Book Club: please vote on one of the following titles for Dec.

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by kholmes, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    If you want to join us, you're in!

    Everyone, please vote for one of the following titles. Lots of good choices here; see previous post for book descriptions. Let's close the voting on Wednesday night, the 29th.

    The Monk Downstairs, Tim Harrington.

    Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, Alan Alda.

    Having Our Say: the Delaney Sisters First 100 Years, the Delaney sisters.

    For One More Day, Mitch Albom.

    The Stupidest Angel, Christopher Moore.

    A Christmas Story, Charles Dickens.

    The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo

    Housekeeping, Marilyn Robinson.

    The People of the Owl, W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neil Gear.

    Jane Goodall bio., Dale Peterson



    [This Message was Edited on 11/24/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 11/26/2006]
  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    movie stars, foods, liquor, movies, etc. Some people love one and others just hate it.

    I read part of two books by M.Albom. Didn't care for either. Thought Alan Alda's bio was a big disappointment.
    Read the Delaney Sisters years ago. Good book

    Read Christmas Carol several times. One of the greatest. Beautifully structured. It has been redone in countless radio and tv shows, musicals, cartoons, movies, comic books, etc.

    Don't know much about the other books. I vote for any and all of them. As Shannon pointed out, hard to vote for a good book that you haven't read.
  3. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    I can never be decisive enough it seems . . . .

    Any one of:

    A Christmas Carol
    The Monk Downstairs

  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I vote for Housekeeping but if I hadn't yet read it, I'd vote for The Monk Downstairs. The book is much better than the title although it is about a monk who left the monastary and moved into an apartment owned by a single mom.

    Again, for those of you who like to read, Farrington's Lizzie's War is also excellent.

  5. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    Hello all, I am going to try to get back into reading, so here goes.

    I checked my library for some of the titles you were discussing. The only one they had was "Housekeeping". So I guess that would be my obvious vote. :) I checked out "The Secret Life of Bees" just so I could get a little caught up.

    I love this and really appreciate it. I always wanted to belong to a book club, but hate the going out on a set night to do it. So this is wonderful. I love to read and this is a great motivator.

    Thank you & Blessed Be,

  6. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Very glad you're joining us!

    I have a Japanese friend that went to school in Fayette.
    Northern Iowa University?

    I got my masters in film at the University of Iowa in '91. Among other things, I made short documentaries about the baseball field in Dyersville and the composer, Dvorak's stay in Spillville. I loved Iowa City and all things Iowan.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/25/2006]
  7. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    I read the reviews of the books on a bookselling website. Still hard to choose. Which book will we like best?

  8. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Hey! Did you visit Spillville? So did I. Only we weren't there at the same time.

    Spillville is on scenic highway 52, same as nearby Decorah and Harmony. Went there a couple times to the old brick building that houses the museum and the Biley Clocks.

    Used to have postcards of the Biley Clocks. Great works of folk art.

    The museum included sheets of music by Dvorak, a stuffed raccoon, and I can't remember what else. Too bad you can't bring your documentary to the porch for our next soiree.
  9. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Patricial Hampl has a beautiful book, called SPILLVILLE.

    I did visit Spillville over two separate weekends in 1990. The first time was in January, when my car slid off of the street into a snowdrift.

    I interviewed some old folks whose parents remembered the summer when Dvorak lived there with his family in 1893. They arrived by train just after he finished the New World Symphony and directed it in New York. He wrote one of his string quarterts, the "American," in Spillville. He used to play the organ in the big Lutheran church in town, and there was a rumor that his daughter ran away with a Native American man (false). He was fascinated with the scarlet tanager, which he called his "damn bird." I think the call the bird made annoyed him.

    I remember the wooden Biley Clocks vividly. They were incredible works of art. Many people still speak Czech up in Spillville, though I imagine it's dying out. I also walked along the Turkey River, where Dvorak wrote his "Humoresque." That's a great tune for whistling.

    Too bad I can't post my documentary on here. I haven't figured out Youtube yet.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/26/2006]
  10. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Good for you for reading all of the reviews! It's always hard to know what we'll like and what we won't, isn't it?

    Like Foggyfroggy, I'm feeling a bit indecisive, so I'll throw in a vote for one of the following, too:

    The Monk Downstairs
    A Christmas Carol

    [This Message was Edited on 11/26/2006]
  11. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    Hello Ken & Rockgor,

    I live about a stone's throw from the Upper Iowa University in Fayette. What is your friend going to college for here?
    They have a lot of great programs and keep expanding all the time. Only university in Iowa I believe that covers worldwide education. Beautiful, beautiful campus!

    As for the Biley Clocks, sad to say but my kids and husband have been their..but not me. I have heard and have photos from the kids trips that they are a sight to see. I will get there someday. I go by the Spillville turnoff every time we go to Decorah. Van just doesn't want to pull that way I guess. Oh! and there still is plenty of Czech spoken in the area.

    I live in a beautiful and historic area, so much of it I take for granted. I truly need to be able to get out more. I am glad my kids get to enjoy it though. Before I was always to busy, now it seems I just can't. Going to work on that. :)

    Thanks for getting back to me guys. I really appreciate it.
    Looking forward to starting whatever book gets chosen.
    Currently reading Stephen Kings new one, "Lisey's Story". I loved "Cell".

    Take care and kitten hugs,
    Blessed Be,
  12. kat2002

    kat2002 New Member

    One of my suggestions was "The Stupidest Angel" by Christopher Moore. At the time, it was in my pile of books to-be-read. I read it this week and found it quite entertaining. However, some people might find some of the subject matter offensive.

    I still have my other suggestion (Mitch Albom's "For One More Day") in my to-be-read pile, but I don't think I am going to vote for it. I like the idea of reading Dickens!

    I read Dickens "A Christmas Carol" a few years ago, and I think it is an excellent choice for December. It is not very long (comparatively), and was easy to read. I would love to read it again.

    So that's my vote - "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.


    P.S. I love to see the suggestions other people make too because they give me more ideas on what to read! Thanks to all.
  13. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Sorry I didn't respond earlier. Just saw your note.

    My Japanese friend was studying biology, I think, at Upper Iowa (so that's the name). She finished med school at the University of Arizona and is a doctor now.

    It's neat to hear that Czech is still spoken up around Spillville. The Biley clocks alone are worth the drive, I think. You live in a beautiful and interesting part of Iowa. I also like the area around McGregor, Iowa, along the Mississippi. I hope that you can get out and explore a bit.

    My father lives just upriver, in Wabasha, Minnesota.

    I've got LISEY'S STORY on hold at the library. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/27/2006]
  14. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    I just responded to your computer quandary. I hope between me and Larry we can help you out.

    Wow your Japanese friend went on to be a doctor. That's great.

    Oh my yes the McGregor area is beautiful, especially in the fall. Valleys and hills full of color! Also antique shop after antique shop!

    Your father lives in Minnesota, how far from the Iowa border is Wabasha? I think I have heard of it before. Not sure where though.

    Oh! I haven't finished Lisey's Story yet, but I am working on it. Did you happen to read the "Cell" by Stephen King? It was very good. His usual first few chapters were a little hard to get into, but after that I couldn't put it down.

    Take care and kitten hugs,
    Blessed Be,
  15. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Laurie and Ken.

    I checked the LA Library. I was amazed to find that it had Patricia Hampl's book "Spillville" and that it could be located.

    So there is one copy and I am number one on the list. Haha!

    Am currently reading a thriller by Stuart Woods, P. G. Wodehouse, a bio of Scott Joplin (all the facts are unknown or in doubt), and a bunch of old "Opera News" magazines I bought at the library.

    Also rereading "Connections" by James Burke.

    I posted this before, but maybe you guys didn't see it. The National Association of Architects (or something like that) put on books on noteable buildings in several states. Don't know if they've gotten to all of the states yet.

    Anyway there is a book on Iowa. There are several pages for Decorah including the swimming pool I went to as a kid, the Norwegian museum and various at Luther College.

    Have to go feed the cats next door as it is getting dark.

  16. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Laurie: Wabasha is about a half hour north of Winona. Maybe two hours north of McGregor?

    So you're still enjoying Lisey's story, then. I actually tried to read Cell, but gave up after the second chapter. I did have a little trouble getting into it, for some reason.

    Rock: Can't seem to find the book on Iowa architecture. Do you know the title?

    I'm glad you're #1 on a hold list, finally. Hope you enjoy Spillville. It's what inspired me to make my documentary.

    How is the Joplin bio? I'm reading David Crosby's autobiography and skimming several books on Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. It's amazing Crosby is still alive. Picked up bios of Pete Townshend and Keith Moon, but I may tire of rock biographies soon.
    Also just finished a new collection of the letters of Edward Abbey.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/27/2006]
  17. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    Hey Ken,

    Stephen King is always a hard one to get into, or at least I have found. I dearly love his work, but many times you have to have patience to get to the chapter that finally gets you going.

    If you ever give the "Cell" a try again give it about 4 chapters. It really is a very good book. Intriguing in the sense it makes you wonder about human nature if something like this were to happen. It made me think and I like that. I think that is why I enjoyed all of Dan Brown's books...I like to think...what if?

    I wish I were more like you and Rock. I cannot get into autobiographies. I know many would be interesting. Although I have to honestly say, I do want to read Alan Alda's book, and did request our library to purchase it.
    Maybe there are some you two could interest me in. (Oh! I take that back I have read John Wayne's). I would probably be interested in something about Jimmy Stewart.

    Okay, enough shop talk for now. Take care and kitten hugs,
    Blessed Be,
  18. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    You old Bookworm. I checked the LA library site. To my astonishment, I think I found the correct title:

    Buildings of Iowa
    by David Gebhard
    Dewey Decimal 720.91 G293.8

    Never heard of Edward Abbey. Thought maybe you meant Edward Albee. Woof! Woof!

    Looked in Wikipedia. Found the term "ecotage". Thought maybe they meant decoupage or decotage.

    Anyway Ed sounds like a cool guy w/ a message that is doomed to fail in the modern world. We (meaning most people) are just busy fighting w/ each other and pushing to reach Armageddon as soon as possible, and we don't want anybody getting in the way.

    I liked his funeral. Doesn't do much good to plan tho as when the time comes, one has nothing to say about it. I read the bio of Luisa Tetrazinni (after whom the chicken is named). One of Italy's greatest sopranos; sang w/ Caruso.

    She had a mosoleum built w/ a statue and filled w/ photos of her in her various costumes. A few decades later when her biographer went to visit it, he found it had been torn down for "non-payment of rent".

    So I have no plans. One way or another it (I) will get recycled which is what is supposed to happen.

    When and if you get the book in question, check out the streamlined swimming pool and try to imagine about six decades ago. The pool and little Rocky were both new. If you squint you may be able to see me frolicking there,
    a skinny blonde kid w/ blue eyes from an abusive home.

    Thank goodness for books to lose ourselves in. And as "West of Hollywood" would say, "Goodness had nothin' ta do w/ it." (You ever watch her movies? Her diction was pretty bad.)

    [This Message was Edited on 11/27/2006]
  19. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Alan Alda's book. I'm curious.