Florence’s Book Club: August

Welcome to this month’s edition of Florence’s Book Club. Although the name is the same, after the popularity of Gemma’s Summer Reading post, we decided to keep the reviews short and sweet, more of a round up of what Rachel is reading as a taster to possibly inspire you. I’ve been inspired already reading the selection here and I hope you will too. We also hope you’ll participate too – let us know if you’ll be picking one of these up, or if you have a great read to recommend. Summer holiday season is still in full swing and I don’t doubt that a few of us could do with a good read or two to take away.

Lunch in Paris: A Delicious Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard.
This is not a book for you if you’re a squeamish vegetarian nor if you’re looking for a ‘deep thinking, discover new words, enjoy the way a sentence feels in your mind having read it’ book. This is a book for a jolly good quick and easy read if you like reading about food, relationships and living in a foreign country. I raced through this book. American Elizabeth Bard met a French man, fell in love and moved to Paris. With recipes dotted in between each chapter I don’t know whether to store this book on my cookbook shelf or novel bookshelf. I think this would be a perfect read for going on a self catering holiday where one doesn’t want to take a recipe book but may want inspiration for what to cook – et voila it’s two in one!

The Mirador: Dreamed Memories of Irene Nemirovsky by her Daughter, Elisabeth Gille.
Have you read Suite Francaise? The novel that was started, but never finished due to Irene Nemirovsky being sent to Auschwitz, stored in a suitcase as her daughters hid and many years later the suitcase was opened? It is an amazing book. Back to The Mirador though. This book is written by Nemirovsky’s daughter from the perspective of her mother using letters, notes and family memories, as she was only five when her mother was taken to Auschwitz. Beginning with childhood in wealthy Russia, journeying to Paris, being a teenager, avid reader and writer living in some ways a treasured life… until the war. It’s an unusual book but good insight into another world, a brief history of Russia in the early 20th century, the outbreak of war in France and how it felt to be Jewish.

Mrs Bridge by Evan S. Connell
I was drawn to this slim book in the shop by its cover. Written in 1959 it’s about a wealthy Kansas housewife, her family, her thoughts, her emotions and her life. In our 20th century where we ponder combining career and motherhood here is a wealthy woman with no career, and staff to arrange her every need. How does she fill her days, especially when her three children are grown up? It’s amusing, it’s sad, it’s poignant. It made me think of Mad Men’s Betty Draper.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
I shan’t even begin reviewing this book, just share my story of reading it to encourage a read or re-read. I read this first as a 19 year old and absolutely loved it. Re-read it in my late twenties and couldn’t rediscover what I’d loved the first time round, disappointed and determined to re-find it thought I’d wait and so ten years later here I am. I’m a little nearer to how my 19 year old self first found it, though surprised that I loved it, not being one for the dark brooding man. If this doesn’t tempt you for a read/re read how about this passage.

‘…for I am to take mademoiselle to the moon, and there I shall seek a cave in one of the white valleys among the volcano-tops, and mademoiselle shall live with me there, and only me.
‘She shall have nothing to eat: you will starve her,’ observed Adele,
‘I shall gather manna for her morning and night: the plains and hillsides in the moon are bleached with manna, Adele.’
‘She will want to warm herself: what shall she do for fire?
‘Fire rises out of the lunar mountains: when she is cold I will carry her up to a peak, and lay her down on the edge of a crater.’
‘Oh qu’elle y sera mal – peu comfortable! and her clothes, they will wear out: how can she get new ones?’
Mr Rochester professed to be puzzled. ‘Hem!’ said he, ‘…How would a white or pink cloud answer for a gown, do you think? And one could cut a pretty enough scarf out of a rainbow.’

Rachel x

Florence’s book club: The Language of Flowers

This afternooon it’s Florence’s book club, returning with Rachel’s review of The Language of Flowersby Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I have a copy at home waiting for me to have spare time to read it and I’ve got high hopes so I’m looking forward to hearing what any others of you might think who have read it.

The next book is introduced at the bottom so make a note of it!

I really wanted to read this book. I’d heard lots about it, read good reviews by people whose opinion I trust plus a book about flowers and language, perfect. Yet…Like Victoria, our heroine, I was a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes loving it, sometimes bored, sometimes wondering what on earth could happen next and why was she spoiling something good in her life? It often felt that Victoria’s life seems to be getting better, have shoots of promise, making friends, working as a florist and then bang! Something else comes along and throws her story into another direction.

