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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

V.V.B.C.-The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

Vicarious Virtual Book Club-
The Mountain Between Us 
by Charles Martin

"The Mountain Between Us" is my Sisterchicks Book Club's February book selection. A brief synopsis of the plot is that two strangers, one, a young, married doctor on his way home from a conference, and the other, a young woman on her way home to be married, survive a private plane crash in the middle of a wilderness area. Nobody knows they are on the plane, so they will have to save themselves.

I will not post any review for the V.V.B.C., until after my Sisterchicks Book Club meeting February 21, but I wanted to have a place for those of you who've already read the book, those who want to recommend the book, or anyone else, to comment.

There are at least 30 of you "Vicarious Virtual Book Club" members who've e-mailed, facebooked, or told me in person that you're reading some of the selections! I hope SOME of you will post on the blog entries, so others can see your comments, and be inspired!

This is meant to be a "no pressure," FUN and CASUAL group! No worries about having to "sound intellectual!" We're all here because we ENJOY reading! Some of us may be more serious about reading than others--no problem! You don't have to read all the books to participate. We want to hear from anyone who wants to post!


All I'll say, until after the Sisterchicks Book Club meeting, is that I was THOROUGHLY engrossed in this story! It was great "escape" fiction for me. This is probably a "chick book," (translation: love story), however there's a fair amount of survival/adventure, as well.

I could almost LITERALLY FEEL the cold and snow! (Having so much snow here in Atlanta during the time I was listening to The Mountain Between Us, made it very real to me! I LISTENED to the Audible version this book on my iPhone, if you want to hear a sample, here is a link. Just type in the author or book name.)
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Last night was my Book Club meeting at Starbucks in Peachtree City!
With a majority of our Sisterchick Book Club members enjoying themselves on a "Girl's Bahama cruise," our number was smaller than usual. Seven Sisterchicks who were "Left Behind," and two first timers, got together to discuss our February selection, The Mountain Between Us.

Before getting started, we introduced ourselves, to our new members, and got to know each other a little better. We learned some new "fun facts" about each other! We are a nice cross-section of interesting and intelligent women! We shared a lot of laughs, before we even started discussing books! (That's all I'm going to say. What goes on at book club, stays at book club! LOL! One of our "newbies" left after introductions, but before the discussion, so as not to spoil the book for herself. We're looking forward to seeing her next month for Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers!)

Sheron led off the book discussion with questions she'd found on the internet. We talked about the moral lessons of the book. Some reviews called it Christian fiction, but none of us saw any reason to classify it that way. There was no overt Christian content. There were no prayers or major references to God, or the hereafter.

This lack of references to God was especially obvious after the main characters, Ben and Ashley, dealt with the death of their pilot, Grover, and the removal of his body, from the crashed plane, for "burial." There were not even any desperate prayers for divine intervention as Ben's and Ashley's circumstances become more dire. The book was full of good values, which certainly are compatible with Christianity, without feeling preachy.

Most of us felt that the book was pretty intense at times, requiring us to stop and take a break! The cold and wild animals were uncomfortable to consider, as was the hunger.

We discussed whether or not we could have eaten Napoleon, the dog, or the dead pilot. I think we all realized that we couldn't predict with certainty what we might do in order to survive. Speaking of survival, the fact that Ben and Ashley survived without frostbite damage to their extremities, in such dire circumstances, seemed unrealistic to a couple of people.

Sheron suggested that "The Mountain Between Us" could have represented something that bound Ashley and Ben together--the shared experience that nobody else could understand, as opposed to the mountain referring to something that separated Ashley and Ben from each other, or from safety.

Out of the seven who'd read the book, only one figured out "the twist" that blindsided the rest of us! Several of us saw a few of the "clues" that Ben's wife and children were dead, but we were blind-sided by the unexpected revelation that they were interred in his wife's "dream beach house," which she did not live to see.

I personally thought this book was a great read, as well as a VERY compelling Audio Book. Everyone at Book Club liked the book--it's not always so "unanimous!" I asked the Sisterchicks for a numerical ranking. On a scale of 1-10, with ten being best, The Mountain Between Us garnered 3-7's, 2-8's, and 2-9's, for an average of 7.85!

What do y'all think? Did I leave out anything important? Any comments?
Jump on in!

