Mrs. Twist Reads This Book Club Selection and Fun Workshop in January

Mrs. Twist Reads This is taking a hiatus from meeting in December, but we are still moving ahead with reading an inspiring book to prepare us for 2020.

The Moment of Lift is a debut novel from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment.

“How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book―to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”

Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention―from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world―and ourselves.

Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

Here is a special surprise – we will unpack what we’ve learned when we gather in January and review the seven lessons Melinda learned while writing her book.  Join me on Saturday, January 4, 2020, from 10 a.m. – Noon for brunch and a very special workshop entitled 2020: What’s Your Vision in the Next Decade.

Together, we’ll look back at 2019 to review your wins and misses, and we will look ahead to focus on your hopes for the new year. You’ll go home with a list of new intentions, a personal success mantra, and a special keepsake reminder of our time together.

Event is free for Book Club members; Non-members: $10 (includes brunch and materials).  To register, visit this link. Space is limited.  This would be the perfect Christmas present for a girlfriend or your mom.

Want to join our book club? If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us.  Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our book club, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up, you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.  Friends are always welcome.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement!

Happy reading!

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane

It’s time for a new Mrs. Twist Reads This Book Club selection. For November we will be enjoying Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane.   The best part – Jessica will be calling in on the evening of our book club gathering to chat with us!

An Oprah Summer Reading Pick for 2019, and named best book of 2019 by Real Simple and Southern Living magazines, it’s the story of May Attawaywho is more at home with plants than people. Over the years, she’s turned inward, finding pleasure in language, her work as a gardener, and keeping her neighbors at arm’s length while keenly observing them. But when she is unexpectedly granted some leave from her job, May is inspired to reconnect with four once close friends. She knows they will never have a proper reunion, so she goes, one-by-one, to each of them. A student of the classics, May considers her journey a female Odyssey. What might the world have had if, instead of waiting, Penelope had set out on an adventure of her own?

RULES FOR VISITING is a woman’s exploration of friendship in the digital age. Deeply alert to the nobility and the ridiculousness of ordinary people, May savors the pleasures along the way—afternoon ice cream with a long-lost friend, surprise postcards from an unexpected crush, and a moving encounter with ancient beauty. Though she gets a taste of viral online fame, May chooses to bypass her friends’ perfectly cultivated online lives to instead meet them in their messy analog ones.

Ultimately, May learns that a best friend is someone who knows your story—and she inspires us all to master the art of visiting.

We are meeting Wednesday, November 20 at 7 p.m. for snacks and discussion.  Jessica is calling in promptly at 7:15 p.m. for a 30-minute chat on her life, her book and is happy to answer our questions.

If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us.  Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our bookclub, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.  Friends are always welcome.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement!

Mrs. Twist Reads This Book Club — Things You Save in a Fire

Hello October!  Fall can’t get here fast enough, but Texas just seems to want to hold onto the heat.  Hopefully by the time we gather for this month’s book club it will be cool and we can sit by the fire sipping cider.

This month we are reading Things You Save  in a Fire by Katherine Center.  Just released in mid August, this book is already on so many “best” lists.

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.

We are meeting Wednesday, October 30 at 7 p.m. for snacks and discussion.  If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us.  Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our bookclub, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.  Friends are always welcome.

While you are visiting our site on Bookmovement, check out our November read Rules for Visiting by Jessica Frances Kane.  We won’t meet in December but you will have homework reading The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gate as we prepare for a very fun event at my house on January 4 — Creating your 20/20 Vision!  I’ll be helping you craft your personal tagline for the new year. Mine in 2019 has been #movetobloom.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement!

Mrs. Twist Reads This Book Club – Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

It’s time for September’s Mrs. Twist Reads This selection.  This month we are reading Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs and here’s the twist – we are meeting at Commonplace Books!*

I hope you will join us on Wednesday, September 25 at 7 p.m. in this beautiful, new Indie-style book store in the Westbend Shopping center just off University Drive near TCU.  We’ll have sips and a sweet treat, plus you can browse all the lovely books and gift items.

Small Fry is a New York Times and New Yorker Top 10 book of the year.  Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents―artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs―Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa’s father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he’d become the parent she’d always wanted him to be. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is a poignant coming-of-age story from one of our most exciting new literary voices.

If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us.  Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our bookclub, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.  Friends are always welcome.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement!

* Commonplace Books, is located across from Woodhouse Day Spa and Susie Cakes Bakery), 1701 River Run Unit 161, 76107, (817) 229-5773.  There is plenty of free parking in the garage.

Mrs. Twist Reads This: The River by Peter Heller

It’s time for a new read for Mrs. Twist Reads This book club.  During the month of August we will be reading The River by Peter Heller.

“A fiery tour de force… I could not put this book down. It truly was terrifying and unutterably beautiful.” –Alison Borden, The Denver Post

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, the story of two college students on a wilderness canoe trip–a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violence

Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. When they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate long days of leisurely paddling and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and reading paperback Westerns. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. When they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire, their search for the pair turns up nothing and no one. But: The next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And, if he is, where is the woman? From this charged beginning, master storyteller Peter Heller unspools a headlong, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival.

And what treat awaits you at this month’s book club?  Cake!  We will be celebrating my birthday and you know what Julia Child’s says, “A party without cake, is just a meeting!”

If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us Thursday, August 29 at 7 p.m., for bubbly, cake and the dish on this month’s book.  Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our bookclub, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.  Friends are always welcome.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement!

What’s in your Summer Stack? Books we are reading at Home with a Twist

I’ve rounded up all the books we are reading this summer in our Mrs. Twist Reads This book club, and a fun announcement.

Summer reading is for the whole family.  In 2009, then Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described summer learning loss as “summer slide.”  It is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected. You can read more about the study here.

When Miss Bee was little I always included reading on her summer to-do list with visits to storytime at bookstores and the library.  She was allowed to check out as many books as she was years old.  We made a chart on the refrigerator with different rewards for every few books she read. I would even join in with her to read as well. One of our favorite things still is to stop into libraries in cities we are visiting while on vacation.

According to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 7th Edition, 77% of kids ages 6–17 and 94% of parents believe reading books over the summer helps kids during the school year.  Here is a fun reading challenge from Scholastic for summer reading and activities. Our local library, Fort Worth Public Library, offers a summer reading challenge for prizes and its for adults and children. Be sure to check your local library to see what they are offering.  Here is a free pdf from Highlights for Children to encourage creative places to read — like in a fort with a friend or in a sand chair at the beach. And another pdf “Scavenger Hunt” to have fun while learning.

Mrs. Twist Reads This has two very different books planned for book club for July and August.

For our July read it’s Mrs. Everything from Jennifer Weiner.

Do we change or does the world change us?

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?

In August, it’s an adventure thriller – The River by Peter Heller. Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. When they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate long days of leisurely paddling and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and reading paperback Westerns. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. When they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire, their search for the pair turns up nothing and no one. But: The next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And, if he is, where is the woman? From this charged beginning, master storyteller Peter Heller unspools a headlong, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival.

Commonplace Bookstore – WestBend

In September we will kick off our fall reading by meeting at the fun new reading spot — Commonplace Bookstore in WestBend.  They have offered to partner with Home with a Twist and host our bookclub in their gorgeous space.  The shelves are full of exquisite, unique titles.  It’s not your average bookstore, it’s something special.  We will enjoy fun bites and sips, too.  We will be reading Small Fry – a memoir by Lisa Brennan- Jobs daughter of Steve Jobs. Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents―artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs―Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa’s father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he’d become the parent she’d always wanted him to be. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is a poignant coming-of-age story from one of our most exciting new literary voices.

Don’t wait until September to check out Commonplace.  Stop by and say hello to Kaitlynn, the store manager, and plop down on their stunning green velvet sofa for a coffee and look through all their titles.  They also have a beautiful selection of candles and journals and other gift items.  On Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. they offer a fun storytime for the littles (that’s my little in the blonde pigtails in the photo!).

If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us for our July book club discussion Thursday, July 25  at 7 p.m. — we always have sips and snacks! Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our bookclub, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.  Friends are always welcome.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement!

Mrs. Twist Reads This — Is Turning Two!

It’s time for cake y’all!  Two years ago I hatched an idea to help me spend more time reading books and less time watching TV.  About six of us met for the first time in my living room as we read Into the Water by Paula Hawkins.  We needed a spread sheet to keep track of the cast of characters.  I think we drank wine and ate snacks, but what I do remember most is how much fun we had talking about books.  There was excitement to fall in love with reading again!  I planned for the bookclub to be just a summer affair, but our members begged me to keep it going all year long!

Eighty-two members and twenty-four books later (there have only been a few duds, see all the books we’ve read here) we’ve had luck with many well-known authors call or Skype into our meetings, made new friends and read books we might not otherwise haven chosen on our own.

Join us Thursday, May 30 at 7 p.m. for our 2nd birthday party where we will discuss a hot new mystery The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.

The instant #1 New York Times bestseller

“An unforgettable―and Hollywood-bound―new thriller… A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy.”
―Entertainment Weekly

The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband―and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us for discussion, cake and door prizes Thursday, May 30 at 7 p.m.  Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our bookclub, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement! And eat cake – lots of it.

Mrs. Twist Reads This – Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love

This month Mrs. Twist Reads This Bookclub is reading Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love by Dani Shapiro.

“What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us?

     In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her.

Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.”

I discovered Ms. Shapiro and her book from her Podcast “Family Secrets” where in each episode guests share long-hidden secrets from their families’ past.  You can also check out her podcast interview with Oprah Winfrey here on Super Soul Sunday.

If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us for discussion and snacks this Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m.  Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our bookclub, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement!

Mrs. Twist Reads This Bookclub – The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Our bookclub selection for March is The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib. This People magazine pick, a debut novel by Zgheib, is a poetic, poignant, haunting portrait of a young woman’s struggle with anorexia on an intimate journey to reclaim her life.

“The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.

Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day. Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.”

If you are looking to join a bookclub, I promise you will love our group.  I started Mrs. Twist Reads This Bookclub in 2017 because I wanted to spend more time reading and less time using technology.  We have over 80 members, many who live around the country and just want to be a part of a community of women who read!  It’s thrilling to see this for sure.  The best part is that many of the authors we read have enthusiastically joined us via FaceTime or in person to chat about their books.  Our group is gathering on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in Fort Worth.  Even if you can’t join us in person, we’d love to have you join our bookclub community.

So, how do you join us?  Go here to Book Movement and set up a free account.  It gives you members-only access to our book club page to see the latest book we are reading, receive email invitations to upcoming meetings and create your own personal queue of books you want to read on your own.

Happy reading!

Mrs. Twist Reads This: The Library Book by Susan Orlean

This month we will be reading The Library Book by Susan Orlean which also happens to be the Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine bookclub selection!  Great minds think alike.

WASHINGTON POST TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER and NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018

“A constant pleasure to read…Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book.” —The Washington Post

“EXQUISITELY WRITTEN, CONSISTENTLY ENTERTAINING.” —The New York Times * “MESMERIZING…RIVETING.” —Booklist (starred review)

A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries—from the bestselling author hailed as a “national treasure” by The Washington Post.

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

Susan has sent our bookclub her personal list of suggested review questions so I am excited to dig in, read a good book this winter then gather to discuss it! Join us on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m.  If you are new to our bookclub, welcome.  It’s free and easy to join.  Just visit our partner BookMovement using this link.  Set up a free account, download the app and start reading.  You will receive notices about upcoming bookclub events, reminders of meetings and you can use it to create your own bookclub queue.  If you don’t live locally, but still want to belong to a community of women who love to read, we would love to have you join us.

Happy reading!