“I had loved, more than once. I just hadn’t recognised the emotion for what it was until I had done everything within my power to destroy it.”

The Language of Flowersis set in present day America, somehow I’d miss read the name Victoria and the role of the language of flowers in Victorian times, to think this would be a story passing between today and the Victorian era. It moves between the present day and probably 10 years earlier. Victoria’s traumatic life, unwanted from birth, sent from foster home to foster home until she turns 18 and has to fend for herself. From the beginning we know that she has been loved once but something terrible happened, this part of the story is slowly unravelled for us. We also know that somewhere along her journey she has discovered flowers, and the language of flowers.

“Now, as an adult, my hopes for the future were simple: I wanted to be alone, and to be surrounded by flowers. It seemed, finally, that I might get exactly what I wanted.”

I absolutely loved reading it in spring time as my new garden was coming to life. To feel and smell the flowers, see the buds of new life popping out whilst reading about characters who live, breathe and love flowers. To learn about the different meaning of flowers, at the back of the book is ‘Victoria’s Dictionary of Flowers’. Victoria uses flowers to communicate. Her skill as a florist is partly in understanding her customers, their loves and lives, and choosing the flowers to express their hopes and dreams for when words have run dry, or when planning a wedding. There is a recurring theme about misinterpretation of definitions, how things aren’t always as they appear, meanings, and life, are not all as they seem. A rose is a rose is a rose…

“What does she mean, ‘A rose is a rose is a rose’?” I asked….
“That things just are what they are,” he said.
“’A rose is a rose.’”
“’Is a rose,’” he finished, smiling faintly.
I thought about all the roses in the garden below, their varying shades of colour and youth. “Except when it’s yellow,” I said. “Or red or pink, or unopened or dying.”

If you are planning a wedding, or recently have, flowers are important to you and are perhaps a worrier, now may not be the time to read this book. Some of our favourite wedding flowers appear to have uncomfortable meanings. This could also make planning your wedding flowers more fun, interesting or just add a different dimension. Or you could keep this in the world of fiction.

My final thoughts, when I was enjoying the story, had had a tough day at work, my brain and emotions ached from working too hard my first thoughts on commuting home were ‘oh good I can escape into The Language of Flowers – above twitter, blogs, and that says a lot about a book.

To try a development of Florence Finds Book Club and following on from conversations at Florence Finds London Afternoon Tea I wondered about whether to open up the discussion more. Please share your thoughts on this book but also any other novels about flowers or gardens that you’ve read and we can create a selection of recommended novels about flowers and gardens.

I don’t know about you but I like to read books about men and women, books set in the modern day to the distant past. I like reading a book that then prompts me to find out more about the subject by reading other books. This leads to our next Florence Finds Book Club. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. I don’t know very much about it but do know it’s about Ernest Hemmingway and his marriage, written from the perspective of his wife. I’m looking forward to finding out more about him, being tempted to perhaps read his autobiography A Moveable Feast and maybe being nudged into reading one of his novels. If reading this book doesn’t appeal then please think about fictional books you’ve enjoyed that are based on real people for when we meet again.

So, it’s time to hear from you! Have you read The Language of Flowers? Or can you make a similar recommendation? Maybe you love a certain flower for it’s meaning or chose/are choosing your wedding flowers for that reason? I’d love to hear…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Florence’s Book Club: Little Women and The Language of Flowers

This afternoon, we’re welcoming Rachel back to review her last Book Club choice, Little Women, with the option to also read the follow on book, Good Wives. I read both on holiday a couple of weeks ago and felt an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, them being two of my favourite books as a teen.

The thing I love about the Book Club though is the way hearing what somebody else felt when they read a book changes your perspective on it, even when it’s a classic you are familiar with already. For that reason, I loved Rachel’s review and think her choice for next month’s Book Club is perfect for Florence Finds – particularly as my thoughts turn to the garden with spring in the air and the romance that brings. I’ll let you judge for yourselves but please do join in and share your thoughts on Little Women and/or Good Wives, and let us know if you’ll be reading The Language of Flowers too. Don’t forget, all the book club titles are listed in Florence’s Amazon shop.

