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[14 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]
Literary Volunteerism :: Books for Africa

A couple of times a year, my team at work volunteers with a different not-for-profit around Atlanta. Last month, we spent a morning with Books for Africa (BFA) – an amazing organization that does just what it says – sends books to Africa. And, since this is a blog for people who love books, I wanted to share knowledge of this organization with you!
Americans throw away 320 million books a year. For 30 years, Books for Africa has worked to redirect this waste into the eagerly awaiting hands of …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books, Featured »

[26 May 2018 | One Comment | ]
Literary Roundup :: Summer Reading Guides

Based on what I’m seeing these days, summer reading guides are almost as popular as year end “best of” lists. With upcoming vacations that could mean hours idle on a plane, beach or in a car, it seems everyone is ready to make sure you’re well equipped to fill the void. If you’re one who is planning on making a list, here’s a round-up of some of the lists I’ve enjoyed pursuing.
The Bitter Southerner: A round up of Southern reads that includes fiction, memoir, a children’s book and a couple …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[27 Apr 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: End of Year Wrap Up for 2017-18

Here’s my end of year (almost) wrap up for our 2017-18 book selections. Because life happens, we weren’t able to meet in April and will be discussing our final book of this year (Radium Girls) at our May.
I’ve got an older post that will give a quick history lesson on how we rate books and how we account for DNF’s or DNR’s here.
Here we go!
Thirteen Ways of Looking – 2.79 (Low: 2.75; High: 3.5)
This is the lowest a book has scored in our group a long time. Basically, the way we select …

Book Clubs »

[1 Apr 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Club :: Short List for 2018-19

We did it! The votes are in & the SOC Sistas have selected the books we’ll be reading this year. I’m excited about what I think is a pretty good mix of old & new.
Take a look for yourself, and feel free to read along with us.
May 2018: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
June 2018: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
July 2018: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
August 2018: Stoner by John Williams
September 2018: Cane River by Lolita Lademer
October 2018: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
November 2018: Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
December 2018: Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
January 2019: The Book Thief by Markus Zysak
February 2019: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
March 2019: Sing …

Book Clubs, Books »

[18 Mar 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: WWII Novels

There is a rash of World War II literature. In our last book club annual selection long list, there were enough books that had we wanted to dedicate a whole year to WWII, we could have. Also, occasionally, I’m asked to recommend a good WWII book, so I thought it might be a fun list to compile – all the WWII books I’ve read (or at least that I can remember!) These are in somewhat backwards order beginning with most recent. And just because I’m that kind of person, you’re …

Book Clubs, Books, Out and About, Podcast »

[13 Mar 2018 | No Comment | ]
Meet the Author :: Amor Towles

Amor Towles wrote Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow – two of my favorite books from last year. When I learned that he was speaking in my state, I was thrilled. I was even more excited when I figured out that while it was on the other side of the state in Newnan, Georgia, it did happen to coincide with when I would be traveling back home from being in Columbus, Georgia for work.
It is obvious the fates were conspiring on my behalf.
He was a delight. And …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[10 Mar 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sista Long List for 2018-2019

For the last several years, my book club has followed the same procedure for selecting its books for a whole year. Last year, when our picks were made, we realized we were missing out on discussing some really good books by leaving behind the books that were not selected. (That’s what happens when you take a month to research books you plan to pitch!)
So this year we’re doing something different. Instead of making new book pitches, we took the the books from our 2017 and 2018 Long Lists that weren’t …

Book Clubs, Books »

[4 Mar 2018 | 2 Comments | ]
Book Favorites :: Top 100

A few years back, my book club put together its collective Top 100. I remember in that exercise, that I had a hard time selecting just a top 10. Since then, I’ve wondered what my top 100 would be. I recently sat down to figure it out, and it was much harder than I thought. I ended up removing all non-fiction, and perhaps one day I’ll put out a top non-fiction reads. I left a few in that are technically non-fiction, but they read enough like a novel that I …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Justice »

[23 Feb 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: The Fact of a Body

I bought The Fact of a Body after hearing about it on the Literary Disco podcast*. My plan had been to give it my dad for Christmas. Once it arrived, I became so intrigued, I ended up keeping it for myself.
I’ll start by saying that many researchers who write non-fiction are not great writers. That is not the case with Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. I was immediately drawn in and found myself wanting to underline creative imagery or interesting turn of phrase again and again. When has that ever happened reading non-fiction?
Subtitled …

Book Clubs »

[18 Feb 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: 5 Tips for Building a Successful Book Club

It seems everyone wants to be in a book club. And I get it – they are fun. They also don’t run themselves, which is why I think I’m seeing more and more people wanting tips on how to organize a book club successfully.
I’ve been in my book club for ten years, and the group existed for several years before I joined. Through the years, we’ve figured some things out that I believe have added to its sustainability. Here are five tips that have helped make our group successful.

Members matter: …