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[7 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Fates and Furies

This is a novel that begs for discussion; that makes me wish I were back in college writing comparative essays; that makes me want to reread Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus. Mixing both Greek comedy and tragedy, Groff creates a villainous Mathilde reminiscent of Ron Rash’s Serena and Kathy of East of Eden.
I was warned before I started Fates and Furies to give it time. One of my best reading buds and literary soul-mates said it would take at least 100 pages before I was hooked. I appreciate the warning, but for me …

Book Clubs, Books, Featured »

[2 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sista Short List for 16-17

My apologies. I’ve been remiss in announcing the short list of books selected by the SOC Sistas for 2016-2017. We are already one in – having read The Boys in the Boat for June.
Some firsts about this list: For the first time two books were selected unanimously by the group (The Boys in the Boat and The Handmaid’s Tale). (If you’re just catching up, here’s where I talk about our book selection process.) Also, I had read three of the books selected before we started, which is more than ever …

Book Clubs, Books, Featured »

[19 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sistas Long List

April is when our book club makes its selections of books for the upcoming year. We started this three years ago, it has worked beautifully and prevents those painful moments at the end of the meeting when someone is trying to think of a great recommendation that they’ve heard of but aren’t sure if they really think it will be good for the group.
If you’re just catching up, here’s where I talk about our process. At the bottom of the post are past years’ long and short lists.
Finally, let me …

Book Reviews, Books, Featured »

[8 Jan 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Shattered Dreams

Nothing like a book called Shattered Dreams to start out the new year, huh? 🙂
Well, we all have them. Larry Crabb’s book Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy is the best book I’ve ever read about what to do with them. Through the eyes of Naomi from the book of Ruth, Crabb unpacks the journey of a Christ-follower whose dreams have been shattered.
So often, when bad things happen, we put a “God works all things together for good”  band-aid on it, apply triple antibiotic prayer and expect healing – or at …

Book Clubs, Books »

[28 Dec 2015 | No Comment | ]
Literary Roundup :: Best Books of 2015

This time of year it seems everyone has a “best of” list, so below is a literary roundup of 2015’s Best Books as listed by many of the sites that are our go-to places to find our next book. If’ I’ve left off one of your favorite sources, let me know & I’ll add it!
Amazon
The Atlantic
Barnes and Noble
Bloomberg
Bookriot
goodreads
The Guardian
Harper’s Bazaar
Huffington Post
Indigo
Kirkus
NPR
New York Times
Washington Post
Popsugar
Publishers Weekly
PureWow
Time

Book Reviews, Books »

[15 Aug 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Go Set a Watchman

Many of you have been asking, but it is hard to know where to begin. My thoughts on Go Set a Watchman.
Does Watchman change the way we will or should read To Kill a Mockingbird?
This is the question at the heart of every reader who has paused before picking up Watchman. And my answer is, yes, it will forever change TKM. But it isn’t a bad thing or for the worse. Ultimately, Watchman provides a rounder, more fully developed understanding of TKM.
In high school and college classrooms across the country …

Book Clubs, Books »

[8 May 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sista 2015-16 Short List

This is it! Below are the books my book club will be reading June 2015 – May 2016!
Go Set the Watchman by Harper Lee
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
Dead Wake by Eric Larson
The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
The Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O’Connor
Run with the Horseman by Ferrol Sams
In addition, we’ve selected The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah as a companion book …

Book Clubs, Books »

[3 May 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sista 15-16 Long List

It is that time again – the month when my book group takes a pause from discussing a book to research and pitch the next year’s selections. I love this meeting, not only because of the excitement it creates about the next year’s reading, but also because I know I’m going to come away with a long list of books now on my radar to read. (If you’re new to Lit&Leisure, I’ve written about how our book group selects books here, and about last year’s long list and short list as …

Book Clubs, Books, Things I Love »

[30 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]
Top 100* Books

Periodically, my book club will have members submit their top 10 all time favorite books. We did this recently, and as a result of the exercise, we have a top 100 books as determined by the SOC Sistas.
There are 11 of us, and together we represent well over 500 years of collective reading. That said, several of us thought it unfair to be restricted to just 10 books with so many years to have contributed selections, so we opted to take license with the number and submit more.
What is below …

Book Reviews, Books »

[28 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Review ::The Narrow Road to the Deep North

“A good book… leaves you wanting to reread the book. A great book compels you to reread your own soul,” says Dorrigo Evans, the lead character of Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North. There’s a whole lotta soul readin’ over here.
Flanagan said it is the book he knew he’d have to write if he kept on writing. For him, it is deeply personal – his father, a survivor of the horror the novel depicts. It won the Man Booker Prize in 2014 and fully deserves it.
Narrow Road centers around …