Damn Townies!

A few Friday’s ago the girls and I got together to discuss ‘Prince of Thieves’ by Chuck Hogan.  This was an excellent book about a group of hoodlums outside of Boston, Mass.  They’ve spent their lives in and out of jail, robbing, drinking and whoreing around in between bouts behind bars.  The older these four boys get, the bigger their heists.  The main character, Doug, struggles with his current “profession” but doesn’t really see a way out…until he meets “the girl”.  Sure, he meets her behind a hockey mask at gun point but what an interesting meet cute to tell your grandkids about!  With the FBI breathing down there necks at every turn this book is both captivating and heart racing!  It had me sucked in to the end, which happened to be about 30 minutes before book club met!

As always, I planned accordingly and said “Wine be damned, we’re going cheap beer and/or Irish dranks tonight!”  The gals pulled through bringing cases of Miller High Life.  Ugggghhhh!  Have to give them credit though, it was indeed a beer referenced in the book.  They’re nothing if not sticklers for detail!  I stuck to my Guinness thank you very much!

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Keeping with the theme I also made “Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie” from the awesome blog budgetbytes.com!  That Beth girl rocks!  (Okay, so I learned that technically it’s Cottage Pie because I used ground beef instead of lamb but come on, where in East Bumble Fuck Egypt am I gonna find ground lamb?)

The Shepherd’s Pie was a big hit but we needed snacky foods too and AGAIN my girls didn’t disappoint.  Anna brought Movie Theater Popcorn because in the book the group knocks over a multi-plex!  She also brought mixed nuts and tater tots (think Potato Famine!).  I set out some bagel chips (because they were a dollar at ‘Dollar General’) and Pub cheese to round out our makeshift meal.

And finally, as if we hadn’t had enough beer to drink already, I concocted a shot to round out the ‘Booze’ section our our book club.  I think it’s usually called an Irish flag but I didn’t have any Grand Marnier so I used Grenadine.  The shot is layered with Grenadine, Creme de Menthe and Irish Cream.

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Pretty neat, huh?  This same weekend was also St. Patrick’s Day (how fortuitous) so I thought I’d round out this post with some pictures of my dog, Kirby, from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Onancock, VA.

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For our next book club we picked (from the giant glass punch bowl) “My Blood Approves” by Amanda Hocking.  This is part of the reason I love this book club, we read books that I may not choose for myself but ultimately enjoy in the end.  Plus I have some great vampire themed ideas for next book club!  Feel free to read along with the gals of Books Booze and Bitchin.  Go ahead and bitch in the comments section if you like, we certainly do enough at our “meetings”!

Until next time, Eat, Drink and Be Yourself!

Putting it off won’t make it go away!

Okay, so I have to admit that the reason for my lengthy absence isn’t solely due to my horrible addiction to Candy Crush Saga (you know what I’m talking about ardenrr!) but also because I never finished reading “Dark Watch” by Clive Cussler (I’m so ashamed!).  Now, I don’t want you to take this as some sort of reflection on the writings of Clive Cussler.  As I’ve never read any other of his novels I can’t properly judge his writings but this book just didn’t grab me as most books do.  Not only did I not complete my task of reading the book, I also can’t remember the book club meeting!  While it would be completely out of character for me, it may be a case of too much wine (who am I kidding, that’s not really a thing!  Never too much wine!).  The best I can give my readers is that we had the meeting on May 11th of 2012, Books, Booze and Bitchin’ met at my house on a Friday and (judging from past book club meetings) we drank wine!  I can’t even remember the food and decorations!  It’s like I completely blocked out this evening all together.  Did something so horrible and mind block worthy happen on this fateful night?  Only my lovely ladies of Books, Booze and Bitchin’ truly know what happened that evening.  And they’re not talking!  I think that Clive Cussler writes for an older and predominantly male audience.  And (not meaning to stereotype but probably doing just that) while his works are very in depth and researched I believe that they are “dumbed down” for those individuals who aren’t as familiar with military jargon (i.e. women and the well educated).  I may give this book the old college try once again soon just to be fair and unbiased.

