Book Club

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There are stories that will forever remain in your heart. This one, by Paul Kalanithi, is one of those. Imagine being on the cusp of your dream job. Years of school and training and residency. The finish line so close. And then, to be diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. It was through this unfortunate turn of events in which this memoir was born. Take the time and read this moving story. Discover for yourself what makes a virtuous and meaningful life. Time, as Paul shares with us, is fleeting. No amount of schooling or training or praying can change that.

“There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.”

 

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Book Club

BookClub

I finally jumped on the bandwagon and read the 2015 Book of the Year… Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. This novel tells the story of Lotto and Mathilde Satterwhite. Similar to Gone Girl, it is told from 2 perspectives. His and hers. One book review I read described it as sharing the “scenes from a marriage.” And what a marriage these two had. I’ll be honest and admit the Fates part (Lotto’s story) took me a bit of time to get through. I found it dense, over written and a little boring. But Furies (Mathilde’s story) reassured me as to why this book has received so much acclaim. Give it a read and let me know what you think. I’ll leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Please. Marriage is made of lies. Kind ones, mostly. If you give voice to the things you think every day about your spouse, you’d crush them to paste. She never lied. Just never said.”

Storytelling is a landscape, and tragedy is comedy is drama. It simply depends on how you frame what you’re seeing. “

Book Club

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Mindy Kaling seems to be everywhere these days. The fall cover of Domino, streaming on Hulu, selling out a book signing in Brookline in minutes {sorry we missed this, Jamie}. It looks like this Boston girl has certainly made it. I have to say, I loved her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. Upon completion, I just knew Mindy and I could be best friends. And so, when her second book Why Not Me hit book shelves on September 15, I knew I had to pick myself up a copy. Truth be told, I was a little worried it wouldn’t live up to the first but I’m happy to report, it does!

This collection of short stories {really personal essays} is broken into four categories: For the Ladies, Take This Job and Love It; Love, Dating, and Boys Who Ru(i) the World; and All The Opinions You Will Ever Need.

My favorite stories: Mindy As A Sorority GirlOne of the President’s Men; Soup Snakes and Why Not Me. Throughout these stories, Mindy let’s her true self shine through… vulnerable, anxious, worried, and sometimes lonely. Looking for an easy, up-lifting read? Pick up Why Not Me. The diagram on the back cover of Mindy’s heart is worth the money alone!

“Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn’t always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.”

Book Club

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Happy first day of October, sweet readers!

With colder evenings upon us, now is the time to find a good read to curl up with along with some warm apple cider. Sounds perfect, right? Well, if you are looking for a book recommendation, I have one for you. I just finished All the Light We Cannot See for book club and let me tell you, it was amazing. I don’t think I have read a more moving novel since Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth. 

This novel tells the story of Marie-Laure LeBlanc,the blind daughter of widowed master locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris and Werner Pfennig, an orphan who comes to age in the town of Zollverein. His passion for science and gift of radio mechanics earns him a place at a training school for the Nazi military elite. The timing is 1940-1944 and each chapter weaves the story of these two characters and their eventual meeting in Saint-Malo, France near the end of the war.

And the writing is superb. Author Anthony Doerr just has a way with words “Time is a slippery thing; lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.” This will be a book you won’t be able to put down as each chapter brings a new level of suspense. I promise!

Next on my night stand… Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me.

Book Club

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Another weekend is nearly upon us. What are your plans, dear readers? We are off to New York City for an overnight and then heading north to The Catskills for a little r+r.

I don’t know about you but for me a summer getaway goes hand-in-hand with a summer read. And for me, the book of the summer has to be The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. With my beautiful city of Boston as the backdrop, this inspiring book tells the story of Addie, the daughter of Jewish immigrants, living in the North End, coming of age during a very difficult time. Early on, the reader learns that Addie is not like other girls as her desire for knowledge, exploration and adventure are clashing with the ideals of her very traditional parents, her mother in particular. What unfolds is the story of a woman who finds herself, friendship and love. Looking for a light but uplifting read, this Boston Girl highly recommends The Boston Girl.

What have you been reading this summer? The Folded Clock will be joining me this weekend in New York. I promise a full report upon my return!

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There really are so many things I love about being back in Boston but in my top 5 is rejoining my book club.  Recently, we met to discuss the book that everyone seems to be talking about The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Many have said “if you liked Gone Girl than you will love The Girl on the Train.” And I must say, I agree. This is the type of book that hooks you right away. I stayed up well into the wee hours of the morning to finish.

This book tells the story of Rachel, a tragic woman struggling with alcoholism, her divorce and losing her job. Since she can’t accept the realities of her life, she continues her morning commute on the train to the city where she no longer works. On the train ride, she passes the home she shared with her ex-husband who now lives there with his new wife. Next door to her old home, Rachel sees the beautiful couple who seem to have it all. Since she doesn’t know them, she refers to them as Jason and Jess. The couple who have it all. Or do they? And so begins this page turner. Looking for a summer beach read, I highly recommend.

We are meeting in early August to discuss Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. I’ll have a full report in a few weeks.

Happy almost weekend!

Book Club

Book Club
I think I mentioned this in my last book club post, but thank god I have an affinity for being a bookworm as this little habit of mine has gotten me through what might just be the longest winter of my life. If you are looking for some suggestions, read on.

By NightfallMichael Cunningham
I was blown away by the simplicity and beauty of this novel by Michael Cunningham, best known for his 1998 novel The Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Peter Harris, the protagonist, seems to have it all: a beautiful wife, a successful career as an art dealer, a daughter in Boston and a beautiful apartment in downtown New York. But one never really has it all, do they? His wife, Rebecca, has a 23-year-old brother Ethan, whose visit stirs things up just a bit. Dubbed early on as “the mistake” by their parents, he was unplanned, which has caused him a life of questioning. Ethan engages Peter in the midnight hour and makes him question himself for he, like Ethan is lost and searching for more. A thoughtful look at a marriage, desire, and family and a quick read too at only 238 pages, I highly recommend.

Me Before YouJojo Moyes
Once I started Me Before You, I simply could not put it down. What a beautiful love story (and you know me, I love a good love story). Set in a small town outside London, we meet Louisa Clark, a simple girl who has just lost her job at a coffee shop. Her family struggling to make ends meet rely upon her weekly wages for survival and thus she must find a job and fast. She responds to a call for a care assistant to Will Traynor, a quadriplegic. Their relationship, a bit bleak at first, over time becomes one of the most moving friendships I have read about. I promise, there will be tears, but good ones at that. Will and Louisa create a bond that allows them both to become their best selves. What all relationships should help us do.

One More ThingB.J. Novak
Do you miss The Office? I sure do. When I heard that one of my favorite characters and writers from the show, B.J. Novak, had published a collection of short stories, I knew that it was exactly what I needed in my life. A little humor. The stories in this collection, 63 to be precise, will have you laughing, disturbed and sometimes even shedding s tear or two. I learned one of the greatest lessons, though, from B.J.’s acknowledgments. “A clear voice is the best kind to aspire to have.” Words from his father that I will certainly take to heart. If I had to pick just one story as my favorite it would have to be “A Good Problem to Have.” Or wait “Never Fall in Love.” Shoot… I can’t decide. Pick up this genius work of art. It will certainly be one I go to again and again when I need a little pick-me-up.

Please accept my apologies in advance as it might take a little time for my next “Book Club” post as I have just started The Goldfinch and at nearly 800 pages I fear it will take me a bit of time to finish. But let me tell you, what a beautiful work so far. I’m mesmerized.

Book Club

Book Club
“We read to know we are not alone.” A sentiment I can certainly relate to these days. Things are very quiet out here on the island, which has allowed me ample time to get through the books stacked up on my bedside table. If you are looking for a good read, read on for my brief reviews. And please know, I’m always looking for suggestions too.

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls – David Sedaris
This was my first reading of Sedaris, who is known for such works as Me Talk Pretty One Day and Naked. I was drawn to this work as it is a collection of short stories, which allows me to usually finish one before sleep. This collection includes hilarious stories from his childhood, a travel journal of interesting people met along the way and love stories about he and his partner. My favorite story was “Laugh, Kookaburra.” Overall, this collection is light and certainly an easy read. Beautiful prose. Not so much. But laughter for sure.

The Dinner – Herman Koch
My friend’s husband told me I had to read this book and I’m so glad he did. Praised as being the “European Gone Girl”, (although I don’t necessarily agree with the comparison), this book focuses on a family, two brother’s dealing with the actions of their offspring and how one act can forever change the course of a family. A true page turner, this novel will have you staying up at night to see just what happens. A must read!

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P – Adelle Waldman
A female author writing about a 30-something male author/hipster in Brooklyn? Tell me more. At least that’s what I thought. For much of the book, I felt for Nathaniel P. and his struggle to find love and make it work. But in the end, he disappointed me. He settled, like most men I know do. Well written but I will admit it left me a bit disheartened about what men really want.

Island Practice – Pam Belluck
Nantucket is certainly known as having a cast of characters and Dr. Lepore is certainly one of them. My physician since my teen years and father of my junior prom date, Dr. Lepore is just someone you want to know more about. If you want a taste for what life is like 30 miles out to sea, give this book a read.

Book Club

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I go through phases where I devour books and fortunately for my intellect, I am in such a moment. I have just completed The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and all I can say is wow. This short little read (only 163 pages) certainly packs a punch. It addresses the notion of memory and how one remembers and shares the past. “How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.” How do you tell your life story? Do you hide the pain? Do you embrace the rough patches? Owning my past and the choices I have made has been one of the best lessons I have come to terms with since moving home to this little island. Are there painful memories I wish to erase… at moments yes but I also know that they have made me who I am today and you know what, I am forever grateful for that.

Next up, My Berlin Kitchen.