Archive for February, 2014

It seems that The Beautiful Cigar Girl may be made into a movie. See article “Joaquin Phoenix Returning to Acting for “The Beautiful Cigar Girl’?

For those who have started to read the book, what do you think about Joaquin Phoenix playing Edgar Allan Poe?Phoenix-Poe


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Erica Bauermeister, author

On Monday, December 2nd, the Booked for the Day Book Group met to discuss the book, Joy for Beginners by Erica Caldwell.

Having survived a life-threatening illness, Kate celebrates by gathering with six close friends. At an intimate outdoor dinner, the women challenge Kate to start her new lease on life by going white-water rafting down the Grand Canyon with her daughter. But Kate is reluctant to take the risk. That is, until her friend Marion proposes a pact: if Kate will face the rapids, each woman will do one thing in the next year that scares her. Kate agrees, with one provision – she didn’t get to choose her challenge, so she gets to choose theirs. Here are a few things we discussed during the meeting:

The group thought that the read was enjoyable but some felt it was more of a beach read. Two of the members thought the book was emotional and they had a few tears, especially with Ava and Kate’s story.

We thought that in this book each woman confronted their fears. They faced what they were most afraid of and they did what was needed in order to move on in their lives.

In Caroline’s story we were confused with how things were left and unsure if she blamed herself for her husband’s leaving.

With Daria, again we were unsure if her relationship with her mother was settled in a positive way. We were also unclear as to why her mother had to give up painting because Daria was born.

With Sara, her dedication to her children did not weaken her marriage, but for Kate and Caroline in was the complete opposite. We were glad that Kate’s husband was supportive of her taking a trip on her own but we all thought it would have been nicer if she could have gone with someone. Someone to share the experience with. Plus, most of us decided that we would not go to a country where we did not know the language by ourselves.

We talked about the challenge that Robin gave Kate and most of us thought it was unfair of Robin to ask Kate to do something that frightened her. We realized that Robin wanted “to be scared by something she could put her hands on.” But if she really wanted Kate to truly feel alive, there may have been better choices. None of us thought we would jump off a cliff or go skinny dipping. That just did not seem realistic for Kate’s situation.

We would have liked more information on each character with a better follow through on what course their lives took. We also thought that some of the events were too coincidental. For example, Daria had to bake bread and Sara’s brother happened to be a baker. Ava’s tent partner Elaine just happened to have a handsome son who smelled like blackberries.

The group decided that they would recommend this book for a beach read but it was not something that they would buy for their shelves. These are just a few things mentioned during the discussion. Please feel free to add any of your thoughts in the comment section.

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joy_pbJoin us to discuss…

Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister. Shimmering with warmth, wit, and insight, Joy for Beginners is a celebration of life: unexpected, lyrical, and deeply satisfying.

Monday, February 3rd
11:00 am
Meeting Room B

Due to the cancellation of our last book group we will also be discussing the Razor’s Edge by Somerset W. Maugham. Intimate acquaintances but less than friends, they meet and part in postwar London and Paris.Their story, one of Somerset Maugham’s best, encompasses the pain, passion, and poignancy of life itself.

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