Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Salon: A Wedding, A Meet-Up & Book Clubs

Rumors that I snuck away from my brother's wedding reception last Sunday to read are grossly exaggerated. The book stayed tucked away in my purse. The wedding turned out beautifully. My brother had just gotten out of the hospital two days before, having had his gall bladder removed early last week. Nothing was going to stop him or his bride from walking down the aisle, however.

I also was able to spend Father's Day with my father this year, something I don't often get to do because of the physical distance between us. Thank you to all who took time to answer my question last week, about your favorite or least favorite fictional father. My husband was right: Atticus Finch took the lead early and held on tight until the end. While he'd make it on my list of favorites, I think I'd personally give the top prize to Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.

I am ashamed to say I did not crack open a book on the drive to and from Sacramento this vacation. Nearly sixteen hours on the road. Now, part of that I drove, but I could have at least tried to read when I wasn't driving. I don't know what I was thinking!

I did manage to get a little reading in while visiting with family and amidst all the activity. Just not very much. I spent quality time perusing my parents' bookshelves. I slept right next to my father's Louis L'Amour collection. My own book collecting proclivity comes directly from my father, I'm sure. Although, I came to the conclusion this visit that my collection surpasses my parents' in terms of the number of books now. I am not sure whether to be proud of that fact or try and whittle the books down further. At least they have shelf space for all of their books.

As some of you know, I have made efforts recently to weed my shelves of books I no longer want or need to keep around. What you don't know is that some of those books have made there way back to the shelves. I did not get them out of the house quick enough, I'm afraid. (*hanging head in shame*)

I had the honor yesterday of meeting Heather from Age 30+...A Lifetime of Books for the first time. She was in the area visiting family, and so she, Amy from My Friend Amy (who I'd met once before), my husband and I met at a local Barnes and Noble and headed off to lunch. What better place for the Literary Feline to eat than a restaurant called The Lazy Dog Cafe? Despite the noise (a World Cup game was going in in the background and there were fans cheering along), we enjoyed our food and good conversation. While Heather and Amy are both bloggers I respect and admire having known them only from their blogs, my feelings for them grew once I met them in person. They are both very active in the book blogging community and their enthusiasm about books and blogging is contagious (it makes me feel a little guilty about my recent neglect of my blog).

Amy mentioned a local face to face book club that meets in her town (the next one over from my own) that I am considering joining. I have never belonged to a face to face book club before but have always wanted to. Being as shy as I am when it comes to meeting new people, I like the idea of going into a group knowing at least one person, but the distance is something to consider (21+ minute drive, depending on traffic). The group is reading the Stieg Larsson books currently, and that in itself is appealing. I did find a group about half the distance but I don't know much about it (nothing at all, really) nor do I know anyone in it (that I know of).

Do you belong or have you ever belonged to a face to face book group/club? What has your experience been like?

Well, I have a review to write, a book to read and blog hopping to do--a relatively quiet Sunday. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Happy reading!

This Week In Reading Mews:

Reading Now:
by Adena Halpern
31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

Recent Additions to the TBR Room:
Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton (a gift from Carrie K. from Books and Movies--thanks Carrie!)
Night Prey by John Sanford (won in giveaway hosted by Lisa from Books on the Brain--thanks, Lisa!)
Storm Prey by John Sanford (won in giveaway hosted by Lisa from Books on the Brain--thanks, Lisa!)
Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich (I bought for myself since it's now out in paperback)

Reviews Posted:
Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show by Frank Delaney (and a giveaway!)

Note: I am taking an unexpected break from blogging this week due to unforeseen events. My review of The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst will likely go up next week.

© 2010, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I was in a F2F book club years ago (before the internet!). A friend invited me and I met some wonderful women and read some great books that I might not otherwise have discovered. My second F2F book group was one I joined when I was new to a community, and someone took pity on me and thought I might need a social life. I enjoyed this, too, but the group itself sort of fizzled out. Since then I've been unable to find a good F2F group and my internet-based resources are so vast that I haven't felt as much need for it. Still, I think it would be fun with the right group of people and the right books.

