Category Archives: Books

January 2017


Hi Ladies,

      In Sunday’s meeting at El Adobe, the group decided to have a 2-book option for this month’s read.  (It was also established that Andrea’s New Year’s resolution was to finish the book! ….no pressure, Andrea! 😉 So, without further ado- the next book options are:

The Lifeboat: Charlotte Rogan  Buy it here

“Grace Winter – new bride, new widow, apparently unscathed after 21 days drifting at sea in an overcrowded lifeboat – is a survivor. And survivors, as we all know, can be the most dangerous people of all. Charlotte Rogan’s terrific debut novel opens with a bang, when the ship carrying newlyweds Grace and Henry back to New York after the outbreak of war in Europe suffers an explosion and sinks. Somehow, Grace is squeezed into a departing lifeboat, captained by ship’s officer Mr Hardie, and along with a motley crew of passengers, mostly female, they push away from the wreckage, beating off drowning men and beseeching infants as they go.”


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The Chemist:  The Chemist is the second adult novel by American author, Stephenie Meyer Buy it here

Dr Juliana Fortis has been on the run from her department for three years, ever since they murdered her friend and mentor, Dr Joseph Barnaby. She had a very specialised job, and was very good at it. But she escaped before they could kill her (not that they haven’t tried since then) and she has become very good at staying alive and staying well under the radar. It’s exhausting, being a fugitive, changing her name, her vehicle, her home more often than some people change their socks, but it’s still better than being dead.
But now there’s contact from her former boss, Lowell Carston. An email “Tired of running? Policy has changed. We need you. Would an unofficial apology help? Can we meet? I wouldn’t ask, but lives are on the line. Many, many lives”. The smart thing would be to delete the email, and yet she replies. Maybe she is tired of running. What they’re asking her to do is right up her alley, and she prepares all her safeguards and makes sure she’s in complete control. But something’s just not right with her subject, and she begins to wonder if it is a trap after all. Meyer dedicates her story to Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross, and from the first page, it is easy to see why. Her heroine is extremely resourceful, smart, very inventive and prepared to the point of paranoia. Except paranoia is when you think they’re out to get you: in her case they really are. There is lots of action and quite a bit of violence, but also plenty of laugh-out-loud dialogue and a bit of romance. Meyer sets up her big exciting climax with a delicious irony in place, and a clever twist. This is definitely Meyer’s best yet: a brilliant read.

The game plan will be to meet in March to discuss the books.(location, date and time TBD)  If some of you are feeling very ambitious, maybe you’ll read both! No promises, but I would like to 🙂

Lastly, Lara has offered to host a girls get together on February 19th, to watch HBO’s Big Little Lies (in homage of our very first book club book!). We are thinking about doing a pot luck… so, if you plan on attending let’s determine who would like to bring what! More info by email soon.

Looking forward to the new year and good reads yet to come!




Luckiest Girls Alive


Yes, yes, yes, we all loved Paul Kalanithi’s thoughtful and moving memoir. We needed ZERO glasses of wine to get through this read. (Which is good, because there were a lot of pregnant bellies present at this brunch!) From his writing, to his humanity, we all fell in love with some aspect of this book, be it the writing style, the insight, the author, etc. If you haven’t read it/finished it, please do! You’ll be glad you did.


What a Dish was probably one of our favorite brunch spots to date. No one can believe we hadn’t been there yet as only a couple of us even knew it existed, nestled back behind the main building. We will definitely be back…. possibly just for those unbelievable cupcakes! And the Bloody Mary’s? Not pictured is Andrea’s Virgin Mary, which was about half the size, so we know what’s filling up that big ole’ jar! Great spot! Next time we need to remember to take a pic before people start splitting.


Next meeting will be Sunday 5/22/16 at 11:00 am at The Blind Pig in Rancho Santa Margarita ( 31431 Santa Margarita Pkwy, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 next to Carmelita’s). I think we said 10:30 originally, but they don’t open until 11. It’s not really a Sunday brunch, more like early Sunday lunch on the lake. Plus, there may be 2 new arrivals in-tow! We’ll play it by ear and see how the new moms are feeling before we try to get a head count. Our book of the month is kind of the Susan Lucci or Leo DiCaprio title of book club. Nominated often, but finally won the big award! Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll is our next read, and you can buy it here.


All this PLUS, we’re getting ready for a group movie date! Or at least we THOUGHT so! Turn’s out Big Little Lies (one of our first group reads) is being turned into a mini-series on HBO! Sounds like a wine & yoga pants kind of event to me 🙂 That’s a ways off yet, but we’ll mark our calendars once the launch date is announced. And, BTW, the cast looks AMAZING…. Reese & Nicole, PLUS Adam Scott, Alexander Skarsgård (swoon), and Laura Derns? Yes, please!

Tear Jerkers


Hi Ladies!

PhotoGrid_1457906044387FIRST of all… I cannot thank you all enough for the Baby Book Shower at the last meeting… what a total surprise! I am so honored to know beautiful and brilliant women like you, and I can’t wait to share the world of books with baby soon!
Orient was a success! I think everyone actually read it, ha! We were most impressed with the authors descriptive writing, which managed not to veer off into the realm of self indulgent, though we had a hard time caring about the fate of most of his characters. Most… not all.
We are so excited to do brunch on 4/3 at 10:30 am at What a Dish in Dana Point, 24921 Dana Point Harbor Dr b100, Dana Point, CA 92629 (behind Mahe) RSVP so we can make a reservation! This month is Lara’s choice (and formerly Liz‘s!), a tearjerker we hear!

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (Buy it here)

Because we’re overachievers (or at least like to think we are), here are some extra readings found by Liz that she thought we’d like after we wrap up this next read! She says:
“So excited to discuss this incredibly moving book. I’m adding to the reading list and suggesting these essays in addition to the book. One was written by the author before his book was released and right before he died. I recommend NOT wearing any mascara.
“I wish I could write half as beautifully as these two.” ~Liz
It’s relatively short, but that’s good because we will meet in only 2 more weeks! Sorry for the delayed notice, but hope to see as many of you there as possible!
Happy reading,
❤ Diana

Getting Re-Oriented


Hi ladies, Liz here!

I’m so excited to host our next book club at my house on Sunday, March 13 at 10:30 am.
(Address in email)

We are reading the thriller/mystery Orient by Christopher Bollen (buy it here) which promises lots of fun twists and turns. It’s also rather lengthy, clocking in at over 600 pages, so we better get a head start on this one! 😊

We had a great time chatting about our last book, The Night Circus. I think we all agreed it was incredibly magical with lovely writing and interesting characters. Some thought the love story to be like Romeo and Juliet while others thought the sparks between the lovers could have sparkled a little brighter, but all in all, I’d say we enjoyed it. It was clear, however, that we were LOST without you, Diana! We had some trouble picking a next book and we totally forgot to rate the Night Circus. We need our fearless leader back! I hope you are feeling better.

For our next get together, we are going to do a little potluck style brunch. Here’s a breakdown of what everyone has offered to bring:

Lara: hot egg dish
Holly: pastry
Leslie: salad
Andrea: fruit bowl
Jan: cinnamon roll
Liz: paper goods and other yummy bites and drinks

Diana, feel free to bring anything else you’d like. I think we have enough sweets. Actually, I think we have enough food. I don’t think this group will ever go hungry. 😉
Please let me know if you have any questions! I look forward to seeing you all very soon!


Holly Jolly Holidays


B9okclubFirst and foremost, thank you to our fabulous hostess with the most-est, Andrea, for having us all over for our Holiday Book Party! Our cookie exchange was delicious and our White Elephant Book Swap was surprisingly successful! Can’t wait to do that again next year! We didn’t have enough people finish In the Heart of the Sea to make a movie date (but those who finished it loved it! All thumbs up!), but I know some people made movie dates of their own so hopefully those who want can make it out to watch.


b08f3387827c43e391d91009bc9b9c8eWhen it came time to pick our next title Holly offered up Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus (buy it here) and I may, or may not (definitely may), have gotten super excited because it is my all-time favorite read. Hopefully I didn’t oversell it because I think my reaction hijacked the book vote! It did end up sparking an interesting conversation about everyone’s favorite titles, which are listed below for future reference! I think we also forgot to pick a theme for the next read so let’s just call it Anything Goes!







This is what our next meeting would look like with an unlimited budget 🙂

Next book club meet up is scheduled for Sunday January 31st at 11:00 am, at my (Diana’s) house. I will email the address. Just remember to bring a title/summary for the next read and a drink or brunch item (fruit salad, cheese & crackers, etc.). I will prepare a warm egg dish and some snacks as well so I’m sure there will be plenty of food… I’m pretty sure having enough food has never been a struggle for us!




Also, dress code is black and white! Start reading soon and you’ll understand 🙂 Until next time, gals, happy reading, happy holidays, and a happy happy happy new year!


b3f18e421aef02f8d0b8f7a501edadfeOther Favorite Titles:

Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield

The Power of One – Bruce Courtenay

Written on the Body – Jeanette Winterson

Let the Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist


December Update!



So I haven’t blogged anything this month because I’ve been lazy, so my apologies for not making sure everyone had details for this Sunday’s book club! I think most people got a text, but just to be certain, here are the details!

Please let me know if I forgot anything, it’s been a long month!:
Holiday Book Club at Andrea’s this Sunday 12/13/15 at 2:30 pm – men folk and kids welcome
Bring: an old book for a White Elephant Book Exchange – anyone who wants to participate is welcome as long as they bring a book to swap!
Bring: Cookies to share! Either individually wrapped for people to take home or a big platter so people can make their own cookie collection!
Bring: Your favorite beverage and/or snack to share
Bring: A title and summary for our next book vote! Also calendars to pick a January book club date (and maybe a Heart of the Sea movie night???)
Can’t wait to see everyone! Fa la la la la!
RSVP reply please so we know how many cookies to bake!
Chris sends his regards
We resurrected a previously unselected title, and I’m so glad we did! In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. Buy it here.

Dissing the Dolls


a7677dcbf7fd0a9d9f9557ce660b38caOur quiet Sunday brunch (for a change) at Salt Creek Grille was full of tasty cocktails, “creative” beignets, and beautiful weather in the cabana. The overall response to our scandalous smut, Valley of the Dolls, was basically… where was the scandal? Maybe it was dicey in it’s day, but not to this crowd. Maybe that says more about us, but we’ll leave that open to interpretation

We are VERY excited about our next meeting, though! Hosted by the lovely Andrea at her place (Address to be emailed in reminder email blast) at 4:30 on Saturday October 24th! We’re going to celebrate an early Halloween with a little RESURRECTION! We will be picking our next book from the list of other suggested, but not chosen, titles from past club meetings. Consider it a night of the undead unread! Wear a little costume, and bring a plate of tapas and a bottle to share! Everyone’s welcome! …Yes, btw, that is a picture of my book costume 😉

But I’m getting ahead of myself… our next read, in the autobiographies and memoirs category, will be Andrea’s pick: Decoded by Jay Z. Looks like a very interesting mix of memoir, autobiography and some of his lyrics “decoded” by the writer himself! Other suggested titles at this meeting were: Wild by Cheryl Strayed & Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham.

Jay-Z-DecodedALSO… BOOK CLUB EXTRA! We need to pick a date for our movie trip to see the Martian! Please leave your availability in the comments section below. I think we’d like to go as a group and see the movie at Cinepolis in Dana Point sometime soon!