Summer Thoughts

Hope you are all well and enjoying your summer. Both reading groups had successful planning pot lucks and it seems we’re all set for the new season.

Please note, the Afternoon Book Group’s selection for Feb. has 2 titles. I have a used hardback book “Daughters” and the newer title is “Three Daughters”. The important name is the author CONSUELO SAAH BAEHR. It can be ordered on Amazon.

Have you been reading any good books this summer? Most of you know I really enjoyed “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown and can’t wait until Kathy’s review in March. I also read “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George which reminded me a bit of  “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”. I’m re-reading it almost back to back. I bought Donna Leon’s “Through a Glass Darkly” for my Amtrak book on my way home. By page 20…”did I read this book already?”….by page 100….”I may have read this book…” and then comes the murder… “I DID read this book!” Oh well, it was an OK Amtrak read. “Station 11” is available at B&N. I’m trying not to read our book club selections too early. The new Harper Lee book is getting a great deal of publicity. It may be good for discussion next year.

Have a good summer. I miss the book group. Feel free to post recommendations.

Thanks, Bookhound

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them” Lemony Snicket

“Books…a nice change from reading prescription labels”

Reading Lists for 2015-16

The Afternoon Book Group:
Oct 6            A Spool of Blue Thread, By Ann Tyler
Nov 3           Station 11, by Emily St. John Mandel
Jan 5            Norah Webster, by Colm Toibin
Feb 2           Daughters, by Consuelo Saah Baehr
Mar 1           Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
Apr 5            Dead Wake, by Erik Larson
May 3          The Nightingale, by Kristen Hannah
This group meets the first Tuesday of the month. See the Branch Calendar for details.

The Paperback Book Group: 
SEPT 17        The Keeper of the Bees, by Gene Stratton-Porter
OCT. 15         A Mercy, by Toni Morrison
NOV.19         Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
JAN. 21         Children of the Arbat, by Anatoli Rybakov
FEB. 18         A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Mara
MAR. 17       An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabin Alameddine
APRIL 21      Orhan’s Inheritance, by Aline Ohanesian
MAY 19        How To Be Both, by Ali Smith
This group meets the third Thursday of the month. See the Branch Calendar for details.

More about Tuesday….

I left out some important info from our meeting! We decided it was at the discretion of the host and reviewer as to whether to cancel book group due to snow. Considerations were:location of meeting, parking available close to location, no BIG HILLS, and reviewers ability to attend. The hostess or reviewer would notify me, preferably by phone, and then I would send out a group e-mail with the info. Remember to check your e-mail on a questionable day before leaving the house.

Enjoyed seeing Mary Linn’s enthusiasm over Patrick O’Brien. My husband has been encouraging me to read a few, but it wasn’t until Mary Linn’s recommendation that I considered it. But I won’t tell HIM that.

Some ladies mention surprise on the brutality during the French Revolution. I have a good coffee table book called ”Voices of the French Revolution”. Good pictures with good historical descriptions.

I also have “The Orientalist” by Tom Reiss, his book before  “The Black Count”. Don’t have “The Count of Monte Cristo” but do have “The Black Tulip” by Alexandre Dumas.  It was his last major historical novel. All available.

Have a good week,


“When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before”.  Clifton Fadiman

Tuesday’s Meeting

Another informative and enjoyable book group for all 19 of us! Special thanks to Beth for hosting. Her “long” living room gave us the space. No rears on rugs.

Lillian did an outstanding presentation on “The Black Count” and the Dumas family. Mary Jean shared her excitement on “The Count of Monte Cristo”. I know I have the book SOMEWHERE. Simpson Library in Mechanicsburg will have their book sale Friday, Feb. 13, 6-8 P.M. for members, Sat. Feb. 14, 9-2 P.M. and Sun. Feb. 15, 1-3 P.M.

Cheryl asked about a new book by the reclusive Harper Lee. Came home and there was a blurb on my blogs about a new book in July “Go Set A Watchman” by Harper Lee written in the 1950’s. Keep an eye out for it. Will probably have a great deal of interest. Carol L was unable to attend, but recommended “Florence Gordon” by Brian Morton. Disappointed she missed the group after having enjoyed the book. Looking forward to reading “The Good Lord Bird” for March.


