This year we tried something different and subscribed to the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series. The six-lecture author series provided built-in reading selections and breathed new life into the group. We heard Khaled Hosseini, Geraldine Brooks, Pete Hamill, Richard Russo, Sara Gruen, and Jeffrey Toobin. Pete Hamill was my favorite speaker, and also a new discovery. Two of his books, North River and Downtown: My Manhattan ended up on my favorites list last year.
The last lecture was in May, so we were on our own again for June's book. We settled on The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. One member loved it, and I had recently received a phone call from a former member telling me I had to read it. This friend has very similar reading tastes, even though Corelli's Mandolin has become a standing joke between us - it's one of my favorites and she hated it.
I really enjoyed The Forgotten Garden. It was a perfect summer read - pure plot, and well-written. It takes place in Australia and England, involves writers and illustrators of fairy tales, family secrets, mystery, and wealth, and skips around in time from the present, to the 1970's, to the early 1900's.
Everybody else loved it, too.... but there was really nothing to discuss! We grasped at a few topics, but didn't want to spoil it for the member who hadn't finished. That lasted all of ten minutes before we turned to other books we've read and summer plans. This served as a perfect reminder that good books don't always lead to good discussions!
What's up next? We chose A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg for our summer read, and are encouraging members to try recipes from the book for the annual pot luck dinner (I'm hosting). We'll hope for a better discussion, but this is usually more of a social meeting anyway. I'm really looking forward to this one. Have you read it?
Today is Father's Day and we are in New York City visiting Daughter #1. There won't be much reading (again!), but we're hoping to take one of the boat tours around Manhattan if the rain holds off. If not, there's always a bookstore (or two) or a museum we could visit....