Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review - An Embarrassment of Mangoes

By Ann Vanderhoof

Hatties’ Daytime Book Group
December 4, 2012

If you've ever had the desire to leave the everyday world behind and sail away to the lush life of the Caribbean then this is a must read book for you. Vanderhoof details how to plan and work, very hard, to make this endeavor happen.  Ann and Steve invite you along on their journey of physical hardship and self- discovery. An Embarrassment of Mangoes is a well written novel that steps out of the ordinary and shows what can happen when you let wonderful people enter your life and your heart.

Plus, this book offers an added bonus! Lots of yummy recipes...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Recipe Share From "Beyond the Hedges..."

Beyond the Hedges From Tailgating to Tea Parties was the most purchased cookbook for 2012 at Hattie's. To celebrate we are sharing a recipe!

This recipe is delicious... but obviously not healthy, perfect for holiday entertaining!

Warm Bacon Cheese Spread 1 (16oz) round sourdough bread
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 12 oz container sour cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 lb sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c chopped green onions
Assorted crackers

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut top quarter off of bread and set aside., Carefully hollow out bread, leaving a 1 inch shell.  Cut removed bread and loaf top into cubes, set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer.  Add sour cream, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire, mixing well until combined.  Stir in bacon and onion Spoon into bread shell.  Wrap in heavy foil. Bake 1 hour.  Serve with crackers and reserved bread cubes.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lunch with June Hall McCash

Jan. 15, 2013 at 12 noon
$30: Includes lunch and a copy of Almost to Eden or Plum Orchard
Or $44: Includes lunch and a hard cover copy of A Titanic Love Story

Lunch choices are:
4 salad medley, cookie
Turkey Avocado Club , Broccoli Salad, chips , cookie

Reservations and pre-payment required. 
554-8677 or

Monday, December 3, 2012

Now in Paperback - December

The Cove
A Novel, by Ron Rash
“Set during World War One, The Cove is a novel that speaks intimately to today’s politics. Beautifully written, tough, raw, uncompromising, entirely new. Ron Rash is a writer’s writer who writes for others.”
-Colum McCann

The Paris Wife
A Novel, by Paula McLain
“This beautifully written story captures that electric time, the 1920's in that electric city, Paris, through the eyes of Hadley Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's first wife. While Hadley reveals the strengths and, ultimately the weaknesses in her complex and fascinating marriage, readers are treated to a novel rich in detail and riddled with real-life characters who fascinate us all.” -- Jeanne Regentin, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI

The Snow Child
A Novel, by Eowyn Ivey

“This love story, set in Alaska, is really a love story about Alaska. Ivey describes the achingly beautiful landscape without making it seem an easy place to live. Based on an old fairy tale, this is the story of a childless couple who make a snow child one evening only to find a real little girl the next day. As the girl grows through the years, we know that this enchanting story will have the twists that we have come to expect with tales that teach us lessons about life. Friendships, marriage, parenthood, and survival -- all set in an unforgiving but entrancing landscape. I loved it!” -- Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

White Truffles in Winter
A Novel by N. M. Kelby
“This richly layered novel is based on the life of legendary chef Auguste Escoffier, who popularized French cooking methods at his restaurants at The Savoy and The Ritz at the beginning of the 20th century. Escoffier's love for two women: the beautiful, iconic actress Sarah Bernhardt and his lovely, poetess wife, Delphine Daffis, is at the heart of this complex tale. The characters are vivid and the food -- oh, the food -- is delicious!” -- Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review - The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers
By Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Discussed On November 6, 2012
Hattie’s Afternoon Book Group

"The Language of Flowers" is the story of Victoria, a young woman who has spent her life in the Foster Care system, and what she does with her life upon her emancipation on her eighteenth birthday. Victoria has such a love for flowers that she will uproot them from public and private places to re-plant them where they will bloom and flourish.

Flowers and their meanings become her way of communicating, dealing and negotiating with the relationships in her life. This book is very well written and deals with the consequences of a life spent in the foster care system, and the difficulties learning to trust and feel worthy of love.

After reading this book you will never look at your favorite flowers in the same way.

Submitted by Diane Vaughn

Monday, November 5, 2012

Book Review - The Reservoir

The Reservoir By John Milliken Thompson 

Although some members of the Third Tuesday Book Club felt that The Reservoir bogged down a bit in the middle, most everyone wanted to finish this novel, based on a true story of the drowning death of a young pregnant woman is post-civil war Richmond. Is it suicide or foul play?
The truth turns out to be very difficult to determine.

The author unravels the story through flashbacks, “confessions” and the trial itself which is firmly based in the historical record. As you would expect of characters involved in shady circumstances, they are not terribly likeable. Tommie, accused of Lillian’s murder, certainly has motive and has, at the very least, been a self-serving cad. Lillian’s inconvenient pregnancy is in the way of his social-climbing marriage plans to his boss’s daughter. Lillian seems to have been a victim all of her life, first at the hands of her father, and now finally Tommie. Willie, Tommie’s brother is a decent man, and although he can’t determine the truth anymore than we can, he is bound by blood ties to stand by his brother.

(Spoiler Alert, don’t read further if you don’t want to know!!!)

One of the strength’s of the novel is that we never really know what happened. The reader may find Tommie guilty along with the jury, but, the author lets us decide. He lays out a plausible story and leaves it to us to draw our own conclusions.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Now In Paperback - October & November Titles

Hattie's Books has the following new paperback books in stock! Stop by and check them out for yourself. 

Catherine the Great, Portrait of a Woman
by Robert K. Massie
“This is an admiring biography of the minor German princess who, through cleverness, audacity, and ambition, deposed her incompetent husband, a grandson of Peter the Great, to become Empress of Russia. An 'enlightened' autocrat, Catherine did not succeed at all she attempted, but Massie argues persuasively that she truly earned the title bestowed upon her by the Russian people. What a woman, what a book!” 
-- Arlene Cook, Watermark Book Co., Anacortes, WA 
Named One Of The Best Books Of The Year By: The New York Times • The Washington Post • USA Today • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • Salon • Vogue • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Providence Journal • Washington Examiner • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • BookPage • Bookreporter • Publishers Weekly 

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty 
A Novel, by Joshilyn Jackson
“The Slocumb women have the curse of having to deal with bad men and early motherhood. Mother Liza and and grandmother Jenny are doing everything in their power to make sure that 15-year-old Mosey doesn't find herself in the same predicament. Jenny unearths human bones while digging in the backyard, and with Liza too ill to explain them, Mosey decides to take it upon herself to find the answers to her family's secrets and end the curse once and for all. This is a fast-paced and enthralling read that pulls you in and won't let you go until the very end.” 
-- Morgan Kiedrowski, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI 

The Sisters
A Novel, by Nancy Jensen

“This is a powerful story of family through three generations, beginning with two sisters from a small town in Kentucky. In 1927, a tragedy and a misunderstanding separate them when they are both in their teens. We follow their stories and those of their daughters up to 2007. Jensen shows us that strong women are able to use lives cobbled together out of fear and pain as building blocks to create something resembling happiness, or at least stability. This debut novel is a page-turner with characters that remain with the reader long after the book is closed.” 
-- Marian Nielsen, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA 

When She Woke
A Novel, by Hillary Jordan

“Inspired by The Scarlet Letter, this is a stunning, suspenseful, and scary look at what happens to Hannah Payne when she is arrested and convicted of having an abortion in a futuristic America. Her punishment is to become a 'chrome,' a criminal whose skin color is genetically altered to reflect her crime. Hannah becomes a Red for the crime of murder, and she further complicates her situation by refusing to name the father of her unborn child. Once chromed, she is released and must survive as best she can. Her navigation through the perils of a hostile society launches Hannah on a journey of self-discovery and makes readers question the consequences of politicizing the personal. Jordan's characters are compelling and her pacing is flawless; I couldn't put this book down!”
-- Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY 

Birds of a Lesser Paradise
Stories, by Megan Mayhew Bergman 

“Birds of a Lesser Paradise is a poignant collection of stories, each filled with vivid imagery, surprising wit, and elegant prose. My copy is filled with dog-eared pages of Bergman's brilliantly written observations on who we are and who we hope to be. She masterfully captures the fragility of human life by placing it within and against the natural world. Read these stories. You will be so thankful you did, and then you will read them again!” 
-- Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL 

The Healing 
A Novel, by Jonathan Odell 

“During the years before the Civil War, Master Ben purchases Polly Shine, a slave woman known to possess healing powers, to help 'doctor' his slaves suffering from a mysterious plague. Polly also needs to pass on her healing knowledge to the next generation and focuses on Granada, a young slave girl. Granada is not so willing to accept her gift and is not interested in learning anything from Polly. Despite Granada's impatience and resistance, Polly teaches her that the gift of healing is much more than just learning to heal.” -- Julia Barth, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX “A storytelling tour de force.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Running the Rift 
A Novel, by Naomi Benaron 
Winner of the Bellwether Prize For Fiction 

 “Named for the Rwandan god of thunder, Jean Patrick Nkuba is destined for Olympic glory. Pushing his body up the misty hills of his village, he dreams not only of fame, but also of bringing peace to his country and equality to his Tutsi compatriots. When the floodwaters of hatred and war with the Hutu burst out over his homeland, Jean Patrick must run a different kind of race in order to survive. Both beautiful and heart-rending, horrific and hopeful, this novel carries a message that deserves to be widely read.” 
-- Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FLSacre Bleu 

A Comedy d’Art 
By Christopher Moore 

“Moore is easily the most humorous author around, but what is often missed in all the laughter is just how talented a writer he truly is. Sacre Bleu starts with the murder of Vincent van Gogh and as Lucien Lessard and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec try to track down the mysterious Colorman, Moore takes the reader on an informative tour through the Impressionist era. The research is exhaustive, the observations pungent, and the characters, both real and imagined, distinctive. Enjoy the read, but beware the wrath of Mere Lessard!” 
-- Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI 

The Wedding Quilt 
An Elm Creek Quilts Novel 
by Jennifer Chiaverini

“Written in Chiaverini's soft and gentle style, this latest in the series will appeal to quilters and non-quilters alike. Sarah has planned to make a quilt for her daughter as a wedding gift and has asked family and friends to sign blocks. Flashbacks take place as quilts, passions, traditions, struggles, and loves are remembered and shared.” -- Cheryl Kroger, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, NE  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wolf Hall - Book Review

Wolf Hall - Book Review
by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall was a challenging read for the 3rd Tuesday Evening Book Club. First, it is 600 pages long. Second, it takes a serious run at rewriting the history of Thomas Cromwell and his nemisis Sir Thomas More (St. Thomas More). Third, it is written in a somewhat unusual style -- Thomas Cromwell is referred to as "he" so often as to be somewhat confusing. Fourth, unless you are a student of Tudor England, the characters can be difficult to keep up with (there are far too many Thomas' and Stephens for example!).

However, I like a challenging read and Wolf Hall certainly fits into that category. Uniformly acclaimed by critics and the winner of the Man Booker Prize in England, Hilary Mantel's first book in a trilogy turns much of what we "know" about Thomas Cromwell on it's head. Wolf Hall visits some of the same territory as The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory, but with much more style, wit and scholarship.

Mantel's Cromwell is witty, kind to his family and supremely loyal. He continues to serve Cardinal Woolsey long after he has lost Henry VIII's favor. After Woolsey's death, Cromwell manages to gain a seat in the Parliment and into Henry's court, where he loyally serves the king. Cromwell works tirelessly to help Henry gain his anulment from Katherine of Aragon so that he has a chance to bear a legitimate son in wedlock with Anne Boleyn.

This Cromwell is compellingly re-imagined by Mantel. While many in our club found this book hard to finish, those who did were rewarded with inspired writing, vividly portrayed characters and an absolutely brutal sense of the times.

Mantel gives an interview after receiving the Man Booker Prize here. Scroll down to Media to see the interview.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bloodroot Book Review
By Amy Greene


 The flower of the Bloodroot can heal or poison depending on how it is used. The characters in this book have the same characteristic. 

Bloodroot tells of a generational cycle of love and true evil with sheer meanness having the winning hand. Set in Appalachia the book tends to pull out all of the stereotypes which are at times associated with this beautiful area. We experience the devastation of domestic violence, alcoholism and the lack of understanding between the Townies and the Mountain people. Social services are shown to be callous and unmindful of the consequences of taking children from their natural mountain environment and throwing them into the chaos of group homes.

Amy Greene is a skilled writer and we all felt that we should have liked the book more than we did.
Submitted by Diane Vaughn

Monday, October 1, 2012

Now In Paperback - September

Midnight Rising
by Tony Horowitz
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011
A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011

Late on the night of October 16, 1859, John Brown launched a surprise raid on the slaveholding South. Leading a biracial band of militant idealists, he seized the massive armory at Harpers Ferry, freed and armed slaves, and vowed to liberate every bondsman in America.
Brown’s daring strike sparked a savage street fight and a counterattack by U.S. Marines under Robert E. Lee. The bloodshed and court drama that followed also shocked a divided nation and propelled it toward civil war. Tony Horwitz's Midnight Rising brings Brown and his uprising vividly to life and charts America’s descent into explosive conflict. The result is a taut and indispensable history of a man and a time that still resonate in our own.


The Prague Cemetary
by Umberto Eco
The latest international bestseller from the author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. Nineteenth-century Europe—from Turin to Prague to Paris—abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. Conspiracies rule history. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, both real and imagined, lay one lone man? What if that evil genius created the world’s most infamous document?
The Boy in the Suitcase
by Lene Kaaberbol
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can't say no when someone asks for help—even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive.
Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy's are in jeopardy, too. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down.

The Orchard
by Theresa Weir

The Orchard
is the story of a street-smart city girl who must adapt to a new life on an apple farm after she falls in love with Adrian Curtis, the golden boy of a prominent local family whose lives and orchards seem to be cursed. Married after only three months, young Theresa finds life with Adrian on the farm far more difficult and dangerous than she expected. Rejected by her husband's family as an outsider, she slowly learns for herself about the isolated world of farming, pesticides, environmental destruction, and death, even as she falls more deeply in love with her husband, a man she at first hardly knew and the land that has been in his family for generations. She becomes a reluctant player in their attempt to keep the codling moth from destroying the orchard, but she and Adrian eventually come to know that their efforts will not only fail but will ultimately take an irreparable toll.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Upcoming First Friday Authors

First Friday Author - October 5th 5-8 is Dr. William H. Littleton

A Ballad of Sixty-Six Days Charles Wesley at Frederica

This Ballad of Sixty-six Days was written as a tribute to the man who reportedly wrote 9000 poems and is considered the greatest hymnologist in the English language. Charles Wesley had no easy time on St. Simons, but it is hoped the Ballad will show him as a young man of conviction and honesty, also as one with whom to share a meal would have been a pleasure. Part I of the Ballad is informed by John Wesleys diaries and by the author s own experiences of life on St. Simons Island, such as being bitten by no-see-ums and watching herons and egrets fish for lunch. Part II derives from Charles Wesley s Journal covering the period of March 9, 1736 to May 12, 1736. Illustrations by Ed Cheshire.

First Friday Author - November 2 5-8
Mattie Brown & Ed Hose

Fletcher Fly Flips and Flees Florida Written by Mattie Brown and Illustrated by Ed Hose

An exciting tale of Fletcher Fly, who does not like being called a pest and dreams of being a “super fly.” Filled with exciting moments, and many pictures and words with the Fl blend. Fletcher Fly and Spencer Spider have quite an adventure!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

There is still space in our Lunchtime Cookbook Club

Lunch Cookbook Club
Dates:  Tuesday Oct 9, Nov 13 and Dec 11at noon.

Cookbook:  Everyday Food:  Fresh Flavor Fast

There is still space in this new group.  Come join us for a delicious and fun lunchtime club! 

Nothing Daunted - Book Review

Nothing Daunted
By Dorothy Wilkerson

Everything was there to make this book a really good read. Two wealthy young women from Auburn, New York give up a very comfortable life and head west to teach school in the wilds of northwestern Colorado in the rural town of Hayden. They’re embraced by the community, find romance and have many challenges to face. One challenge is during the winter when they ride horses to school in snow that is as high as the horses’ withers. So why doesn’t this story grab you? To start it is stilted, reads like a textbook and goes off on so many tangents that it is hard to remember where you are in the story. The characters are never really brought to life and so you care for very few of them. Even the lead characters Dorothy and Roz seem peripheral to the history lessons that the author Dorothy Wickerson seems intent on delivering.

Nothing Daunted is not a book this group would recommend.
Submitted by Diane Vaughn

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Five Quarters of the Orange 

by Joanne Harris

The ladies of the Hattie’s daytime book club had a very lively discussion about Joanne Harris’s book Five Quarters of the Orange. The book is the dark and depressing story of the Dartigen family living in the Loire River Valley in WWII during the German occupation. Fifty plus years later, Framboise Simon nee Dartigen returns to the burned out family home where she hopes for a new beginning. Her mother, Mirabelle, is still held responsible by the villagers for the terrible tragedy that took place during the war. Returning as a widow with her mother’s recipe book, Framboise restores the old homestead and opens a restaurant, setting a course that will reopen the past. 

The book discussion elicited comments such as “this family is so dysfunctional that they make mine seem normal,” “this should have been a short story,” and “evil, evil child.” Family, friends, acquaintances and country are all betrayed for such little gain. We also saw the price of drug addiction and the death of innocence. We didn’t like any of the characters and two members said this is the first book club read they didn’t finish. For me, it was a very emotional book and I had to stop and start many times. Everyone found the book to be well written but only one person said that they would recommend this book to others.

Was reading this book a waste of time? Personally I didn’t think so. This book, though not memorable, did shed some light on how a village coped during an alien occupation and asked the question would our town act the same. 
submitted by daytime club member Diane Vaughn

Monday, August 6, 2012

Now in Paperback - July & August

Here are a few of the books recently released in paperback that are in stock at Hatties...

Rules of Civility
A Novel
by Amor Towles

“This flawless debut novel follows two young women, boarding-house roommates, making their way in 1938 Manhattan. A chance meeting with an enigmatic young businessman launches the pair into areas of society heretofore closed to them, where they encounter a large cast of characters both charming and repellent. With echoes of Fitzgerald, Towles evokes effortlessly the era of pre-war Manhattan, from the workplace politics of a law office secretarial pool to the alcohol-fueled lawn party of the Long Island gin-and-horses set. This is an astonishing book!”

-- Matthew Lage, Iowa Book L.L.C., Iowa City, IA

The World We Found
A Novel
by Thrity Umrigar

“Umrigar's latest recalls the halcyon days at university in 1970's Bombay, which were characterized by intense friendships, fierce ambitions and a determination to change the world, as remembered by four women whose lives have ended up radically different from their collegiate dreams: one, dying in America, whose last wish is to see her three friends, two living in upper middle class Mumbai, and the fourth who has been long-estranged from their circle. Painful secrets, both past and present, threaten to prevent the reunion. Blood may be thicker than water, but Umrigar proves that friendship is thicker than blood in this marvelous novel that is both fascinating and disturbing by turns.”  -- Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

A Good Hard Look
A Novel of Flannery O'Connor
By Ann Napolitano

“Ann Napolitano’s novel, A Good Hard Look, with O’Connor occupying a central role, does the Georgia author proud. Be prepared to like this book. It’s complicated and peacock-haunted and strange…’ Does one’s integrity ever lie in what he’s unable to do?’ O’Connor once asked. At the heart of Napolitano’s brave book lies that question: the mysteries of freedom, its price, and the unmarked paths we take to get there.”  -Atlanta Journal

The Magician King
By Lev Grossman

“A spellbinding stereograph, a literary adventure novel that is also about a privilege, power, and the limits of being human. The Magician King is a triumphant sequel.”


The Train of Small Mercies
by David Rowell
“Old and young, black and white, nuns and bikers, girls in bikinis and men in military uniforms, all gathered to pay homage to Robert Kennedy as his funeral train passed by. This novel depicts a day in the lives of six characters who are looking for hope in an America overcome by grief. All ask the same question: Who now will stand up for those who need championing? A stunning debut!” -- Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Untold Stories
by Monica Ali
“Spoiler alert! This perfect summer read ties into the recent Royal Wedding so tightly that one feels rather guilty in a faintly voyeuristic way. It is also fascinating as an imagined, but quite believable, character study. And best of all, it comes from the pen of the wonderful Monica Ali!” -- Dana Brigham, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

Friday, August 3, 2012

Daytime Cookbook Club Update!

Let's Get Organized!

On August 14th at noon there will be an organization meeting for Hattie's Lunch Cookbook Club. This meeting will be to EAT! and discuss possible cookbooks. If you aren't sure if a cookbook club is for you, this is a great opportunity to find out. Join us for this first meeting and see what you think!

The previously decided details are:
  • We plan to meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each Month
  • Members will make a recipe from the "Cookbook of the Quarter"

Now, for the most important part... the eating... Marcia will assign a category (appetizer, main, sides, dessert). Once you have your category, make a recipe that you love (or maybe want to try out) to share. Spread the word!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hunger Games - Book Club Review

The average age of The Hunger Games readers bumped up ever so slightly as our Third Tuesday book club took it on for it's mid-summer selection. Of course, this title was not without controversy, it's violent premise of a fight to death among a group of selected teenagers was a bit too much for some of our members. A few members opted out of reading the book, but most decided to give it a try. For those that decided to take the plunge, they were, to a person excitedly fighting over the copies of the next book in the trilogy, Catching Fire

I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins several years ago for a young reader's book club. I was riveted by the dystopian story and completed the trilogy in a matter of days. Reading it for a second time, I found the book even more compelling. Suzanne Collins gets so much right. The action is fast-paced; the world she has created is terrifying, but believable; and she doesn't skip over the psychological effects of the games. Katniss, thinking about her first "real" kill in the games thinks, "Numerous animals have lost their lives at my hands, but only one human. I hear Gale saying, 'How different can it be, really?' Amazingly similar in execution. A bow pulled, an arrow shot. Entirely different in the aftermath."  
Violence is in no way glorified in the pages of The Hunger Games.

It is this attention to the moral questions which turns the savage premise of The Hunger Games on it's head. As narrator, Katniss transports us from her familiar world of "the Seam," an impoverished Appalachia coal mining district where "starvation" was not an uncommon end, to the capital, Panem, where citizens live an oppressively lavish lifestyle of gluttony and self-adornment. Their obsession with the Hunger Games, a reality show designed to keep the outlying districts in submission is truly revolting.

Katniss, like all well-drawn heroes is flawed, blinded by her need to depend only on herself. Finishing The Hunger Games, the third Tuesday book club was ready to be carried with her into Catching Fire

How about you? Was this a book you couldn't put down? We'd love your input.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Doctor & The Diva - Book Club Review

Many thanks to Ruth Heaney for this guest post.

The city is Boston. Erika von Kessler is unable to conceive after six years of marriage. She is a talented mezzo-soprano whose life is changed without her consent. Peter Myrick, her husband, is a prosperous businessman whose enterprises require frequent travel. He has the means and determination to father a child with his wife by artificial insemination. Dr. Ravell is an almost thirty year-old obstetrician whose reputation is on the rise owing to his success with the newest medical techniques. The medical decisions he makes will forever change his life and the lives of Erika and Peter.

Here is the twist. The Doctor and The Diva is set in 1902, not 2012. In many respects, the character’s dilemmas in 1902 are like those faced by couples today who yearn to have a family but are unable to do so without medical assistance. How many tests are necessary or appropriate? How will a child affect the careers of the partners? How long do you let the biological clock tick, or do you resort to every available medical option? How does a couple balance a career and a family?

The Doctor and The Diva is a story of science colliding with human desires. The results may not be what a reader wants, but they are what happens when the heart and not the mind rules the day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Are you interested in joining a Luncheon Cookbook Club?

Roasted Beet Salad

How does it work?

Once we have enough members to begin, we will meet on the Second Tuesday of each month at 12:30 p.m.

Quarterly, each member purchases the chosen cookbook from Hattie’s Books. Each month, the members make a recipe from the “Cookbook of the Quarter” assigned from a rotating category. Food categories are assigned by Marcia, you decide on the recipe from the Cookbook!  Make one recipe only.

Coordinate the dish you are making with others in your category to avoid duplicate dishes (email addresses provided). Refer to the menu from previous dinners so that we can enjoy different recipes each month. Paper goods are provided (donations requested periodically) or some members bring their own tableware.

Bring your own wine, beer or beverage of choice.  


Join us for a great lunch each month. . . eating, socializing, making new friends and having fun!


Please contact Marcia at 554-8677 or for details.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer '12 Reading Suggestions from the Indie Next List

Each summer, Indie Bound puts together a list of book suggestions for reading groups. Many people read from this list all year long... I'm including the top five picks from the list here. For the full list and more details, stop by Hattie's Books in downtown Brunswick! It's a great time to read.

The Tiger's Wife
A Novel, by Téa Obreht

“Very rarely does a first novel announce a major new talent, but so it is with The Tiger's Wife. Brilliantly using myth and legend from the Balkans, Tea Obreht tells the story of a young doctor, her grandfather, and their shared history against the backdrop of the area's decades of turmoil and sorrow. This brilliant effort evokes echoes of Borges and Garcia Marquez, and is certain to mesmerize the reader.”
-- Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

The Art of Fielding: A Novel
Chad Harbach
“Every now and then, a life-affirming novel comes along that gets everybody talking and The Art of Fielding is such a book. It is an accomplished first novel sure to raise the bar for every debut in the near future. Building from the loaded bases of a Wisconsin college baseball field, Harbach's team is like family; we cheer their victories, feel their losses, and grow up a little more with every lesson learned. Anyone claiming to be a reader cannot miss this grand slam of a book.”
—Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel
Jan-Philipp Sendker
“This is one of the most beautiful love stories I've ever read. Two people, doomed to a life of misery, find pure happiness in sharing their love even when time, distance, and family keep them apart. While you are reading this wonderful novel, your life might actually change; you will notice things you never did before, and your senses will be heightened and sharpened whether hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, or even seeing. Read this book -- you will neither regret nor forget it.”
—Jean-Paul Adriaansen, Water Street Books, Exeter, NH
Turn of Mind
Alice LaPlante
“This is an emotionally intense story of a 64-year-old hand surgeon, Jennifer White, as she experiences the unyielding onslaught of dementia. On any given day she is lucid, catatonic, violent, or very, very sly. Does she feel any remorse for her less-than-stellar parenting of her two children? Did she kill her friend Amanda and amputate her fingers? LaPlante's exceptional skill with words puts readers inside this brilliant woman's mind so that we might experience her anger, frustration, and increasing confusion. This is a remarkable, heart-wrenching, and utterly compelling debut novel.”                        —Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

State of Wonder: A Novel
Ann Patchett
“When Marina Singh receives a note that her office mate, Anders Eckman, has died in the Amazon while investigating scientific work on female fertility, she is persuaded to follow him into the jungle in search of the doctor with whom he worked -- who has also exerted a crucial influence on Marina's life - and to retrieve Anders' personal effects. This spellbinding, richly atmospheric novel raises ethical questions about scientific research and discovery, loyalty, honesty, and love. Not to be missed!”         —Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Now in Paperback

State of Wonder

by Ann Patchett

“When Marina Singh receives a note that her office mate, Anders Eckman, has died in the Amazon while investigating scientific work on female fertility, she is persuaded to follow him into the jungle in search of the doctor with whom he worked - who has also exerted a crucial influence on Marina's life - and to retrieve Anders' personal effects. This spellbinding, richly atmospheric novel raises ethical questions about scientific research and discovery, loyalty, honesty, and love. Not to be missed!”
Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

The Lady of the Rivers

by Philippa Gregory

“I was riveted from the beginning of this amazing novel, when Jaquetta, a powerful, passionate woman born in tumultuous times, is introduced to Joan of Arc. From Jaquetta's marriage at a young age to a much older duke, and how she negotiates their relationship and her place in court, to her falling in love with a brave knight, Jacquetta's story will keep you transfixed. A riveting read for lovers of historical fiction and fans of Philippa Gregory. You won't be disappointed!”
Kym Havens, Wellesley Booksmith, Wellesley, MA

Caleb's Crossing

by Geraldine Brooks

“Caleb's Crossing reveals how early pioneers and native inhabitants of what is now Martha's Vineyard were capable of intense friendship and a sharing of spiritual beliefs despite dissimilar backgrounds. Employing the language of the time, Brooks once again proves her prowess in this story of the education of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Caleb, the son of a chieftain, faces criticism from his own people as well as from white society. The narrator, Bethia Mayfield, desires the same education as Caleb but is denied due to her sex. The two become lifelong friends and their story is an emotional and evocative look at a crossing of cultures.”
Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI 

The Language of Flowers

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

“During the Victorian era, flowers conveyed expressions of love and were often used as a form of communication. Victoria Jones, an abandoned child who has been evicted from many group homes, learns this language, and upon her emancipation at age 18, eventually finds a job with a caring florist. A chance meeting at a flower market forces her to confront her past and learn to love and trust someone again. Diffenbaugh's extraordinary debut brings forth in elegant prose the emotions of anger and mistrust, love and loss, and the possibilities for a second chance at happiness.”
Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

The Last Werewolf

by Glen Duncan

“With this novel, Duncan has reinvented a genre. Jake Marlowe is literally the last werewolf in existence, and after 200 years he has resigned himself to a date with his executioner at the next full moon. That is, until everything changes. Duncan's razor-sharp writing combines all the gory raunchiness of classic horror with the elegance of top literary fiction, while also managing to include a considerable amount of hip pop culture. This is a smart and engaging thriller that is not to be missed.”
Katherine Osborne, Kennebooks, Kennebunk, ME

Friday, April 27, 2012

Special Lunch and Discussion with Sea Change Author, Karen White

Hattie's Books is hosting a luncheon and book discussion with Karen White on Tuesday, June 19th from 12:30 to 2:00. Karen newest book, Sea Change is set on St. Simons Island. On her website White says, "it's a book about second chances, leaps of faith, and love."

Lunch will be catered by Suzanne Scaglione's Catering By Design. 
Please choose between:
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Roll, Dessert Bar & Beverage 
4 Salad Medley: Shrimp salad, Pasta Salad, Chicken Salad, Fruit, Cookie & Beverage

The luncheon event is $30 and includes a signed copy of Sea Change. Seating is very limited so make your reservations soon! Payment required with your reservation. Contact Marcia at or 912-554-8677. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

May's First Friday Details Posted in Events!

Check out the details here for May's First Friday author, Kathy A. Bradley. She will be signing her book,  Breathing and Walking Around Meditations on a Life from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. As always, we'd love to see you!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Everyday Food... Three Versions From the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living

You can love Martha, Inc.or hate her (it?) but the formula used to create the Everyday Food franchise is so very appealing. The subtitles for these three cookbooks are Great Food FastFresh Flavor Fast and Light (all recipes under 500 calories).

For the most part, the recipes are flavorful, well written, beautifully photographed, with readily available ingredients. These are fast recipes, but not fast food. For me, the real test with any cookbook is: how often do I use it? These are cookbooks I go back to again and again just because of their "everydayness." To tell the truth, I rarely follow a recipe exactly, but I know folks who do, and have enjoyed using this cookbook because the recipes work well. Another bonus for those who care, nutritional information is included with all the recipes.

Great Food Fast came first, and it is divided by seasons, then by course, with soups & salads, main courses, pasta, sides and desserts in each season. It ends with an excellent section of Basics. I made the Spicy Paprika Rub from the Basics section just last week to cover a pork roast which I grilled. Delicious!

Next came Fresh Flavor Fast which broke away from the seasonal approach and is divided simply into courses, with a helpful Basics, Tips & Techniques Section. The tips in this book are not the standard run of the mill stuff... just looking through it as I was preparing this blog post, I learned how to pit an olive.  The nutritional information for Fresh Flavor Fast is not with the recipes, but it is included in an addendum. A favorite recipe from this book is the "Hot Spinach Dip" which is an easy, crowd pleasing appetizer for any party and it uses fresh spinach!

The newest addition, just in time for bathing suit season is called simply Light. Each healthy recipe includes calories, nutrition breakdown and helpful intros which include "Why It's Light", "Good To Know" and "Flavor Boosters." Light goes back to the seasonal approach, dividing the recipes into season friendly chapters. To me, an advantage of this approach  is that I have fewer recipes to choose from when they all look delish!

I would recommend any of these cookbooks to a friend and have purchased them as gifts. You don't have to love to cook, to love these books!