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THS Book Club & Giveaway

January 24, 2010

For most of my adult life I wanted to participate in a book club.  I remember looking for one as an eager college freshmen in Madison, WI.  I remember being dishearten years later during my first few weeks in my first “real job” when I learned that all the groups that met at my local book store met when I was working.  I remember being jealous of my friends in other areas of the country who were getting together with coworkers, neighbors, and classmates to discuss a book each month.  Eventually I stopped looking and just continued to read on my own.  Occasionally, my best friend Danielle and I would read the same books and talk about them long distance.  This was my own, unofficial version of book club.  [and i am very grateful for it!]

After I found my niche in Beaumont- after I had grown a bit, learned a bit about who I was and even more importantly, who I was not, I found myself with a handful of GREAT friends.  I had met and loved a lot of people while in Texas – and a few of these people were so important to me; not just my life, but my soul.

During December, I decided to have a cookie swap at the 2204.  I invited a handful of the people who I adored so much, and gave them all a copy of the same book as part of their gifts.  And we read them. And we got together a month later, in that same apartment, and discussed them. 

The following month we got together, plus a few more good friends, and each brought our personal copies of our own favorite books to “plug & swap.”  After dinner, we sat on the floor in a circle and talked about why we loved each of the books we brought, and then we took turns picking which books we wanted to take home with us. 

And then I got engaged. And then we moved to New York. 

Every once in a while, I think about that last dinner party.  It makes my heart sink just a little bit.  I miss that group of friends SO much.  They made me feel alive, and assured me that life was worth living.  We didn’t see each other every day, or even communicate all the time– but when we were together, I felt my heart was dancing.  I felt the best version of myself. 

Kind of like how I feel with all of you blog-friends.  Whether we’ve talked on gchat every day for the last month, or only very sparsely comment on each others posts, I appreciate you all so much.  Those of you that don’t blog yourself but read mine anyway & those of you who only showed up to this post because of the word give-a-way;  I believe that you each help me to feel alive, to dance, and to be the very best version of myself.

So, naturally, I want to spend time with each of you, and enjoy your company, and serve you food, and discuss things with you all.   So, I’m going a bit far fetched here and laying this dream out there; call me Oprah all you want- I want a book club!

I recently read a review for Making It Up, by Penelope Lively.  & I recently found myself with 3 copies of the book:



From Publisher’s Weekly:

In this engrossing, perverse challenge to genre—"an anti-memoir"—Booker Award novelist Lively (Moon Tiger, 1987) explores the road not taken…What if a date that ended chastely had led to unwed motherhood? What if her husband-to-be had been captured in Korea?…What if Lively, who eventually became a writer, had, as a student, gone on an archeological dig? "This book is fiction," Lively warns. Writers and would-be writers will be intrigued to observe the transformation of life into literature. Readers may enjoy wrestling with questions of choice and chance in human affairs, or they may settle for a series of neatly crafted tales. The vividly imagined lives stir up questions far more thought provoking than the simple "what if?" As Lively so elegantly demonstrates, "The paths do not so much fork as flourish."


With all the discussion in the blog-world lately about truth, confessions, honesty, and the way in which we perceive our lives I thought that Making It Up would be a great book to read together!

The book seems to consist of 8 different story paths.  I know that everyone is super busy, so I thought if we broke the discussions into 8 separate “short story” discussions it would be more appealing to those of us with a lot on our plates.  We will work through the book in an 8-week series.  We will start the discussion on the first segment, “The Mozambique Channel” the week of February 7th.

So, get yourself to the library and find a copy to borrow! Or head on over to to purchase one for yourself. [there are used copies for as little as a penny, plus shipping.] If physical shopping is your thing – check your local bookstore for your paperback. If you’re feeling lucky, enter the giveaway! 

Make sure you let me know if you are planning on reading Making It Up with me!  I would love to have a little pre-reading discussion, as well!  And please, invited your friends and fellow bloggers to participate as well. I must tell you, I’m pretty darn excited.


Simply leave a comment here, telling me about your favorite book and you will be entered to win one of the two extra copies I have.  I will be picking the two winners on Tuesday at Noon, eastern time. 

