Florence’s Book Club: One Day & Breakfast at Tiffanys

I’m pretty excited this afternoon a I am about to share with you one of the regular pots that you will be seeing on the Florence Finds pages. I am just as liable to get obsessed with a new shade of lip colour as the next person and as this mornings post showed, I love having fun with Fashion. But I also believe that modern women are a little bit deeper, more thoughtful and thank goodness, better educated than in the past so a bit of culture won’t go amiss.

This blog is (aside from becoming the new love of my life,) a voyage of self discovery for me and a lot of the things you will see included in here are things that I’m doing to make sure I actually do them, if that makes sense at all? Reading used to be a great love of my life but time pressures took their toll and I miss the escapism they used to provide and the relaxation. I know as Florence Finds grows, if I am to maintain a healthier work/life balance than in the past, I’ll need to unwind before my head hits the pillow and that’s where Florence’s book club comes in. Aside from reading the book, sometimes the most rewarding thing is trying something new, a classic maybe or straying from your usual crime thriller to a romance novel or side splitting chick lit, which you may never have chosen had someone not suggested it.

Next to reading a good book, for me, is discussing a good book. It doesn’t have to be in depth, but I get really excited by a latest read and tend to tell everyone asking if they have read it and what they thought. Florence’s book club is going to become the perfect forum for that I hope!

As we’re at the start, I’m going to explain how the book club will work…

  • There will be a monthly book club post on the third tuesday of each month, alternately written by Rachel of Flowers and Stripes and a.n.other Guest blogger.
  • Each book will be posted and then you have 2 months to read it before it is reviewed and everyone gets to share their thoughts.

This might sound quite confusing, but the idea is that if you don’t fancy a particular book or you have already read it, then you don’t have to wait a full 2 months before the next one is suggested!

So, today we’re going to be discussing One Day, which I have been reading for the last couple of months… and Rachel will be introducing a new book for October/November which will be reviewed in December. Last month I introduced a Persuasion read along which will be reviewed next month. Nothing like a lesser known classic for broadening the horizons! (Do I sound like an old man?!)

First up… One Day.

I have to confess from the off that I haven’t finished the book yet, (blog getting in the way already!) and perhaps I didn’t come to the book with the best motivations. I decided to read it purely because I could see the film was about to take over the world and I didn’t want to be left out of the conversation. In the event of it, no-one I know has even mentioned going to see it, so I’m looking forward to hearing your reviews instead.

Despite that, rather annoyingly, I am pretty sure of what happens in the end and that it may come as a huge disappointment – which seems to be the cause for the massive reaction amongst those who have read it. That and the will-they won’t-they nature of the relationship between the two main characters. In fact it is their actual personalities that makes me find the book so hard to stick with. I cant stand the first generation, working class university student with left wing view points and the privileged toff with so little respect for the lifestyle he enjoys. The inevitable love/hate relationship and incompatibilities seem somewhat of a cliche to me and make me want to shake them!

If you have read One Day, please leave your reviews below, love it or hate it and why… and feel free to comment if you have only perhaps seen the film. This isn’t a religion, it’s about talking!

Next Up… Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Now I’m going to hand you over to Rachel of Flowers and Stripes to introduce our next book…

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

“I am always drawn back to….” And so opens our second read along. A book, or film, that many of us are drawn back to. A slim novel but such a well known one. About a lady who’s drawn back to her favourite shop when ‘the mean red’s’ descend. But oh about so much more.
A story about frippery, drinking milk from champagne coups, Tiffany’s, little black dresses. Yet scratch the surface, read a little deeper and there’s so much more happening. This made it seem perfect for an early Florence Finds book club. Florence Finds is as classic as a little black dress yet knows that life isn’t always peaches and cream on the inside. A story that each time I return to I discover something new.

We hope you will join us in either being drawn back to the book, or the film and if this is your first time that it’s a book you may return to rereading, or rewatching, again.

We would love you to leave a comment below if you’re interested in joining in with this read along. On the third tuesday in December (Tuesday the 20th) we shall be posting our thoughts and would love you to either leave your thoughts as a comment, or if you have a blog to leave a link.

If you’d like some thought prompts when reading, try considering:

  • Why do you love it/loathe it/like it?
  • Which happened first for you? Book or film and how were your thoughts different?
  • What do you think of the men in it?
  • What’s your favourite part?

Thank you so much Rachel – please do head on over and check out her blog www.flowersandstripes.blogspot.com if you are a bit of a book worm – it is a charming read.

Now, I’m dying to hear your thoughts on Florence’s book club. Have you read One Day? Are you going to read Breakfast at Tiffanys or have you seen the film?

Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below and sharing your thoughts. :)

Love,
Rebecca.
xo

PS. You might have noticed me mention A.N.Other blogger providing the bimonthly relief posts for Florence’s book club and yesterday I said that I would be asking for guest bloggers for various things. Well, here’s your chance! Is there a book you love, a recent release, a classic, something totally different? I’d love to receive your submissions if you would like to lead a Book club post – in two parts: an introduction like Rachel’s to inspire people to pick up the book, then a review to stimulate discussion. Send your suggestions in to hello@florencefinds.com :)

43 thoughts on “Florence’s Book Club: One Day & Breakfast at Tiffanys

  1. Ooo, I loved One Day. I’m not sure I’d put it up there with my favourite books of all time, but it drew me in and I lived their lives along with them, for an hour or so every day on my daily commute. I liked that it was gritty, that it was a love story played out in a “real world” and that it didn’t have a fairytale ending.

    I also liked that it had that bright orange cover (before they plastered queen Anne all over it) so you could spot fellow One Dayers on the tube and give them a knowing smile… gotta love my commute route!

  2. I recently read One Day on honeymoon. Possibly not the best choice of book, as I kept crying on my sun lounger. Oops.

    I liked it. But.

    I started to read the book after the film was released, and just couldn’t get over the fact that they cast Anne Hathaway as the lead female and that upset me immensely. In my mind, Em should never have been played by Anne Hathaway, and this spoilt it for me somewhat.

    xoxo

  3. I read One Day quite a while ago and I really enjoyed it. I liked the structure of the book and the fact that my seeing the two characters life through ‘one day a year’ it reminds you how quickly life goes by.
    With Emma, I thought the way her writing career developed was quite interesting. She started to work at a school because her writing wasnt taking of, but I liked how this led to her understanding that she had to write about what SHE knew and her own experiences, this was when she was successful.

    Also the idea that we put things off, ‘One day I will…’ also resonated, and as the years go pass, you realise how many things you might have ‘one day’ done have slipped you by…. but at the same time It is never too late to try. For me the story was as much about trying to find their place in the world, as it was about their love story.

    However, a friend said that she felt it was written with a film in mind, and I understand what she is saying. David Nicholls was a TV writer (cold feet I think?) and so an element of his writing lends itself to development into a TV/film.

    I have yet to watch the film, but I didnt think much of the casting of Anne Hathaway BUT I havent actually watched it, and so I am a bit quick to judge.

    As it has been a while since I read it, I might have forgotten enough of the minor details to watch it without getting annoyed that they missed something.

    I have never seen or read Breakfast at Tiffanys. So that is now going to be addressed!

  4. I hated One Day, I actually get really passionate about hating it whenever anyone mentions it. I didn’t see it as a love story at all, and it upset me that all these people reading it thought that it was. The female lead seemed really pathetic and the male character was just annoying. Instead of willing them to get together I was waiting for the twist where it was explained that love really isn’t that difficult and no one is quite that cowardly but it never happened. Instead of crying at the tragedy towards the end I was happy because the alternative “happy” ending for both the characters was even worse in my opinion.

    Told you I got angry *rant over*

    • Ooohh I love a rant Kate. I especially love it when someone hates something that has been ‘raved’ over :) refreshing

      In my own opinion, I thought It was a love story They both loved each other, even if they did a lot of shitty things to each other, and despite being quite cowardly, it was about their love for each other. Dexters reliance on Emma to ‘be there’ despite him not deserving it and Emma inability to let him go, even when he had married someone else. Yes these things arent endearing, but they happen.

    • Yes. I completely agree with you. I found them both unbearable characters. The great ‘getting together’ moment in Paris had me throw the book across the room in indignation at the stupidity of that decision!!

