The Blythe Cove Book Group Goes Back to School With a Good Book

September is back to school in Martha’s Vineyard, just like most other places. The daylight hours are shortening, flocks of tourists are thinning. Year round residents take a deep sigh of relief that they’ll have the island back to themselves.

September’s book choice was an easy one: Aggie has a secret plan for one of the young year-round residents of Blythe Cove Manor. Here’s her reasoning for the book she chose:

Sometimes you come across a young person who is talented, smart, kind, and would greatly benefit from an Ivy League education (don’t scowl Mudge). But said young person doesn’t even know how to dream about such a thing. This book is meant to help me (and maybe you, too, Blythe) figure out how to get said young person to start thinking Ivy League.

Pick it up at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, or Kobo.

 

Have you read Secret Society Girl yet? Yes? –proceed scrolling for some very real comments by the members of the BBG.

If not, download it before you proceed.

There may be spoilers, otherwise!

 

Blythe (proprietress of Blythe Cove Manor): Oh Helen, I didn’t know much about what it meant to go to an Ivy League university before. I heartily agree that we need to help make this happen for our special young person. To think that until so very recently, these secret societies didn’t take young women is utterly disgraceful.

Helen (director of the local library): I don’t want to say who I’m speaking of, although Blythe obviously knows her. I recognize this is an unusual way to choose a book for the book group, but I enjoyed it. I had a nice, staid, state university education with no secret societies. But I’m not brilliant, and I don’t aspire to much more than enjoying life on the island and making sure everyone gets matched with their perfect next read. I think this book is just the one to get a young woman thinking about her possibilities off island..

Mudge (excursion boat owner/operator): Hmmm. Helen, I didn’t realize an Ivy League education came with so much drama, but I suppose it makes sense. I enjoyed the book, although I thought most Yalie’s would benefit from a summer at sea to teach them how to handle the real life drama the sea can throw at you.

Aggie (owner, Sandpiper Restaurant): Helen, this was an interesting choice for you, since you usually trend toward literary, or an Oprah pick. At first, I didn’t like the light tone, but then I realized that it was Amy’s self defense mechanism against a university social structure that still tends to see young women as not-quite-good-enough. It has got me thinking about whether my son should read it.

Fred (island taxi driver): I thought I was going to hate this, Helen. I usually love your picks, though, so… all I have to say is “Glad I didn’t want an Ivy League education!” But, to your point about a certain someone who could benefit from it, I agree. Let’s make a plan to see our young person not only reads this book, and others to get her thinking about the possibilities, but let’s do more.

Did you miss the other book group picks? Check them all out here.

SHARE THIS Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

What to Read on a Hot August Day?

August is hot in Martha’s Vineyard. The sun is high, the days are long. Year round residents drag out the fans and take it easy when the sun gets high — unlike the tourists. There’s nothing residents like more than to relax with in the shade with a good book.

August’s book choice was an easy one: Fred, who wishes the Summer Olympics happened every year, chose a thriller with an Olympic twist. Here’s why, in his own words:

The Summer Olympics should be held every year. Who doesn’t have a thrill watching those athletes compete for the gold? Next best thing is reading a book about an Olympic athlete. Especially one that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If I’m going to read a romance, it needs to have a CIA operative, a gold-medal Olympic gymnast, and an action-packed mission to keep me interested. Bet Mudge will like this one, even with the romance.

Pick it up at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, or Kobo.

 

Have you read More Than Gold yet? Yes? –proceed scrolling for some very real comments by the members of the BBG.

If not, download it before you proceed.

There may be spoilers, otherwise!

 

Blythe (proprietress of Blythe Cove Manor): Oh Fred, I loved this book. Morgan is so strong and determined. Her heart is big and her courage had my heart beating so hard I had to turn the fan up a notch. To think that a brave act twelve years in the past could put her life in danger in the present makes me hope this isn’t based on a real gymnast!

Helen (director of the local library): Fred, I had not tried any of Shirley Hailstock’s books before. The Capital Chronicles taps one of my favorite tropes — government intrigue. Even better, it has government intrigue involving two different governments, plus a jaded CIA agent ready for true love. I ordered the whole series for the library.

Mudge (excursion boat owner/operator): Okay, Fred, you got me. Yes, it has a steamy romance, but the intrigue is even steamier. And the Olympic behind-the-scenes stuff was great. If summer wasn’t so important to my business, I’d suggest you and I book a trip to the next summer Olympics.

