Sunday, June 28, 2009

Julie and Julia Discussion Question 1

After reading Julie & Julia did it make you want to go out and buy a copy of MtAoFC? Why or why not? Even if your tastes may not coincide with Julia Child’s recipes, did the book make you want to cook? Or maybe it made you want to take on a challenge of your own? If so what sort of project would you like to take on?

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Julie and Julia Discussion Question 2

Julie Powell started her Julie/Julia Project as a blog. What do you think blogging about her experiences offered Julia? Do you think that the project would have gone differently if the blog hadn’t gained so much attention? What do you think makes people interested in blogs? For example, who was the blog mainly for, Julie or her readers?

Julie and Julia Discussion Question 3

Out of all the recipes we have read about in the book, which would you like to have a go at and why? What’s the best meal you’ve made lately and why?

P.S. Email us the recipe of your best meal and we’ll compile a post consisting of our recipes inspired by Julie and Julia!!

Check out the preview for Julie and Julia~Release date August 7th!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pages to screen: My Sister's Keeper - now playing in theatres near you!

In case you haven't already heard, My Sister's Keeper starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin is out in theatres! If you see it, be sure to review it here!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger -- A Review

This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare and Henry who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. His disappearances are spontaneous and his experiences are alternately harrowing and amusing. The Time Traveler's Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare's passionate love for each other with grace and humour. Their struggle to lead normal lives in the face of a force they can neither prevent nor control is intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

This title was recommended by Alicia on April 6th.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson -- A Recommendation

The Angel Experiment...Book 1
WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE Do not put this book down. I’m dead serious – your life could depend on it. I’m risking everything by telling you – but you need to know.

STRAP YOURSELF IN for the thrill ride you’ll want to take again and again! From Death Valley, California, to the bowels of the New York City subway system, you’re about to take off on a heart-stopping adventure that will blow you away…
YOUR FAITHFUL COMPANIONS: Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman and Angel. Six kids who are pretty normal in most ways – except that they’re 98% human, 2% bird. They grew up in a lab, living like rats in cages, but now they’re free. Aside, of course, from the fact that they’re prime prey for Erasers – wicked wolf-like creatures with a taste for flying humans.THE MISSIONS: Rescue Angel from malicious mutants. Infiltrate a secret facility to track down the flock’s missing parents. Scavenge for sustenance. Get revenge on an evil traitor. And save the world. If there’s time.

School’s Out Forever...Book 2
AND THAT’S NOT ALL! Max is sure that a microchip’s been inserted under her skin – bringing evil forces to ambush them at any moment. Oh yeah, and they’re supposed to save the world.

Max will stop at nothing to find answers. One thing she does know: it’s got something to do with an astonishing ability they have.

Max’s heart-stopping quest to protect her ‘family’ and investigate the mind-blowing mystery of her destiny continues in the scariest, strangest, and funniest James Patterson thriller yet.

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports...Book 3
You’re about to join the adventures of Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy, and Angel, six extraordinary kids who have powers like no other: they can fly, and they’re being chased – no, hunted – across America and around the world.
I promise that you’ll fly higher than ever before in this wild adventure, witness battles worthy of multiplex movie screens, and laugh until your sides hurt. There’s even a little romance...
But all good things – and even terrible, unspeakable ones – must come to an end. This is that moment in time, I’m afraid. Either we save the world, or we crash and burn. And I mean all of us – even you, faithful reader, because you play a very big part in this story.
The flock needs your help. Yes, you.
The Final Warning...Book 4
Maximum Ride is a perfectly normal teenager who just happens to be able to fly, the result of an out-of-control government experiment. Max and the other members of the Flock–six kids who share her remarkable ability–have been asked to aid a group of environmental scientists studying the causes of global warming. Their ability to fly could help the scientists conquer this epic problem. The expedition seems like a perfect combination of adventure, activism–and escaping government forces who watch the Flock like a hawk.
But even in Antarctica, trapped in the harshest weather on our planet, Maximum Ride is an irresistible target in constant danger. For whoever controls her powers could also control the world....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Note to our Club Members

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying Julie and Julia!! This month we’re switching things up a bit. So, instead of us all writing “I liked/disliked this book because…” we’re going to have 2-3 discussion questions all posted as separate blog posts. That way everyone including us will write our responses in the comment area. We’re hoping this gives it more of a conversational feel. We’re also hoping that people will comment on others comments further making it feel like a real discussion. Ever since I’ve (Lisa) joined a local book club I’ve been trying to copy the book club feel onto our blog. We’re hoping this works!

Also I hope you’ve noticed our Wordless Wednesdays or Wha’cha Reading? If you are currently reading anything other then the book club book let us know and we’ll post the picture of the book or if you want to take it a step further send us a picture of you reading your book (try to have the title visible) and we’ll post it!! We’re hoping this gives us more exposure because of the wordless Wednesday website/blog.

Another way we’ve thought of to get our blog out there is to write the blog link into any books you own that you either borrow out to friends or are giving away. If it’s a library book why not slip in a piece of paper with the blog link? People might be just curious enough to check it out.

I’m getting excited for the end of the month! The voting poll for July’s title still has about a week left so if you haven’t voted yet you still have some time!! If you have any titles you think would make a great book of the month email us!! We’re also always looking for more reviews or recommendations so send them our way!!

Children's Summer Reading Program!!

Showcase Cinemas in the UK have an annual summer reading program for kids!!

Bookworm Wednesdays is where kids can see films in exchange for a book report! (Follow the link to get the book report form) It runs every Wednesday for the six weeks of the summer holidays!!

