Thank you for Visiting

This book club provided an opportunity to discuss books with authors from 2009 - 2013. I like to think we were a group of daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, well... women finding time to meet while juggling daily life.

I hope you enjoy exploring The Manic Mommies Book Club Archives. We read 46 books over the years, with audio or written author discussions for each book read documented on this blog.

~ with kindness & gratitude, Mari

Summer Selections (June - August)

I can't believe how quickly the year is going by - we just wrapped up our May giveaway and it's time to announce our summer selections. We pass a milestone this summer, our July book is our 30th book club selection. Some of our readers have read every one, it's been a wonderful experience.

I hope you find time to read with us, read ahead, and enjoy summer - we have some fantastic selections and author discussions coming up!

Click here to read our book selections for January - May

June - August Selections:

The Love Goddess' Cooking School: Camilla’s Cucinotta: Italian Cooking Classes. Fresh take-home pastas & sauces dailyBenvenuti! (Welcome!)

Holly Maguire’s grandmother Camilla was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine—a Milanese fortune-teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can’t make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that’s why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart. So when Holly inherits Camilla’s Cucinotta, she’s determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother’s legacy.

But Holly’s four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla’s chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter’s heart. Juliet, Holly’s childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can’t find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad, Liam, from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend. As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla’s essential ingredients of wishes and memories in every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed—and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam . . . and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness.

The Violets of March: A heartbroken woman stumbled upon a diary and steps into the life of its anonymous author. 

In her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after.

Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily's good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.

Deep Down True: Newly divorced Dana Stellgarten has always been unfailingly nice—even to telemarketers—but now her temper is wearing thin. Money is tight, her kids are reeling from their dad's departure, and her Goth teenage niece has just landed on her doorstep. As she enters the slipstream of post-divorce romance and is befriended by the town queen bee, Dana finds that the tension between being true to yourself and being liked doesn't end in middle school…and that sometimes it takes a real friend to help you embrace adulthood in all its flawed complexity.

May 2011 Selection: Exit the Actress

I enjoy reading historical fiction so this month I'm excited to announce that we are reading Exit the Actress.  Having finished reading the book a few weeks ago I can tell you this is a delightful novel told with letters, articles and journal entries. We will have a lively discussion with author Priya Parmar late May and I can't wait to talk to her. 

Giveaway: Watch for a 24 book giveaway to post in the next day/two, on the Manic Mommies website

When: May 18th at 8PM EST
Where: Call-in details will be available a week before the call

Synopsis: While selling oranges in the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, sweet and sprightly Ellen "Nell" Gwyn impresses the theater’s proprietors with a wit and sparkle that belie her youth and poverty. She quickly earns a place in the company, narrowly avoiding the life of prostitution to which her sister has already succumbed. As her roles evolve from supporting to starring, the scope of her life broadens as well. Soon Ellen is dressed in the finest fashions, charming the theatrical, literary, and royal luminaries of Restoration England. Ellen grows up on the stage, experiencing first love and heartbreak and eventually becoming the mistress of Charles II. Despite his reputation as a libertine, Ellen wholly captures his heart—and he hers—but even the most powerful love isn’t enough to stave off the gossip and bitter court politics that accompany a royal romance. Telling the story through a collection of vibrant seventeenth-century voices ranging from Ellen’s diary to playbills, letters, gossip columns, and home remedies, Priya Parmar brings to life the story of an endearing and delightful heroine.

Author Q&A:

Tell us a little about herself: I love: words, writing, books, water, sunshine, dear friends, a worn stone, peppermint, old maps, new cities, lost shoes, pocket watches, 1920’s dresses, handwriting, peonies, sea shells, 1930’s poetry, broken in boots and language.

My mother taught me to write. Whether it was a birthday card or a post it or a thank you letter, she encouraged me to really think about the capabilities of a line, of a rhythm. She made it exploratory and fun.

Then I worked for Eve Ensler, the playwright of the Vagina Monologues, and she wields language with such gorgeous dexterity. She can make people think and experience with words.

I loved being in academic. I loved the rigor and discipline of study. It was wonderful training to write a historical novel. I love history, story and the fictitious place where they meet. I love hearing about what readers love to read. I find it tells you so much about someone.

A favorite book?  There are several that love in a wonderful flexible way that keeps them relevant and current in my life.

The Great Gatsby, I was asked once, who my favourite fictional villain was and I chose Daisy Buchanan. Her brittle, destructive, vigilance over her own happiness always shocks me. The irony of that being the exact element that keeps her unhappy is just genius.

Room with a View, Mr. Emerson’s unabashed love and hope for his son George always makes me feel brave and alive. George takes all that faith and puts it toward loving Lucy Honeychurch is such an active verb way. I love it.

Persuasion, I love the quiet steadfast way that Anne Elliot loves.

An Equal Music, It is just a shatteringly beautiful book.

For fun, I am reading Anne Fortier’s Juliet and loving it. For research I am reading about thirty books, among them, The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicholson. It is about the summer of 1911 in the last moments before the world fell apart.