27 Comments leave one →
  1. fromatopink permalink
    January 24, 2010 8:20 pm

    Heather I LOVE love LOVE this idea! I’m part of a book club here in Baltimore and it is one of the best things I ever did. In fact, it’s how I formed my social circle when I moved here after college – without the women I met in (and through) book club, I don’t know where I’d be.

    Having a blog book club is a great way of bringing all these wonderful people, scattered all over the country and world, together and I would LOVE to be a part of it. 🙂 I have a book addiction so even if I don’t win one of the extra copies, I have no problem adding another book to my always growing collection!

    And now for (one of) my favorite book(s): Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I think it’s one of those books that everyone takes something different from, depending on where you are in life. And one that you can go back to again and again and learn something new, or read something differently. I found it truly inspiring. (Although there are some people I know who would strongly disagree with me!) But that’s my recommendation. 🙂 And this Penelope Lively book sounds really good!

    Thank you for starting this!

    • Kayla J permalink
      January 25, 2010 2:00 pm

      I have been wanting to read Eat, Pray, Love! I watched a video online of Elizabeth Gilbert speaking and I really loved what she had to say and how she said it and it made me want to look into her writing! I should get on that…

  2. January 24, 2010 8:38 pm

    I have ALWAYS wanted to be in a book club, too. I love reading and have found myself with a nose in a book for most of my life. I don’t think I could ever pick a favorite book. I tend to read more chick-lit humor (not trashy romance) because I am such a daydreamer and it takes me away. I read FIrefly Lane in the summer and it was amazing because it was about mothers and daughters and friendships…

    • fromatopink permalink
      January 25, 2010 9:47 am

      LOVED that book! I couldn’t put it down and was crying at the end. So good.

  3. January 24, 2010 8:46 pm

    I was just thinking the other day about how I want to participate in a book club!!!!!! I’ll be reading along but I will have to wait for my book order to get here.

    But first I’ll wait to see if I win one of your copies! 🙂 My favourite book is Tale of Two Cities. Mostly ’cause I’m a Francophile. But also because I think the duality encompassed throughout the book is sheer genius personified. From the opening phrases (iconic) to the closing paragraphs. Pure. Beautiful. Genius.

    Other books that make the favorites list would be 1984 and To Kill a Mockingbird

  4. Michelle permalink
    January 24, 2010 8:51 pm

    I love a giveaway! 🙂

    My FAVORITE book is without a doubt The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. It takes places in England/France during my absolute favorite period of history, the French Revolution. And it even has a cameo of my favorite prime minister, William Pitt the Younger. (So what if I have both a favorite period of history AND prime minister?!?) Bravery, valiance, humor, love, adventure, passion, betrayal…this book is endlessly entertaining. And with that, I think I’ve just convinced myself to go reread it…

  5. January 24, 2010 9:11 pm

    As you probably know/guessed, I’m a big reader of non-fiction. I do like fiction as well (I’m currently reading “Middlesex”) but I always find myself gravitating towards non-fiction.

    “Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” by Lauren Hillenbrand is one of my favorites. Sure, it’s about a racehorse and a sport I know nothing about, but it’s really very interesting. That horse was amazing. I also absolutely, 100% adore “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” by Michael Chabon. It’s a massive, epic book but worth the time. I read it years ago and still find myself thinking about it. SO good.

  6. Care Bear permalink
    January 24, 2010 11:11 pm

    I too would love to be in the book club! I don’t have a favorite “type” of book and i always pick them based on what kind of mood I want the book to put me in whether it be something light-hearted or one that makes me think deeply about something. That is what happened a few years ago when i read My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult ( please DON’T refer to the movie as they did NOT follow the book) this book really made me wonder about what I would have done if I was the mother in the book and it also raised a lot of medical questions that I had not thought of even as a nurse. It’s one of those books I think of off and on and it has been years since I read it.

    I also have to agree with two other posters both Firefly Lane and Eat, Pray, Love are both great reads!

  7. Sarah permalink
    January 24, 2010 11:16 pm

    Heather, this is a super idea! I, too, have always wanted to be in a book club! Thank you for putting this together.

    My all-time favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. I reread it about every other year.

    • Kayla J permalink
      January 25, 2010 2:01 pm

      That’s one of my favorites also! 🙂
      Probably the only book that I’m 100% grateful to have read in high school.

  8. January 25, 2010 8:55 am

    Hey girl! That book sounds really good! Regardless if I win or not I think I’ll try and read along (even though I should be reading for grad school!). This may sound odd but my favorite book is “Fried Green Tomatos at the Whistle Stop Cafe” Of course I loved the movie but the book as a lot more detail and makes me feel like I live in the south! It’s a good one!

  9. January 25, 2010 9:38 am

    Great idea! My favorite book is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

  10. Danielle permalink
    January 25, 2010 10:08 am

    I may try to find the book and read along with you. But we’ll see how that goes. I got to pick the Feb book for my other book club, and I picked Love Walked In (partially because I’ve already read it, so I will for sure have it done, and partially because it was so sweet. Plus I thought I’d go with a Feb love theme).

    I don’t know what my favorite book is. It really depends on my mood. But I like the Great Gatsby (after reading it again as an adult, not so much with Wacky), and I really liked to Kill a Mockingbird. As far as more guilty pleasures, I liked Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress and Bitter is the New Black.

  11. January 25, 2010 11:09 am

    oh i really would like to win!

    my favorite book is… The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (love her). I just think its such an interesting, genre-bending book! 🙂

  12. Rachel Marlena permalink
    January 25, 2010 11:22 am

    I read this every day and never comment…but I want that book! Haha I have too many favorite books but I will give you a few:

    1) The Secret History by Donna Tartt — starts with a murder, ends with the destruction of a group of college students bound together by their obsession with Greek language, culture, ritual.

    2) Gatsby — Fitzgerald

    3) The History of Love by Nicole Krauss — heartbreakingly beautiful, it chronicles two stories — a young girl who is determined to find love for her widowed mother, and an older man who lost his one true love 50 years earlier.

  13. January 25, 2010 1:10 pm

    That book looks awesome.
    There’s no way I could pick a favorite book. But one of my favorite writers would have to be Anne Proulx.
    BODA weight loss

  14. January 25, 2010 1:28 pm

    I’m always on the look out for another good book, and though I’m already in the middle of about 5, what’s one more?

  15. January 25, 2010 1:39 pm

    How fun! That book sounds amazing and right up my alley. My favorite book I have ever read so far would have to be “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. 🙂 I have read it twice!

  16. January 25, 2010 2:00 pm

    I so want to do this! I am going to order it from Amazon after I get back from lunch. I don’t ready nearly enough, so this will defintely help everything along.

    Thanks for doing this dear.

    Oh, and P.S.- Texas misses you too. 🙂

  17. Kayla J permalink
    January 25, 2010 2:05 pm

    This sounds amazing, Miss Heather. 🙂
    Looks like the UT library has it too! 😀
    Though I’d preferrrr my own copy, as many people would.

    My favorite always changes, but for now I really love The Effects of Light by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. It discusses like…the line between pornography and art, and the bond between sisters, and sort of hiding from yourself, from your past, …maybe just hiding in general. It’s beautifully written and seems to twist and reveal things at just the right moments to keep you reading!

  18. January 25, 2010 5:43 pm

    How fun! Have you checked out the site Goodreads? There is a food blogger group, and I know there are plans to get another book club going soon!

    That being said, this book looks really interesting! I think my favorite book is “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.” It is told from the point-of-view of an autistic child, and is so insightful and sweet!

  19. January 25, 2010 10:47 pm

    My favorite book..hmm..well I like lots of books. I love Sophie Kinsella, and I have read Ya Ya sisterhood a bajillion times. I like girlie books..mostly I do judge a book by its cover and I think I should read this book because it has a paper doll dress on the front so I can tell it is gonna be good.

  20. January 26, 2010 5:31 pm

    oh i so want to do this. assume that i am. but don’t judge me if i show up to class without having read the assignment. 😉

  21. January 28, 2010 8:51 am

    I read a lot of non-fiction books, and I have to say Tony Dungy’s Quiet Strength is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s definitely my favorite book of the moment. Great giveaway – love your blog!


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