  2. Oh, and I forgot to say congratulations to your brother !

  3. You have had a very full week. Congrats to your brother and to you for finally topping your parents collection. I would definitely join the book club. I have had a f2f for several years and it is a lot of fun - especially when you have been together a few months and have started to gel.

  4. Kudos for not reading at the wedding ... though I would have understood!!!

    And you should have brought an audiobook for the drive!!! : )

    I did belong to a book club once ... and it was an unmitigated disaster. It just wasn't a good fit for me. I say "try it" and if it doesn't fit you, then quit.

  5. Lucky you able to read in a moving car! I've tried and tried and always get nauseous. Such a bummer! I'm fine on a train, in an airplane, and even on a boat, but not in a car.

    And you are just like me; i always have a book tucked into my purse no matter where I go!

  6. Laura - I've belonged to internet book clubs for years, some with group reads and some without. I love the flexibility of those types of groups. I figure that it'd be worth trying a face to face book club at least once or twice in my life, you know?

    Thank you for the congratulations for my brother!

    Nicole (Linus' Blanket) - Thank you! So many of my parents' books are older . . . They use the library more and more these days and trade with friends and family, which is really what I should do too. LOL

    I really like the idea of being a part of a face to face book club. It'd probably take me a while though to feel comfortable enough to speak out. :-S

    Jenners - I was on my best behavior at the wedding. Haha!

    I looked into getting an audio book but they're so expensive! And I couldn't see spending that kind of money when I don't listen to them in general anyway--other than maybe for that car ride. If I ever get an iPod or that e-reader I want, I'll be more willing to try an audio book.

    That's why I'm a little leery of trying the book group that I know so little about even though it'd be much more convenient for me location-wise. At least at the other one I'd know Amy. And Becky from Educating Petunia is also a member of that one. I feel a special kinship with fellow book bloggers. :-)

    Linda - Sometimes reading in the car is the only way I can stay calm when my husband's driving, Linda. :-)

    I don't like to be anywhere stuck without a book. You never know when you might be able to squeeze in a little reading time.

  7. First of all, congratulations to your brother. Having had my gall bladder rmoved some years ago, I am totally impressed that he was able to deal with a wedding so soon after. Must be love! LOL

    Second, I'm in the gorup that gets car sick, so it is audio books for me (and Dramamine).

    Third, I would try the F2F group. I wish you could come be part of one of mine. I'm the moderator of both, which you've likely heard me talk about endlessly. When I started that job, I had never been part of a that type of group before. I had done lots of online groups, but never one with people in the same room. LOL It's different but fun. As Jenners says above, try it, if it doesn't suit, you can always bow out gracefully.

    Have a good week, Wendy!

  8. The wedding sounds wonderful and it was a good reason to set your books aside. Getting to meet up with other bloggers while you were there was a definite bonus!

    I've never belonged to a real life book club, but I'd sure like to.

  9. First off, I LOVE the new look, Wendy! Was it one of your Bloggiesta projects? As you know, I've been on vacation and haven't blog-hopped much for the last couple of weeks - it's nice to be back :-).

    So sorry I had to miss the meet-up with Heather and Amy!

    I've had mixed results with F2F book clubs. I've read some books I might not have otherwise, but some members were more interested in the F2F meet-ups than the reading, so conversation got off-track a LOT. If the group is more motivated by the books and discussing them, it might work out better - give it a try, I'd say!

  10. I'm cracking up that there is a rumor that you left the wedding early to read! Who spread that rumor??? My opinion on books clubs would be that it is totally worth a little more driving to belong to one that works for you. Not all book clubs are created equally, and is a personal decision based on how you click with the other members. I'm envious that you have great bloggers so close to you!