To find out if your cinema is participating check out this link:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith -- A Book Review

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, sword fights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton -- A Recommendation

Bioengineers clone 15 species of dinosaurs and establish an island preserve where tourists can view the large reptiles; chaos ensues when a rival genetics firm attempts to steal frozen dinosaur embryos, and it's up to two kids, a safari guide and a paleontologist to set things right.

I say:
The movie was great. One of the few book-to-movie transitions that I can fully appreciate, after having a look on wikipedia I found out why, Crichton wrote the screenplay. I found this book scarier then the movie and a lot less forgiving. If you have seen the movie and don’t think it necessary to read the book think again. There are scenes that got cut out of the movie for time and practicality.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cross Stitch (Outlander Series) by Diana Gabaldon -- A Book Review

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century - and a lover in another...In 1945, Claire Randall is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon in Scotland. Innocently, she walks through a stone circle in the Highlands, and finds herself in a violent skirmish-taking place in 1743. Suddenly, she is a Sassenach, an outlander, in a country torn by war and by clan feuds. A wartime nurse, Claire can deal with the bloody wounds that face her. But it is harder to deal with the knowledge that she is in Jacobite Scotland and the carnage of Culloden is looming. Marooned amid the passion and violence, the superstition, the shifting allegiances and the fervent loyalties, Claire is in danger from Jacobites and Redcoats - and from the shock of her own desire for James Fraser, a gallant and courageous young Scots warrior. Jamie shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire, and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reader's Choice

Olive Kitteridge: a novel in stories (Fiction) by Elizabeth Strout

Thirteen linked tales from Strout (Abide with Me, etc.) present a heart-wrenching, penetrating portrait of ordinary coastal Mainers living lives of quiet grief intermingled with flashes of human connection. The opening Pharmacy focuses on terse, dry junior high-school teacher Olive Kitteridge and her gregarious pharmacist husband, Henry, both of whom have survived the loss of a psychologically damaged parent, and both of whom suffer painful attractions to co-workers. Their son, Christopher, takes center stage in A Little Burst, which describes his wedding in humorous, somewhat disturbing detail, and in Security, where Olive, in her 70s, visits Christopher and his family in New York. Strout's fiction showcases her ability to reveal through familiar details—the mother-of-the-groom's wedding dress, a grandmother's disapproving observations of how her grandchildren are raised—the seeds of tragedy. Themes of suicide, depression, bad communication, aging and love, run through these stories, none more vivid or touching than Incoming Tide, where Olive chats with former student Kevin Coulson as they watch waitress Patty Howe by the seashore, all three struggling with their own misgivings about life. Like this story, the collection is easy to read and impossible to forget. Its literary craft and emotional power will surprise readers unfamiliar with Strout. (Apr.) Copyright © Reed Business Information


Water for Elephants: a novel by Sara Gruen

With its spotlight on elephants, Gruen's romantic page-turner hinges on the human-animal bonds that drove her debut and its sequel (Riding Lessons and Flying Changes)—but without the mass appeal that horses hold. The novel, told in flashback by nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. When 23-year-old Jankowski learns that his parents have been killed in a car crash, leaving him penniless, he drops out of Cornell veterinary school and parlays his expertise with animals into a job with the circus, where he cares for a menagerie of exotic creatures[...] He also falls in love with Marlena, one of the show's star performers—a romance complicated by Marlena's husband, the unbalanced, sadistic circus boss who beats both his wife and the animals Jankowski cares for. Despite her often clich├ęd prose and the predictability of the story's ending, Gruen skillfully humanizes the midgets, drunks, rubes and freaks who populate her book. Copyright © Reed Business Information

Here are two books we are interested in reading for July. In the side bar we will have a poll that will end on the 28th of June the book that wins the most votes will be our July book for the book club!! I think this is a wonderful way to get our readers involved.

Also if you could email us with any ideas or suggestions on how to make the discussion part of our reviews a bit more like a discussion please share!!

Still Alice by Lisa Genova -- A Reccomendation by Jessica

What if every memory you've ever had will be erased from your mind, and you have no choice but to carry on...powerless to stop it?

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life -- and her relationship with her family and the world -- forever.At once beautiful and terrifying, this extraordinary debut novel by Lisa Genova is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Ordinary People.

What Jessica says: I just finished the book ~ it was amazing! Couldn't put it down. This an amazing story of the progression of dementia mostly told from Alice's view. As soon as I finished it I brought it to work and it's now in rotation. Everyone here plans to read it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June's Book Selection

Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell

With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul.
Julie Powell is 30 years old, living in a rundown apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking secretarial job that's going nowhere. She needs something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged assignment. She will take her mother's dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 recipes. In the span of one year.
At first she thinks it will be easy. But as she moves from the simple Potage Parmentier (potato soup) into the more complicated realm of aspics and crepes, she realizes there's more to Mastering the Art of French Cooking than meets the eye. With Julia's stern warble always in her ear, Julie haunts the local butcher, buying kidneys and sweetbreads. She sends her husband on late-night runs for yet more butter and rarely serves dinner before midnight. She discovers how to mold the perfect Orange Bavarian, the trick to extracting marrow from bone, and the intense pleasure of eating liver.
And somewhere along the line she realizes she has turned her kitchen into a miracle of creation and cuisine. She has eclipsed her life's ordinariness through spectacular humor, hysteria, and perseverance.

Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown {book review}

Every month a blog I follow hosts a book club, but the books chosen all have to do with food. Particularly baking. It’s very similar to ...