Chalkboard sign outside a book store: “COLD? Buy a book. You’ll still be cold but you’ll have a book”.


February 3 Book Group

Last call for RSVP’S to Beth for book group on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 1:00.  Lillian will be reviewing The Black Count by Tom Reiss.

B&N alert…. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny hardback is on 50% sale table. Also All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr hardback is on sale for 40% off by the front entrance. I’ll be leading the review for this book in March for the morning group. Doesn’t come out in paperback for a few months.

Wolf Hall will be on PBS in early April. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain is on now on TV in the UK and may come to us in a few months. I have a number of her books for borrowing. She’s a very interesting woman at a significant time in European history. I have Martin Walker’s second French countryside mystery novel The Dark Vineyard for borrowing. Will start Boris Akunin’s second mystery The Turkish Gambit this evening.

We will need to discuss a “snow policy” for our group. When to cancel or make-up. It could also apply to the morning group if agreed upon.

Stay safe in this challenging weather,


“Interrupt my reading again, and even Miss Marple won’t find your remains”.


Hope you’re all enjoying the beauty of the snow and not the headaches today. This is your first reminder of our next afternoon book group: Tuesday, Feb. 3, 1:00 at Beth’s home. Lillian will be reviewing The Black Count by Tom Reiss. Please RSVP to Further info next week. Everyone says I’ll like the book because of the “French connection” and I do.

I finished the book I’ll be leading at the morning group in March. It’s The Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. He did a beautiful job of inter-weaving the characters and setting the scenes in St. Malo, Paris and Germany. It was a  fairly intense read, so I thought I’d read one of his lighter previous books. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World.” It’s an enjoyable read. He won a fellowship to research and write a book for a year. The book he was working on is The Light We Cannot See!

I also recommend An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine. It centers around the long life of a  Lebanese woman surviving civil wars and single life in Beirut. I also had The Hakawati (Storyteller) for future reading. I came across articles about the Pen Writers’ concern about the imprisonment and threats against writers in Turkey and Russia. There were quotes from Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak. I discovered her book in my basement library (pile) and finally read it. The Bastard of Istanbul. You can check her out on YouTube and she’s very interesting and informative about the lives of women and Turkish history.

After reading The Winter Queen and enjoying Carol N’s outstanding review, I now have “used copies” of the next 4 books available for borrowing.

USE LIBRARIES AND LEARN STUFF A few ladies from our book group and about 40 others, are attending the 2 sessions of Understanding Islam at the Frederickson library. The second session is this Sunday at 1:30 in the community room. Very informative afternoon.

Check out and read outstanding postings, maps, and background of the Paris attacks of early Jan. He normally has beautiful pictures and postings about Paris. He has local day walks through the city for tourists. It is a VERY well-developed blog and has received many awards.

Take care, Bookhound


January: The Winter Queen

What a good time at the afternoon book group this month! It was one of the most interesting and informative I’ve experienced. Special thanks to Lee for setting a beautiful table with Russian treats. Lee and Helen found some wonderful candies, cookies, tea, etc. at Goldy’s Market in New Cumberland. I plan a visit along with Oxford Hall next week. Carol N. did a wonderful presentation about the Russia of the 19th century (the book period) and of 20-21st. century. Many of us were busy taking notes for follow-up reading and “Googling”. I listened to Boris Akunin on you tube. He spoke at the British Centre for Translation, Sebald Lecture 2013.  He was interesting and showed a good sense of humor.
“He was happy to speak about his translation days there in England since there wasn’t a Russian who’d be interested!” Thanks to Geri, I set up an account with ABE Books. I will be ordering The Turkish Gambit.

Keep warm. I may try to hibernate.


“True literature can exist only where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy officials, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels and skeptics.”     Yevgeny Zamyatin

Blogs & Book Groups

Here is some info about the latest books and blogs you may be interested in and enjoy.  has the dates of previous and upcoming shows about books. This is usually aired between 11-12:00. I enjoyed listening to Margaret Atwood speak about her new book of short stories, Stone Mattress-Nine Tales, and Anjelica Huston’s Watch Me: A Memoir. Upcoming shows are with Richard Flanagan, 2014 Booker Prize winner for The Narrow Road to the Deep North. His father was a WWII Japanese prisoner of war building the Burma Road.