      I hate to give up a book before the end and so trudged on through but it was painful and I was just pleased when it was over. I read it so I could go see the film but I’m not sure I’ll bother now!

  5. I love one day, which I know isn’t particularly original!! I just love David Nicholls’ writing style – I think it takes an amazing writer to be able to write in first person on behalf of the opposite sex and I think he writes pretty convincingly as Emma (though I do know many people disagree on this).

    I also think that a lot of the feelings that Emma in particular had when she left university (what did she want to do, when was her life/career actually going to begin) speaks to a lot of people – I had similar feelings, and sometimes still do.

    It is a while since I read the book (before I knew that the film was being made) so some of my thoughts aren’t necessarily fresh but it is a book that I will definitely be re-reading because I really got drawn into Dexter and Emma’s world. I am about to embark on another David Nicholls book (Starter for 10) so I will let you know what I think about that one :)

    Loving the book club ALREADY and will definitely be trying to join in where I can :) xxx

  6. I read One Day while on holiday a few weeks ago on the recommendation of someone on Twitter. And my views are somewhat mixed, I see what people are saying when they say it’s written for film and I LOVE the structure where you just get a snapshot of their lives and relationship with each other, leaving you to guess /conclude as you wish what has happened to them in the time inbetween. For me this is what a good book is about, it gets your mind thinking about the characters away from the pages.

    But a lot of it was pure cliche and the two characters really got on my nerves, very sexist in parts and totally stereotypical that the handsome guy has all the charm and good fortune with women falling at his feet, while the nerdy girl is thoughtful and intellectual but never gets the guys after her. Hmmm.

    It did resonate with me in parts from the inspired flush of youth full of hoping and expectation for the future, to the realisation that life can actually be a bit shit and totally not what you imagine when you have no responsibilities only a dream and ambition. I did laugh out loud in parts, became incredibly frustrated in others, and was totally shocked by how it ended (no spoiler alert here, you’ll have to go read it and for me this is actually what turned it away from being a gushy romance) and I guess that’s what you want from a book, to have an emotional reaction and One Day certainly gave me that, even if it did leave me a little bit deflated.

  7. Very quickly and apologies for the rushed reply. Great to read all your thoughts and comments on One Day. I read it in one day, perfect for a lazy wet Sunday, but have now forgotten most of the story, including the ending. I think that says alot about how I found it. Rebecca do tell us what you think when you’ve finished it.
    Looking forward to the BaT read along.

  8. One Day – I read it a few weeks ago. I liked the structure and thought the characterization was strong (but I didn’t actually like the 2 lead characters like you Rebecca) and overall I enjoyed reading it and got quite sucked in. I also knew the ending before I read it and I don’t know if this ruined it for me or not (I still cried). One thing which struck me though was that Dexter seemed to be the ‘hero’ and Emma was just there to provide a counterfoil and ultimately her outcome was more a punishment for him than anything to do with her own story (much as his mother’s death acted in the same way earlier in the book) and was neccessary to temper his personality. Basically my summary would be quite enjoyable but massively overhyped.

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s I haven’t read – will have to buy it asap so I can join in.

    Persuasion I can wax lyrical about. LOVE IT!

  9. I have very mixed feelings on One Day. Partially because I get sad about love stories where it takes years for the couple to find each other properly.

    And partly because if this was real life and Emma was my friend, I would not be sighing over the romance, I would be shaking her by the shoulders shouting ‘GET OVER IT AND FIND SOMEONE ELSE’ at various points.

    But overall, I did rather enjoy it, despite my rantings!

  10. I was just thinking of buying a new book and have not yet read BaT! Love the idea of a read along Rebecca! That’s my lunchtime purchase for tomorrow sorted!

    Not read One Day either and have decided not too after the above comments.

    Sx

  11. One Day made me cross. Really damn cross. I dont want to spoil it for those that havent read it yet/finished it, but I got so drawn into the characters lives and the whole “will they wont they” and seeing Dex with his meany wife and Em with that Ian bloke and I’d just be like “gaaaaah, cant you see you are MEANT TO BE?!”
    And then that thing happens and I just gaped at my book for so long. I felt manipulated by the author, to invest so much into these characters….BAH!

