Reading Around the Globe

Last year we began to travel the globe through books. I guess it actually started in 2017 while we read Tsh’s book At Home In The World, if we’re getting technical. I’m all for reading widely and reading with variety. I like to mix up genre, fiction and non fiction, personal development, classics etc. but I wasn’t sure how I felt about being locked into the idea of reading from a new location each month.

No reservation was needed. Now I’m craving books from new locations. We are being choosy and selecting books that more heavily include the location in part of the book. Highly recommend pushing your current reading zone and broadening your horizons! (hehe, see what I did there?)

Where we’ve been, and a peek of where we’re going next:

January – Scottland
February – Netherlands
March – Kenya
April – Laos

January – Tibet
February – Norway
March – England
April – South Africa
May – Cuba
June – Canada
July – Afghanistan
August – Rwanda
September – Germany
October – Mars & Venus
November – Romania
December – Pakistan

Jan – global
Feb – Iceland
Mar –  Australia
April – Iran
May – US
June – Brazil
July –  Chechnya
August – Antarctica
September – Italy
October – book flight in France
November – Norway
December – global

November: The Martian

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Ahh, The Martian. What a fun book to read!!

I’m on who tends to never give a second glance to a book with even a whiff of a “space” theme and certainly no science fiction or fantasy. BUT part of our Purpose Statement (and club name!) is to broaden horizons, so after many rave reviews (including my husband’s) and having decided to toss out the previous book planned for November The Martian was quite a win. And would you believe I gave this one 5 stars?

It had a decent amount of language which we discussed, and some felt if it had been left out it wouldn’t have really made much sense. He DID get left on Mars after all.

Now I can say my horizons have been broadened and I’m keeping a ear out for other science fiction and fantasy I could tolerate. (I say “tolerate” with a smile, but I think my feelings towards these books has something to do with my INFJ-ness, as I tend to roll my eyes at fantasy. #confession #butImopentochange )

Thursday December 17, 2015
84 Charing Cross Road
12 84 charing

April Tea Party: Recap

Recap of that Guernsey Potato Peel book 😉

We enjoyed a lovely tea party last month discussing The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peal Pie Society and the lost art of letter writing.

Check out Catherine’s review of this book and our evening over on A Spirited Mind. Sheila also has a great review on The Desperate Reader. They both described the book so well I’m sure they can convince you to read this book if you weren’t able to attend in April.

book club tea party 13

book club tea party 131

Our May book is The Secret Garden. We’ll meet at Panara-dise at Hamilton Town Center. It’s also bring-your-daughter-month! I’ve got a fun little book mark craft ready for the girls too! See you May 9th at 7:00.

Murder on the Orient Express: Recap


We all love reading, but getting together is definitely my favorite part of book club.  Even though this is our second Agatha Christie book to read as a club, we still had plenty to discuss, and for many it was their first taste of her writing. I don’t want to say much about the book, Murder on the Orient Express, but I will encourage you to go read it! (Or any other Agatha Christie novel.) They are fun and easy to read.

April is tea party month, and we are reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. What a name, right? But don’t judge this book by it’s title; I found it to be witty, unexpected, and enjoyable. I hope you’ll join us!

Next Up: Emerson & Thoreau

We’re taking it easy this month (because we know you’re busy running through the sprinkler and attending barbecues) so we’re reading two essays. Weird right? Who reads essays besides teachers? Well, we do. It fits our goals to read things we wouldn’t normally and challenge our minds.

blah, blah, blah-what you really want to know: so far I think “Waking” by Thoreau is hilarious. I don’t know if he meant it that way, but I’m going to pretend he did. He romanticizes and gets “all poetic” about taking a walk. I dig it.

I think both essays might be a challenge for our entertained minds to focus on and sort out their complex, philosophical language. So, read them outside in the sun without too many distractions. This is a great month to challenge yourself if this kind of reading is hard because they’re quite short. Also, they’re free (in the public domain). So read up and join us! July 12 7pm location TBA.

A Book Picnic

Leas Miserables Book Club Picnic

Our June book club meeting took us back to Geist Park, where our book club began several years ago, for a picnic and our discussion of Les Misérables. After I had posted a few pictures from our June meeting to Facebook, one of my co-workers told me he would join our book club, but he was solely interested in the food. I can’t say that I blame him. The food was delicious.

Book Club Picnic Food

The décor was perfect for a summer picnic…

Book Club Picnic Decorations

And Sarah’s mason jar cheesecakes were a huge hit…

Mason Jar Cheesecakes

Quite a few of us attempted Les Misérables, some of us watched a film adaptation instead, and a few of us finished. One thing we realized is that all abridgements (and film adaptations, for that matter) are not created equal. The Barnes & Noble classic edition abridged by Laurence M. Porter that a couple of us had seemed to be the best at cutting out some of the lengthy passages that didn’t really contribute to the story (including about 15 chapters about the Battle of Waterloo). However, a couple of us had abridged editions that cut out so much, the story didn’t really make sense anymore. We spent a lot of the time filling in the gaps and recounting the story, talking about the characters of Jean Valjean, Fantine, Marius and Cosette as we went along. I think we all are looking forward to seeing how the new film adaptation of the musical that will be coming out in December will treat the story and how it will compare to the novel.

