June 20, 2011

June 2011

This meeting had a southern flair to it, as we paid tribute to the Sweet Potato Queens and all things butter.  Many thanks go to Pam for hosting such a luscious event!

Here’s what we’ve been reading:

The Tragedy of Arthur, Arthur Phillips.
Eyes of Eagles, William Johnstone.
The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova.
Sweet Potato Queen's First Big Ass Novel, Jill Conner Browne.
Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen (thumbs up, Anne; thumbs down, Laura.)
South Abroad, Pat Conroy.
Beach Music, Pat Conroy.
Death Without Tenure, Joann Dobson.
The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
Kim, Rudyard Kipling.
Remarkable Creatures, Tracy Chevalier.
Into the Fire, Suzanne Brockman.
Death on a Vineyard Beach, Philip R. Craig.
Hell's Corner, David Balducci.
Three Seconds, Roslund Hellstrom.
The Island, Elin Hilderbrand
The Constant Gardener, John Le Carre.
High Fidelity, Nick Hornsby.
A Long Way Down, Nick Hornsby.
Stories From the Sea (Everyman’s Library Pocket Classics), ed. Diana Secker Tesdell
The Hidden Reality, Brian Greene.
The Book of Murder, Guillermo Martinez.
TSOG: The Thing that Ate the Constitution, Robert Anton Wilson.
Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson.
A Fatal Grace, Louise Penney.
A Drop of the Hard Stuff, Lawrence Block.
Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus, John Gray (thumbs down, Gary; no comment from Anne)
You Just Don't Understand, Deborah Tannen.
Yeats Is Dead, various authors.

Mary Lou in Maryland has read:

Ian Rankin, The Naming of the Dead (2006).  To the dismay of security personnel and Inspector Rankin, world powers have elected to hold the G-8 conference at Edinburgh Castle.  The apparent suicide of a conference dignitary may have been murder.  Rankin, with retirement looming, is at odds with his superiors as usual and determined to investigate instead the murder of a recently paroled rapist. 

Kaye Gibbons, Ellen Foster (1987).  Gibbons’ first novel is narrated by teenage Ellen, who introduces herself by telling us that when she was little she used to think of ways to kill her daddy.  He richly deserves it, we learn, but Ellen doesn’t.  Instead she cleverly escapes to a foster home where she experiences the first kindness and security of her life.  This is a short, humorous, and delightfully intriguing novel.  Ellen’s narrative voice is superb. 

Dick Francis, Enquiry (1969), Bone Crack (1971), Knockdown (1974), High Stakes (1975), Banker (1982), Decider (1993), Wild Horses (1994).  Set in the British racing world, the clever hero-narrator always triumphs in the end over angry, deceitful perfidious types who feed off the sport of kings.  The hero may be a jockey, a trainer, a banker, or even a film maker, the villains are equally varied, and the plots are intricate and suspenseful.  Any Dick Francis book will be good beach reading. 

Sharman in Kitchener, Ontario says she can't put down a Kay Scarpetta novel by Patricia Cornwell.

Please keep our sister group in your thoughts and prayers as they recover from wildfires around Lawton, Oklahoma.  More information can be found here.

Here's what they shared at their last meeting:

Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Greg Lawrence
The Golden Cockerel and Other Fairy Tales by Alexander Pushkin; illustrated by Boris Zvorykin; with an introduction by Rudolf Nureyev
The Firebird and Other Russian Fairy Tales illustrated by Boris Zvorykin; edited and with an introduction by Jacqueline Onassis
Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell
In War’s Dark Shadow: The Russians before the Great War by W. Bruce Lincoln

Scherrey Cardwell on writing his memoir

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