Mrs. Twist Reads This: Best Day Ever

Our bookclub is coming up the week after Thanksgiving and I wanted to share what we’re reading this month, and if you have time during the holiday, some ideas on other books to read over the week.

In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

“I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…”

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion.

Want to join in and read it with us?  Join the Mrs. Twist Reads This book club through BookMovement. It’s free and even if you don’t live local to our monthly meetings, you can still join our club!  It’s a great way to create accountability to spend more time reading and less time using technology.

Here’s a fun link I found for “Eleven Books You Can Read Over Thanksgiving.”  I hope to maybe checkout one or two of these books after I’ve finished all my cooking.

What is Your Tendency?

I am reading an interesting book right now in my book club Mrs. Twist Reads This (read more here).  The Four Tendencies by NYT best-selling author, Gretchen Rubin, is an indispensable personality profile that reveals how to make your life better, and other people’s lives, too.

During her multi-book investigation into human nature, Gretchen Rubin realized that by asking the suspiciously simple question “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain explosive self-knowledge.

She discovered that people fit into Four Tendencies:  Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels.  Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding this framework lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.

The first step is to determine what your tendency is.  Visit her website here to take a free, simple quiz.  After you have completed the quiz you will automatically learn your tendency.  Then dive into the book to learn more about how to use your tendency to become happier, healthier, more productive and more creative.  It will be fun to guess what other people are.  For example, I know that Mr. Bee is a Questioner.  I can’t tell you my tendency…you have to wait until book club night!

The Four Tendencies hold practical answers if you’ve ever wondered:

  • People rely on me, so why can’t I rely on myself?
  • Why do people tell me that I ask too many questions?
  • How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask – or one who keeps telling me what to do?
  • How do I stop by teenager from dropping out of school?
  • Why can’t I convince my patients to take their prescriptions?
  • How can my team become more effective, with less wasted time and conflict?

At our book club meeting on October 26 we are going to do a fun activity to learn what our tendencies are and help each other to harness our strengths.  Wanna join the fun?  Visit BookMovement, our book club website to sign up for a free account.  Use this invitation code to join our club, and whether you are local or far away, you can be a part of a community spending more time reading and less time using technology!

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Book Club This Thursday

Have you finished this month’s book club selection — The Heirs. It’s been fun hearing from our book club members as they get into each book to say “I love reading again” or “I am so glad I am learning to read different kinds of books.”  I echo these sentiments.  I love a good mystery, but it’s been enlightening to find myself reading books I wouldn’t normally pick up.  Rieger’s writing style is very descriptive and pulled me into the relationships that unfolded. Siblings, parents, spouses, lovers, history, she included everything. I gained perspective from each character, yet she left just enough mystery for me to wonder.  This is a good read and made me want her to write a sequel.*

That’s exactly why I started Mrs. Twist Reads This — to broaden my horizons of books and to spend more time reading and less time using technology.  We are up to 35 members and would love to have you join us. Using BookMovement as our free, online repository for suggestions to see what other book clubs are reading, we can stay connected to upcoming books and build our own personal queue of books even if you live hundreds of miles away.  We meet once monthly for a cocktail or iced tea and a snack while we chat about the book.  It’s fun to be in the company of other women to form our own community!

You can still sign up here and once you do you will start receiving periodic email reminders of upcoming meetings.  This month’s meeting is Thursday, September 28 from 7-8:30 p.m.  That’s when you will find out what we are reading in October!

Happy reading!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Mrs. Twist Reads This — September Book

When I started my book club it was supposed to be a summer fling to help me read more and spend less time using technology (blogging doesn’t count) — technology meaning Facebook, Pinterest and watching television.  I read a record of five books this summer, which I haven’t done since I was in elementary school when you’d check out the Seen Jane Run weekly readers!

Last month was supposed to be our last meeting until next summer, but it was unanimous that out monthly reads helped all of us to be accountable to reading and we actually look forward to sitting down with a good book. So, I am delighted to share that we will now meet monthly, mostly on the last Thursday of the month.  Our book club is for everyone even if you can’t attend our monthly meetings.  Reading is about creating a community.  Here the invitation link for Mrs. Twist Reads This book club through BookMovement.  It’s is free to sign up and ensures that you will receive email reminders of meetings and be the first to know which book is coming up next.  You can also create your own queue of books you’d like to read on your own outside of book club.

For September we will be reading The Heirs:  A Novel.  Listed eighth on the New York Times “Best Summer Reads” list, released in May 2017 this is Rieger’s second book.

“Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him.  The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him.  In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure.  
 
Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together — Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm — and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor. The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty – a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor’s sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all.
 
A riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable, patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out Edith Wharton for the 21st century.”

We will meet on Thursday, September 28 at 7 p.m. for lite bites, sips (we usually try to have a cocktail relevant to the book and coffee, too) and discussion.  We’d love to have you join us!  If you have an iPhone you can load the free BookMovement app on your phone so you can stay up to date on club news.

I hope you’ll join us to have fun reading again!

The Saturday Breeze: Week of July 24

This week…I found a new dip recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, and hosted our July Mrs. Twist Reads This book club. July’s book was Camino Island by John Grisham.  In keeping with the seaside theme in which the book takes place…we enjoyed everyone’s favorite cookie — Milano’s in Key Lime and Sea Salt Caramel.  Who can resist the little ruffled paper trays they come in?

And this Herb Dip from Ina Garten.  It’s from her cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home.

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Pulse in a food processor and serve at room temperature.  I served it with cucumber spears and parmesan garlic pretzel chips.

After we reviewed Camino Island, everyone got to vote on the book for August.  I covered the books with brown craft paper and marked each one A. or B. Without revealing the title, I read the description of each and the majority won.

Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvin.  “They say life can change in an instant… After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.”

Want to read along with us?  You can sign up here for free through BookMovement — a terrific site that helps connect people across the world to a community who love to read.  Even if you can’t join us, we can be the motivation to help you read more and disconnect from technology. At least that was my reason for forming our book club and so far I’ve read three books this summer.  Once you sign up you can find out what book we will be reading, when we will meet, see possible selections for the future, and receive email reminders.

Have a super Saturday!

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Camino Island by John Grisham

We wrapped up The Book of Polly last night with an engaging phone call into our meeting by the author, Kathy Hepinstall.  She was lovely and funny and insightful.  We learned so much about the book publishing industry, and that The Book of Polly has already been optioned as a movie! We gave her all sorts of ideas on who should star in the movie and that our book club should be invited to walk the red carpet with her!  We already have our stylist Holley putting together our outfits for the big day. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful to Kathy that she accepted our invitation to talk with us last night.  The last thing she asked for in our call was a group photo holding Polly’s favorite drink — Margaritas!

So, moving on to July.  We will be reading Camino Island by John Grisham.

“A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
     Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
     Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.
     But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.”

According to this review from the NY Times — “Grisham has said that he and his wife dreamed up “Camino Island” during a long car ride to Florida, and the book provides the pleasure of a leisurely jaunt periodically jolted into high gear, just for the fun and speed of it.”

If you haven’t been able to read along with us the past few months, jump in any time.  Here is the link to Book Movement where you can sign up for free to be in Mrs. Twist Reads This book club.  You can see what’s in our queue, write reviews, read and share group discussion questions and be on the list to review emails from me about meetings and happenings in our club.  Our next gathering will be Thursday, July 27 at 7 p.m. to discuss Camino Island.

Have a fab Friday!

 

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Book Club Meeting this Thursday with Kathy Hepinstall

Kathy Hepinstall, author

After I started reading The Book of Polly I had so many questions in my mind about the author and the beautiful, funny story she wrote.  I found Kathy Hepinstall on social media, in particular Instagram, and shared with her that our book club had been given her book to read for the month of June.  I went further and direct messaged her with “if you are ever in Fort Worth, we would love for you to attend our book club meeting.”  She answered me back and said she currently lived in Oregon, but would love to call into our meeting on Thursday to discuss the book with our members!  Oh, my gosh!  It never hurts to ask.  In this case she said yes!

Mrs. Twist Reads This Book Club is through BookMovement – a terrific on-line site that connects people all over the world who love to read and want to be apart of a community – We know that not all great books are great book club books. Book club books spark great discussions. By talking about ideas, perspectives, and the experience of reading a book, we learn more about the book, ourselves and other club members.”

We will be reading just for the summer months through August.  On Thursday, I will be revealing our July book (hint:  It’s a mystery.  A new release.  By a very well-known author).

And, since Polly loved Margaritas, for sure we will have some to sip!  So,  I will see you Thursday, either in-person or virtually through our bookclub page where I will post the discussion questions after our meeting.

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Summer BookClub

Every summer, my mother would have me write down my “Summer Bucket List” — a list of things I wanted to do that, to me, screamed summer.  Among things like go to the pool, travel to Red River, New Mexico, and Galveston beach, checking out books at the library was always on the list.  I love the smell of libraries and how quiet they are.

Summer is the perfect time to pick out those “beach reads” — you know the book you just can’t put down?  Years ago, for me, that was the DaVinci Code.  I took it with me when we traveled to England to visit Mr. Bee’s family. I couldn’t put it down.  It was the perfect airplane read.

Today, announces the release of Into the Water the newest book from New York Times best selling author Paula Hawkins  From the same author that brought us The Girl on the Train, Ms. Hawkins returns with more psycho-fun!

Here’s the description:

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
 
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return. Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Order your copy today, read it along with me during the month of May, and then join me for a “Books and Bites” party on May 31, at 7 p.m. (location details to come). You can sign up to read it along with me through BookMovement here. All you have to do is set up a free account on their site and it will take you directly to our club page.  If you sign up and join me for the party in May, I’ll have a special book tote as your party favor!

I’ll be posting discussion questions along the way both on the blog and on our Mrs. Twist Reads This bookclub site at BookMovement, a cool source I stumbled upon. Founded by Pauline Hubert, when she was just 25 years old, so that book clubs could have an online curated recommendation network. 43,000 book clubs have joined their site since their launch in 2004.  It has fun features like discussion boards, 20,000 reading guides, top book club recommendations, a direct link to Amazon for ordering new books, email reminders of our upcoming gatherings, and it allows me to put books in my queue for the future.

And, don’t worry if you miss this month’s book — I’ll be offering a new book every month from May through August.  Even if you are not local, I would love to have you be a part of our club!