  11. I highly recommend trying one (or both?) of the F2F book clubs. I was in one for 5 wonderful years and I only wish it were still going (it was a small club, and after five years, three of the members moved away, and it fizzled for the rest of us).

    Also--I saw your response to Jenners about the expense of audio books--many libraries have audio books you can borrow. Next time you have a car trip, you ought to see if your library has any audio books that interest you.

  12. Kay - Thank you, Kay! He was hurting by the end of the wedding. The pastor decided to have my brother and his bride sit down during the ceremony (the stood for the vows and ring exchange), which worked out perfectly. It was a small wedding and so everyone had a good view of the happy couple. The bride spent every night of my brother's hospital stay in the hospital with him.

    I wish I could be a part of your book group too. I can tell I'd really like it from your posts.

    Bermudaonion - It would have been just like old times if I had read at the wedding, but I couldn't do that to my brother. :-)

    The blogger meet-up actually happened once I'd returned home. I wouldn't have minded meeting a few Northern California bloggers while I was up north, but there wasn't much time for it.

    Florinda - Thanks, Florinda! The new look went up late last night. I wanted to add a little more color to it and try out one of the new templates.

    I'm sorry you couldn't make the meet up either. It sounds like Heather comes this way now and then so maybe you can catch her next time she's in town. :-)

    I've pretty much decided to give the book club a try. Hopefully it will be a good fit!

    Sandy - I'm not sure who could have started that rumor . . . I was careful to make sure no one was around when I suggested it to my husband the day before the wedding. ;-)

    I think it would be fun to be a part of a face to face book club. The one that is farther away actually has two sessions an month (reading two different books for each session) and one is on the weekend and the other on a weeknight. The weekend day would be ideal. Of course, right now the books I'm most interested in joining in on the reading for are being covered on Wednesday nights, which will be more challenging for me. I'll figure it out. :-)

    Kathy - I may try to get more information about the local group. I don't think I could manage both, but it crossed my mind to try! :-)

    I thought of the library, but by then it was too late. I so rarely use my library that it isn't the first place that pops into my mind.

  13. I can't seem to find any local F@F book clubs. I thought I had, but no one ever replied to my email. :-(

    And I have this image of your books scuttling back onto your shelves as soon as you leave the house. Sneaky little things.

  14. Have never tried the face to face book club.

    we have 2 small town libraries near us who both have audio books, and also our church library has audios.

    I can read in the front seat of a car but not in a back seat. Audios are hard to listen to because my husband always wants to talk. Rereading seems easier than rewinding.

  15. How wonderful you got to meet up with a couple of other bloggers! I still haven't actually met any of you. Sigh. But I still love the online connections. Smile.

    I got the Evanovich 15 too! I looked around for it at my local Barnes & Noble and couldn't find it anywhere. They have a bit of a problem getting their new releases out on the day they are actually released. Then my husband went to get some groceries at Ralphs that same evening and was able to pick it up for $5.99!!

  16. I would love to belong to a F2F book club, but haven't found one in my teeny town. My best and friend and I are going to read Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland together in July, though - does that count?

    Glad you had so much fun at your brother's wedding and for Father's Day. My dad has one of those Louis L'Amour collections, too. :)

    Have a great week, Wendy!

  17. Jill - That's no good. :-( Amy introduced me to Meet-Up and that's how I found out about the locals ones here. You've probably tried that though.

    You know, I think your explanation about the books I was trying to give away landing back on my shelves rings closest to the truth. Books do seem to have minds of their own!

    Carla - I'm pretty sure the local libraries in town have audio books here too. Since I've never really been into audio books and I don't use the library all that much, it didn't cross my mind to check there until it was too late.

    I'm not sure what my husband would think about listening to an audio book--so you raise a good point there. I don't want him to think I'm ignoring him, so if we did do the audio book thing, it'd have to be something he'd be interested in too.

    Terri - I'm determined that we'll get you to a meet up one of these days. :-) I always get so nervous about meeting people I know online. My hesitation comes more from that than anything else, I'm afraid.

    That's a good price for the Evanovich book!

    Carrie - How fun! You've created your own little book club with your best friend. :-) I hope you both enjoy the book.

    One of these days I might actually read one of those Louis L'Amour books.

  18. I know what you mean about both Heather and Amy - I got to meet them both at the BEA/BBC and they are awesome!

    I would love to belong to a Face to Face Book club...but the only ones I know of are a 35 minute drive from me and I'd rather not have to drive more than an hour 'round trip. I've thought about trying to start one in my small town...but I don't know anyone really up here and I'm reluctant to just put something out publicly and then find out we don't "mesh." For now, I am just trying to be satisfied with Yahoo groups.

  19. Meeting Heather and Amy would be such a treat and it's so nice to hear how lovely they are IRL!! I would so love to have a face to face book club sounds delightful to me!! I had to laugh when I read that some of those discarded books made their way back into your shelves!!

    Take care and have a great week!

  20. Congratulations to your brother! And how wonderful that you get to meet Heather and Amy!

    Speaking of bookclubs, I'm not aware if there's any face to face bookclub here but even if there is, I don't think I'll have the time to meet and discuss books with the members anyway. ;)

    Hope you've a great week, Wendy!

  21. I have belonged to a f2f group that meets once a month on a Sunday morning for nearly 20 years.
    We take it in turns to choose a new book for discussion and then have a cursory sort of discussion depending on how well we liked it.
    It is a great source of ideas about books to look out for, and we also lend books to each other.

  22. I started a f2f bookclub last year (first meeting was last October), and it's gone beautifully much to my surprise. We have 8 members (7 who show up every time, which I think is great), and we meet every 6 weeks or so. It's been a lot of fun, and I'm picking up more reading ideas as well.

    Keep in mind that I started it so I was able to pick the people. However, none of them knew each other and are now becoming good friends.

  23. Sounds like you had a great time! I wish I would've had a book with me for my brother-in-law's wedding a few weeks ago; there was a lot of downtime given that the wedding started 20 minutes late and we had been waiting around for a couple of hours beforehand for pics, etc.

  24. Ooh, I did belong to a face-to-face book club several years ago, and I just loved it. We always had a great time whether we loved a book, hated it, or were split.

    I've been toying with the idea of joining a new f2f group, but with the baby, I'm not sure I'd have time for one more thing.

  25. Got to admire that brother of yours for making it to his wedding so soon after surgery!!

    I started a real life book club about a year and a half ago. We only have three regular members, but are actively recruiting more. I love it because it gives me chance to talk about books in real life, and to get the chance to read things that others suggest. We just finished Maise Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear this month, and are meeting tomorrow night. I do hope that you find a good book club to join soon!

  26. Heather and Amy are both fantastic bloggers and people in real life. I love them both. I hope you consider going to a face-to-face book club. I like them, but can't seem to find any members for mine at the moment, except and who needs book club meetings for that when we already hang out and talk books?

    Sounds like the wedding and father's day were better than expected.

  27. Glad to hear you have been busy with some happy occasions! I have been a member of a face to face book club that I actually started with a group of my friends. The group has changed and evolved over the last 10 years. We've lost and gained members but we still keep reading. I enjoy meeting with people in person to discuss books and think you might enjoy it too even if you are more shy than I am.

  28. I have always wanted to be a part of a face to face bookclub - but so far no luck here. It would seem to me that if you already know one member (and I agree, Amy is a true delight!), then chances are more than 50/50 that this might be a good fit.

    As one who is also incredibly shy...I can totally relate to your trepidation. However, I say "go for it" --- you may have the time of your life :)

  29. LOl! I love the fact that some of your weeded books made it back onto your shelves :) Glad I'm not the only one.
    Congratulations to your brother and I'm so glad you were able to spend Father's Day with your dad.

    I've belonged to two book clubs. The first was wonderful. Two of the girls were very close friends (still are) and I loved the group and the books. Sadly, we moved from DC :(
    When we moved here I tried the one at the local library and was...underwhelmed. Nothing wrong with the people, but there was no one my age, or even within 20 years! I went twice.

    The right group can be such a great thing and think you should give it a try :)

  30. I love, love my face to face book club! I know I'm very lucky to have found such a great group of ladies (one of my best friends convinced me to join hers). I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. It is much easier to go in that first time when you know someone.

  31. I'm really behind here but it was fabulous meeting you and your husband. I love visiting CA and am dreading going home. :(

    As for f2f book clubs - I'd go for the one you feel most comfortable with - group dynamics are a HUGE part of what makes a successful club.

  32. It's so good to meet other book bloggers! I don't belong to any book clubs (it's hard to find a good one near me).

  33. Hi Wendy! I was sad to miss the meet-up with Heather & Amy but glad to hear it went well. Sounds like the wedding was fun too.

    Book clubs- I started my own because I couldn't find one to join. We've been at it 3.5 years and I love it-it's going great. But I was in one about 12 years ago that wasn't that great- it was a group of friends rather than true readers and often the members wouldn't even bother to read/finish the book. The meeting would start with, "Oh, don't tell me what happens! I didn't have time to read the book!" How do you discuss a book if you can't talk about what happens?? LOL

  34. Wendy - Yes, they are both such wonderful ladies.

    Yahoo groups definitely do serve their purpose and have a lot going for them. I love how convenient they are--no matter how busy you are, no one cares if you jump into the discussion at 3 a.m. in the morning.

    Staci - Those books just wouldn't stay put! LOL

    Melody - Thank you, Melody! We're all so happy for him and his new wife.

    The time issue is one of my concerns too, Melody, especially with everything I've got going on right now. I keep hoping I'll be able to make time though. Maybe one of these days.

    Kerrie - It sounds like you have a great book group, Kerrie! Hopefully I can find a group like that as well. :-)

    Christine - I am so glad your book club has turned out so well, Christine. I remember when you were still in the planning stages.

    Anna - Believe me, my husband and I joked about going off and reading when we first arrived. LOL There really wasn't anything for us to do.

    Andi - Book talk is always fun, isn't it? I know what you mean about being strapped for time with the baby. You've got so much on your plate as it is. Perhaps when he's a bit older . . .

    Zibilee - My brother is one tough guy, that's for sure. I'm glad everything turned out as well as it did even despite the surgery. He's since been on his honeymoon and is settling down to start the new school year.

    My husband read Maise Dobbs and liked it--although I don't think it was quite his cup of tea. I hope to read it one of these days.

    Serena - If I lived closer to you, I'd join your book club, Serena! :-)

    Kathleen - There are so many benefits to being in a face to face book group, I think. I am glad yours has turned out to be such a great experience.

    Molly - I think being a part of a book group would be so much fun. Hopefully the stars and my life will align and I can fit it in next month.

    Stacy - It's terrible! LOL There's a reason I have to get them out of the house fast or else.

    Lisa (Lit & Life) - It sounds like you have a great face to face book group! I do hope I can give the one near me a try soon. Unfortunately, it just hasn't worked out yet. :-(

    Heather - I'm so glad we were able to meet, Heather! I hope you had a safe trip home.

    Alice - I enjoy meeting other book bloggers, although I admit I get so nervous about it!

    Lisa M. - We wish you could have joined us for the meet-up, but we understand.

    I imagine the members can make or break a book club. I haven't been able to get to the local one yet, unfortunately. I'm hoping that perhaps in September I can make it happen.

  35. I love the idea for this blog! It's the first time I have come across it. Literary feline! A book-loving cat who doesn't have to visit the veterinarian. I dont' read much when I'm in the car for a road trip either, so don't feel guilty!


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