A Christmas party recap

Thought I’d share a few glimpses of our book club Christmas party!
Sarah did an excellent job decorating her house for the occasion!

Our white elephant books sat wrapped under the tree waiting for us to finish our dissuasion of A Year In Provence. (Which I still say we should all just go there on a book club road (air and sea) trip some day!)

Don’t you love her tree with just sliver and green decorations? I do!

Table runner inspired by The Nester’s tablecloth.

Amazing hot chocolate bar fixings.
This truly scrumtious hot chocolate recipe that must be tried by all.
It just must. Helen at Tartelette is a genius.
And the beautiful book trees were made by our very own Wendy! Thanks Wendy!
I was having way too much fun enjoying the party and didn’t take very many photos.
We also enjoyed some heavenly Gingerbread apple upside down cake that Gwynne made from SmittenKitchen. It looked almost exactly like this… and tastes better than it looks if you can believe it!

This year we got festive with some Pomegranate-Champagne Punch from Martha Stewart
Minus the liqueur, but still YUM!

We finished up our evening with a lil ol’ game of cherades. Wonder what we were acting out?

…next year’s books! Shall I say entertaining? Yes.
(Janet and I will be sharing a vlog soon with all the 2012 book club books!
This will be the first time we’ve released all 12 books at one time. Be excited!)

Each guest left with a mini Broadened Horizons book club journal. I spent many nights cutting up old books, making library cards, counting pages and watching more than my fair share of Netflix while putting these together but enjoyed every minute!
See you January 12th for The Help at Paradise Bakery and Cafe at 7:00pm.
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Book Club Thursday

Christmas lights, book discussion, and a heavenly hot chocolate bar… book club Thursday’s are the best!! Especially when they come in December because that means our discussion is paired with our annual Christmas party!

If you weren’t able to come last year, or the year before, or the year before that, this isn’t to be missed!

a few images from Christmas’ past

We’ll be discussing A Year In Provence. We’ll provide the treats and goodies. Just bring your lovely selves and a wrapped book for the exchange.* We’ll have a stress free night this busy Christmas season! (Maybe that last one is your favorite reason to come?!)

Please let us know if you’ll be joining us and if you need directions to Sarah’s lovely home.

See you Thursday at 7:00pm!

* We are playing the secret book swap game again this year!! Please bring a USED copy of one of your favorite books wrapped (and unlabeled) for our book swap game.

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Living the Good Life: About Peter Mayle

I have to admit I’m a little jealous of Peter Mayle. Not only has he established himself as a very successful writer, he also had the opportunity to just up and move to an exotic place. While the January winds of Provence don’t sound appealing, the delicious food year-round and the beautiful weather during other times of the year that Mayle gets to enjoy certainly make me wish I could relocate to France for a while.

Peter Mayle was born in Brighton, England on June 14, 1939. He spent 13 years in the advertising industry before leaving to become an author. He started by writing educational books, including several sex education books. When A Year in Provence was published, it became a bestseller, and Mayle became most famous for his books written about this area of France (See a full list of his books here). Mayle has continued to write articles and books and released his most recent novel The Vintage Caper in 2009.

A Year in Provence won the British Book Award for Best Travel Book of the Year in 1989, and it was even turned into a British TV series that aired in 1993 (although it supposedly wasn’t very good). Mayle won the British Book Award for Author of the Year in 1992.

Want to find out more about Peter Mayle and A Year in Provence? Check out this interesting article The Guardian published in January of 2010 called “A Year in Provence: 20 Years Later.”  Mayle talks about how he happened to write the book when he had intended to write a novel instead, the surprising success of the book when no one thought it would sell, and how his life became more public when the book became a hit. As of the article’s writing, Mayle was still living in Provence. I wish I was there, too!

Since moving to an exotic location is unrealistic right now, I think I’ll settle for warm drinks and delightful conversation at our annual Book Club Christmas party. Hope you can join us on December 8 at 7 p.m. at Sarah J’s house. Please be sure to RSVP, we want to have enough goodies for you all!  **Don’t forget to bring a wrapped favorite book for our exchange game! (See the Evite or Facebook for details.) 

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle: An Introduction

Who wouldn’t want to spend a year in the South of France? I’m thinking old cobblestones and outdoor markets, an abundance of farm and wild animals accompanied by charming and quirky characters, and scenery that would bring me to tears.

salon de the
through the arch
hike to the calanque
calanque de sugiton
old man and the sea
vines

Most of us probably can’t afford an actual year in Provence, but A Year in Provence? Totally fits the budget!  It’s funny. It’s nostalgic. It’s travel writing at its best!

Join Peter and his wife as they face many of the everyday challenges we do, just in a more interesting place! Then, join us for the Christmas party on December 8th at 7pm. See you then!