Little Women and Good Wives by L M Alcott

NB This review contains spoilers if you are yet to finish it.

I could write about how Little Women made me think about female friendships and how we’re drawn to stories surrounding them. (SATC anyone?) The different characters that make up our friendship groups. How we work as a friendship unit but within it some of us are closer to one friend, how we each bring out the best in each other and sometimes the calmest person gives strength to the loudest.

I could write about how I loved reading it in the run up, during and post Christmas. How it made me reflect on how we’re coming back to giving homemade gifts. We now relish making handmade gifts for our loved ones. There are wonderful passages about what they choose to make and give each other.

I could write about how I think I’m mainly Meg but with a little bit of Beth and Amy tossed in for good measure. (Though I do like my nose and would never dream of wearing a peg on it. Each time I read or think about Amy’s nose it makes me smile.)

Little Women

I could write about how I identified with Meg having completely planned what to say if Mr Brooke asked for hand in marriage. And when it came to it, it all went out the window.

I could write how it was good to read Good Wives in the New Year for New Year’s resolutions.

I could write about how I felt chastened reading about Meg’s desire and temptation for frippery landed her in financial trouble as I travelled on the tube to go sales shopping on the Kings Road.

I could write to all who are thinking about having a family, are pregnant or have a family that they must read the chapter ‘On the shelf’ to ensure their adult relationships remain strong with the arrival of the pitter patter of tiny feet.

I was all set to write about the heartache. About Laurie’s heartache. Let’s just say I missed my tube stop at the point where Jo refuses Laurie’s hand in marriage. I know, I know, of course Jo and Laurie shouldn’t be together but part of me will always feel that Jo and Laurie belong together. My heart kept saying – ‘Oh Jo why couldn’t you love Laurie?’ By the end of the book I’m just about convinced that they have all made the right matches.

And then…. The final chapter. Jo our strong willed, independent heroine, who breaks boundaries, lives by her heart and not society’s conventions sets up her own school. A school for boys. My head and heart scream – “What about the girls’ education?” I realise that even that is a step too far for Jo and L M Alcott to consider and feel thankful that I live in Britain in the 21st century.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
I’m really excited about our next book. I’d been wanting to choose a more recent novel and it doesn’t get more recent than this one. It will be out in paperback on the 1st March. So read it first for Florence Finds.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is our next title for Florence Finds Book Club. I know very little about it apart from reading great reviews, hoping I’ll enjoy a good story and learn a little bit more about the language of flowers. What could be more perfect for a spring read? We’ll be reviewing this on 17th April.

Thanks Rachel!

Don’t forget, if you have a great read that you would like to suggest for Florence’s Book club (click for more info) then please just drop me a line on hello@florencefinds.com.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS you can read more from Rachel at her blog Flowers and Stripes, or find her on Twitter @MrsHunterDunn.

Florence’s Book Club: The Help and Sacred Hearts

This afternoon it’s Florence’s book club and a huge thank you goes to Anna for stepping into the breach with her fabulous review. (Yes, Anna of the Edwardian kitchen make-over – this girl’s multi-talented!)

It’s over to Anna before we introduce our next book – Sacred Hearts below.

I picked up The Help at the airport as my holiday read eighteen months ago. I’d not yet come across the hype that now surrounds this book and the film that followed it, so had very little in the way of expectation.

I think I read it in a day. It may or may not have been the first day of my holiday. From the very start I was totally hooked.
As you are transported to 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, you know what you are reading holds more than a hint of truth, yet you just don’t want to believe it. The unjust treatment of the black maids is hard to stomach, however the compassion they show for each other is humbling. There is a huge depth to each of the main characters. It is impossible not to completely warm to Aibileen; to want to see Miss Hilly get her comeuppance and to stand at the sidelines cheering Skeeter on.

As the stories unfold, it becomes clear that the race divide is not the only pressing theme in the lives of the women we meet. Embedded within their community are more important relationships that transcend the colour of their skin.

The most apparent is that which develops between Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter. Skeeter must work hard to win the trust of the two women, but once she has it, they are willing to risk their lives in the belief that she will make the world a safer and fairer place for them and their daughters. Does this say more about the injustice of the Deep South at this time, or the bond of friendship that can be built in the most unlikely places?