As for the next book club meeting, I totally remember that night and am already prepping my blog post!  We read ‘Sugar Queen’ by Sarah Addison Allen.  Very excited about my next post and it (hopefully) won’t take me a month to get it together.  If it does please send someone to my house to pry my fingers from the keyboard as my unhealthy addiction to Facebook games will have surely progressed to a full blown disease.  I may need hospitalization!  As always…

Eat, Drink and Be Yourself!

Oh Those Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

Book Club meeting number 2 went down on April 20th, 2012.  We had read “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold.  There was a great divide about this book and I believe it can be traced back to once specific difference between the women in my book club.  Half of the ladies have children, half do not.  Those that did not have kids really enjoyed the book and had no trouble getting through it.  Those who had kids had a really rough go of it.  For those of you who are not familiar with the book, it’s about a young girl named Susie Salmon who is brutally raped and murdered by her neighbor.  She is also the one narrating the story while looking down at her family from the great beyond.  Her family and friends search for her killer with no leads and Susie can’t do anything to help.

Anyway, back to the split.  It’s obvious that the moms of my group kept thinking of their own children, warm and safe in their beds at home under the watchful eyes of their fathers, and couldn’t shake the feeling that as tragic as it is, child abductions occur on a daily basis.  With this in mind, those women were real troopers, they made it through the book and shared their worries and fears with us over several bottles of wine!

All the single ladies (all the single ladies), or rather non-moms (I just wanted you all to get that Beyonce song stuck in your heads) really enjoyed the book as they didn’t have any ankle biters to muddle the story or force them to over think things.  It was absolutely amazing to see how different the reviews of this book were.  I couldn’t have predicted this outcome but thinking it over now it makes perfect sense.  Us childfree ladies got a glimpse into the thought processes of a parent.  And speaking as someone who is living blissfully child free I have to say…it was exhausting!  All that worrying about how not to let your child die!  I suppose if I ever did have a child (hahahaha, no, no, that’s never going to happen.   Seriously.  Never.) I’d wrap them in bubble wrap and lock them in a closet until they were 18!  Seriously, that’s a lot of worrying, I’d give myself a stroke before the kid hit its first birthday!

Besides the great conversation and a sensible amount of wine (yeah, right!) I also put together some snacks to go along with the story.  Not sure if you can tell from the picture but the stack of white things are bone shaped vanilla meringue topped with severed fingers!  The book title is also spelled out in meringue but spent a few too many minutes in the oven, hence the crispy brown color.  One of my lovely ladies brought this yummy tomato cream cheese deliciousness that is also visible in the picture. We had the usual chips and guac/salsa.  Under the tin foil was my special batch of lasagna, of which there were no leftovers, much to the dismay of my honey who scavenges the dining room when the ladies stumble home around midnight!  I thought the lasagna would be a perfect meal as the book took place in the 70’s when housewives made casseroles like it was their job!

So, to sum up, go out and read the book but keep an open mind if you’re a mother or father and don’t over think it.  It’s very well written without being overly challenging.  The movie is also pretty good.  Although never as captivating as the book, watching Mark Wahlberg (totally had to google his real name as I was going to type Marky Mark) act in a movie that didn’t involve guns, explosions or a talking teddy bear was remarkably captivating, even if he didn’t take her shirt off…not even once!

At the close of our second successful meeting of the minds we chose book number 3, ‘Dark Watch’ by Clive Cussler.  Keep in mind that the books are selected by a very challenging series of…nope, nope, never mind, we just pull the names out of a hat!  Every lady gets a piece of paper to write down their book selection for future reading.  We usually don’t find out who’s book we’ve picked until the next book club, at which point that woman gets to pull the next book out of the hat.

I’m really hoping to keep up on this whole blogging thing.  I have no idea how some of you write every single day, do you not have jobs?!  Just kidding.  But seriously, what’s the secret?  And if you tell me it’s more typing and less spending hours playing Candy Crush on Facebook, I reject your suggestions!  And as always…

Eat, Drink and Be Yourself!

The Devil in the White City

Our story begins in the small town of Exmore on the Eastern Shore of VA.  A gaggle of women gathered at my home for the FIRST Books Booze and Bitchin’ book club meeting on March 16th, 2012.  The first book was chosen by moi and so we read “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson.  As I frantically cleaned, decorated and cooked in preparation for this first get together I started to panic. What if this was a huge mistake?  What if the girls hated the book I chose?  What if my first book club was going to be my last?  Pushing those thoughts aside I quickly assembled my dry bar with the necessary items: food, book themed decorations, and (of course) booze!  My Martha Stewart side began to flourish as I wrapped the half empty (or half full depending on your world view) liquor bottles with paper to create a makeshift Chicago skyline.  Sticking to my now strict protocol that everything we eat and drink be book themed I pulled a piping hot “Devil in the White Pizza” from the oven.  I took the “Devil in the White Sangria” from the fridge and stacked the “Devil in the White Cupcakes” on a platter.

From there I held my breath, waiting and watching the clock tick down to the evening hours.  A slow trickle of women began to pour into my home and once things got into full swing there were a total of 6 beautiful women drinking, talking and laughing in my dining room!  While the food and drinks went over splendidly, the book did not!  I have to say that personally I loved the book.  For those who haven’t had the pleasure, it’s about the creation of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893.  Subsequently it was also the creation of America’s first known serial killer, H.H. Holmes, who preyed on the flock of young women entering Chicago in droves during that time.  For all intents and purposes it was a non-fiction book and coming in at a whopping 423 pages in paperback it was not how you say an “easy” read.  While there were a few that vehemently hated the book, there were others that thoroughly enjoyed the parts about the serial killer, and still others that didn’t make it past chapter 1!  I do believe I was the only one to push through but it was well worth it for me.  The book is so intriguing and chocked full of facts about Chicago, the fair itself, and the men and women that poured their blood, sweat and tears into making this fair one that wouldn’t soon be forgotten.  If you’re up for a challenge (or just an avid reader) I give a strong recommendation for this book.

As for the book club itself I would call this one a win!  By the end of the night we were out of wine and pizza and our sides were sore from all the laughter we shared.  We have been communicating through Facebook about our meetings ever since and the following are some comments that were left on my page the very next day:

“Thanks for the laughs girls loved having a night out with all of you:))”

“I had so much fun last night ~ can’t wait till next time~~you all rock!”

“Joann said her abs hurt this morning from all the laughing. What a hell of an evening.”

“It was awesome, I had loads of fun.”

So, with one successful night under my belt we began to plot our second book for April.  At the beginning of the night I had asked the girls to place a book suggestion in the hat.  The next book was chosen and we planned for what we hoped would be another enjoyable evening and great discussion about the book “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold.  And that was that!  So, until next time…

Eat, Drink and Be Yourself!  Happy Reading!

Photo: Yahoooo! ;D

(Side note about the food.  The pizza was a homemade white pizza with olive oil, basil, sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.  The sangria was a mild white wine with peaches, pears, brandy, sugar and lemons mixed in.  The cupcakes were made with a white cake mix with a dollop of red strawberry jam in the middle of each.)

Exactly what you think it is

Hello internet world!  It’s my coming out party!  My first blog (awww, cooing, etc., etc.) This blog is dedicated to my amazing book club bitches who show up once a month to humor me with critiques of the latest title drawn randomly from the hat (or bowl, or tank, or whatever receptacle happens to be within arm shot).

For all of you who don’t know who I am or what this blog is all about, it’s simple.  The Books, Booze & Bitchin’ Book Club is located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  We’re a small group of women who get together at my house once a month to discuss the most recent book from a wide range of titles.  Each month we all get to add a new book to the selection (secret ballot like) and whomever had the last book drawn gets to choose for the next month.  This way we keep it fresh with new genres and don’t get stuck in the “same old same old” rut.  I try to theme my meetings through food, drink and atmosphere as you’ll soon see from our outrageous photos.  And we put away quite a bit of wine as well (hence the name)!

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I’m hoping to post once a week or more starting with books we read last year.  The Three B’s Book Club started one year ago (March 16th, 2012) and has been going strong ever since so I’ve got a bit of material to work with.  I hope you all enjoy this blog as much as me and the girls enjoy the book club.  Until next time…

Eat, Drink and Be Yourself!