Thursday, December 30, 2010

the help (august 2010)

Eleven of us hauled up to Lee Cottage. Everyone without the last name of Lefevere (or riding with someone whose last name is Lefevere) got lost. You’d think, being an editor ‘n all, I’d know to proofread. Sorry ‘bout that. Anyway, we made it. And Erin showed up with two cheeseballs. 
Jeni wowed MCF8 (anyone get it?) with her ability to eat an industrial-sized bag of sour patch kids en route. 
Friday night was hilarious and fun. Loran turned in first at 11:30, shortly followed by Kat/Kitty/Katie. Cris turned the lights out on Alissa at 4:48AM, only after a riveting, franzia-fueled discussion of manscaping & gay rights. Erin (she’s #1) found that the upstairs couch is way more hospitable than the only-looks-comfy chair/ottoman. 

Saturday we slept until 10:00. The weather was crap, so Jeni lead us in a round of What The F*ck. (scrotum chin. $5000. Cantaloupe. Ten Laps.) 
Loran did a step routine. 

Then we had super-yummy lunch, and talked about The Help. 

We tubed. Val had troll-head.
 Melissa had the best posture. 
Alissa is a screamer.
This looks like some sort of choreography. Alissa's about to bust out The Sprinkler and Katie's reaching for the top shelf in the middle of The Shopping Cart.

We dropped anchor. We noodled. 

We peed in the lake. Katie stayed. Val lost a flip flop. Loran inadvertently showed Alissa and me her well-manicured lady parts. We made dinner. We talked. We never watched the movie. 

In summary: nobody threw up, and only 3 people started their period (though Cris is still hoping for cosmic crotch). 

A few notable discoveries: 

  • Jeni is the cutest sleeper on the face of the planet
  • Loran shops at Baby Gap
  • Erin sees no point in starting what you’re not going to finish
Looking ahead:
September 20: The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. Dayna will lead. We'll meet at the Brew Pub. 

October 18: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet by Jamie Ford. Val hosts. She’ll announce the location in Sept. 

November 15: Alissa is still narrowing down her book choice. She’ll announce in September. 

December 6 or thereabouts – holiday extravaganza. 

January – Jill is hosting. She MIGHT choose The Book Thief, or she might not. 

February – Jeni picked The History Of Love by Mrs. Foer.

March – Loran will announce her pick in December 

April – Cris will announce her pick in January. 

And then we start over again. 

the shadow of the wind (june 2010)

I wasn't there, and neither were a half-dozen other of you. The half-dozen who DID show up report that the restaurant and the discussion were both good. Gold stars to all of you! 

Here's the author. 
Moving on. 

July 26 - We'll meet at The Aristocrat for Mary Katherine's' leadership and a discussion of When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. Will someone please remind me to enact Fluid Restriction starting...oh...Saturday, lest I giggle myself into a fit of incontinence during the discussion. That's always embarrassing. 6:30PM.

August 21-23 -- Bunkbed Adventure! Please RSVP by the July meeting. Those who are able to attend for all or part of the weekend should stay for 20 minutes after so we can plan. My book choice is The Help. Entertainment: Jeni will give us a 1-minute oral book report on HP1. 

September 20 -- Dayna will host. She may or may not have announced the selection at the June meeting. For all I know, it could be The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. We shall see. 

October 18 -- Miss December has selected Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet

November 15 -- Alissa will host. She'll announce her selection bunkbed weekend via underwater morris code requiring sonar equipment and a cipher. 

December -- Festivus! December 6th or sometime the weekend that precedes it.

January -- Country Gal hosts. 

February -- I smell YA Fiction with Loran aka Imma Be hosting. 

March and April -- Cris and Jeni, you two decide who wants which month and reveal the plan in July. m'kay? 

Then we start over -- again -- yay!

never let me go (May 2010)

Hi, Lovelies, 
ECM just reminded me that I failed to send out notes. Righty-o. Here they are:

We met at Bazbeaux and had THE SLOWEST service in the history of the world (except Rock Bottom. That was worse.). But pizza is always good and Bazbeaux is decidedly de-lish, so we'll go back. I'm sure of it.

