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Girly Book Club

Is Paradise Lost in Elin Hilderbrand’s “Winter in Paradise”?

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In Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter in Paradise, (Little, Brown and Company) Irene Steele leads an idyllic life. She is the mother of two adult sons, Baker and Cash, and the editor of Heartland Home & Style, a magazine that depicts the “bread-and-butter values of the Midwest.” She’s healthy and naturally slender (as in: has never had to diet a day in her life), and lives in a beautiful, luxurious Queen Anne-style home. And, of course, she is happily married to a loving, romantic man, Russ Steele. And while it’s true that Russ travels a lot on business, it’s also true that he is the type to send flowers for no reason and to hire a barnstormer plane to circle Iowa City…

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GBC Boston Chapter is a Melting Pot for Out-of-Towners

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A bar and a DJ at a book club meeting? That wasn’t how it was scripted, but it made for one of the more unusual sessions of the Girly Book Club’s Boston Chapter. The chapter is hosted by Lauren Hughes, who moved to Boston from Seattle in early 2017 and was looking to get back into reading more and making friends in her new surroundings. She shares the hosting duties with Hana Vackova. Hughes is a Senior Product Designer at Wayfair, recently married, and has a four-year-old Australian Shepherd named Ludo, after the character from The Labyrinth. The chapter has 2,000 members in its Meetup Group, and the live monthly meetings, which take place religiously the last Monday of every…

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December Decisions: Dramatic Marriages and a Cherished Past

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Members of the Girly Book Club are voting on the following four titles to determine the book selection for its December club meetings in 70 chapters around the world. Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman (Berkley Publishing Group) At any given moment in other people’s houses, you can find…repressed hopes and dreams…moments of unexpected joy…someone making love on the floor to a man who is most definitely not her husband… *record scratch* As the longtime local carpool mom, Frances Bloom is sometimes an unwilling witness to her neighbors’ private lives. She knows her cousin is hiding her desire for another baby from her spouse, Bill Horton’s wife is mysteriously missing, and now this… After the shock of seeing Anne Porter in…

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Book Club Guest Blog: “The Witch of Willow Hall”

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It’s a daunting task writing about witches and ghosts and keeping an adult audience captivated with realism and empathy. So I had low expectations for Hester Fox’s The Witch of Willow Hall (Graydon House) but found myself pleasantly surprised. The plot line was so enthralling, I couldn’t put the book down. It read like a Jane Austen book. I found it had so many parallels with Pride and Prejudice – the time period, the innocent  nature of the love story, the use of the prefixes Mr. and Miss to reference young men and women, the dynamic of three sisters struggling to uphold their family’s reputation and win the interest of an eligible bachelor, and most importantly, the eloquent style of writing. The courtship…

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Is Your Book Club Looking for Ideas? Here Are Four

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Here’s something to talk about at your next book club! BookTrib.com‘s new deal with the Girly Book Club sends 4 book club worthy reads from select publishers to 50 U.S. book clubs every month. BookTrib’s Jim Alkon describes the four titles in the program’s inaugural package. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways! Books in this episode: The Mapmaker’s Daughter by Katherine Nouri Huges Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae The Drum That Beats Within Us by Mike Bond Darling Girl by Terry H. Watkins BookTrib is a community of readers created by Meryl Moss Media.

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Dupattas and Desire: “Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows”

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For the month of October, all chapters of the Girly Book Club are reading Balli Kaur Jaswal’s Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (William Morrow). Here’s our review: In this textured tale about Punjabi Indian women and sexual taboos, Balli Kaur Jaswal masterfully juxtaposes modern and traditional, West and East, and each generation’s definition of oppression, with a murder mystery woven into the cultural tapestry. Nikki Grewal has already disappointed her parents, identifying more as British than Punjabi Sikh. At 22 she tends bar at a London pub—a girl with half a law degree and no husband. She can’t believe her sister Mindi wants an arranged marriage. Nikki craves independence while Mindi wants a family; their goals couldn’t be more different. Nonetheless, Nikki…

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Chapter Closeup: Living a New York State of Mind

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When Sam Flores volunteered to host the New York Chapter of the Girly Book Club (G.B.C.), she had no idea what she was signing up for. But she’s never looked back. As one would expect, the New York chapter is one of the network’s largest, with 3,500 members. Naturally, they can’t all attend the meetings, but a good mix of first-timers and returning women either pop in live or follow events online. Flores, by day a digital advertising manager for Time Inc., exemplifies the typical New Yorker in so many ways when she’s not buried in a book: taking advantage of 24-hour access to stores, restaurants, people-watching, traveling and training for this fall’s New York City Marathon. “My favorite part…

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November Choices: WWII, Titanic and Unlikely Friendships

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Members of the Girly Book Club are voting on the following four titles to determine the book selection for their November club meetings in 70 chapters around the world. White Rose, Black Forest (Lake Union Publishing) by Eoin Dempsey In the shadows of World War II, trust becomes the greatest risk of all for two strangers. December 1943. In the years before the rise of Hitler, the Gerber family’s summer cottage was filled with laughter. Now, as deep drifts of snow blanket the Black Forest, German dissenter Franka Gerber is alone and hopeless. Fervor and brutality have swept through her homeland, taking away both her father and her brother and leaving her with no reason to live. That is, until she discovers…

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Chapter Closeup: The Real Booklovers of Orange County

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Meet Jennifer Holmes. She is the mother of five, has two dogs and works in the family business with her husband. In her double life, she also is host of the Girly Book Club’s Orange County, CA Chapter, which she started about a year ago. If you speak with her for five minutes, there’s one thing that comes through loud and clear: she loves books. She says she reads one to two books a week, and last year read 120. “I also run a book club in my community, and I host a book club for women at a retirement home. I work on my own blog, www.wellreadtraveler.com and work on monthly service projects with my book club. I love attending author events…

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Guest Blogger: Of Fame and the Absurd in “Hits and Misses”

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Hits and Misses, a collection of humorous short stories, is a backstage pass to Simon Rich’s fears and neuroses. And that is a good thing. In “The Baby,” we meet Ben, a writer struggling to finish his book before the birth of his son. During a routine ultrasound, Ben discovers his unborn child is writing a novel, one that is lauded by the publishing world as suspenseful and lyrical – which is exactly what Ben had been hoping people would say about his novel. It is a story of father-son jealousy… except the son is still in the womb. “Birthday Party” is a clever take on a timeless, nostalgic idea: what would happen if you were given the chance to…

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October Choices: Secret Lives, and a Stirring Memoir

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Members of the Girly Book Club are voting on the following four titles to determine the book selection for their October club meetings in 70 chapters around the world. If You Knew Her (Harper Books) by Emily Elgar (384 pages) Cassie had it all – the fairytale wedding, the stunning home, the perfect husband. But when she arrives at the intensive care ward at St Catherine’s Hospital in a coma, it soon becomes clear she has a secret — a secret that changes everything. Alice, the chief nurse on the ward, begins to feel a connection with Cassie and can’t help but wonder if things are not quite as they seem. Frank, another patient, can hear and see everything around him…

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