Monthly Archives: February 2012

Penguin Twitter Book Club Part III: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

The third Penguin Twitter Book Club discussion of The Weird Sisters was slightly different because we were missing author extraordinaire Eleanor Brown. The folks at Penguin did an incredible job in her stead as we tackled some extremely action heavy chapters.

Once more, a quick synopsis, courtesy of the publisher:

Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Here, books are a passion (there is no problem a library card can’t solve) and TV is something other people watch. Their father-a professor of Shakespeare who speaks almost exclusively in verse-named them after the Bard’s heroines. It’s a lot to live up to.

The sisters have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast-living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected; and now, faced with their parents’ frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them…

WARNING: THE SPOILERS COMETH!
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Penguin Twitter Book Club Part II: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Today was the second meeting of the Penguin Twitter Book Club. Just to recap for those who are unfamiliar: the Penguin Twitter Book Club is a new initiative born from the company’s search for new ways to interact with their fans. As with traditional book clubs, Penguin will choose a different book written by a Penguin author each month and tweet out the date and time for the discussion, which can be followed at the hashtag #readpenguin. The author will also sit in on the chat when possible.

The first selection is The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Again, for those who are unfamiliar, here’s a quick synopsis of the book from the lovely folks at Penguin:

Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Here, books are a passion (there is no problem a library card can’t solve) and TV is something other people watch. Their father-a professor of Shakespeare who speaks almost exclusively in verse-named them after the Bard’s heroines. It’s a lot to live up to.

The sisters have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast-living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected; and now, faced with their parents’ frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them…

I am a huge fan of this book and the author, and the discussion has been incredible so far! Today’s selection focused on chapters 5-11.

NOTE: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
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Bess Crawford read along!

So, Downton Abbey is over for the season, and everyone’s depressed, including me. Fortunately, the illustrious Book Club Girl is hosting a read along for Charles Todd’s series featuring WWI nurse Bess Crawford. I’ve been a fan of Bess from the beginning and am so excited for An Unmarked Grave, the newest installment in the series which is coming out in June. The discussion is sure to be fabulous, and I can’t wait for everyone to meet Bess. I kind of want her to be my BFF.

For more info, visit the Book Time with Bess page. First discussion is March 26.

Book Time with Bess image is from the Book Club Girl blog.

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Penguin Twitter Book Club Part I: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Two weeks ago, Penguin announced the first official Twitter book club, a new initiative born from the company’s search for new ways to interact with their fans. As with traditional book clubs, Penguin will choose a different book written by a Penguin author each month and tweet out the date and time for the discussion, which can be followed at the hashtag #readpenguin. The author will also sit in on the chat when possible.

The first selection for the club was The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. I was extremely excited because I’ve heard wonderful things about this book, and Eleanor is an avid Twitter user (follow her @eleanorwrites), so I knew she’d be involved in the discussion. Penguin was kind enough to send me a copy of the gorgeous, newly released paperback, so when it arrived, I got cracking right away and finished the section we were going to discuss just in time for the meeting.

First, a synopsis from the lovely folks at Penguin:

Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Here, books are a passion (there is no problem a library card can’t solve) and TV is something other people watch. Their father-a professor of Shakespeare who speaks almost exclusively in verse-named them after the Bard’s heroines. It’s a lot to live up to.

The sisters have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast-living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected; and now, faced with their parents’ frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them…

Second, I finished this over the weekend and loved it so much! It’s an incredible and beautifully written story of sisterhood, the power of reading, and of growing up, and it quickly earned a place in my “favorite books” category.

Now, the discussion.

NOTE: SPOILERS UNDER THE TAG!
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Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Summary from the publisher:
‘As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me …’ Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine’s life.

Holy crap, readers.

This was one of the most twisted books I’ve read in a long time.

Imagine that you wake up every day not knowing who or where you are, and you have to trust that the person you’re living with is giving you the correct details about your life. Frightening concept, no? I thought so, and S.J. Watson exploits those fears thoroughly in this incredible debut thriller.

Ten years ago, Christine suffered a terrible trauma that left her with a form of amnesia that prevents her from retaining memories. When she starts to see a new doctor, he advises her to keep a journal, and by studying the journal every day, she realizes that her husband, Ben, is keeping things from her, things that she wants to remember. It’s Christine’s journey to break free that really makes this book. The more she learned about herself, the quicker I turned the pages.

This is also one of those books that keeps you guessing. I knew that something was wrong with Christine’s situation from the beginning, and different theories emerged as I read, including one that very closely resembled the final twist. Even so, the tension was so high by the time I got to the end that I was completely gobsmacked, not to mention creeped out.

Reading Before I Go to Sleep was like watching a Hitchcock film. If you’re in the mood for a nail biter, this is definitely for you.

(And, very conveniently, Before I Go to Sleep was released in paperback today.)

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