Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Paris Wife: Three Questions While You Start Reading

May 1st is just around the corner, so I hope everyone is ready to get started on The Paris Wife.  I have found a great website:  The Princeton Book Review that features questions for book discussions and has a lot of great recommendations for other books.  I'm going to post three questions for you to think about as you start the book.  Feel free to post your comments anytime--there is no certain time where you have to be so far in the book.  If you have any questions while you're reading, or want to post something you feel is important in the book, do so!  

Here are the questions, courtesy of The Princeton Book Review:

1. In many ways, Hadley's girlhood in St. Louis was a difficult and repressive experience. How do her early years prepare her to meet and fall in love with Ernest? What does life with Ernest offer her that she hasn't encountered before? What are the risks?

2. Hadley and Ernest don't get a lot of encouragement from their friends and family when they decided to marry. What seems to draw the two together? What are some of the strengths of their initial attraction and partnership? The challenges?

3. The Ernest Hemingway we meet in THE PARIS WIFE—through Hadley's eyes—is in many ways different from the ways we imagine him when faced with the largeness of his later persona. What do you see as his character strengths? Can you see what Hadley saw in him?

Also, if you read my previous post about A Moveable Feast, you know I'm going to read that at the same time.  A few other book club members are also taking up that challenge.  Please add your comments about that, too.  I think it's going to give me a better view of what happens in The Paris Wife.

Happy May 1st, everyone!  Here's to the start of a great book club.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Paris Wife: Some Photos

I don't know much about Ernest Hemingway, except for reading a few of his books and that he committed suicide.  I'm looking forward to reading The Paris Wife--even if it is fiction.  Mostly because I can't wait to read about Paris in the 1920's!

1920's Paris

Here's a picture of Ernest, Hadley, and their son in 1925:

I also recently discovered that A Moveable Feast is about their time in Paris.  So now I may have to read it while I read The Paris Wife.  Anyone on board with me for that?  I will be posting a few reading group questions each week in May. You can certainly comment on them as you will, or wait until the end of May to discuss questions.  Either way, I am happy to oblige!  If you are interested in learning more about Hadley's life, I suggest checking out Wikipedia for a brief biography of her.  I'm going to start reading May 1st!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: A Visit From The Goon Squad

The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction was announced this morning, and it's A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.  I have not read this book, but I am intrigued by her ideas of time.  Here's what has to say:


Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
One of the New York Times Book Review's Top 10 Books of 2010
One of the Best Books of the Year: Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, The Miami Herald, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Newsday, NPR's On Point, O, the Oprah Magazine, People, Publishers Weekly, Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Slate, Time, The Washington Post,and Village Voice
Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

The New York Times Book Review - Will Blythe

Although shredded with loss, A Visit From the Goon Squad is often darkly, rippingly funny. Egan possesses a satirist's eye and a romance novelist's heart. Certainly the targets are plentiful in rock 'n' roll and public relations, the twinned cultural industries around which the book coalesces during the period from the early '80s to an imagined 2019 or so. No one is beyond the pale of her affection; no one is spared lampooning. Often she embraces and spears her subjects at the same time.
More Reviews and Recommendations


Jennifer Egan is the author of The Invisible Circus and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in such magazines as The New Yorker, Harper's, GQ, Zoetrope, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. Egan lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn. 
For further information about Jennifer Egan, visit her Web site at

If you are interested in learning more about Jennifer, here's her website: .  Her books available in paperback and ebook format.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yes, I Have More Questions!

Hi everyone!  I was thinking about how to keep the discussions going for the books we read each month, and I thought of an idea--please tell me if this gets a thumbs up, or a thumbs down.

I will post some questions each week about our selection, and you can answer them as you see fit.  This way, we have an ongoing discussion during the month, and it gives you something to think about as you are reading.

I was thinking of putting this club on Goodreads.  That way, you can go on and add comments whenever you want, and more people can also join.  Goodreads is a free book site and it's pretty awesome.  Does this sound good, or do we just want to keep it on this blog?  Either way is fine with me.  It's all about what you want!

I believe our reading selections for the first three months are as follows:

The Paris Wife-May

The Red Leather Diary-June

And--for July: The Great House

These are all available as ebooks, or at your local bookstore, used bookstore, or library.  I believe they are all available as audio books, too.    Does anyone mind reading hardcovers, or do you all prefer something in paperback, to keep the cost down?  Or does it matter?  I am fine with either hardcovers or paperbacks.