    That is all I have to say!

    xoxo

    • ooooo, I liked the ending. I liked that it wasn’t Disney-fied and “perfect”. It made the story more real for me and is what made me like it, without, obviously, actually liking it… if you know what I mean? I love that we have such different views on the same piece of writing. I miss English class! :-)

      • I agree i was annoyed too – I just wanted to know what happened and i know thats sort of the point..but still, felt like I was left at a loose end….

        I did like it though!
        Rachie xo

  12. I absolutely loved One Day and feel a little bit defensive every time someone says they don’t like it…having said that, I do love a good discussion over a book and I love the strong feelings (either way) that a book will bring out in people.

    I read it before the hype (or at least before the film version was announced and before it was EVERYWHERE) and got completely hooked – I think I was lucky to read it before I had heard about it, because it meant I started it without pre-judging it. It made me laugh and a certain point made me cry and most importantly I thought about Emma and Dexter for weeks after finishing the book – I really felt like I knew them. The characterisation was therefore my favourite part of it and I felt like I identified with Emma which helped. I can understand the criticism of it, but ultimately I loved it :-)

    I read an article a few months ago that said One Day had very little marketing (obviously this was before the film hype) and its popularity was put down to friends recommending it to each other – I really liked that idea and hope that Florence Friends can extend that to other books. Loving the blog Rebecca – I was an old devotee of RMW and although I still enjoy RMW, as an old married now, a new lifestyle blog is far more relevant and so far I completely identify with your ideas – congratulations.

    Katie

  13. Oh Mahj, I was exactly the same. In fact the minute I read the bit where that thing happens, I phoned the friend who recommended it to me and shouted “I just read THE BIT. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!” down the phone at her. I know it’s silly but I invested a lot of emotion in those characters, I felt betrayed by what happened. I suppose that’s the point, that life sometime does that to you. But still… BAH HUMBUG to it.

    The rest of the book, I did enjoy, I didn’t really like the characters but I still got drawn into them and their stories regardless and I think that’s always a powerful achievement for an author. To make a character compelling and yet not really likeable is challenging, since usually if I don’t like a character I don’t care what happens to them, it’s odd to care while still feeling ambivalent toward them. I think the book resonates well with a lot of people in their 20s and 30s who still remember that just-out-of-uni-my-whole-life-is-ahead-of-me-oh-crap-what-do-I-want-to-be feeling. And the sense that you’re going wrong and you need a good friend to pull you back, sometimes.

    Also, I do ADORE BaT and Persuasion so I’ll certainly be back for those discussions.

    Kx

    • I know right! I said exactly the same thing to my friend in work who had gone about it – it had her in tears, in a GOOD way!

      BAH!

      xoxo

  14. Hello ladies!

    I have so enjoyed reading your thoughts here… it’s brilliant hearing your thoughts and despite the somewhat varied opinions (I love a bit of conflict of opinions and passion!) I’m raring to read it now!

    @Abi – your review is brilliant – really made me want to read it!
    @Michelle – the stereotypes will no doubt drive me mad too!
    @Fee – totally hear you… I would say exactly the same if Em was my friend. Stop being pathetic woman!
    @Kate. Loved your rant. That is all.

  15. PS – there seems to have been a publishing glitch this afternoon which missed off an image and my sign off, plus the call for book club leaders… please have a little re-read of the end of the post and get in touch if you have an idea!

    xo

  16. I enjoyed One Day but didn’t love it. It was a good bed time read because I didn’t have to think too much. Katie – I totally agree about the casting of Anne Hathaway, she is not Emma, even seeing her and hearing the terrible broken northern accent in the trailer has stopped me seeing the film.

    Also, Rebecca – thankyou so much for starting this little blog! I have been searching for a blog like this since I got married 4 months ago and wanted to move on from wedding blogs. I checked out Cosmo’s top blogs but none of them sat quite right but you and Florence have it down (as Kelly Rowland would say!) xx

  17. I LOVED One Day as a book and have also avoided the film, party because Anne Hathaway is far too perfect to be Emma, and partly because I am far too disorganised to sort out a night out at the cinema. I actually loved Dexter, in a broken “let me fix you” type of way!
    I totally get Mahj’s guttation at the ending- but I liked that because it meant that the book must’ve been powerful enough to resonate with me. Never read B@Ts but now will give it a go!
    Rebecca Norris- the new Richard and Judy! Fab idea! :-)

  18. Well, I’m not entirely sure how to follow all of your comments. I finished reading One day two days ago, three weeks after the end of my holiday. I found this book utterly unputdownable until the words “Then Emma Mayhew….” you all know what I mean. Although I found her a bit tedious in her lack of self respect – I mean, someone that clever and passionate about life would never spend so many years working in a sweaty Mexican diner – I did feel a strong need for them to be happy. This point in the book happened at the end of my holiday and I didn’t bother to pick it up again until two days ago just to draw a line under it and was quite underwhelmed by the last few chapters. Disappointing. And Dexter is a moron, he reminded me of someone I’d really rather forget.

    However, I am looking for a new book to add to my iBooks library (sadly quite excited about this app) and have always wanted to read/watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s so I’ll see you all soon.

  19. I read ‘One Day’ a few months ago, and absolutely loved it! I started it during an evening in, and didn’t stop until I had finished it, amidst lots of tears!
    The ending was slightly predictable and i felt like it was a bit of a rushed ending, but saying that I loved the book anyway as i really fell in love with the characters and their stories.
    When I discovered that there was a film coming out I was so excited, and then instantly disappointed when i discovered that Anna Hathaway had been cast. I love her, but she is definitely not Emma Morley.
    Leah xx

  20. Looking forward to joining in the read along! I feel like I never get time to read although on holiday I can devour 3 books in a week (Chick lit i mean) I’m going to purchase BAT’s tomorrow and get reading. This is such a great idea xo

  21. Hi There,

    I love book clubs so this seems like a great idea to me! Not sure how much I’ll be able to keep up with the books (that life / work balance that Bec mentioned earlier is proving a bit pesky sometimes…) but will definitely enjoy reading everyone’s comments for recommendations on future reads!

    I recently read One Day partly because of the reasons mentioned earlier about the fact that it looked like it was going to become a pub conversation with the girls (unfortunately I work mostly with techy men so no WAY that they will entertain this book – in fact, my Twilight obsession almost got me my notice!) and partly because a friend of mine while we were on holiday burst in to actual tears at the end! Apart from amusing me highly this also intrigued me that a rom-com book could cause such a reaction as I’ve steered more or less clear of them for so long. She could not even place her finger on why she was crying other than that it was such a good book.

    I’ve now read it and although it’s not going to rate highly on my All Time Read list – I get it. It’s moving to get a snapshot of two people’s lives through the telling of one day in their year and the characters aren’t just written to please. There are the clear plot formulas but I did get to the end with a lump in my throat and a wish to know what happens next.

    I think if you are going to read it it’s best to park your pre-conceptions that this book may change your life and simply treat it as catching up on the lives of two acquaintances that you met back at university. A guilty pleasure.

    Bec, thanks for starting this up as I’m hoping that it will help me with my life / work balance and it’s also inspired me to start a (very nascent) blog with some of my girlfriends about some of the areas of my professional life that I find really interesting (so interesting they spill in to my personal life!) and don’t have an avenue to explore more.

    Great to see that you’re doing so well in life and flourishing.

    Nam xx

  22. Two of my favourite books – good choice!

    One Day – I read it because it kept popping up on my Twitter feed and I’m notoriously unable to resist finding out what all the fuss is about on anything! I truly loved it. Yes, it’s essentially chick lit (as much as I hate that term) written by a bloke but the way in which the characters were developed was more than that. I realised half way through that I actually cared what happened to Emma and Dexter which I think is more than half the battle with these so-called romcom books. I wanted to shake them both and knock their heads together in a way you want to do with naughty children. Without spoiling it too much for everyone else who is still reading/or yet to start and whilst I stared wide eyed at my book and re-read THAT line about 10 times, I think it resembles real life more than just a generic happy ending. Sometimes things do happen that floors us before believing it’s really real. And if a book can generate that feeling in you, then it has to be doing something right…right?

    No, it didn’t change my life like so many people said it would and I think if you open the orange cover – you have to get the orange one rather than the one with Miss Hathaway’s face on the front – believing it’s going to make you re-evaluate your life you will be disappointed. All that said though, I refuse to watch the film because the way in which the book sits in my head is what makes it so special. I don’t want some film maker to try and change that, and inadvertently ruin, it’s magic. Plus, Hathaway as Emma is just wrong!

    Breakfast at Tiffanys – My favourite book and film in the whole world. The die-hard romantic in me almost prefers the film ending but in fact, I think it’s the only book where I’ve loved them both. I’ll pop back when a few more people have read it before I launch into exactly WHY this BAT is so truly captivating – and no, it’s not just about Audrey Hepburn. Although I do love love her.

    Loves,
    Rachel xx

  23. I’m a sucker for a popular, ‘Richard & Judy book club’-type read so quite enjoyed One Day. I found it through one of the AOW summer reading posts. I tend to read at night to make me sleepy so I do like easy to read, page turners that aren’t necessarily too mentally taxing! The ending did frustrate me a bit and I agree with everyone’s comments about Dexter being an arse. I also immediately followed this book with another one with a similar ending (completely by accident) and became a little bit of an emotional wreck for a couple of days!
    Will definitely be getting Breakfast At Tiffany’s so I can join in with the discussion xx

  24. I do wish I read more but life gets in the way far too often but after hearing the hype for this book (leading up to the film release) and seeing it in the local charity shop I thought I would give it a go… I read it in two days and as Rachel said I re read THAT line, and cried… I wasn’t expecting that.
    Both Emma and Dexter did my nut in a fair few times, and if Emma was a friend of mine I would shake her too! But all in all I really enjoyed the book and will be passing it on to friends this weekend.

    Breakfast at Tiifany’s is one of my all time favourite films so will be buying the book at the weekend for my next literary fix.

  25. I read One Day a few months back after hearing friends rave about it but i had mixed feelings. I loved the character of Emma but i found the story so frustrating, probably because everyone has a Dexter in their life! Plus i read the most upsetting part whilst on public transport and i was not prepared for it at all!
    I haven’t seen the film yet but heard Anne Hathaway doesn’t do Emma justice plus when you read a book first the film tends to disappoint.
    Which brings me to Breakfast at Tiffanys – my all time favourite film and one of the best books i have ever read! It’s the exception to my rule because i love the book and film equally even though the story and characters differ a lot. I adore Audrey Hepburn and think no one could bring Holly Golightly to life quite like she did, i won’t ruin it but the Holly in the book is more raw. I’m going to re-read for the discussion, probably for the 50th time!xx

  26. Right, so I’ve now read One Day (late to this party obviously!) and yes, I liked it although agree it’s not going to change my world. I finished it over about 2 days so a very easy read. Emma -very likeable, very believable but INCREDIBLY STUPID -get over your stupid crush!! Dexter -very frustrating and right up to the end I felt like he didn’t deserve Emma. Heartwrenching ending. I do think David Nicholls is very good at light, retro-type fiction -I read ‘Starter for 10′ years ago (am a University Challenge geek!) and like it a lot more than ‘One Day’.

  27. (Dec 9th)
    Ok ladies, brace yourselves. I finished (well, sort of,) the book.

    I found Dexter the most irritating character – pathetic in his inability o take control of his own life, but I have to say Emma and he were actually quite similar in that way, the way she just let herself blow along in the wind instead of taking control of her life…. until near the end when Dexter came along again to interrupt it again, but I persevered, even when he got all pathetic after they got together.

    THEN SHE BLOODY DIED! Just like that, no build up, no warning just dead-o. I couldn’t believe it, but wasn’t One Day written by the guy who used to write a series that was set in Manchester (where I live actually) with the girl who played Emily in friends, Cold Feet? – I actually didn’t watch it until the last series or so, but exactly the same happened in that – she died on a bike going to view a house. And so I couldn’t face the last 4 chapters… I started, but him wallowing and going back to his idiotic self was too much. It just made me think what a waste of the last months of her life he was, when she was happy in Paris, and I also think it was a real cop out of a finale to the book.

    I keep meaning to try and read them – is it worth it?!

    Responses welcome!
    xo
    xo

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