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September 28, 2010

Yesterday's winner, next month's book club and the hottest day of our lives.

Thank you to all who participated in our book chat yesterday! I thought the conversation about Winter's Bone was illuminating and I was glad to see there were opinions all over the place, it kept the ideas burbling along. It was interesting to see how much the book drew out each person's private feelings about violence and drugs and parenting and even skirt wearing.

It also reminds me that it's healthy and normal and natural for a book to be loved and hated and everything in between, that no one book will light a fire inside every person. (I say this more as a writer than a reader.) It's a very good thing to keep in mind, it's reassuring.

The randomly-selected winner of our chat yesterday was reader Judy, who will be happy to know the random number picker does not care if you liked the book, only that you read it! Judy wrote:

Sorry sorry sorry! I know this is not going to make me the winner of the great prizes, but so be it. I hated this book. I'm not a book hating person I really love books. When I got to the end all I could think was "that's it? That's all there is?" I like the end of a novel to be neat and tidy, not like this. I really like reading and truthfully at the end, wished I used my time reading something else. But the silver lining is that I read something I probably would not have picked up anyway. I tried really hard to be open to this book and stuck with it to the bitter (for me) end. So using that line of reasoning I'm proud that I stayed with it. Not something that's easy for me, especially when I lose interest. Unfinished knitting projects anyone?

You had me laughing at the last line! Congratulations on your win, and as soon as it is no longer 500 degrees outside I plan to drive to the bookshop on the corner and include in your prize a copy of next month's Book Club selection, too, which is A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

But before we move on from Winter's Bone, I wanted to share this quote with you from reader Dawnie:


I loved the descriptive language used in the book it really painted a picture of the bleak, cold, raw, days. The setting matched the tone of the story, bleak, cold lives eaked out amongst drug use and violence. It was just a way of life that they all understood but no outsider ever would. Funny thing is I didn't feel sorry for Ree, she new what her life was all about and carried on in spite of it all.

Yes, I felt the same way about Ree and about the rawness and chill of the language. I thank you all again for reading with me, I knew that book was a bit of a risk to recommend. Thanks for going with me on it.

I love this idea of having a book club without having to leave the house. Introverts of the world unite!

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So, October's Book Club selection is A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

I am reading the exact version I linked to above, there is also a Kindle Version here.

The publisher's description of this book says:

Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. It is his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, filled with irreverent portraits of other expatriate luminaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein; tender memories of his first wife, Hadley; and insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft. It is a literary feast, brilliantly evoking the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the youthful spirit, unbridled creativity, and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.

If you haven't read Hemingway or didn't like his fiction novels, you may be pleasantly surprised by this book. At just around 200 pages it's a fairly quick read and surprisingly full of amusing gossip about some literary greats. The whole section on F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda is fascinating. I haven't read this book in well over a decade, but I can tell you it has what I think is the best final sentence of any book I have ever read.

Let's meet back here (same bat time, same bat place) on Friday, October 29th to chat about it. And we'll keep doing the prize drawing again until I run out of money or yarn.

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Finally, according to the wisdom and wit of Dallas Raines, "We made history here in Los Angeles" yesterday with our record-breaking melt-your-boobs-off heatwave:

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Summer came late, all in one week and baked our noodles.

Posted by laurie at September 28, 2010 3:02 PM