Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 2010 Book Club Meeting

Summary: In the small river town of La Luna, Louisiana, Calla Lily Ponder bursts into being, a force of nature as luminous as the flower she is named for. Under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide and protect her throughout her life, Calla enjoys a blissful childhood—until it is tragically cut short. From her mother, Calla learns compassion and healing through the humble womanly art of "fixing hair." On the banks of the La Luna River, she discovers a sweet, succulent first love that is as enticing as the music, food, and dancing of her Louisiana home. When heartbreak hits, Calla leaves the familiarity of her hometown and heads downriver to the untamed city of New Orleans, where her destiny further unfolds.

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the story of a pink-collar heroine whose willingness to remain vulnerable in the face of adversity opens our own hearts to the possibility of love growing from sorrow. -- Harper

This month, we read THE CROWNING GLORY OF CALLA LILY PONDER by Rebecca Wells. It was a particularly festive book club because our group was lucky enough to win a King Cake Prize Package from a contest hosted by Book Club Girl. Check out these goodies:

We received not only a beautiful King Cake (baby and all) from Haydel's Bakery, but we also got a package of coffee with chicory, a Mardi Gras 2010 magazine, a poster, a music CD, a ceramic jester figurine, a Haydel's bead pack, and more! It was such a fun treat and I thought the King Cake was yummy!

See how happy everyone was! After some major eating (and a little drinking), we got down to talking about THE CROWNING GLORY OF CALLA LILY PONDER. While I enjoyed the book, it definitely wasn't a unanimous opinion. We were all over the place on this book from loving it to not liking it at all, and I thought it made for a very interesting discussion because there was so much dissension.

After we talked about the book for awhile, we ended up just discussing books in general. Of course, I could have sat there for hours and talked about books. Usually we talk about our kids and everything else going on in our lives, so I was thrilled that we ended up giving each other book and author recommendations.

Next month, we will be reading POPE JOAN by Donna Woolfolk Cross. We will also be joined by the author via telephone! It's been awhile since our group has had an author chat, and I'm very excited about it. I had the opportunity to briefly meet the author at BEA two years ago and I just know she'll be fascinating to talk to.

I read POPE JOAN many, many years ago and really enjoyed it. Since it's been so long, I will definitely be re-reading it. Fortunately for me, my mom still had a copy of the novel -- I bought it for her a few years back because I thought it was so good!

Summary: For a thousand years her existence has been denied. She is the legend that will not die–Pope Joan, the ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female ever to sit on the throne of St. Peter. Now in this riveting novel, Donna Woolfolk Cross paints a sweeping portrait of an unforgettable heroine who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot accept.

Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn. When her brother is brutally killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak–and his identity–and enters the monastery of Fulda. As Brother John Anglicus, Joan distinguishes herself as a great scholar and healer. Eventually, she is drawn to Rome, where she becomes enmeshed in a dangerous web of love, passion, and politics. Triumphing over appalling odds, she finally attains the highest office in Christendom–wielding a power greater than any woman before or since. But such power always comes at a price . . .

In this international bestseller, Cross brings the Dark Ages to life in all their brutal splendor and shares the dramatic story of a woman whose strength of vision led her to defy the social restrictions of her day. -- Three Rivers Press


bermudaonion said...

Who got the baby in the King Cake? I wish I lived close enough to be in your book club!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Oh, I LOVE King Cakes! My rear end doesn't, but who cares about that thing anyway. You are like the Wonder Woman of book clubs. I wish you were down here and could shake some sense into mine.

Anonymous said...

I love reading book club reports! My book club is on its summer hiatus, and I have to live vicariously through others. I've been wanting to read POPE JOAN forever. I look forward to reading that report.

Anonymous said...

I had a king cake from Haydels at my wedding earlier this year! I admit, I wasn't the biggest fan of Calla Lily though.

Just Mom said...

I'm with Kathy - I want to be in your book club! I have Pope Joan in my TBR pile but that doesn;t mean much these days!

Carin Siegfried said...

Oooh, when you talk to the author of Pope Joan, even though it's not a discussion question, could you ask her if there are any plans to release the movie inthe US? It was released in Germany this summer but no plans to come here yet that I've heard of (sadly). LOVED the book.