Wednesday, November 18, 2009

December 12: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

Take a break from the busy holiday season on Saturday, December 12, and join us for a discussion of the book The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. Suggested by our member Kathy, it's already getting quite a buzz with our "read ahead" members! Lots to discuss!

Here's a quick summary of the novel:

Lauren Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother keep family skeletons in the closet or sewing her acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister, Thalia, is her opposite, an impoverished actress who prides herself on exposing the lurid truths lurking behind middle class niceties.

While Laurel's life seems neatly on track --- a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, a lovely suburban home --- everything she holds dear is threatened the night she is visited by the ghost of her 13-year-old neighbor Molly. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly, floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is an unseemly mystery that no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Laurel enlists Thalia's help, even though she knows it comes with a high price tag.

Together, they set out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about their family's haunted past, the true state of Laurel's marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.

For your further study or amusement:
There's a reading group guide here if you're interested.

Official website for author Joshilyn Jackson

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Knit*Lit meets Jane Eyre on November 14!

Saturday, November 14, Knit*Lit will be meeting at 2 pm at the West Regional Library to discuss Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. If you've never read this classic, now's the time to do so with friends! If it is one you've read before, you'll want to reread it with us.

Make sure to bring your mug, because there will be British tea for all and possibly scones!

Links that you might like:
Victorian Web has a nice overview of Charlotte Bronte here.

GoogleBooks has a digitized version you can read on your computer.

Masterpiece Theatre has a nice set of discussion questions about the novel.

Enjoy learning more about the Bronte family by visiting the official website for the Bronte Parsonage Museum & Bronte Society.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bid A Farewell to Yarns with us on October 3!

Today's discussion about Caramelo was great! Especially delicious were the "Caramelo Brownies" made by our very own Jolly Pyrate. Thanks so much for the delicious treat!

Next month on Saturday, October 3, we'll be chatting about the light hearted mystery, A Farewell to Yarns by Jill Churchill. It's the second mystery in the Jane Jeffrey series, but it is not crucial that we read book 2 before the others. Here's the summary from her publisher:

Life is hectic enough for suburban single mom Jane Jeffrey this Christmas season--what with her having to survive cutthroat church bazaar politics and finish knitting the afghan from Hell at the same time. The last thing the harried homemaker needs is an unwelcome visit from old acquaintance Phyllis Wagner and her ill-mannered brat of a teenage son. And the Wagner picture becomes even more complicated when a dead body is woven into the design.

Solving a murder, however, is a lot more interesting than knitting, so Jane's determined to sew the whole thing up. But with a plethora of suspects and the appearance of a second corpse, this deadly tapestry is getting quite complex indeed. And Jane has to be very careful not to get strangled herself by the twisted threads shes attempting to unravel.

I think we all have struggled with an afghan from Hell at one point or another :D

Here's author Jill Churchill's official site if you would like to learn more about her and her mysteries.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

September 5th: Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

Get ready to read, because September's book is a big one, you can do it! We'll be meeting Saturday, September 5th, 2pm! Perhaps some Mexican treats will be served, you'll have to come to find out!

The book selection is Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros.

Summary from Salon:
"Caramelo," is a multigenerational story of a Mexican-American family whose voices create a dazzling weave of humor, passion and poignancy. Lala Reyes' grandmother is descended from a family of renowned rebozo, or shawl, makers. The striped caramelo rebozo is the most beautiful of all, and the one that makes its way, like the family history it has come to represent, into Lala's possession.

The novel opens with the Reyes' annual car trip -- a caravan overflowing with children, laughter and quarrels -- from Chicago to "the other side": Mexico City. It is there, each year, that Lala hears her family's stories, separating the truth from the "healthy lies" that have ricocheted from one generation to the next. We travel from the Mexico City that was the "Paris of the New World" to the music-filled streets of Chicago at the dawn of the Roaring '20s -- and, finally, to Lala's own difficult adolescence in the not-quite-promised land of San Antonio, Texas.

Listen to the author read from Caramelo here.

Random House published a reader's guide to the novel here.

Learn more about Sandra Cisneros on her official website.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July and August updates!

The dog days of summer are here-- be sure to beat the heat with the Knit*Lit book club choices!

Saturday, July 11 is going to be our discussion on Gil McNeil's charming "Brit Knit" book, The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club. It's getting rave reviews from the speedy readers in the club, so we're going to look forward to your opinion on it this Saturday!

August 8th we'll get to gether to discuss The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary & Sewing Circle by Lois Battle. (Available in both regular and large print) This story begins with the closing of the Cherished Lady, a lingerie factory where most of the characters work as seamstresses.

