: The Martian by Andy Weir, Dead Wake by Erik Larson, and the Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani.  Several other books were read by members outside the group and enjoyed including Rosemary: the Hidden Kennedy daughter by Kate Larson,  The Wonder by Emma Donaghue, and Just One Damned Thing After Another (Chronicles of St. Mary's) by Jodi Taylor.

Our next meeting will be in the new year!  We'll meeting on January 30th at 3pm in the Turner Room to discuss Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.  Copies of the book in print, large print, and audio are available at the LME Library desk.  The discussion sheet is available for pickup in the library or can be viewed online.  The group is open to all adults.  

Summary of Lilac Girls: An arresting, powerful debut novel inspired by the life of debutante turned unlikely WWII hero Caroline Ferriday. Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is nervously anticipating the changes that are sure to come since Germany has declared war on Poland. As tensions rise abroad - and in her personal life - Caroline's interest in aiding the war effort grows and she eventually comes to hear about the dire situation at the Ravensbruck all-female concentration camp. Through Ravensbruck the two women's lives will converge in unprecedented ways and a novel of redemption and hope emerges that is breathtaking in scope and depth. From New York to Paris, and Furstenberg to Lublin, Martha Hall Kelly captures the powerful pull of human compassion, strong enough to stretch across continents and capable of triumphing over the grim evils of war.

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