Clubbin' with Sutter Home

| Posted by colleen for Sutter Home

It seems safe to say that not a lot of us have time to read a whole book for fun, let alone get it done in time for a book club meeting. We all wish we could but, between work, family and other obligations, balancing time can get tricky. So we at SH have decided to take some of the stress off the idea of the book club while still having everyone participate and feel like they can juggle it all.

We know you're diggin' the idea of making time to read our book of the month and Harper Collins has selected some prime page-turners! But if you've found it difficult to make every book club gathering to get together and discuss, why not do it when it works for you?

Personally, I love the idea of getting together with friends to chat about what I'm reading. But, the reality is that sometimes I have to miss my weekly get togethers because other obligations come up and of course despite the fact that I may have nothing else going on that entire day, they will coincide with my book club. Murphy's law.

Thus, our online book club is born. (I know, we can't believe it took us this long to get it going either!)

Hop on the blog and discuss the book with others who have read it and have thoughts, feelings or questions. You can pose new questions or answers things that might be weighing on other clubmembers' minds. Just respond in the comments section and consider yourself participating. You can do it on your time, when it's convenient. Whether that's on a lunch break, after the kids are in bed or maybe when you're sipping your morning coffee (doesn't the idea of participating in a book club in pajamas sound fantastic?)

Each month, we will post a question or two from the reading guide to get you guys (and us!) going. Selfishly, this will be a great way to balance being in a book club while not feeling bad about my spotty attendance record at the monthly meeting because someone left the sprinklers on at the baseball field and practice times got switched to exactly my book club time. Hypothetically-speaking, of course!

Let's jump right in, because I have been totally engrossed in the July book, The Red Leather Diary.

Taking one of the questions from the Harper Collins Reading Guide for this month's book:

Opening the tarnished brass lock, Koppel embarks on a journey into the past. As she turns the diary's brittle pages, she is captivated by the headstrong young woman whose intimate thoughts and emotions fill the pale blue lines. "I had kept journals but never like this. Not a single day was skipped in the diary's full five years from 1929 to 1934," Koppel writes. Is Florence's inner monologue recorded on the pages of her diary a "real-life time machine," as Koppel writes, or also a portal for us to look at ourselves, daughters, mothers and grandmothers in a new light?

Enter my commentary here:
To me, Florence's writings are most definitely a "real-life" time machine, because they are true, first-person recollections. It isn't fiction based on history, or even second-hand recollections of the past. Not to mention that Koppel got a sneak peek at all the items that probably made the diary come to life (even more) for her-- the flapper costumes, the Bergdorf's coat, etc. That whole collection of trunks was like a huge time capsule and rather than hypothesizing what the items inside the capsule meant, the diary acted as a road map, with Florence's commentary serving as explanations for each item.

Feel free to throw in thoughts or responses to the second part of the question in the comments field. Or banter with my response above :) And we chat about other thoughts regarding the book too, it doesn't have to be just the above question. Harper Collins has posed a few other questions so check 'em out and throw your own commentary out there!

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