Aggie (owner, Sandpiper Restaurant): There’s something to be said for a plot that twists and turns and keeps surprising me. There were times when I actually got so caught up in the story, a customer had to remind me I was supposed to be bartending.

Fred (island taxi driver): Another win from Fred in the reader satisfaction column. Can’t imagine what I’ll pick next time…

SHARE THIS Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

July in Martha’s Vineyard Reveals Secrets

July is high season in Martha’s Vineyard. Tourists and summer folk are everywhere. Year round residents sigh, gripe, or enjoy the influx of people as their natures demand. They know the island looks nothing like it will in a few months, when winter comes. They know where the secrets are buried.

July’s book choice was an easy one: Mudge chose a thriller that is sure to give the summer folk a reason to check the shadows behind them as they walk about the island. Here’s why, in his own words:

When it is my turn, I like to pick something that will pull back the lace curtains and show a side of the island that we don’t usually talk about to the summer folk.

Pick it up at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Google Play or Kobo.

 

Have you read The Caretaker yet? If so, proceed scrolling for some very real comments by the members of the BBG.

If not, download it (for free!) before you proceed.

There may be spoilers, otherwise!

 

Blythe (proprietress of Blythe Cove Manor): I always love it when Mudge tries to convince us that the world needs to be met with suspicion and wariness. I must admit, I will look at some of the caretakers here a little more closely, though..

Helen (director of the local library): Mudge, I will recommend this book to summer patrons. Maybe it will make them look both ways when they cross the road. Who knows, a little less complacence might prevent an accident or two.

Mudge (excursion boat owner/operator): People have secrets. If you think this piece of fiction was disturbing, you should know some of those secrets–

Aggie (owner, Sandpiper Restaurant): Okay, Mudge. Secrets are not always meant to be told. Or, if they are, they are best told in fiction. And that’s all I’ll say about this book other than it kept me up all night finishing it.

Fred (island taxi driver): I’m with you Mudge. A little more suspicion never hurt anyone. I almost missed picking up a guest because I was at the end of the book and couldn’t put it down until I finished it. She forgave me, though, when I gave her the book and turned her into a fan.

SHARE THIS Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

May is for Moms

Welcome to the Mother’s Day edition of Blythe’s Book Group. Every month a group of hardy Martha’s Vineyard year round residents get together to discuss a book. You are invited to join them.

May’s book choice was an easy one: Aggie chose one of her favorite authors, Kelly McClymer (yes, one of the Storytellers!). She chose Shop and Let Die, the first book of the Secret Shopper Mom mystery series. Here’s why, in her own words:

I’ve had to juggle work and raising a child, too. I love reading about Molly, who can solve a mystery, help her overly anxious daughter, and find solutions for her son with dyslexia. Best of all, Molly — like me — isn’t perfect at the juggling act. She forgets to plug in her phone, is often just barely in time to pick her children up from school, and — again like me — she’s learned to deal with situations where all the balls she’s juggling end up on the floor.

Pick it up at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Google Play or Kobo.

 

Have you read Shop and Let Die yet? If so, proceed scrolling for some very real comments by the members of the BBG.

If not, download it (for free!) before you proceed.

There may be spoilers, otherwise!

 

Blythe (proprietress of Blythe Cove Manor): I thought this was an appropriate choice for Mother’s Day. I’ve had many mothers here, and they are all juggling so many balls I wonder how they manage. Having a sneak peek inside Molly’s head gives me a better idea — most moms feel like they’re about to drop all their balls, all the time. It makes me appreciate my mother, and grandmother, even more. I’m sure they’d say that cell phones don’t really help with the juggling as much as they ought, so they’d be glad they didn’t have to add their to the juggling pile.

Helen (director of the local library): Aggie, this was a great choice. My patrons are always looking for a good blend of humor, mystery, and insight into unusual occupations. Molly’s mystery shopping day job was well explained and I must admit a little daunting. I’ll never look at my trip to the coffee shop the same way again.

Mudge (excursion boat owner/operator): I sent my mom flowers and chocolate after I read this. Sounds like riding out a squall in the middle of the ocean would be easier than being a modern mom. Although, I bet Molly would be a better hand at sea that she might think. That mystery shopping needs the same attention to detail as a ship does.

Aggie (owner, Sandpiper Restaurant): Well, I recommended it, so I’ll just say, as soon as I read it, I had to go get the next books in the series to see what happened to Molly. Book 3, The Mall is Not Enough just came out, and it didn’t disappoint. Molly’s juggling is getting higher stakes with every book.

Fred (island taxi driver): I guess I’m the only one who was surprised the mystery took a back seat to Molly’s mother duties. I knew my mom would like it, so I loaded it onto her Kindle and happened to mention my reaction to her. Needless to say, I’m doing the same as Mudge. Flowers, chocolate, and a gift card for more books for my mom this years.

 

 

SHARE THIS Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The Accidental Psychic: Jeff Resnick in Murder on the Mind

Welcome to your first meeting of Blythe’s Book Group. Every month a group of hardy Martha’s Vineyard year round residents get together to discuss a book. You are invited to join them.

April’s book choice was an easy one: Blythe chose one of her favorite authors, L. L. Bartlett (yes, one of the Storytellers!). She chose Murder on the Mind, the first book of the Jeff Resnick mystery series. Here’s why, in her own words:

I was intrigued by the idea of a detective who is aided by a sudden psychic ability. As I hoped, Jeff’s sudden flashes of real crimes (brought on by a serious head injury) doesn’t always make the crime solving easier. In fact, it makes his detective work more challenging. Best of all, his relationships begin to change as he needs to balance his desire for justice with a very understandable wish not to be labeled crazy by his friends and family.

Pick it up at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, or Kobo.

 

Have you read Murder on the Mind yet? If so, proceed scrolling for some very real comments by the members of the BBG.

If not, purchase it here (Pick it up at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, or Kobo) before you proceed.

There may be spoilers, otherwise!

 

Blythe (proprietress of Blythe Cove Manor): Well, I chose this book, so obviously I connected with the psychic element. I know that there is no proof of psychic phenomena, according to scientists, but science doesn’t know everything…yet. They may discover something that allows for people to see into the future. I like to think that something would be quantum particles, or something equally cool. Psychic elements aside, there is a wonderful, elemental struggle in Jeff. He doesn’t want to believe what’s happening to him, never mind tell other people in his life. Just think how hard that must be. Remember when Dillie Bean told us she hated the smell of low tide? Some folks didn’t speak to her for months. Acted like she’d lost her mind.

Helen (director of the local library): I admit, I ordered a copy for our library. My patrons do love a tightly written murder mystery. I am relieved that the author did not let Jeff’s psychic visions do all the heavy detective work. In some ways, the visions actually made his job harder. And I have to agree with Blythe about the elemental human struggle to be who we are without losing a part of ourselves in the process.

Mudge (excursion boat owner/operator): Last year I proclaimed I’d never get used to reading on my phone. Well, I have. Darned useful on the boat. I can take a library with me. I was suspicious of the book, I admit it. I like my murder mystery less cozy and more official, as you all know. But Jeff worked for me. I don’t know about the elemental struggle that Aggie and Blythe talk about, but I like the way he keeps going and doesn’t let anything stop him from solving the crimes that flash into his mind.

Aggie (owner, Sandpiper Restaurant): I read it when the Sandpiper had down time. Do you know, I actually had a customer ask me for a drink three times before I heard them, I got so caught up in the story. This is really fast-paced. On the good side, the customer wanted to know what I was reading, so I recommended the book to her, too. I loved the tv show Medium, so Jeff’s psychic ability was easy for me to believe and I guessed the culprit before he did!

Fred (island taxi driver): I did not guess the culprit. It was a good surprise. I went back over the clues and I’m not sure how I missed it. Guessing who done it is one of my specialities.

 

 

SHARE THIS Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

You Are Invited to Join Blythe’s Book Group — January Reading

Welcome to your first meeting of Blythe’s Book Group. Every month a group of hardy Martha’s Vineyard year round residents get together to discuss a book. You are invited to join them.

January’s book choice was closely contended. The snow lovers wanted something snowy and cold to read by the fire. The snow haters wanted something warm and summery to counteract the winter cold.

They decided to read two books for January (it is a slow month, after all).

For the snow haters, the pick is Summer Magic, a collection of tales from Blythe Cove Manor by the three Storytellers Unlimited authors Shirley Hailstock, Lorraine Bartlett (aka Lorna Barrett), and Kelly McClymer. They are on Blythe’s favorite author list, and she has all their books on her shelves at Blythe Cove Manor.

For the snow lovers, the pick is Let it Snow, another collection of stories, these by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle.

Whether you’re a snow lover, or a snow hater, you’re bound to love one — or both — of these choices.

 

 

SHARE THIS Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail