Book Club Discussion: The Mapmaker’s Children

Mapmaker's Children FL2W Book Club Banner

Mapmaker's Children FL2W Book Club Banner

Book club discussion days are my favorite days on this site. Today is even better because we’re discussing Sarah McCoy’s The Mapmaker’s ChildrenThis novel tells the alternating stories of two women–an abolitionist and one from present day- and how one doll brings past and present together.

Based on the chatter in our private forum, From Left to Write members couldn’t get enough of McCoy’s characters. Our book club members were truly inspired by The Mapmaker’s Children. Don’t believe me? Check out their personal stories inspired by the novel.

Intrigued? Grab a copy of The Mapmaker’s Children and see what the fuss is all about.

Don’t forget check out Sarah McCoy’s website or follow her on Twitter. She loves chatting with her readers and is super nice. Tell her From Left to Write sent you!

Book Club Feature: The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

Mapmaker's Children FL2W Book Club Banner

I am so thrilled to feature another novel by Sarah McCoy as our second May book club feature! Our book club loved her The Baker’s Daughter and we’re excited about her new book!

The Mapmaker’s Children tells the story of two women–an abolitionist and one from present day.  Here’s more about the book:

When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.
Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.

Grab your copy of The Mapmaker’s Children and join us on May 19th when we discuss Sarah’s novel.

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

Don’t forget check out Sarah McCoy’s website or follow her on Twitter. She loves chatting with her readers and is super nice. Tell her we sent you!

Have you read any of Sarah McCoy’s books?

Book Club Discussion: Spinster by Kate Bolick

Spinster FL2W Book Club Banner

Spinster FL2W Book Club Banner

Spinster is a loaded word and Kate Bolick dives right in with her book  Spinster: Making a Life of One’s OwnBolick’s research about being single and her quest to dive into the lives of famous spinsters provide plenty for our book club to discuss and debate.

Head over to From Left to Write members’ blogs and read their personal stories inspired by Spinster:

Grab your copy of  Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick and let us know what you think. Crown Publishing also put together an AWESOME Spinster book club kitthat includes paper dolls of the women Bolick researched and of course, plenty of cocktail recipes. Of course there’s the reading group guide and suggested reading in the kit.

Learn more about Kate Bolick on her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Club Discussion: Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes

Under Magnolia FL2W Book Club Banner

Under Magnolia FL2W Book Club Banner

What happens when you return home after avoiding it for so long? Celebrated author Frances Mayes has traveled to Italy and lived in California after “escaping” the South.  After a visit to her hometown, she picks up her life and moves her family back to the South in her newest memoir Under Magnolia.

Today From Left to Write members talk about home, family, and elusive memories as we discuss Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes:

Pick up your copy of Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir  (now in paperback!) and tell us what you think. Have you ever lived in the South?

Follow Frances Mayes via her website, Facebook and Twitter.

April Book Club: Spinster by Kate Bolick

Spinster by Kate Bolick

Spinster FL2W Book Club Banner

I’m so excited to announce our first book club selection for May is Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick. I couldn’t wait to share because today is the release day for Spinster!

I know From Left to Write members will have plenty to talk about when we discuss the book on April 30. Bolick’s research about being single and her quest to dive into the lives of famous spinsters will draw you right in:

“Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman’s existence.” So begins Spinster, a revelatory and slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. Using her own experiences as a starting point, journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life, weaving together the past and present to examine why­ she—along with over 100 million American women, whose ranks keep growing—remains unmarried.

This unprecedented demographic shift, Bolick explains, is the logical outcome of hundreds of years of change that has neither been fully understood, nor appreciated. Spinster introduces a cast of pioneering women from the last century whose genius, tenacity, and flair for drama have emboldened Bolick to fashion her life on her own terms: columnist Neith Boyce, essayist Maeve Brennan, social visionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and novelist Edith Wharton. By animating their unconventional ideas and choices, Bolick shows us that contemporary debates about settling down, and having it all, are timeless—the crucible upon which all thoughtful women have tried for centuries to forge a good life.

Spinster by Kate BolickWhat do you think of when you hear the word “spinster”? Take a look at this video and see if your response is similar:

So grab your copy of  Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick so you can join our discussion on May 5. Crown Publishing also put together an AWESOME Spinster book club kit that includes paper dolls of the women Bolick researched and of course, plenty of cocktail recipes. Of course there’s the reading group guide and suggested reading in the kit.

Learn more about Kate Bolick on her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

April Book Club Feature: Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes

Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes

Under Magnolia FL2W Book Club Banner
Spring break is over and my kids are back in school! (Throws confetti) Now I can focus on our first April book club, Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir by Frances Mayes.

As a southerner, I’m always fascinated by others’ experiences in the south.  Those who loved Under the Tuscan Sun and will be entranced by Mayes’ evocative writing and lush descriptions in her memoir. More about the memoir:

From her years as a spirited, secretive child, through her university studies—a period of exquisite freedom that imbued her with a profound appreciation of friendship and a love of travel—to her escape to a new life in California, Mayes exuberantly recreates the intense relationships of her past, recounting the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family: her beautiful yet fragile mother, Frankye; her unpredictable father, Garbert; Daddy Jack, whose life Garbert saved; grandmother Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances’s confidant Willie Bell.

Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return home.

Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes

Join From Left to Write book club members on April 30 as we discuss Mayes’ memoir. Pick up your copy of Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir  (now in paperback!) and join us.

ALERT: If you want to reread Under the Tuscan Sun, the Kindle version is only $1.99 right now!

Follow Frances Mayes via her website, Facebook and Twitter.