Thursday, August 27, 2009

Surf into a Good Book Wrap Up!

Oh, when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof...
And your shoes get so hot you wish your feet were fire-proof...
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea...
On a blanket with my where I'll be....

We wrapped up Surf into a Good Book with an Iced Tea Social. We spent a great time discussing what books we read, what we liked and what we didn't. Raffle prizes were given out, and the reader with the most books won a grand prize. Thank you Martha Clara Vineyard for donating our prize, a private wine tasting for ten. The winner was Roberta Kalous, who read 22 books over the summer. Congratulations Roberta!

The other raffle winners were:
Frank McNultry
Elizabeth Grohoski
Beth Dumblis
Pam Davis
Phyllis Markopoulos

They won baskets filled with mugs, summer songs CD tea, coffee, cookies and (of course) books.

Congratulations to all of you and thank you for your support of our reading club.

We had sixty readers sign up for Surf into a Good Book and received back fifty Readers Cards with lists of books that were read.

The top ten books read this summer by the book club were:
Dewey: the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Sunday's at Tiffany's by James Patterson

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

Fire and Ice (Joanna Brady Series #15) by J.A. Jance

Knockout by Catherine Coulter

Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clarke

Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews

We talked about what books we liked the most that we read, among those discussed were:

Columbine by Dave Cullen

As the title says, this is about the Columbine school shooting. Hard to believe it's been ten years since that horrible event. The main point stated that what you may believe what you read and think you understand what happened that day, you would be surprised to discover what two normal, popular, very good students were planning for their classmates...and nobody picked up on it.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
The Resistance by Anita Shreve

Both books are set during World War II. Sarah's Key is about the Vel' d'Hiv roundup of Jewish families by the French police. On the sixtieth anniversary, reporter Julia Jarmond is surprised at what she discovers and connection she has to the event.

The Resistance is about a Belgium couple who shelter refugees from the Nazi's on their farm. Things change when an American B-17 bomber is shoot down and the pilot is found severely wounded. You never know when your past might come back and collides with your present.

The Quickie by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

It's James Patterson doing what is known for. What happens when revenge goes horribly wrong--a lie always takes on a life of it's own as Lauren Stillman finds out. You would think that as a NYPD detective Stillman would know that better then anyone....

One of Patterson's many (many) co-authored books he puts out every year....sigh.

I, of course, took some vacation time, and I have been lazy, reading trashy beach books, sinking my teeth into a new vampire series (I know, I hear the groans) re-reading some old favorites, making cool music CD's and checking out what's coming in the fall..........

I will be blogging about what I have been reading...trash and all!

Happy Reading!!

One of Patterson's (many) new ones....

Columbine is strongly recommended!

Good read about World War II and the resistance in Belguim.

Continuing saga in her Brady series....

Read a good book!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My 10 Best Beach Reads!

Deep Summer is when
laziness finds respectability.
Sam Keen

With all due respect to NPR and their list of audience picks of the 100 best beach reads ever, some just seem a wee bit heavy to me. I can't picture myself at the beach reading Atlas Shrugged? Pillars of the Earth? Pride and Prejudice? Yes, these books are favorites of mine, but I am not going to lug one of these to the beach. Beach reading, at least for me, is a fiction or non-fiction that make you smile and loose yourself in without thinking to much. I want something easy, a few chuckles, a book to help me just relax. I went through NPR's list and picked my 10 best beach reads ever from it.
Fried Green Tomatoes from the Whistle Stop Cafe
Fannie Flagg

Wonderful folksy tale of a town, the characters who live in it, and the love that abounds for each other. Just thinking about this book brings a smile to my face. An added bonus is the terrific recipes (fried-green tomatoes!) that I still use.

Eye of the Needle
Ken Follett

An edge of your seat, spine thingling spy thriller, done by one of the best. A German World War II agent is stuck in England with information about the D-Day invasion and time is running out.......
An oldie but goodie.

One for the Money
Janet Evanovich
This is the first in the Stephanie Plum series...and what a series. Tag along on Stephanie's wacky, laugh out loud, adventures. Meet her cast of characters and her madcap family. Great start to this ongoing screwball series.

Sick Puppy
Carl Hiaasen

Anytime is a good time to read Hiaasen, but somehow summer seems to fit him the best. Laugh out loud funny stuff and the perpetural question of...what the heck?

Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen

When ninety year Jacob Jankowski notices a circus coming to town from his window in the nursing home, he reflects back on the time he spent with a circus during the Depression and the affect on his life. Great book which asks the question...can you still run away with the circus even when you're ninety?

Peter Benchley

Now really, does this one need an explanation? It's Jaws. It's summer. It's Long Island. The quintisential beach read of any summer....and enjoy your swim!

Good in Bed
Jennifer Weiner

This is a beach read. Light, fun, easy...this is a book you can read in an afternoon at the beach. Weiner is one of the best at chick-lit and any of her books are perfect for the beach.

The Princess Bride
William Golden
Okay, maybe my favorite on this list. This is one of the few times I will say-"Watch the movie too!" Golden outdoes himself on this hilarious fairy tale. I love this book and I love the movie. Where else would you find true love, adventure-outrageous adventure! Heroism that takes you to the edge, and over it. Treat yourself to this wonderful story.

Lonesome Dove
Larry McMurty

One of the best western I have read. Adventure, love, violence,'s all here as we go along on a cattle drive from Texas to Montana with some wonderfully written characters. If you love westerns, this is one to finish out the summer with. ( The TV series based on this book is terrific too!)

Okay, there you have it. Out of NPR's 100, I chose 10 from their list. What do you think? Would these be on your top 10 list? I hope there is always a book you want to read and that one of these is one you enjoy as summer begins to wind down.
Happy Reading!