14 Foot Ceilings

Book Club
October 16, 2009, 12:33 pm
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I know I’m late in posting this one, we did meet about 2 weeks ago to discuss the book.  But it’s ok, I’m pretty sure no one is keeping track….I hope.

This past month we read David Sedaris’ “When You are Engulfed in Flames.”  I’m not going to lie, I read this book when it first came out, so I didn’t re-read it for book club.  Not to mention the fact that my lovely friend Kelley had borrowed the book and I wouldn’t have had a chance to read it anyway (I lent her many David Sedaris books, even before this one came onto the book list).

I don’t really remember anything standing out about it, as when you read David Sedaris, or any other memoir, sometimes the stories run into one another.  I’ve read almost all of his books (“Me Talk Pretty One Day” being my absolute favorite), and normally love them.  I also love his family, especially his sister Amy and his brother Paul, aka the Rooster.

One problem I can sometimes have is that I will mix him up with Augusten Burroughs, who I have also read the complete collection of (minus his latest book, I should pick that one up sometime).  It’s funny how there are so many parallels to both of their lives, quirky families, they are both gay males living in NYC with a house somewhere else in “the country” (Sedaris in Provence, Burroughs in Western MA), somewhat strange childhoods (although Burroughs takes the cake on that one, for sure).

One thing that I love about both of them is that they are the kind of people who just move somewhere and do something.  I have always envied that quality in people, the ability to pick up and go wherever the wind takes them, and they’ll generally find some sort of job or livelihood to make ends meet.  I’m too used to my comfort zone, I own too much stuff, and since college there has always been another person and/or pet that I would need to take into consideration.  I crave stability and despise change, while they seem to embrace both.

I know this now has nothing to do with the actual book, but if you like David Sedaris, pick it up and read it.  You won’t be disappointed, and everyone loves a short story now and then to break up a big long novel.  Next month we’re reading a much heavier book, which still has yet to arrive from the library.  Here’s hoping I will finish it in time.


Book Club
September 23, 2009, 12:40 pm
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I was so good this month, I actually went!  I hadn’t been for, oh let’s see, months.  And seeing as it’s my book club, well that’s just sad.

This month it was my turn to choose some books.  And this one won out.  “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” or PP&Z for short, was our book.  I had seen it on many many lists, NYT bestsellers, people were adding it to their goodreads left and right.

I’m totally a sucker for the story, but here’s a little secret.  I’ve never actually read the book.  I pretty much watch the movie any time I see it on tv (like last night, for instance), even though I own the Keira Knightley version, and my mom owns the BBC one.

It doesn’t matter how many times I watch it, I always, ALWAYS swoon for Mr. Darcy.  How can you NOT?

I was a little skeptical of the zombie part, and I wasn’t sure how it would integrate into the story.  I really shouldn’t have been, because on my goodreads I gave it 5 stars.  Everyone seemed to like it, a lot.  The zombies made the story pretty hilarious.  I was reading out loud to my husband (who has been subjected to the movie many, many times), and he even wanted to read it when I was done.  But he’s going to have to wait, until my mother reads it.

Basically zombies are taking over England, and if you are a dignified man or woman, you are trained in the deadly arts.  So naturally the Bennet sisters are, Mr. Darcy is, Mr. Bingley is NOT, Mr. Collins sure as heck isn’t, and Lady Catherine is one of the best zombie killers in all the land.

Even though I have never actually read the original, I’m pretty sure they lifted the story, possibly word for word, and just inserted zombies.  They show up at parties and balls, they hassle travelers, and everyone carries at least a dagger, in case they meet them.  The militia even come to town, just to kill and burn them.

It was a nice quick read (and I don’t know if that has to do with the fact that I have seen the movie so many times), and at times laugh out loud funny.  Definitely highly recommended!

Book Club
August 16, 2009, 10:57 pm
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Did you know that in between working full time, cooking and baking up a storm, moving to a new locale (and decorating said home), that I also run a book club?  Well I do.  I came across this particular book club in the summer of 2007, when all of my friends were leaving the city and I was looking for a new social outlet.

I went once, had to skip two months, and then ended up running the thing because the girl who started it was moving back to CA.  I happen to like planning things, and I happen to be pretty organized, so I had no problem picking up the reins.  Although my husband liked to tease me for running the thing after I had been precisely once.  Details.

Through my book club I met some fantastic new friends, and have thoroughly broadened my horizons as far as reading is concerned.  I LOVE to read, and have for as long as I can remember, but sometimes you get stuck in a rut.  I love novels about people and their experiences, I like memoirs, I have a soft spot for historical fiction, (I once read everything I could get my hands on about the holocaust, strange, I know) I don’t mind non fiction, I hate poetry, and I like my fair share of the classics.  And yes, some times I will read chick lit.  After a particularly heavy book sometimes you just need an escape.

I’m hoping to share each month’s picks with my internet friends, kind of like a virtual book club.

It should come as a surprise to just about no one that last month we read “Julie and Julia.”  This was among the four books that one of our members chose for the group to pick from (our one rule is that it must be available in paperback, cheaper and usually easier to get from the library), and this is what they chose (this summer yet again I have gone….not even once).  I of course missed the discussion, but I can tell you that I personally really enjoyed the book.

It was one of my genres – memoir AND food lit, and a bonus, it was about a food blogger.  She of course is a different kind of food blogger, I blog to share my recipes and talk about my love of baking and cooking, she was sharing just her experiences as she challenged herself to the task of taking on Julia Child’s main cookbook.

It was definitely a light read, which is perfect during the summer, I had previously read some heavier books earlier in the summer, and I breezed through it pretty quickly.  It was funny and charming, and made me want to take on some sort of personal task as monumental as what she took on.

I highly recommend it, and I bought it as opposed to getting it from the library, so I can pass it along to friends and family alike.  Pick it up, and of course, go see the movie, it was fabulous as well!

P.S. If you live in the Boston area and want to join a social book club let me know!