Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mark your Calendars for April 18, 2007

Thanks to everyone for the great turnout!
Mark your calendars for April 18, 2007.
Betty's List Book Club will be hosting Jewelle Gomez.
More details to follow.
Cynthia K.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thank You Renate Stendhal!

A huge thank you to Renate Stendhal for her inspiring talk about Gertrude Stein! It was great to see all the Betty's List Book Club members listening and asking provocative questions! Readers truly rule. Truly rule. Truly rule. Truly rule.

[I am going to be on Spring Break until April 2. When I get back, I will post more pictures from this wonderful event. I'll also answer comments to posts on my return, so keep those comments coming. Happy Holidays to all.]

Rebel Readers Next Meeting 3/28/07

Renate Stendhal
Tonight 3/21/07
6:30 Sharp. Duboce Park Cafe
Can't wait to see everyone!
Cynthia K.

An Update from your excellent facilitator Marla:

Hi Rebel Readers,

Hope everyone is having a great month! I just wanted to do a quick check-in with some reminders of the upcoming schedule and directions to the location for our monthly book club discussion next week.

Upcoming Schedule:

- Tomorrow: Wed, 3/21 6:30 PM at the Duboce Park Cafe: Monthly Meeting of the full Betty's List Book Club with guest speaker Renate Stendhal, Ph.D. (see the blog - link below - for more information) - Hope to see you there!
- Next week: Wed, 3/28 6:30 PM at Amy's house for the Rebel Readers Book Club discussion of Geek Love

Visit the online blog for more information and book discussions:

Our member Amy has generously offered her house as the location for this month's meeting. Her directions are [in the email to members]. I will send out them again next week prior to the meeting.

Happy Reading,

Monday, March 19, 2007

Can't Fail Group Meeting 3/18/07

Wednesday, March 21st, 6:30 PM at Duboce Park Cafe, San Francisco (Full Club Meeting). Let's fill the Duboce Cafe again with avid readers to hear Renate Stendhal on Gertrude Stein.

Really terrific meeting at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe in Emeryville. Wharton would have loved the discussion of her Age of Innocence. Thanks very much for letting me join you. Cynthia K

Here's a note from your incredibly efficient facilitator:

Hello Can't Fail Group,

I had such a wonderful time with all of you yesterday. What a great discussion. We're the best!!!

We have picked, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, by Jeanette Winterson as our next book.

Meeting Schedule:

Sunday, April 15th, 11:30 AM at Jamie's House, [Address in the email to members]
(Let's discuss if we want to potluck, have food delivered, go out to eat, or just eat ahead of time.)

Since we are all coming from different directions, I'll let you mapquest it yourself.

Professor Cynthia, you are cordially invited. Hope to see you. [Thank plan is to join you]

So, please email me with your preferred dining options for the 15th of April. Also, please email your preferred dates for our May meeting. Let's try to schedule that now if we can.

See you on Wednesday!

Thank you!!!


Friday, March 16, 2007

Discovery Group 3/14/07

I hope you all noticed that the Betty's List Book Club was featured in OutNow (ON) magazine.

Thank you for inviting me to this discussion...I really enjoyed all of your insights. Here is the information about the next meeting from your excellent new facilitator, Ginny:

Hello Gals,

We had a good discussion this week about Bastard Out of Carolina. Very disturbing book. It was well worth another read for me. Thank you Cynthia for leading our discussion!

We gave our book club a name: Discovery Group. Our next meeting is in four weeks on 4/11, at Duboce Cafe, 6:30. We decided to read Susan Sontag's Volcano Lover. Roz agreed to facilitate our discussion next month. To aid discussion, we agreed to each bring a couple/few questions we have about the book and to pose them to the group next time.

Happy Reading!

Because of work conflicts, this excellent group lost a couple participants. Please let me know if you are looking for a book group, and I'll put you in touch with Ginny.
Cynthia K.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Book Savvy. 2nd ed. Thanks for Your Help!

Betty's List Book Club Members:
When Book Savvy goes into its second edition, I hope to have an additional 44 entries to add to the 88 already in print. Your book selections are an inspiration to me! After the spirited discussion in the Byatt group last week, I've decided to include Byatt's Little Black Book of Stories in Book Savvy

Here's a pre-press look at the new entry. Unfortunately, the blog erases all the formatting and icons (my favorite part), but still, here it is:

Title: Little Black Book of Stories
Author: A. S. Byatt
Genre: Short Stories Number of Pages: 240 Date: 2003
Level of Challenge: 5

This contemporary book of “fairy tales” is as dark a batch of reading as one is likely to find this side of the Brother’s Grimm and Faulkner. There are five stories in the anthology, probing the depths of the holocaust, the medical world, lapidary fantasy, creative writing, and madness. It is a tour d’ force of metaphor, archetype and unbelievably compelling language.

“They watched each other warily, offering bland snippets of
autobiography in politely hushed voices….Circling like beaters,
they approached the covert thing in the forest.” Pg. 23.

“He was overcome with dreadful love and grief. She was a person.
She had not been there, and now she was there, and she was
the person he loved.” Pg. 105.

“Her metamorphosis obeyed no known law of physics or chemistry:
ultramafic black rocks and ghostly Iceland spar formed in
succession, and clung together.” Pg. 122.

“Every year they wrote melodrama. They clearly needed to write
melodrama. He had given up telling them that Creative
Writing was not a form of psychotherapy.” Pg. 159.

Reading Hints:
In an anthology of short stories, all by the same author, it is interesting to look for threads and themes that may unify what otherwise looks like a random selection of unrelated tales. Readers may want to explore the ways in which these five, seemingly different stories, are actually quite a bit alike, not just in presentation, but in content and theme.

Others by Byatt: Possession: A Romance (novel), Angels and Insects (novel), and The Matisse Stories (short stories).

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Rebel Readers First Meeting

Many thanks to Marla who did a tremendous job of making the first meeting of the "Rebel Readers" both fun and informative.
Byatt's Little Black Book of Stories was challenging, but made for a great discussion.

Here are the details from Marla for next time:

We have scheduled our next meeting for Wednesday, 3/28, at 6:30 pm. We will be meeting at a member's house.
Our book for next time (March 28th) is: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.
I read and thoroughly enjoyed this one a while ago and reviewing the many raves on the web made me excited about re-reading it prior to our meeting.

Here are links for this book at the Amazon and the SF Public Library:

Review and Reading Group Guide:

Recorded Interview with Author:

Cynthia K

Friday, March 2, 2007

March 21 Meeting Welcome Renate Stendhal

It is a real pleasure to confirm that Renate Stendhal will be speaking at the March 21st meeting of the Betty's List Book Club at the Duboce Park Cafe at 6:30pm.

Renate Stendhal, Pd.D. is a German-born, Paris-educated writer,
writing coach and counselor with a private practice
in San Francisco and Pt. Reyes Station. She has published several
books, including the award-winning photobiography
Gertrude Stein: In Words and Pictures and, most recently, True
Secrets of Lesbian Desire.