Share your thoughts on What’s That Book – an invitation to you!

Hello readers and bloggers! Some of you may remember What’s That Book?, an occasional feature by guest readers. (Here’s one from author Tammie Painter, reviewing The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick.) This feature has been dormant for a while and now I’m bringing back an updated version. So if you’ve read something good and want to talk about it, I’d love to have you as a guest on my blog.

If you are interested, please email Book Club Mom at and I’ll send you more information.

Hope to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s February recap

Hi Everyone! So the crocuses you see here made an early appearance this month. We got to enjoy them for a week or so until our bunnies had them for breakfast. Oh well, it happens every year. More flowers on the way!

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick rundown of February’s posts:

Book Reviews:

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak – an interesting novel about the last minutes of awareness of a prostitute who is murdered in Istanbul, based on the idea that the mind continues to work in the moments after death. Read my review here.

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny – this is my second Louise Penny book in the Inspector Gamache series, set in Canada. You don’t have to read them in order. She’s a very good writer and I’m sure I will read more of her books. Check it out here.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – I loved this book about a nearly-adult brother and his sister whose stepmother casts them out of their home after their father dies. There’s so much more to the story than this, though. It came under heavy fire in my Facebook discussion group, but I’m holding firm that Ann Patchett has written another great book. See why here.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb – I’ve been wanting to read this book about psychotherapy for almost a year and I’m so glad I finally got to it. Gottlieb is a best-selling writer, psychotherapist and advice columnist and she writes about her own experiences as both therapist and patient. See my review here.

What’s That Book?


The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper – blogging friend Tammie Painter shared her review of this charming part slice-of-life, part humor, part adventure, and part mystery novel. See what she says here.


Who’s That Indie Author?

Meet Berthold Gambrel, science fiction, horror and fantasy writer and author of The Directorate, The House of Teufelvelt, 1NG4, Vespasian Moon’s Fabulous Autumn Carnival. He’s a combination pantser/planner and the proud owner of a flip-phone. Now that’s something we should all consider! Read his profile here.

Say hello to Deanna King. She writes fictional crime, fantasy romance and children’s stories and is the author of Gracie’s Stories, Twist of Fate – A Jack West Novel  and has a new Jack West novel in the works. Deanna thinks print books will always be around and could go the whole day without checking her phone. Meet Deanna here.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Digital Shelf Shocker! – I have an embarrassing number of TBRs on my Kindle.
10 commonly misused phrases – always fun to see what we get wrong!
Fiction or nonfiction? Twitter reading poll results – which do you prefer?
Meet my top commenters! – a big part of blogging
The happy coincidence of my blog and my job – it’s a great combo

Hope you had a great month. March on to March!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

What’s That Book? The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

TitleThe Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Author:  Phaedra Patrick

Genre: Fiction. Tough to classify, part slice-of-life, part humor, part adventure, and part mystery


What’s it about?  A reclusive widower has finally decided to go through his wife’s belongings when he finds a charm bracelet he never knew she had. Curiosity gets the better of him and he slowly unravels the story behind each charm. This discovery not only reveals things he never knew about his wife, but also forces him out of his comfort zone and helps him realize a side of himself he never knew he had.

How did you hear about it? Just a random bit of browsing through the library catalog

Closing comments: This is a charming (sorry for the pun) slice of life story that readers of a Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will enjoy.

Contributor: Tammie PainterI turn wickedly strong tea into imaginative fiction – You can read about my adventures over at

Many thanks to Tammie Painter who was generous enough to submit two book reviews for What’s That Book. Click here to read her review of A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer.

Have you read something good?  Want to talk about it?
Consider being a contributor to What’s That Book.

Email Book Club Mom at for information.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!


Guest Blog by Dawn: A review of Tell the Wolves I’m Home

tell the wolves picTell the Wolves I’m Home

by Carol Rifka Brunt

Rating:  *****

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt is a book about love, loss and family during the early onset of the AIDS epidemic in 1987. June Elbus is the fourteen-year-old narrator who adores her uncle and godfather, Finn Weiss. Finn, in addition to being June’s favorite person in the world, is a world-renowned painter who is dying of AIDS. His last great painting is a portrait of June and her sister Greta, a project designed to allow his family to spend time together before his death.

Greta is a talented singer who used to be very close with her younger sister June, but recently their relationship has become fractured and strained. At first, Greta appears to be the stereotypical bratty and one-dimensional Golden Child character adored by all, but we eventually learn that Greta has demons of her own. Having a sister and understanding the sometimes love-hate nature of sisterly relationships, I felt their relationship rang true. I know not everyone agrees with this. Consider yourself lucky if you have a sister and cannot relate to Greta and June in any way.

Their portrait, Finn’s last known work, is considered very valuable once it has been discovered. What transpires next is central to the plot, so I won’t go into details. But I will say that everyone manages to communicate through this painting, and the concept of negative space is introduced. Negative space is the space between the subjects, and a key element of good artistic composition. Sometimes the most interesting things are revealed in the space in between.

After Finn’s death, June befriends his long-time partner, Toby, who has been kept a secret from June. Toby and Finn’s life is was rich and full, but not something Finn could share with his beloved niece due to the anti-gay mindset of the times. Negative space, so to speak. Having grown up in the 1980s, it’s really jarring to recall those days when people understood so little about HIV and AIDS, and when it meant an automatic death sentence. It is a reminder of how far our society has come, both in science and in tolerance and acceptance of the LGBT community.

The relationship between Toby and June evolves from something initially fraught with mistrust and jealousy (June’s) to a real understanding, mutual respect and love. It is a beautiful relationship and just what Finn had hoped would happen after his death.

    That’s the secret. If you always make sure you’re exactly the person you hoped to be, if you always make sure you know only the very best people, then you won’t care if you die tomorrow. — Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home

June is a shy, insightful, wise-beyond-her-years narrator you will not soon forget.  This is a sweet, sad, yet ultimately hopeful coming-of-age debut novel that will appeal to readers of all ages. I look forward to reading more from Carol Rifka Brunt.

I want to thank my friend Dawn for such a thoughtful review.  Be sure to check out her blog, Mom Mom’s Apron, Of food and life: