Small Animals by Kim Brooks | Better Together Book Club November 2019 Selection {A Motherhood Book Club}

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A New Motherhood Book Club

We had a wonderful start with our brand new motherhood book club and had our first discussion and guest speaker last week! I am planning on sharing some of our discussion topics when I return from vacation but for now, you can read more about our first book club meeting HERE on Instagram. You can read more details about the book club in my blog post HERE.

November 2019 Better Together Book Club Selection

Small Animals by Kim BrooksWhile many of you are too far away to participate in person, a lot of you have shared an interest in following along! We are excited to announce our second Better Together Book Club selection, Small Animals by Kim Brooks.

This book made my top books of 2018 list HERE, I discussed the book topic HERE and shared my full book review HERE. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts!

October 1st, 2019 Book Releases {New Book Publications}

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October Book Releases:

It’s October 1st which means we are starting a great month of new book releases! If I were a book, I would like to be published in October because not only is it the best month ever but it is my very favorite time of the year to read! There are so many awesome books coming out during the next few weeks and before the holidays when new book releases tend to slow down a bit until the new year.

Now that we are back into regular routines because of the school year, I am trying to get back into some of my weekly blog series too. I always love sharing new book publications and so here are some I am excited about today!

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Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky was released today and Reese’s Book Club just announced it is their October 2019 book selection! I love that it is going to get so much attention now because this topic is so important.

While we have learned a lot as the years have gone by, figuring out the daily logistics of life with work, marriage, kids and household tasks is a constant juggling act. Fair Play both takes on and tackles the topics of the mental load, second shift, emotional labor and invisible work that in the 21st century still cause a great imbalance in many families ‘ home lives.

Fair Play was a 5-star book for me and was such an awesome conversation starter in our own marriage. The book is relatable while also having a proactive approach to managing household/family/life tasks while also balancing your own goals and desires.

You can read my full review of Fair Play HERE.

It is also one of the upcoming book choices for our Better Together Book Club and I can’t wait to discuss it more then.

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Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

Can you believe I just read The Tattooist of Auschwitz two months ago?! It was on my TBR list for a while but when an ARC of Cilka’s Journey arrived in my mailbox I knew I needed to prioritize it ASAP.

Cilka was one of the characters in The Tattooist of Auschwitz and I was interested to learn more about her. Cilka’s Journey is a powerful story that was inspired by the true to life experiences of Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor Cilka who ends up in a Siberian work camp after being charged as a collaborator for “sleeping with the enemy”. This novel is not an easy read as it confronts the issue of rape during wartime.

While this story does focus on the atrocities that happened to Cilka(and many others), it also shares the heroic efforts she was a part of. Cilka has a compassion for others that guides her through the toughest of times and this part of the story was both heartbreaking and utterly compelling. How Cilka chose to use the gifts she was given to help others was so powerful and a reminder of the beacon of light in humanity even in the most horrific of times.

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Your Turn by Dr. Tyra Manning

“Writing my stories helps me remember the good times and the worst of times, and offers me the opportunity to understand them. Writing and celebrating my stories helps me heal. Hindsight gives me many gifts: clarity, acceptance, forgiveness, and new perspectives on past experiences. I am not unique in having lovely and sometimes sad stories in my repertoire. Sharing our life stories teaches us that we have more commonalities than differences. It brings us closer.”

-Dr. Tyra Manning

I love anything that helps remind us that we are more alike than different. I have always been a big fan of sharing our stories because it can help us connect and also help us feel less alone.

Your Turn is a guide and collection of personal essays that demonstrates how to share more effectively and find meaning in the ups and downs of our lives. Manning shares her own personal stories while also providing writing prompts to encourage you to start sharing too.

Thank you to Book Sparks for sharing an advanced copy with me. 

The Better Together Book Club | Charlotte, Vermont Public Library | A Motherhood Book Group

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Connections Through Reading

One of the most wonderful parts of the online reading community is the connections I have made through it. I have met book lovers from all over the world as well as in our very small state of Vermont. While I love the reach online connections can allow you, there is something so special about connecting in person.

Better Together A Motherhood Book Club

Last spring I had the idea of starting a local book club centering around issues that are not only a big part of my life but so many of the women around me. Through the help and support of our local library, this dream has become a reality.  The Better Together Book Club is a book group focusing on motherhood and will be starting this fall!

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The Better Together Book Club

My friend, reader, fellow mom and elementary school Literacy Coach/Specialist Kelly and I are delighted to be co-facilitating this group together! We have been working hard behind the scenes and couldn’t be more excited to finally be making this public! Information went out in the Charlotte Library Newsletter yesterday so we thought it was the perfect time to share online as well.

Book selections will change monthly and will be a mix of fiction and nonfiction, including topics pertaining to parenting, marriage, mental health, self-care and the work/life “balance”. We will meet and discuss the book and topics relating to it as well as enjoying some tea and light snacks. We are also so honored that we already have some of the authors scheduled to come when we discuss their book!

Our First Book Club Selection

Our first book club selection will be To Have and To Hold. While I am lucky to have had many conversations with the people in my personal life, never have I read something that explains the complexities of motherhood and marriage in such a profound manner until I read this book. The highs and lows of parenthood, the immense love and also the intense quest to reclaim ourselves as women and partners when our lives will never be the same are so real and valid.

Author Molly Millwood will join the discussion on Thursday, October 10 @ 7:00pm.  Books are available for loan at the circulation desk. Registration is required by contacting Susanna or Margaret at the Charlotte Library at info@charlottepubliclibrary.org Once the spots are full a waitlist will be started. While this event is open to anyone in the area, priority will be given to Charlotte residents if a waitlist occurs.

Hardcopy & Ebook Copies

Charlotte librarians Susanna and Margaret have been so amazing at helping get this group up and running with us. Our October book, To Have and To Hold, is now available as a “Charlotte Only” book on Libby (which decreases the wait time significantly!). They also ordered 10 copies of To Have and To Hold which will be available at the library for pick up after Labor Day!

Book Club Ongoing Schedule & Communication

After our first event, The Better Together Book Club will continue to meet monthly at The Charlotte Library the second Wednesday of every month from 7:00-8:30pm.  Subsequent books will be available a month before each book club so everyone has time to read them. All announcements will be shared and in our private facebook group which you can be added to once you are registered.

If you live in the area, we would love to have you join us! If you don’t, we would love it if you would like to follow along. We plan on sharing updates about each book club on my blog which will include our discussion questions and highlights of our discussion. I will also announce the next book we will be discussing at that time.

I just talked with Susanna and we only have a few spots left so if you are interested, shoot them an email at info@charlottepubliclibrary.org to register! And please feel free to email or comment below with any questions. **Update, as of 8/30/19 there is a waitlist for this group**