Review from the Penguin Reading Guide:

Lois Battle's newest novel is about women whose lives change in an instant. For Bonnie Cullman, the change comes when her husband reveals that he has squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that he is leaving her without a dime. For Ruth and Hilly and the rest of their coworkers, the change comes when they learn that Cherished Lady, the company they work for, is moving to Mexico and leaving them without a paycheck. In terms of circumstances, living style, and expectations, you couldn't find a bigger difference between Bonnie and the workers laid off from Cherished Lady. But they have more in common than it appears. They have resilience, strength, and principles. They have the ability to see beyond the limitations of their present lives. And they have the power to help themselves and each other.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Next up: How to Make an American Quilt on June 13!

We had a great discussion this month (and some tasty cookies and teas) Many thanks to all who came and made it so fun!

June's selection is How to Make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto. There are LOTS of copies, regular & large print, in the library system, so no problems getting one in time! If you have a VCR knocking around, the movie version is also available through the library on VHS.

Interested in a book discussion guide? Here's one from Reader's Circle.

You might enjoy this interview with author Whitney Otto. Find out what inspired her to write this novel and much more!

If the book or movie inspires you, track down Pieces of an American Quilt by Patty McCormick. (There is 1 copy in the library system.) It's the story of the "stunt" quilters who were involved of the making of the film version. It has quilt patterns and much more. Planet Patchwork has a nice review here.

Happy reading until we meet again at 2 pm on Saturday, June 13 for another fun Knit*Lit discussion!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Death by Cashmere-- what a way to go! :) May 2

We had a great discussion this month about Casting Spells. Thanks again to N.K. for providing the delicious maple cookies and tollhouse bars! What a treat!

We hope you'll join us next month for a murderous yarn (ha ha!) Death by Cashmere, written by Sally Goldenbaum. Our discussion will be Saturday, May 2, at 2 pm. It's the first in the Seaside Knitters Mystery series.

Here's the review from Publishers Weekly:

Izzy Chambers gives up her life as a lawyer in Boston in order to open the Seaside Knitting Studio in Sea Harbor, Mass., where she spent her childhood, in Goldenbaum's charming debut. An informal knitting group of eccentric characters forms around the shop, including Birdie Favazza, the oldest member at nearly 80, and Cass Halloran, the owner of 200 lobster traps who's devastated by a midnight theft. Cass's younger brother, Pete, pines for the gorgeous Angelina Archer, who's recently come to the Cape to research a local history project and rents the apartment above Izzy's store. When Angelina's body washes up in the cove, Izzy and her knitting group vow to discover who hated Angelina enough to want the woman dead. A knitting pattern for a scarf rounds out a cozy many will find an ideal beach read.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

You will want to be "Casting Spells" with the KnitLit Book Club on April 4!

In April we will be reading Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton. The author's blog is here, and you can also follow her on Twitter!

Here's a review from Publisher's Weekly:

Tongue-in-cheek humor lifts this weird but fun hybrid, part knitting cozy, part paranormal romance, from romance veteran Bretton (Just Desserts). After a classy female tourist drowns mysteriously in an icy lake in remote Sugar Maple, Vt., the Montpelier authorities ask Boston homicide cop Luke MacKenzie to investigate. As Sugar Maple's temporary police chief, Luke soon notices the village's odd ambience. Originally a haven for witches who fled the Salem witchcraft trials three centuries earlier, Sugar Maple is now home to witches, vampires, fairies and trolls. Luke is also attracted to Chloe Hobbs, the half-human owner of the knitting shop Sticks & Strings, who must find Mr. Right if she's to preserve the spell that sustains the town's unusual residents. As sparks literally fly between the two, Chloe's "magickal" side stirs into life. Bretton charmingly depicts how love empowers Chloe and awakens Luke to some major surprises. (Nov.)

We hope to see you on Saturday, April 4, at 2pm to discuss this fun read!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

March 7: Knit Two by Kate Jacobs

In March we will be reading the follow up novel to the Friday Night Knitting Club. You can read a brief excerpt of Knit Two here, along with a reader's guide and a bonus free knitting pattern. Yay for free patterns!

There's quite a few copies of the book at the library, but it is still popular, so reserve one today!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Join the Persian Pickle Club discussion on Feb 7!

The Denver Post called this "A book about how times can never be so hard that they can't be eased when people come together."

In the 1930's, hard times have fallen on Harveyville, Kansas. There are no jobs, and no rain. Queenie Bean's highlight of her week is her weekly quilting gathering, the Persian Pickle Club. But when a new member unearths a dark secret, the women must unite to support and protect each other. You won't want to miss this story that explores the true meaning of friendship!

If you are interested in the reading guide for this book, click here.

Learn more about author Sandra Dallas here.

This site from the University of Kansas has amazing photos of the Dust Bowl.