We discussed Jeni's pick: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguru. We loved it and hated it, and what I liked best was that we all had such different experiences with it. Velly velly intellesting. 


June 21 - We're meeting at Napolese (which is OMG the Patachou pizza place! how did I not know this? here's the menu: to discuss The Shadow of the Wind. Speedway Hot will lead the discussion. 

July 26 - Esther Williams, AKA Madame Feltman has assigned When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. She'll announce the location at the June meeting. 

August 21-23 -- Bunkbed Adventure! I added an RSVP discussion to the group page. Please state your intentions BEFORE the July meeting (at at least your tentative intentions). Everyone attending should stay for 20 minutes after so we can discuss the particulars. My book choice is The Help UNLESS YOUR NAME IS JENI JESSEN, in which case your assignment is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. OMG I just realized this is the month of my birth. 

September 20 -- Dayna will host. She'll announce her pick at the June meeting. 

October 18 -- though it's not the month of her birth, Val will host. The book is Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet

November 15 -- Alissa will host. She'll announce her selection Bunkbed Adventure weekend or thereabouts.

December -- Holiday Party. Tentatively scheduled for December 6th or sometime the weekend that precedes it. Discussion forthcoming. 

Loran, Cris, Jeni and Jill -- you've only hosted once and aren't scheduled for a second one yet, so you're on tap for January, February, March and April (order tbd in a month or so. let's say September we'll work this out.). Then we start over -- again -- yay!

Have nice weekends, everyone. 

Yours most sincerely, I am, 

[two points to the first person to correctly identify the source of that sendoff]

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shiver [April 2010]

I'd say Shiver was a success. Most of us liked it, and most of us liked it more than that other book...the one that shall from this point forward be known as "the book that must not be named" (Val, that is a harry potter reference). 
Also, Cris is in love. It's facebook official. We're all holding hands about it. 

* May 24, 6:30PM at Bazbeaux Pizza. We're reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Jeni is hosting and will also A) show off her bling, and B) entertain us with the story of her engagement. 

* June 21, 6:30PM, location TBD. We're reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. Melissa, who is way hotter than "Speedway hot," is hosting. She'll announce the location at the May meeting. 

* July 26, 6:30PM, location TBD. Katie is hosting, and we'll discuss When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. 

* August 20-23. Bunk bed adventure. Lindsay selected The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Location is Lee Cottage. Alissa will bring sonar equipment. 

Those of you who are smooshing, TOMORROW is baking day! I'm going to try mine in a bundt instead of a loaf. I'll let you know how it goes.

What This River Keeps [March 2010]

Well, that was fun - wasn't it? A friend emailed me this AM asking me how it went, and here's how I responded. 

BBC with the author can be effectively summarized by this famous movie line: 

This has been Bridget Jones for "Sit Up, Britain"... with, let's face it, a bit of a crush now, actually. 

Erin and I remarked this morning how nervy Greg was, to step into a room of 10 females (including at least 4 or 5 A-types). I dunno. Can you imagine attending your husband/boyfriend's book club as the guest author? Me, either. 


Here's what we decided about stuff upcoming (I went ahead and assigned dates through August). 

* April 19, 6:30PM, The Usual Suspects. We're reading Shiver by Maggie S...something. Erin is leading. 

* May 24, 6:30PM, location TBD. We're reading Never Let Me Go. Jeni is hosting. She'll announce (via Loran) the location when we meet in April. 

* June 21, 6:30PM, location TBD. We're reading The Shadow of the Wind. Melissa, who is way hotter than "Speedway hot," is hosting. 

* July 26, 6:30PM, location TBD. Katie is hosting, and it'll either be something David Sedaris or something else I can't remember. Not Margaret Atwood sci-fi, thank you. 

* August 20-22/3. Bunkbed adventure. Reading The Help. Lindsay is hosting at Lee Cottage. Alissa will bring sonar equipment. 

That's the story. 

Guernsey - Feb 2010

I've been remiss in sending updates, so I'll do it now while it's fresh, and I'll keep it short. Here are the high points. 

1. We met at Binkley's to discuss The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Dayna hosted. Binkley's was a good location. The book was polarizing. Some people LOVED it, and some people were too distracted by the format to really enjoy it. Others were distracted by the lack of details, such as wardrobe, hair color, and bra size. We discussed the merits of this book against another book we've read that involved writing letters. 

2. We agreed that we'll plan a trip to guernsey for our 5-year BBC anniversary. I figure it'll probably cost $2K per person, so everyone should save $500 per year in a biscuit tin. 

3. Alissa announced final details for the March meeting: 
* Monday March 22nd, 2010. 
* 6:30 PM
* Chez Lefevere 
* We'll order pizza. 
* Professor Schwipps will entertain us with a catfish-themed audio/visual presentation.
* We solemnly swear to give honest feedback.

4. Erin announced the April selection: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It's available in HB and Audio. With 298 reviews and a 4-star average on, there's redemption in sight. We'll meet April 19th. 

5. Jeni will host in May. Book to be announced and date to be selected at the March meeting. 

6. Melissa will host in June. She's selected The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. 

7. [someone shouted out that they wanted to host in july - I didn't write it down. whoever you are, please reveal yourself when we meet in March. thanks.]

8. August - BUNKBED ADVENTURE at Lindsay's cottage! 
Lee Cottage 



Merry meet!

Well, Erin officially wins the award for the smallest meeting -- if you don't count the dogs, that is. Seven humans and five dogs met at Erin's house on Sunday evening to talk about Postcards (the humans), engage in lewd acts (and you boy dogs know who you are), and sneak onto Erin's couch (Coco Lefevere!). The food was excellent and the discussion was riveting. Gold star, Erin! 

With 6 months (well, 7 actually) of meetings behind us, we talked about how things have been going. Here are the results: its going well. 

Several people inquired about inviting other bad ass babes to join our elite circle. We all agreed that we're not opposed to adding new members, but we also don't want the group to grow exponentially. We'll talk about this in October. 

We also chatted about the schedule going forward and decided to skip meeting in December. So instead of hosting in December and January respectively, Val and Dayna will host in January and February. They both revealed their selections. Exciting! 

Here's what's up: 

October 19th - hosted by Cris at Broad Ripple Brewpub. We'll discuss Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. 6:30PM. Please bring your calendars, because we'll try to schedule January and February.

November 23rd - Empire Falls by Richard Russo. Jill will reveal the location at the October meeting

December - bye

January - Val (because December is the month of her birth) suggested Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. However, this selection is tentative due to the sensitive subject matter -- if anyone is uncomfortable with this selection, please direct message Val (no explanation needed, and she'll keep it confidential) before the October meeting, and she'll select a different book for our January discussion. Val will update us at the October meeting. Assuming everyone's okay with Val's book selection, we'll meet at a location that offers more privacy for the discussion. Location suggestions welcome. time and date forthcoming, but we'll shoot for _early_ January. 

February - in an act of sublime malfeasance, Dayna selected The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass as our February book. Just kidding. She chose The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. time and date forthcoming, but we'll shoot for _early_ February due to the length of the March book. 

March 22 - See the date? Mark your calendars now. Alissa selected What This River Keeps by 2009 Indiana Emerging Author finalist (awards are this Saturday night!) and DePauw University professor Greg Schwipps. In what will surely send several members of the group into dithering giggle-fits, the author will join us for some or all of the discussion. He'll sign books and answer questions, and Alissa says he would _really_ enjoy getting feedback. Oh, and have I mentioned that this is Alissa's husband? 

April - Erin has requested to host in April so that she can redeem herself after the recent shenanigans with Postcards. She promises to select a book that is A) newer, and B) available via audio, C) good. Thank you, Erin. We're all grateful and we're all counting on you. Don't disappoint. 

LOTS of exciting stuff on the agenda. 

Merry met!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

City of Thieves

Nine seems to be a popular number. Last month, there were 9 of us. This month, there were nine of us. Anyway, nine of us met at Naked Tchopstix to discuss Stephanie's pick - City of Thieves by David Benioff. We liked it. Here's what happened after I arrived (34 minutes late, sorry):

* We agreed that 6:00 is too early. Future work-night gatherings should probably be at 6:30. 
* We all met Jeni, and she met us. 
* Lindsay let everyone know that Celeste is taking a hiatius and will catch up with us in November. 
* Cris revealed the October selection, and we nailed down dates and details for a few other months. 
* After an incident with a rogue Riesling, Erin is due at least $6 worth of good karma. 

Here's the schedule going forward: 

August 17 - Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Hosted by Melissa at Rock Bottom Brewery on 86th Street. 6:30PM (available at Target per Stephanie's article)

September20 - Postcards by Annie Proulx. This is a Sunday, and Erin is hosting a late afternoon pitch-in at her house (57th & Norwaldo). 4:30PM. 

October 19 - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Hosted by Cris - location TBD. 

November - Jill will announce her selection at the August meeting. 

December - Val, because it's the month of her birth. We'll meet at Taste. 

January - Dayna, who promises not select The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass


The Last Lecture - June 2009

Nine of us met at Bazbeaux. Here's what happened: Loran led a discussion of The Last Lecture, Lindsay announced that Jody is out of the club, Loran announced that Jeni is in (we'll meet her in July), Erin revealed the September selection, several of you volunteered to hostess through January, and everyone agrees we're looking forward to a few months of fiction. Here's the schedule going forward: 

July 20, 2009 - City of Thieves by David Benioff. Hosted by Stephanie at Naked Tchopstix. 6:30PM 

August 17, 2009 - Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Hosted by Melissa. Location and date TBD. 

September 2009 - Postcards by Annie Proulx. Hosted by Erin. Location and date TBD. 

October 2009 - Cris

November 2009 - Jill

December 2009 - Val, because it's the month of her birth

January 2010 - Dayna, who promises not select The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass


facebook isn't really working for me

i can't access our group easily from my phone, and as we're on the cusp of being together for 2 years, it's time to upgrade the technology.

so, welcome.

First things first: everything we've done so far. (just the facts)

month -- host -- book -- author -- location
March -- Lindsay -- Coraline -- Neil Gaiman -- Panera
April -- Celeste -- The Sex Lives of Cannibals -- J. Maarten Troost -- Union Jack's
May -- Katie -- Animal Vegetable Miracle -- Barbara Kingsolver -- The Brew Pub
June -- Loran -- The Last Lecture -- Randy Pausch -- Bazbeaux
July -- Stephanie -- City Of Thieves -- David Benioff -- Naked Tchopstix
Aug -- Melissa -- Still Alice -- Lisa Genova -- Rock Bottom
Sept -- Erin -- Postcards -- Annie Proulx -- Erin's House
Oct -- Cris -- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close -- Jonathan Safron Foer -- The Brew Pub
Nov -- Jill -- Empire Falls -- Richard Russo -- The Aristocrat
Dec -- the badass holiday party, volume 1

month -- host -- book -- author -- location
Jan -- Val -- Under the Banner of Heaven -- Jon Krakauer -- Naked Tchopstix
Feb -- Dayna -- The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society -- Mary Anne Shaffer -- Binkley's
March - Alissa -- What This River Keeps -- Greg Schwipps -- Chez Lefevere
April -- Erin -- Shiver -- Maggie Stiefvater -- Barley ISland
May -- Jeni -- Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguru -- Bazbeaux
June -- Melissa -- The Shadow of The Wind -- Carlos Ruiz Zafon -- Napolese
July -- Katie -- When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris -- The Aristocrat
Aug -- Lindsay -- The Help -- Kathryn Stockett -- Lee Cottage
Sept -- Dayna -- The Ghost Map -- Stephen Johnson -- The Brew Pub
Oct -- Val -- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet -- Jamie Ford -- Canal Bistro
Nov -- Alissa -- Plainsong -- Kent Haruf -- Brugge
Dec -- the badass holiday party, volume 2