Book Club Group Photo

For July, we’re taking it a little easier and will be reading the (much shorter) essays “Nature” by Ralph Waldo Emerson and “Walking” by Henry David Thoreau. Hopefully the summer weather and warm sunshine will give you some inspiration to read these classics by two of the most famous naturalist authors. We will see you July 12 at 7 p.m. We will keep you posted on the location for this month, so watch for that information coming soon.

Happy reading!

50 years for her, 4 years for us

I love that we are outgrowing our book club table!

Sometimes I wonder what others think? They sit at a neighboring table and see us, crowding around our table where we sometimes burst out laughing, sometimes have very serious discussion, and sometimes all sit there in silence writing. Like last Thursday, when Janet has us all take a pop quiz on the book! Never fear. This was the first time we’ve done a quiz, it was multiple choice, and you got to work with your neighbor.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Newbery winner:  
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle 

Being a Young Reader book this month we invited daughters who had read the book to join us! I wasn’t much of a reader in my early days so this was my first time reading about tesseracting and space travel with Meg. It seems those who read it as a child still loved it as an adult! I’m intrigued enough I’ll probably track down copies of the rest of L’Engle’s adventures with Meg and her crew. Did you read this as a child? Have you thought of re-reading any of your childhood favorites?

Another anniversary needs to be mentioned.

This month marked our 4th year as a book club! May of 2008 seems like ages ago and just the other day at the same time. Looking back at our past books I think I can remember every single meeting! Every single lady who has joined us, whether it was once or almost every time, is a blessing. I’m so lucky to count you all as friends!

I hope you will all stick around for many, many more books and months and years! As we being our 5th year we have a 5 year anniversary book club TRIP in the works! More details will be coming. Just know it’s going to be fun and you will want to mark that weekend as “booked” on your calendar!


June 14, 2012
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Summer Picnic at Geist Park @ 7:00pm

 “They mistake the stars of heaven with a ducks footprint in the mud.” -Les Mis

This book is long but not one to skip! I’m in the last 1/4th of the book and I know you’re going to love it!! It’s crammed full of such good stuff! Join us for great discussion and a pitch-in summer picnic at the park where we got our start as a book club.

The Good Earth recap: It was a tea party!

Previously, our tea parties have been at Tea’s Me. A place we absolutely love, by the way. We’re just trying to meet more in homes, and they’re not open in the evenings. (Instead we bought their tea and brought it to the party!)

We like to bring out grandma’s china anytime we can.

We had some requests for recipes, so here they are…
Cucumber Feta Rolls
Caprese on a Stick
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
Coconut Shortbread Cookies

Spinach Dip recipe at the end of the post .


Babies are always welcome!

A really good story!! I’m not talking about the book. Well, we did like the book. But the one we’re listening to here was really entertaining!

Hi friends!

Spinach Dip

1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained [I used a package marked 16 oz, and by the time it was drained, it had about 10 oz of spinach]
1 container (16 oz) sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 package (dry) KNORR Vegetable Soup Dip and Recipe Mix
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts drained and chopped (optional) [I didn’t include these this time]
3 green onions, chopped [I substituted fresh chives]

In medium bowl stir spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, soup mix, water chestnuts, and green onions until well mixed.
Cover, chill 2 hours to blend flavors.
Stir well. If desired, spoon into round bread bowl. Serve wilth cut up vegetables or chips.


Next moth: A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle
@Paradise Bakery, Hamilton Town Center 7pm May 10th

June: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Summer Picnic! Start reading today- it’s a long one!

Reading Challenge 2012


According to the winner of the $10 Amazon giftcard is commentor #1! Congratulations Wendy!!!

I’m writing today to extend a challenge. But keep reading, this isn’t going to hurt.

We are halfway through our fourth year together as a book club. Some of you have been here from the beginning, some joined along the way, and others of you have yet to make your first appearance.

You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.” -Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

The Challenge: Create a reading goal for your year.

See, that’s pretty simple, huh? It could be something as simple as reading four books this year or all twelve book club titles. It could be that you’d like to come to three book club discussions or maybe ten.

It doesn’t have to be a book club related, it could be a personal reading goal. Maybe you don’t call yourself a “reader” yet. Check out and listen to books while you’re cleaning or exercising. Did you get a new iPad or Kindle for Christmas? Maybe you can try to read two books a month or what about 52 books in 52 weeks?

I’d like this challenge to be a way to encourage you, not to create stress.

Last year my goal was to read 30 books. I met that goal around October or so, I ended the year with 38! is my favorite way to keep track of what I’ve read. A simple easy site, plus there’s a free app for my phone. If you join GoodReads, come find me (Sarah Ronk) and our book club (Broadened Horizons). It’s fun to look back at your year through book titles!

This year my goal is to read more biographies and fiction. It looks like my year won’t have as much free time as 2011, so I’m not making a numbered book goal. These two genres are ones I enjoy, but I just don’t get too very much.

Now, what do you say? Leave a comment and share your goal! One of you lucky lady will win a $10 Amazon giftcard! If you join (or are already a member of) GoodReads leave an another comment for an extra entry! (Sorry, this giveaway applies to local book club ladies only. You must be present at our Jan. 12, 2012 meeting to win. Contest ends Jan. 11th.)

Good luck and happy reading!!

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

January 12, 2012 @ 7:00pm
Paradise Bakery and Cafe