A few of my favorite blogs are: The blogger (Sunday) lives in a beautifully decorated home, travels extensively and posts lovely pictures of books and authors she enjoys. Good collection of Bloomsbury books and photos. (retired in Paris) and posts beautiful and very educational photos and essays about Paris and travels. posts from the Maryland area. She travels to Europe, part of reading groups, former librarian and AAUW member. She posts short videos of operas, book signings, and art exhibits she has attended. Love it.

My favorite magazine, Bookmarks, has a monthly entry of book groups around the country and their recommendations:

Ten Years, 100 Books, Flint, Michigan 15 members
Flight Behavior                        Barbara Kingsolver
The Color of Water                 James McBride
Into the Beautiful North         Luis Alberto Urea                                                                      Assassination Vacation           Sarah Vowell
Orange County Witlits Book Group, Carlsbad, CA  16 members
The Scarlet Letter                        Nathaniel Hawthorne
Snowflower and the Secret Fan            Lisa See
Pope Joan                        Donna Woolfolk Cross
Kappa Kappa Gamma, WVU graduates 14 members
Heartburn                                Norah Ephron
Loving Frank                             Nancy Horan
Unbroken                                 Laura Hillenbrand
The Book Thief                         Marcus Zusak
Skeletons at the Feast             Chris Bohjalian
Destiny of the Republic           Candace Millard
The Master Butcher’s Singing Club                        Louise Erdrich
The Book Group also Carlsbad, CA 11 members
The Children’s Blizzard              David Laskin
The Ghost Map: Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic               Steve Johnson
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle                           Barbara Kingsolver
The Elegance of the Hedgehog               Muriel Burbary
Candide                          Voltaire

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee will be coming out in a few months.

The Republic of Imagination by Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Teheran) is now available.

Hope you enjoy. Best,

The Bookhound
“The only way to have a friend, is to be one.”
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
And my favorite: “The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing, the best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another third Thursday …

Another third Thursday morning and another great book group. Our second of the new season. We met at Kathy B’s lovely home. This is not Gourmet group, but it certainly tasted like it. She had Bananas Foster Bread Pudding with a delicious sauce, Egg and Cheese Soufflé and an Apple Tart. Pat led the discussion on Someone by Alice McDermott. We all enjoyed the book and had a lively discussion on her unique style of storytelling. I’m going to re-read Charming Billy AND Someone next week.  That’s what’s unique about AAUW book groups. It’s fairly obvious that our members are well read and enjoy sharing their thoughts about literature. I often re-read our selection after the discussion and enjoy it even more the second time around. Sometimes I don’t care for the book and the discussion opens up references and literary style I may have missed. Next month’s selection will be American Rust.

We recommended current books: Kathy K. suggested Lila by Marilynne Robinson, Some Luck by Jane Smiley, The Children Act by Ian Mc Ewan and Norah Webster by Colm Toibin. He was on the Diane Rehm show this week. Feel free to add your comments here on what you are currently reading.

Doris Kearnes Goodwin will be at Messiah on Oct. 30 at 7:30. Tickets are $25. Check

Have a great week,

You know you’re a book lover (book nerd) when
-Your room is a mess, but your bookshelves are immaculate
-Your workout is reading in bed until your arms hurt
-You refer to your local librarian as “my dealer”
-Two of the most beautiful words in your vocabulary are BOOK SALES

First Afternoon Book Group Meeting

A report from Gladys, our hostess: “We had a wonderful book review. Mary Jean did a wonderful job with lots of information. She even had a long conversation with the author. I fell in love with the book, All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw, by Theodore Rosengarten. And everyone gave it praise.”

This e-mail is a day late, thanks to Jan who recommended Me Before You. I couldn’t put it down, and it was exactly what she said. Not our usual choice, but it was a good read.

I SHOULD be at Thursday’s book group at Kathy’s to discuss Someone. And I’ll start Margaret Fuller-A New American Life by Meagan Marshall. Fuller was also mentioned in The Greater Journey; Americans in Paris by David McCullough.

Our next afternoon meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 4 featuring the Fuller book, reviewed by Kathy. Further info to follow closer to date.


“We must believe in the power and strength of our words.” “ Our words can change the world.” Malala

Congratulations to Malala Yousafzai for winning The Nobel Peace Prize this year. For further reading, I have the hardback copy of I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban.