Kim and Krickitt Carpenter’s The Vow Book Club

Yeehaaaa!  As a former English teacher and book addict, I am thrilled to write in the case of The Vow the “book was definitely better” than the movie (keeping the written word alive).  The Vow written by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter with Dana Wilkerson tells the true story of this newly wed husband and wife who face physical, emotional, and financial obstacles after a near-fatal car accident. 
Told from the point-of-view of the husband, Kim Carpenter, it was a quick, inspiring read.  The fact the book was written from the husband’s pointof-view only, though, left me wanting to know more about Krickitt Carpenter, her feelings and thoughts during this entire ordeal since it was her memory of her life with this man which was affected.  A more feminine style of writing may have softened, or at the very least offered further elaboration on such passages as, “I still yell at her from time to time and I feel bad about it”  (177).  Huh?  

For the purposes of book club, the ideal of Kim and Krickitt’s decision to court one another again in an effort “to rebuild the marriage from the ground up” (162) came to mind.  So, what does one eat while at the movies on a date with that special someone?  Perhaps a buttery bag of popcorn causing one’s greasy fingers to “accidentally” touch while digging for another handful may rekindle the flame.  So, a variety of popcorns ranging from sweet to savory in flavor from Chef’s Shoppe in Edwardsville, IL, may not only satisfy the munchies during discussion, but also may recall a past love.  

The Carpenters

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Janet Evanovich’s Notorious Nineteen Book Club

Janet Evanovich’s nineteenth installment of the Stephanie Plum series is definitely notorious.  A nostalgic rush of previous savored novels early in the series came back while reading.  Hunks Morelli and Ranger played more prominent parts in the storyline instead of  cameos.  Although still no absolute resolution to the love triangle, an absence of fussing between Morelli and Stephanie was refreshing while a more in-depth relationship between Ranger and Stephanie was alluded to instead of “casual” encounters (if you catch my drift).  A favorite character, Randy Briggs, reappears in the series and is crucial to this plot, not merely an afterthought.  Bravo!  
For the purposes of book club. steering clear of the mashed potatoes might be best (yes, you’ll have to read to find out why).  Instead, a Pino’s-like lasagna with meat sauce, extra bread, and tiramisu.  For dessert, a cake in the shape of “Tiki” would be a welcome finale.

Janet Evanovich

Rhonda Tibbs’ Shadow Book Club

Ooops!  She did it again . . .  Rhonda Tibbs’, author of her fourth novel, Shadow, reeled me in yet again.  Shadow, is a coming-of-age novel about Danny Coulter, a budding artist, and his affinity for the Kiamichi River.  A fan of her writing, I was anxiously awaiting the first installment of her latest series.  Yet, upon receiving my copy, I read slowly and methodically, taking forced breaks, knowing that if I dived in head first, there would be no stopping me until the last page was turned.  Alas, though, a stretch of a few hours on a rainy afternoon drew me into the novel, and there was no point of return.
Tibbs’ ability to harness the turbulent emotions of young love and then deliver them on paper is not only addicting, but nostalgic.  In fact, my own sixteen-year-old self- long a memory- manages to come alive again at the turn of every page.
For the purposes of book club, weather permitting, an informal picnic complete with a blue and white checkered tablecloth at the local park would be ideal.  A basket bearing ham and cheese sandwiches, potato salad, pickles, and bottled soda would recall Danny and the female protagonist, Isabelle‘s reunion after a summer spent apart in 1967.  For the matter of dessert, this meal would not be complete without Mama Rose’s chocolate chip cookies.

Rhonda Tibbs