Barbara's picture

Afghan Women's Writing Project March 8 Event

Our dayInternational Women's Day is March 8, celebrating the economic, political and social global achievements of women past, present and future.

So on March 8, Hollywood Unites celebrates International Women's Day with Out of the Silence: Readings from The Afghan Women's Writing Project. The event features a theatrically staged program of powerful essays and poems written by emerging Afghan women writers, who often face estrangement, beatings, and even death for creatively expressing themselves through the written word. Reception starts at 6 pm at the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, California.

Novelist Masha Hamilton (31 Hours, The Camel Bookmobile, The Distance Between Us) started the Afghan Women's Writing Project (AWWP) in 2009, in response to the plight of Afghan women and the repressive conditions that silence their voices and their stories. The Afghan Women’s Writing Project's aim is allowing Afghan women to have a direct voice in the world, not filtered through male relatives or members of the media.

AWWP has more than 50 women journalists, novelists, poets, memoirists and screenwriters mentoring and teaching Afghan women writers through secure, internet-based classrooms.

Reading Group Choices supports AWWP, International Women's Day and Women's History Month (March). Celebrations of all women and their achievements!

Tell us your ideas for celebrating women in March!

Barbara's picture

Teaser Tuesday 2/23 Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Have been waiting for this ARC to come -- have heard lots of good things about Angelology by Danielle Trussoni! I read her memoir, Falling Through the Earth, four years ago -- excellent!




I will start this book tonight so I will grab the first paragraph (I was going to do the first two sentences but wow -- I have to finish the paragraph!) Angelology released on March 9.

Devil's Throat Cavern, Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria

Winter 1943

The angelolists examined the body. It was intact, without decay, the skin as smooth and white as parchment. The lifeless aquamarine eyes gazed heavenward. Pale curls fell against a high forehead and sculptural shoulders, forming a halo of golden hair. Even the robes -- the cloth woven of a white shimmering metallic material that none of them could identify exactly -- remained pristine, as if the creature had died in a hospital room in Paris and not a cavern deep below the earth.



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

What's your TT?

Barbara's picture

Brava, Valentine Giveaway Winners!

Thanks so much for entering the Brava, Valentine giveaway! The 5 lucky winners are Michelle, Sara Jane, Alita, Christina, and Amy Beth.

Congratulations are being random picked. You will receive an email from me today!  Go Valentine, Go Adriana, and thanks to HarperCollins!

Brava, Valentine has great discussion points for book clubs and reading groups.

Adriana shares history behind the story! 


Barbara's picture

Friday Finds 2/19 New Works from Authors I Love

friday findsFriday Finds is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.


What great books did you hear about/discover this past week?

Three came in the mail this week! All three are written by authors I love.


Imperfect BirdsImperfect Birds by Anne Lamont (April 2010)








Beatrice and VirgilBeatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel (April 2010)







Weel in December

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks (April 2010)

Great book club picks!

What did you find?

Barbara's picture

Friday Firsts 2/19 Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamont

Friday FirstsThe first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? 




  • Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
  • Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph.
  • Make sure to include the title & author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!
  • Did this first sentence help draw you into the story? Why or why not?

Imperfect BirdsI'm starting a new book today so I will use that first sentence of Imperfect Birds, A Novel by Anne Lamott. (April 2010, 978-1-59448-751-4)

There are so many evils that pull on our children.




oh my -- that has sucked me in! I have 10 nieces and nephews and I've seen many problems and issues that they have be involved with that can be described as evil. I guess not a happy book but I like deep and profound stories and Anne Lamont definitely delivers. Traveling Mercies, Operating Instructions, Blue Shoe -- all deeply affecting and life-changing.

Children issues, parenting concerns, family connections are topics that create lively reading group conversation.

Tell me your Friday Firsts!

Friday Firsts is hosted by Well Read Reviews

Barbara's picture

Book Discussion While Riding The Rails?

Literary conversation while riding the train to work? Oh, yea!

First Capital Connect, which operates lines between London, Brighton, Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King's Lynn, is introducing a new monthly book club!

The company will hand out chapter samplers 10 days each month at stations. The Guardian reported that Jonathan Kellerman's Evidence will be the debut read on the rails.

First Capital Connect "said it hoped the scheme would brighten journeys and help improve its service. It plans to offer a new title in the book club each month, but did not comment on whether Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, in which a man is stabbed to death in his sleep on a train, might be a future offer," the Guardian wrote.

Excellent move by First Capital Connect -- reading groups help bring any community together.

Poler ExpressMaybe in December the commuters will read and discuss The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg!

Can you think of train stories that they U.K. commuters should read?

Barbara's picture

Waiting on Wednesday -- Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel

Waiting on Wednesday"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Beatrice and VirgilWell, I didn't have to wait -- my ARC came yesterday. Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel -- yea!!! I loved Life of Pi and was eagerly anticipating his new one.

Here the scoop from Spiegel & Grau:

Fate takes many forms. . . .

When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey—named Beatrice and Virgil—and the epic journey they undertake together.

With all the spirit and originality that made Life of Pi so beloved, this brilliant new novel takes the reader on a haunting odyssey. On the way Martel asks profound questions about life and art, truth and deception, responsibility and complicity. (lay down date, April 13, 2010)

Oodles of issues to be discussed in book groups. Can't wait to dig in!

Barbara's picture

The Blue Sweater Book Club and Global Poverty

The Blue SweaterJacqueline Novogratz, author of The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, shares her thoughts on global interconnectedness and reading groups and book clubs in a thoughtful article in Huffington Post.

Jacqueline Novogratz left a career in international banking to spend her life on a quest to understand global poverty and find powerful new ways of tackling it. More than just an autobiography or a how-to guide to addressing poverty, The Blue Sweater is a call to action that challenges us to grant dignity to the poor and to rethink our engagement with the world.

Quite an interesting book and great ideas for book group discussions.


Barbara's picture

Teaser Tuesday 2/16 Brava, Valentine

Great teaser for today!!


The most magical thing happened on the morning of my grandmother's wedding in Tuscany. It snowed. -- Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani.


Brava, ValentineI have 5 copies of Brava to give away! Please comment with your teaser and say you like to enter.

By the way, it's snowing where I live this morning! Again.


Thanks to HarperCollins and Adriana.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

What is your TT today? Don't forgot to enter for the giveaway!

Barbara's picture

Take the Survey -- 2009 Favorite Discussible Book!

What's your group's favorite discussible book of 2009? Every year, we take a survey to find out -- maybe the one that ignited some differences of opinion and made your group think outside the box. We want to know! Please take the survey and you will automatically be entered in a drawing to win $75 to cater your next meeting!

We have the Top Ten Favorite Discussible Books from 2002 to 2008. Here are the 2008 Top Ten! 

  1. Water for Elephants 
  2. Loving Frank 
  3. Three Cups of Tea
  4. The Glass Castle
  5. A Thousand Splendid Suns
  6. The Book Thief
  7. Eat, Pray, Love
  8. The Shack
  9. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 

Let us know your book club's most lively book discussion of 2009

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