Monday, January 14, 2013

Tragic. Truly. Our Blog is in disarray! It's been a few books and a few months since anythings been posted and it looks at though we're not on track. This of course is false, never has there been a more beautiful bunch of bookish broads, we dive into new selections monthly, and the truth is... I've been Yelping more than I've been blogging so the fault is mine alone! Let me catch you up to speed on the SDB&B's 2012 progress and fill you in on goo-gobs of goals for our group in 2013. The last post was the Hunger games: We loved it, and then moved on to some meatier selections. We tied ourselves to our chairs and got through 50 shades of Grey in record time. All three books were devoured by the group and the discussion was sexy, sassy, and super fun.
Thanks to Donna Relieve for planing our brunch at Cody's in LaJolla! Next we all got serious about our employment and decided on Tina Fey's Bossypants. The book left us a little wanting but it was entertaining! To challenge ourselves a little we decided to brainstorm and network as a group while discussing the book, then our personal employment goals, while picnic-ing in Del Mar. I headed up that meeting, thanks to everyone who brought brunch items and participated! What a lovely end to summer and some connections were really made. To keep with the motivating theme, we decided on The Four Hour Work Week for the next meeting. Thanks to Jocelyn Roncal, she handled our reservations at Prepkitchen, and we chatted about which methods in the book applied to each of us individually. It was our final meeting for 2012 before the holidays hit and one of our best yet. We welcomed new members and decided on The Secret for our first meeting in 2013. Vision boards are being made, physically and virtually, and I can't wait to see what our dreams are for 2013!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hungry for Hunger Games and Tender Greens!

The ladies of the SDB&B Club had our recent meeting to discuss book 1 of the Hunger Games series at The Tender Greens at Liberty Station.

To date this seems to be our favorite book selection and most of us finished the first book by meeting time-For those still working on it; Try and finish by the end of March for our SDB&BC Movie date in Del Mar @ Cinopolis to see the movie! Check out the theater here:

Trish will be buying the tickets since it has to be done all at once to reserve seats, probably the week after it opens on a weekday. More details here soon!

BOOK ONE: The Hunger Games

We did some questions to compare and contrast the book with our current society, alluding to connections between reality shows of today and the hyper version called The Hunger Games in the book. We also discussed the basic idea of the world outlined in the book-see the map of Panem below! So interesting!

Also this meeting we welcomed a few new members to our group, thanks for coming ladies! Hope to see you at our movie meeting and brunches in the future!

Onto the food!

We were thoroughly impressed with The Tender Greens. Some of us frequent the spot and for others it was the first time but we were all happy and there was not one single complaint. They even quickly reserved us a table for ten as we stood in line. Everything was fresh and delish, not our normal breakfast fare. The menu here focuses on salads, soups, free range meats, and the like. A good selection of beverages and a fast movie cafeteria like setting.Once we got our food we settled in outside and were relaxed and unrushed! Thank you Tender Greens!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Let the questions begin! The Hunger Games:

Found this questionaire online:

Food for thought! before we actually eat food and think...

1. How does Katniss feel about the country of Panem?
Why does she need to make her face “an indifferent
mask” and be careful what she says in public?

2. Describe Katniss’s relationships with Gale, with Prim,
and with her mother. How do those relationships
define her personality? Why does she say about Peeta,
“I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing
people”? How does her early encounter with Peeta
affect their relationship after they are chosen as

3. How does the fact that the tributes are always on
camera affect their behavior from the time they are
chosen? Does it make it easier or harder for them
to accept their fate? How are the “career tributes”
different from the others?

4. Why are the “tributes” given stylists and dressed so
elaborately for the opening ceremony? Does this
ceremony remind you of events in our world, either
past or present? Compare those ceremonies in real
life to the one in the story.

5. When Peeta declares his love for Katniss in the
interview, does he really mean it or did Haymitch
create the “star-crossed lovers” story? What does
Haymitch mean when he says, “It’s all a big show.
It’s all how you’re perceived”? Why do they need
to impress sponsors and what are those sponsors
looking for when they are watching the Games?

6. Before the Games start, Peeta tells Katniss, “. . . I want
to die as myself . . . I don’t want them to change me
in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m
not.” What does this tell you about Peeta? What does
he fear more than death? Is he able to stay true to
himself during the Games?

7. Why does Katniss ignore Haymitch’s advice to
head directly away from the Cornucopia? Did she
do the right thing to fight for equipment? What are
the most important skills she has for staying alive?
Her knowledge of nature? Her skill with a bow and
arrow? Her trapping ability? What qualities of her
personality keep her going? Her capacity for love? Her
intelligence? Her self-control?

8. Why does Peeta join with the Career Tributes in the
beginning of the Games? What does he hope to gain?
Why do they accept him when they start hunting as
a group? Why do groups form in the beginning when
they know only one of them will be able to survive?

9. What makes Katniss and Rue trust each other to
become partners? What does Katniss gain from this
friendship besides companionship? Is Katniss and
Rue’s partnership formed for different reasons than
the other groups’?

10. Discuss the ways in which the Gamemakers control
the environment and “entertainment” value of the
Games. How does it affect the tributes to know
they are being manipulated to make the Games
more exciting for the gamblers and viewers? Does
knowing that she is on live TV make Katniss behave
differently than she would otherwise?

11. When does Katniss first realize that Peeta does care
for her and is trying to keep her alive? When does
she realize her own feelings for him? Did Haymitch
think all along that he could keep them both alive by
stressing the love story? Are they actually in love?

12. What do you think is the cruelest part of the Hunger
Games? What kind of people would devise this
spectacle for the entertainment of their populace?
Can you see parallels between these Games and the
society that condones them, and other related events
and cultures in the history of the world?

13. In 1848, Karl Marx wrote in The Communist
Manifesto, “The history of all hitherto existing
society is the history of class struggles.” Discuss this
statement as it applies to the society and government
of Panem. Do you believe there is any chance to
eradicate class struggles in the future?

14. Reality TV has been a part of the entertainment
world since the early days of television (with shows
such as Candid Camera and the Miss America
Pageant), but in the 21st century there has been
a tremendous growth of competitive shows and
survival shows. Discuss this phenomenon with
respect to The Hunger Games. What other aspects of
our popular culture do you see reflected in this story?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book #5...and #6...and #7: The Hunger Games Trilogy

Okay okay, the holidays are OVER so! back to business! Our new book assignment and brunch date are as follow:

The Hunger Games ( book 1 of the 3 part series)meeting on March 4th!

We are reading the whole series which will take us through till June me thinks! so if you happen to not be able to put it down like me just continue onto the next book! and if you read them all in one weekend after having too much caffeine and insomnia like me...weeellll, read them again? worth it worth it worth it!

I'd love more commentary as we go on the blog and facebook page! If you have thoughts or questions about the read as we approach the meeting, post away! and if you come up with any good questions for the meeting, add those as well and I'll make sure they get on the list for discussion.

Good luck in finishing on time, and if not no worries, since we will be spending a few months on these you can always catch up.

Also in 2012, we will alternate brunches at member's homes and restaurants! the 3/4/12 location is to be announced, but we will go back and forth. If you would like to be the hostess with the mostest one meeting please volunteer! (we will do a potluck brunch like we did at my house and TAKE PICTURES NEXT TIME!our largest meeting yet all in sweatpants cuddled up and no evidence?? inexcusable!)

Hurrah for half the year of books planned already! May the odds EVER be in your

Also, if anyone is interested we should buy tickets to see the movie at the end of march! ( release date 3/23/12) Let go to the Cinopolis in Del Mar! Recliners and sushi at the movies, umm...sounds like a SDB&B Club MUST!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meeting # 4 Water For Elephants

Four meetings! I am so proud! Our numbers have been growing a bit,and I know we have all really been enjoying the meetings! We gave ourselves a bit more time to read this time, and as holiday scheduling can be rough and busy, it was much needed. This months selection is Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. The meeting will be held at my home so that we can have a potluck brunch and watch the movie to compare to the novel. Sweatpants & pillows encouraged! Bring a brunch dish to share! Sunday, December 4th, 10:30 A.M.

Book Questions for our descussion are listed below! See you there! WARNING: Spoiler alert, if you havent finished the book, go read!! then come back :)

1:Water for Elephants moves between a story about a circus and a story about an old man in a nursing home. How do the chapters about the older Jacob enrich the story about Jacob’s adventure with the circus? How would the novel be different if Gruen had only written about the younger Jacob, keeping the story linear and never describing Jacob’s life as an old man?

2:Did the chapters about the nursing home change how you think about older people? In what ways are the doctors and nurses condescending? How is Rosemary different? How do you treat older people?

3: In chapter two, the twenty-three year old Jacob starts his story by telling us he is a virgin. From the cooch tent to the erections the older Jacob gets when being bathed, sexuality is woven into the whole story. Why do you think Gruen added these details? What role does sexuality play in Water for Elephants?

4: When you first read the Prologue, who did you think murdered the man? Were you surprised by who the actual murderer was?

5: The book begins with a quote from Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss: “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant…An elephant’s faithful—one hundred percent!” What is the role of faithfulness and loyalty in Water for Elephants? How do different characters define loyalty? (Jacob, Walter, Uncle Al).

6: Why does Jacob get so mad about Mr. McGuinity lying about carrying water for elephants? Do you see and similarities of temperament between the young Jacob and the old Jacob?

7: In what ways is Water for Elephants a survival story? A love story? An adventure?

8: Water for Elephants has a happy ending for Jacob, but not for many other characters. Discuss Walter and Camel’s fates. How does tragedy fit into the story?

9: There is an “us and them” mentality in the circus between performers and workers. How does Jacob bridge these two classes of people? Why does each group hate another group? Does the circus merely mirror society in an exaggerated way?

10: Are you satisfied with the end?

11: In the Author’s Note, Gruen writes that many of the details in the story are factual or come from circus workers’ anecdotes. These true stories include the hippo pickled in formaldehyde, the deceased fat lady being paraded through town and an elephant who repeatedly pulled out her stake and stole lemonade. Gruen did extensive research before writing Water for Elephants. Was her story believable?

**please note, our next meeting will be Sunday, January 8th, 2012!! please mark the day off in your planners!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Book Club Meeting #3 & The Cottage in La Jolla

We all agreed, this October's book selection, The Pact, was our favorite read thus far in the club. We discussed the extremely interesting storyline and also the different points of view each character in the book represented. We addressed this book using a question list-listed for your review below!

Book club discussion questions for The Pact
1.How do you feel the extended family environment created by the Hartes and the Golds affected their children? Did it contribute to Emily's suicide?
2.Is there such a thing as being too close to another non-blood relative family?
3.How do you feel Chris handled his guilt? Can he justify helping Emily commit suicide?
4.How did the marital relationships of the Golds and the Hartes contribute to Gus's and Michael's temptations?
5.Is Emily correct in believing she had no other alternatives to suicide? Explain.
6.Is Melanie justified in her feelings and actions toward the Hartes following Emily's death? What might justify her behavior?
7.On page 35 is the following statement: "Chris and Emily had grown up with love, with wealth, and with each other. What more could they have needed?" Comment.
8.In what ways does jail change Chris? In what ways does he benefit from the experience, and in what ways does it hurt him?
9.Where do you see these characters in five years?
10.Is the punishment meted out to Chris just? In your opinion, is Chris guilty of murder?
11.What is the significance of the "blank"piece of paper that Chris finds in the tin can at the end of the book?

One of our main members, Donna, couldn't make it but posted the following comments on our facebook wall.!/groups/282804055079614/

"I loved the book, and even though I'm biased because I'm a fan of the author, I'm always impressed by her insightfulness into family situations and character's thoughts. Her thorough research definitely shined through on this book, with the medical aspects, courtroom, detectives, lawyers, etc. It really makes a difference and adds to the credibility of the plot and characters.
I could relate to Emily's issue with how ashamed and embarrassed she felt about what happened when she was a kid not being able to tell even Chris so I got really into this book. I loved all the twists and turns in the story and drama of course haha. It's so sad how people feel they have no other way out besides ending their life and the author painted those dark thoughts really well I thought"

We all thoroughly enjoyed the authors writing style and perspective. Our most successful meeting to date! and a special welcome and thanks for attending to Rachelle & Julie! What great additions to the group!!

Onto the FOOD.

The Cottage in La Jolla was a delight, worth the wait, and there IS a wait, but adorable with excellent service once we were seated. Pictures below! Menu items include Stuffed French Toast and delish hot chocolate!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Club Meeting "The Pact"

Hi Ladies! We will be meeting at THE COTTAGE in La Jolla for our meeting this month, Sunday the 16th, at 10:00 am!