Monday, February 21, 2011

On the Fifth Day, God Created the Animals of the Sea

On the Fifth Day, 
God Created the Animals of the Sea

Genesis 1:20-23 (Amplified Bible)

20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.

21God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it.

22And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth.

23And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

Since last Tuesday, when I visited the Georgia Aquarium with the "55+ Group" from my church, I've been pondering God's Creation. The beauty, diversity, and motion of God's sea creatures is mesmerizing! Intricacies, idiosyncrasies, and symmetries in the various fish, crustaceans, mammals, and other creatures all shout, "Intelligent Design" to me. I'll let my video and photos speak....

Click here for Aquarium Trip Photos.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

V.V.B.C.--The Noticer by Andy Andrews

Vicarious Virtual Book Club--
The Noticer by Andy Andrews

The Noticer is the June Selection for my Sisterchick Book Club. Here's a post for comments, for anyone who is ready to post a comment/question!
Feel free to submit questions for virtual group consideration, or anything you want me to propose to my Sisterchick's discussion!

This is supposed to be an "inspirational" book! Links to sample/buy audible and print versions are below! (The only version currently available on Audible is abridged.)

Let's get the discussion started! Don't give us "TMI," though! (Too Much Information!)
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V.V.B.C.--I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg

Vicarious Virtual Book Club--
I Still Dream About You 
by Fannie Flagg

I Still Dream About You, by Fannie Flagg (of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe fame) is the May Sisterchick Book Club Selection. I'm posting this so those of you who read it will have a place to comment. The title is intriguing to me, but I don't want to look at the Amazon or Audible reviews, because I'm afraid they'll tell me "too much," as they did about Her Mother's Hope!

Feel free to post thoughts/questions for the blog, or as suggestions for me to present for the Sisterchick Book Club's discussion!

I'm putting the links for you to sample the audible and written books. Please don't post anything that will spoil the book for anyone else! Jump in and comment!

I'll post my review after our May meeting!
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

V.V.B.C.--My Reading Life by Pat Conroy

Vicarious Virtual Book Club
My Reading Life
by Pat Conroy

I'm already reading our Sisterchick Book Club's April selection, in book form, because it's "MY" book. That means I'll lead the discussion, because I suggested the book! (I'm trying to "be prepared!" I welcome your insight, and questions on the blog, for blog discussions, and to share with my non-virtual book club! Any ideas?)

I'm not going to comment about the book until April, except to say, this book has thoroughly captured my fancy. I LOVE Pat Conroy's vocabulary and storytelling abilities. So far, about 1/4 of the way through, this book is BY FAR the best book I've read in a long time, because of Pat Conroy's command of the English language. I really appreciate someone who uses their vocabulary to precisely express themselves in an entertaining way!

After I finish reading My Reading Life, before book club in April, I'm going to listen to Pat Conroy, via audible, as he reads his book! You may listen to a sample of Pat Conroy reading, and to part of a free 8 minute interview with Pat Conroy, by putting the book title in the search box below!
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To sample/order Kindle and all other formats from Amazon:

V.V.B.C.--Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers

Vicarious Virtual Book Club
Her Mother's Hope 
by Francine Rivers

March 21, 2011-This is an updated link to the review/discussion of Her Mother's Hope. Contains Spoilers!

My "CalPal" (friend from California), Cathie, told me she requested the February and March selections for the V.V.B.C. from the library. She got this one first, and read it in two days! She loved it, but I didn't have a blog page up for her to comment, so, Cathie here it is!

I'm listening to Her Mother's Hope via Audible download on my iPhone!
I'm really enjoying it, too. The Audible version is very engaging, and Francine Rivers characters are so well developed, I feel I really KNOW them! I won't say more till after our book club discussion, but don't let that stop your comments!

If you've already read Her Mother's Hope, there's a sequel called
Her Daughter's Dream, if you want to continue with the story (link below.)

WARNING: Do not read the reviews on either Audible or Amazon! They will both "spoil" your read, by telling you more than you'll want to know!

If you've read read Her Mother's Hope, let us know what you think! You don't have to say you like it if you didn't! We want to know what you REALLY think! Please don't post any "SPOILERS!"
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Here's a link to Amazon, for the Kindle, and other versions!

Sequel to Her Mother's Hope is Her Daughter's Dream.