I’ve painted the story as a serious one which focuses on the plight of marginalised women 50 years ago. This it is. But at the same time, it is a truly heart-warming tale with some real ‘laugh out loud’ humour in it. Never more so than whenever someone pulls a fast one on Miss Hilly. We have all known a Miss Hilly, the do-gooder who deep down, and for whatever reason, is really not very nice. She holds dear to her heart the belief that black people are inferior. (and she is not alone in this belief)

She symbolises all that is wrong with this society in the author’s eyes. She is portrayed as a bastion of negativity, and not just from the point of view of the maids. Likewise her refusal to welcome Miss Celia into the community shows her as small minded and snobbish. It is difficult to warm to her at all, but should we have more sympathy for such a character? After all, she is doing nothing more than acting on the beliefs instilled in her by the society in which she has been brought up?

There are so many themes running through this novel. The history of black maids in the Deep South; the prejudices faced by them on a daily basis; the expectations of white women to marry and have children, and to forego any kind of career. For me, the biggest theme was change. Change for the better that can be brought about by people, in this case women, working together for a common cause.

A powerful, funny and inspiring read.

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant (recommended by Jo Norman)

I think this would seem to be a perfect book for Florence Finds as it is essentially a love story but is also about the strength of love between women obliged to live together. Set in 1570 in an Italian convent it is the story of the young Seraphina sent to the convent under duress and Zuana who has been in the convent for a number of years intermingled with the stories and politics of cloistered life.

It is a story of a forbidden love, loss of loved ones, the machinations of convent life and repressed passion. Don’t be put off by the religious nature of this book as it certainly doesn’t preach, it just gives you an insight of 1570s life in Italy without feeling like a history lesson. This book does require a little bit of perseverance at the beginning but by the end you won’t be able to turn the pages quick enough.

(Here are some ‘reading notes’ to consider if you want to:)

  • Did you like it?
  • Did it take you a while to really get into it?
  • If you were a woman with few options, would you prefer to go into a convent or to be married off to someone you had no knowlege of?
  • Do you think convents are/were subject to political wrangling?
  • Did you like the ending?
  • Did you think Zuana should have kept the secret?
  • Did you feel sorry for the Abbess?
  • Did you get much sense that it was set in 1570 or was it timeless?
  • Was it a shame that Zuana was there – would she have been happier “outside”?

Will you be joining in with this read along and have you read The Help? I’m really enjoying my copy so I’d love to hear what you all think?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

My Month…

Hello readers!

It’s that time again… the end of the month is nearing and I’m sharing my month in Instagram pictures (taken off Instagrid). You can see these pictures as they happen by following me on Instagram or Twitter but here’s the blow by blow…

  • Warming up for winter with my new mini hottie bottle and toes in rouge noir for the first toe tidy of winter (DIY of course!) 🙂
  • Decorating the tree.
  • Remember this wreath? – Bookmark the DIY post for next year’s wreath ideas…
  • The lake at Dunham Massey frozen over the week before Christmas in a cold snap, taken on a late afternoon deer-spotting walk with my sister and her boyfriend who were visiting.
  • A last minute gift purchase (Grapefruit body lotion for my Mum) and a Christmas manicure – It’s a seasonal tradition for my Mum, sister and I to get together the week before Christmas in Manchester for shopping, lunch and nails with Champagne 🙂
  • Chocolate bread and butter pudding in Carluccios on another shopping trip pre-Christmas, made with croissants… great idea for a future pudding dish.
  • My two cats supervising the last of the wrapping on Christmas eve, my new lip find – Stila’s lip stain in Acai crush (available at Boots) and my niece pushing her Daddy and Pete on the zip wire in the park when we visited Pete’s folks pre-Christmas.
  • Scouring my bookshelves back home for the books for this month’s book club – Little Women and Good Wives.
  • Christmas outfits… A Reiss oversized jumper dress, boots leggings and my GAP parka which I live in at the moment for Christmas eve, then some burgundy sparkle tweed topshop shorts with a Whistles blouse for Christmas day.
  • And lastly… the much requested earring shot (apologies for the lack of face to accompany it, I was in no fit state last night when writing this!) and my sleek and chic (if a wee bit short) bob.

I hope December has been kind to you all and you’re excited about starting the New Year – You should be – I’ve got lots in store!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Florence’s Book Club: Breakfast at Tiffany’s & Little Women

Hooray! It’s that time again – Florence’s book club. Rachel is back with her thoughts on Breakfast at Tiffany’s and I can’t wait to share mine (I’ll be leaving a comment later) and hear your take on it. Plus, I’m pretty excited about Rachel’s next choice which happens to be an all-time favourite of mine which featured heavily in my childhood. Let’s get going!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
So this is a book club. Yet try as I might to review just the book, the film just keeps creeping into my mind. Which came first for you? I knew of the film, but read the book first. After reading it I remember thinking ‘How can this story be so widely talked about with daydream moon eyes?’ The way everyone spoke I’d presumed this was a frothy, glamorous escape story. It’s nothing like I imagined. This is a dark story. Then I saw the film. Aaah: here are two different stories. This is my third re-read of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and this time I watched the film mid read. Like so many stories each re-read, & re-watch in this case, gives something new.

As is often the case, when there is a film, images are already in your head. The Holly of the film really does look like the Holly in the book.

‘…she wore a slim cool black dress, black sandals, a pearl choker. For all her chic thinness, she had an almost breakfast cereal air of health, a soap and lemon cleanness, a rough pink darkening in the cheeks. Her mouth was large, her nose upturned. A pair of dark glasses blotted out her eyes.’

What really struck me this time is the theme of ‘travelling and home’. On first glance having ‘travelling’ on one’s calling card seems oh so decadent, teasing, yet the more one learns of Holly the deeper it runs. Her surname? Golightly. The cat with no name. It really struck me when she says ‘I’ll never get used to anything. Anybody that does they, might as well be dead.’ I like knowing where my home is. I’m glad I have an address with a number, road and town. I don’t want ‘Travelling’ as my address.

And as the story unravels it gets further and further from the film, or rather the film gets further and further from the book. So when I want to escape on a wet Sunday afternoon I shall re-watch the film. But when life feels blue, and I don’t want to run away from it, I will read the book.

I shall write no more. If you love the film do read the book, but expect a different story, or if you want to stay in the Tiffany blue box daydream then don’t; but if you don’t, know that the story you know isn’t Truman Capote’s.

Here are the prompts we left you with on the introductory post, which as you’ll have noticed I haven’t addressed so please don’t feel you have to.

  • 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?
  • What are your thoughts on Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

Little Women
Image taken from the 1949 film version of Little Women starring Elizabeth Taylor as ‘Amy’

We have The Help on the go too but the book for two month’s time is a childhood and adult classic that’s also a Christmas classic. One to cuddle up with cosy on the sofa with a mince pie, L.M.Alcott’s Little Women. It’s a long time since I read this and this time I’m going to be really interested in reading about the sibling relationship, thinking about which character is most like me, or I would most like to be like and how would I cope in their circumstances? I’m looking forward to reading about the sister, (I think Amy?) who wears a clothes peg on her nose to change its shape, Jo and Laurie’s relationship and strong female characters. If you’d like to read a little more, or read a part you’ve not read before then how about reading Good Wives too? We will be sharing our thoughts on this book on Tuesday 21st of February.

Thanks Rachel! Please do share you thoughts on Breakfast at Tiffanys (book or film) by leaving a comment. 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Florence’s Book Club… Persuasion and The Help.

Hooray! It’s book club time again, and the month we’re wrapping up the last of the books that were started (by me) pre Florence’s launch. This one was chosen as a suggestion by Rachel mentioning The Book Snob‘s read-along.

Reviewing a classic is always difficult and I haven’t quite finished my copy (Blame the blog!) so instead of treading on the toes of those who love it, I am of course, as always, asking you ladies to share your thoughts on Persuasion.

As a guide, consider these questions that I had when reading to prompt your comments too…

  • Is Mrs Russel a good friend? Well meaning, or a busy body? Or did you cynically think she had an ulterior motive?!
  • Like many of Austen’s novels, the story takes a long time to come to its conclusion, via many a misunderstanding and unsaid word. Does this drive you (like me) to distraction?
  • There are parallels to be drawn between Persuasion and modern life with similarities to many womens’ sense of missing out on the ‘one that got away’. Can you identify with a character who lives in such a different era with such different social constraints?

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Before we do however, it’s time to introduce our next book. Don’t forget, the book club runs bi-monthly, so this book will be introduced this month but not reviewed and discussed until January. Next month we’ll be discussing Breakfast at Tiffany’s that Rachel introduced last month. So now let me hand over to Laura who sent this in to me as a suggestion a few weeks ago, to introduce The Help, also out on film right about now.

Hi Florence Finds readers! My name is Laura, an avid Florence Finds follower and I would love to introduce to Florence Finds Book Club a beautifully written novel – The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A U.S bestseller novel, that has recently been made into a film – hotly tipped for Oscar nominations!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help is set in 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi, in a time where “Black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted to not steal the silver…” The story focuses around three central characters, Skeeter, Abileen and Minny who form an unlikely friendship to give the black maids in Mississippi a much needed voice.

The sub characters in the book are hugely enthralling and create fantastic images in your mind – from the controlling and self obsessed Miss Hilly, to the outcast Miss Celia, who, no matter how hard she tries, never quite fits in.

The Help provides a valuable insight into the Civil Rights Movement in the sixties. Set alongside the world of white middle class housewives who are so constrained by traditions and rules, they are almost suffocating, even though some of the ‘rules’ are self-imposed, and those who are desperate to join their world, but are shut out. The story moves at such a pace that you will find you can’t put the book down – so much so I read it cover to cover in just two days!

The Help’s central focus is around the working conditions and treatment of the black maids and whilst this clearly provides a huge number of very valuable and interesting talking points, I would love for readers to not only look at the central issue but also the many layers of relationships between women that are prevalent in the book and think about how these relationships still exist in our very own modern day lives, such as;

– The “unlikely” friendship that is formed between Skeeter, Aibleen and Minny, have you had an unlikely friendship that turned into one of your most rewarding?
– Have you ever had a “Toxic Friend” like Miss Hilly, someone who you once were possibly so similar too but now don’t relate to at all?
– Have you every felt like an outcast like Miss Celia, who can’t do right for doing wrong? Or ever had empathy with someone who is in Miss Celia’s shoes?

The Help will have you feeling true warmth towards the central characters and laughing out loud at the ultimate revenge story that becomes “Two Slice Hilly”

Happy reading 🙂

Laura xx

Over to you readers… tell me your thoughts on Persuasion, and if you will be reading The Help – I think it looks brilliant 🙂

Rebecca
xo

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 🙂

Florence’s Book Club…

Reading has always been a great love of mine, but like for so many people, life kinda gets in the way sometimes. My highest rate of reading since my childhood when I used to devour the classics on a daily basis, has to have been during my A-level studies in English Literature. Without a doubt I attribute that to the constant stimulation and recommendations of those literary types around me.

Some of my favourites from that period include:

Right now, I’m trying to read One Day, so I can join in with all the hype and go see the film. I don’t want to restrict myself to current or popular fiction however, revisiting some of the classics would be welcome relief.

In all of this I really need a kind of mentor and as with all things that I’m no expert on (more on this coming soon!) I’m going to ask a series of guest bloggers to submit a book for Florence’s book club. Forging the way and being our regular guest blogger will be Joan Hunter Dunn of Flowers and Stripes who will guide us bi-monthly through some choice titles. Every other month we’ll hear from friends of Florence, firstly starting with some blogging buddies of mine and then hopefully building up to some reader submissions.

The way it will work is that the book title for that 2 month period will be announced at the end of the blog post from the last or closing book. You then have 2 months to read the book. The idea of having monthly posts but a 2 monthly time period for each is that you can choose to skip a month if you’re busy or simply don’t fancy the book, but don’t have to wait a full 2 months before having a new suggestion.


*Two totally different love stories…

What I’m hoping to achieve is to make myself read more and gain inspiration for good reading matter from people who know more about it that me! Of course we can all go to a bookshop or the library and make our own choices but if you like to discuss books, the leading characters or era, I hope that we can all enjoy the discussion that comes along with the close of the book!

To start off, while Mrs Hunter Dunn is preparing her first choice, I’m going to be joining in with her in following a read along of Jane Austen‘s Persuasion starting this week.

Feel free to drop me an email on hello@florencefinds.com if you have an idea or would like to lead a book club post in the future – I’d love to hear from you!

Happy reading

Love,
Rebecca.
xo

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