Time is flying by, I can't believe it's already time to talk about May's book! Our selection this month was The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan. I'm always a little wary of WWII fiction as many books have a tendency to glamorize a time that was horrific for a huge amount of people. What I really enjoyed about this book was that it focused on the women at home in a very unique way. I hope you enjoyed this book as much as I did and I can't wait to discuss it with you!
(P.s That little guy in the top left corner is my trusty sidekick Joey and he is eyeing the lemon poppyseed loaf!)
When creating this book club guide I imagined myself during this period sitting in my kitchen with a cup of tea, chatting with other women in similar circumstances.
• SO many great options for this. Since I had already made some scones for January's book club guide (and because I was short on time) I chose to make (in reality, buy) a lemon poppyseed bundt cake instead. There are so many sweet treats that you could create for this. Check out our Pinterest board for some options.
• Since this was a very British novel, tea seemed like the most appropriate beverage.
• I decorated the table with a blue table cloth that belonged to my Grandmother. I thought that this was a nice change and really made the cover of the novel pop!
• The peaches and flowers were added as a contrast to the table cloth as well. It just made everything seem a little more cheerful.
• I used my Grandmother's antique tea cups (they get more use in these book clubs guides than they have in their long tea cup lives!) and dishes as serving ware.
There were so many story lines in this novel and so much to discuss! These are just a couple of my burning questions. Feel free to add yours too!
1. Which story line did you find the most interesting?
2. Was there a character you identified with most?
3. How did you feel about Venetia and Mr.Slater's relationship? Did you foresee it ending that way?
4. Is there a character you wish you had learned more about?
5. What did you think of the ending? Was it too neatly tied?
Our book club chat for The Chilbury Ladies' Choir will take place on Wednesday, June 7th at 8:30PM EST in our Facebook Book Club Group!
April's book was A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline. I absolutely loved this book! It is a bit of a slower read and focuses on the everyday life of Christina Olson, the woman featured in the famous painting Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth.
I drew inspiration from the family farm where Christina lives in Cushing, Maine.
• I wish I could say I baked this pie but I bought it instead. For some reason farm living always reminds me of freshly baked pies. Pick you favourite recipe or choose whichever fruit is in season. This looks like a good recipe for blueberry pie!
• I also decided on tea and added some of the honey from April's box! Iced tea or sweet tea would also be a cute idea if the weather is warm.
• Cherries are delicious (and in season!) and helped add some colour to the table.
• I decorated the table with a white lace table cloth that belonged to my Grandmother. I also took advantage of the season and brought in some lilacs from my garden. I felt that the mason jar gave it a more rustic feel.
• I placed some eggs on the table and used some old fashioned dishes to tie the whole thing together.
My favourite part, the discussion questions! As always, feel free to add in your own.
1. What did you think of Christina? Were you able to relate to her?
2. How did you feel about Christina's relationship with Walton?
3. Did you feel like Christina unnecessarily sacrificed her happiness? What about her brother?
4. How did you feel about the ending? Were you satisfied?
Let me know what you thought of the book in the comments below!
March’s book pick was Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough and the first psychological thriller we’ve included in one of our boxes. This isn’t a genre that I read regularly but I found this one really intriguing and decided to give it a try. You guys knows I like to do something different each month and this book is definitely different! I think there are going to be a lot of mixed opinions on this one and that makes for some of the best book chats.
For this book club guide I chose a murder-mystery theme to go with our book genre.
• There are so many different ideas for this! Definitely check out our Pinterest Board to see some of the creepy snacks that you could make.
• I chose to create this bleeding cake. As you can probably tell, this was a total Pinterest fail! It turns out I am a terrible fake blood creator and mine was so thick it didn't run at all. Oh well! If you give this a try let me know if yours turned out better than mine!
• I also loved these blood spatter cookies (With my limited baking skills I thought the cake might be a little easier to recreate and not result in red food colouring all over my kitchen! With my cake fiasco I can't even imagine what a disaster these would have been.).
• If blood splattered desserts aren’t your thing, you could also go with a black/white/purple theme to match our box. This Vanilla Purple Cake looks delicious! If you search for ‘purple cookies’ in the Pinterest search bar all sorts of gorgeous creations show up.
• I also thought some red wine would pair perfectly with this novel. After all, we know Louise enjoys her wine (maybe a little too much?). These are definitely some Louise-sized glasses.
We’ll be hosting our book club chat in our Facebook group on Wednesday, April 5th at 8:30PM EST! All are welcome to join! Also let us know what you thought of this book in the comments below!
Our February box included two novels, The Break by Katherena Vermette and Wenjack by Joseph Boyden. I absolutely loved both of these novels and I hope you did too! Since both of these books have a similar theme, it made sense to combine them into one book club meeting but you could easily host two events. In all honesty, I had a lot of difficulty deciding what food to serve at this meeting. It pains me to say that I don’t have any Aboriginal friends who could advise me on what to make. If you do know someone of Native American descent, I encourage you to ask them more about their culture and bring those cultural aspects into this meeting.
I kept this meeting simple and cozy. I focused on candlelight and natural elements.
I hope you enjoyed both of these books! Join our discussion on March 15th in our online book club group. All are welcome!