Monday, 11 May 2015

Bikini Series Book Club - 'Wild' Kick Off Post

Thanks to everyone who voted on the second book selection for the Bikini Series Book Club.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed came out on top and will be the book to see us through to the end of the Bikini Series! You can see the full results of the poll in my previous post here.

There was also a vote on what format the group discussions should take going forward, with the majority favouring a Facebook group format. I've set up the group, optimistically called 'TIU Book Club' in the hope we'll carry on once the Bikini Series has ended!

Click here or search 'TIU Book Club' on Facebook. Head on over and introduce yourself!

Discussion will be on going but just so that we're at roughly the same point and not giving each other spoilers, here's your reading schedule guideline:

Read to end of chapter 5 by Wednesday 20th May
Read to end of chapter 9 by Wednesday 27th May
Read to end of chapter 14 by Wednesday 3rd June
Read to end of the last chapter by Wednesday 10th June

This will lead us just over the end of the Bikini Series, to give you a bit of time to get your hands on a copy of the book in this first week. And of course we'll have a big chat once we've all finished the book so if you struggle to keep up, don't worry, join in when you can!

I'll lead with discussion questions on the Facebook group to get things going each week but if you have questions or discussion points yourself then please do feel free to start a thread at any time!

Finally, spread the word! We're all on different time zones so it's easy for some book loving TIU sisters to miss my posts. Feel free to repost on Instagram or Twitter and point people here as a starting point.

Any questions - let me know :)

Happy reading!

Emily XO

Friday, 8 May 2015

Bikini Series Book Club - Book Two

We've just finished reading the first book in the Bikini Series Book Club: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Discussion is still on going here and I hope those of you who joined in have enjoyed it! If you're not quite finished with the book yet, don't worry, the discussions will stay up there and you can leave your thoughts at any time.

Now it's time to chose book number two which we'll read and discuss over the next four weeks. If you're just joining us now, perfect timing!

Before you cast your vote on the books below, please could you take a second to let me know whether you are happy with the format of the book club to date? I am considering swopping to a Facebook group format to make it easier for people to receive notifications and continue discussions. For those who are just joining us, please feel free to vote also:

Ok, on to the book options!

Still Alice
by Lisa Genova

A moving story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's disease, now a major Academy Award-winning film starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart.

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a renowned expert in linguistics, with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow forgetful and disoriented, she dismisses it for as long as she can until a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world around her - for ever.

Unable to care for herself, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose as her concept of self gradually slips away. But Alice is a remarkable woman, and her family learn more about her and each other in their quest to hold on to the Alice they know. Her memory hanging by a frayed thread, she is living in the moment, living for each day. But she is still Alice.

Check it out on Amazon

'The most accurate account of what it feels like to be inside the mind of an Alzheimer's patient I've ever read. Beautifully written and very illuminating' Rosie Boycot

Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found
by Cheryl Strayed

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Check it out on Amazon

"A deeply honest memoir about mother and daughter, solitude and courage, and regaining footing, one step at a time." Vogue

The Enchanted
by Rene Denfeld

"Even monsters need peace. Even monsters need a person who truly wants to listen - to hear - so that someday we might find the words that are more than boxes. Then maybe we can stop men like me from happening..."
A prisoner sits on death row in a maximum security prison. His only escape from his harsh existence is through the words he dreams about, the world he conjures around him using the power of language. For the reality of his world is brutal and stark. He is not named, nor do we know his crime.
But he listens. He listens to the story of York, the prisoner in the cell next to him whose execution date has been set. He hears the lady, an investigator who is piecing together York's past. He watches as the lady falls in love with the priest and wonders if love is still possible here. He sees the corruption and the danger as tensions in 'this enchanted place' build. And he waits. For even monsters have a story...

Check it out on Amazon

"Rene Denfeld is a genius. In THE ENCHANTED, she has imagined one of the grimmest settings in the world - a dank and filthy death row in a corrupt prison - and given us one of the most beautiful, heart-rending, and riveting novels I have ever read." Donald Ray Pollock, author of THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME

The Humans
by Matt Haig

There's no place like home.

Or is there?
After an 'incident' one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he's a dog.

What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ?

Check it out on Amazon

"A brilliant exploration of what it is to love, and to be human, The Humans is both heartwarming and hilarious, weird, and utterly wonderful. One of the best books I've read in a very long time" S J Watson

Which book would you like to read for the Bikini Series Book Club?
You may select more than one - the highest voted overall will be selected.

Voting closes at 9am GMT on Sunday 10th May and the winner will be announced here and on Instagram (@tokaleamockingbird) soon after, along with details of how to take part!

Have a great weekend

Emily XO