by Sarah

The One with All the Guests

June 29, 2016 in recap


Why have regular book club when you can have PARTY book club?

It’s all the elements of book club you love — food, alcohol, and discussions about book titles — with added people!

For a limited time only, your book club can be changed to PARTY book club. For only $9.95, PARTY book club throws in 6 new people to help spice up your book club experience!

But wait! There’s more!

Act now, and we’ll also throw in extra food, tons of excited conversation, and NEW PAINT!

That’s right! With PARTY book club, you could have book club hosted in a house that’s in the MIDDLE of being PAINTED!

This limited-time offer for PARTY book club is only good for the month of June, because if Sarah repeated it too often, her friends would probably desert book club forever. So act now, before this too-good-to-be-true offer is too far gone!


Real book club notes:

Sarah texts Des and Jen in the afternoon to let them know extra people will be at book club.

They show up and are immediately surrounded by a swarm of Sarah’s family — her parents, grand parents, and sister — with the fun addition of new paint being everywhere, a toddler mopey from daycare, and a meal being planned that’s big enough for all nine.

Luckily all is fine — Jen even livens up the party by bringing adorable flowers for both Sarah and Des to help them celebrate their half birthdays (Thanks, Jen!). Everyone eats, we talk about all kinds of books (barely anything about the book we actually read, although a little speculation about Poehler and Arnett’s divorce), and then everything splits into chaos for dessert and cleanup.

Des and Jen were good enough to stay after Sarah’s family left, dutifully aww-ing at the backyard yard work and then scheduling the next book club. Both were kind to say that Sarah’s family was nice and the food was good. Next book club will be more low key 🙂



by Jen

This is not a recap

June 28, 2016 in general info, recap

Wow. Been awhile, internet. My apologies for our mess. We got hacked some and had some bad custom experiences with Bluehost (don’t use Bluehost) and then moved the site and then some fun site restoring processes, and locking down. But we’re back. And more awesomer than ever.

This is not a recap. We just had book club but Sarah hosted so that’s her job. 🙂 But I am going to quickly recap the books we read over the last few months so we have a record of them…

October: ‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ by Robert Galbraith

November: How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky’ Lydia Netzer

December: Long-form articles

January: ‘Furiously Happy’ by Jenny Lawson

February: ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson

March: ‘Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore’ by Robin Sloan

April: ‘All the Bright Places’ by Jennifer Niven

May: ‘Life and Other Near- Death Experiences’ by Camille Pagan

June: ‘Yes, Please’ by Amy Poehler
(but Sarah owes you a recap for this one, don’t let her off the hook!)

Thanks for checking back and we hope not to go offline again for at least another 5 years!

by Sarah

March Recap

March 30, 2016 in recap

We read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and that book glows in the dark.

That’s literally all I remember because I am the worst. According to our calendar it was on March 29, so there’s that.

I actually don’t feel that bad because technically I’m posting three recaps in one day and that’s pretty amazing.

Hooray book club!

by Sarah

Thanksgiving Post!

November 24, 2015 in recap

I got to host bookclub yesterday, in November, and you know what that means — EASY HOLIDAY THEME!

Things we are THANKFUL for after our Thanksgiving bookclub:

  1. We are thankful for books. 
    We love books (obvs) and are thankful they exist. This month’s host, Sarah, is also thankful that book club gives her the chance to read books. For example, this month we read a kind of weird book, How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer. Sarah broke book club rules by picking it (because she hadn’t read it beforehand and therefore couldn’t really recommend it), but she really wanted to read it, so thank you book club. (Also, it was kind of weird, we all admitted, and Jen said that she kind of saw the ending coming.)
  2. We are thankful for food. 
    As a book club, we have cycled through many traditions — making CDs, sharing current events, creating thoughtful book club questions — and many have fallen to the wayside. But one tradition that will never fade is our tradition of enjoying food. Whether it’s Des’ famous wonton appetizers, Jen’s fruit-and-toppings desserts, or Sarah’s sneak-veggies-in casseroles, we’re nothing if not consistent.
  3. We are thankful for family. 
    Love is in the air, thanks to Des and her happy beau, and we are all thrilled to celebrate Lucas and all his wonderfulness. Plus, there was a bit of a scary moment at book club when Jen had to leave early because her brother Mike was not feeling well and had concerning symptoms. Luckily he’s fine, everyone’s fine, we’re thankful for heath and family, and happy holidays.

Until next time!


by Jen

The Cuckoo’s Calling – October Recap

November 23, 2015 in recap

Well, this won’t be the latest recap ever written – book club is still, like, SEVEN HOURS away so I’m way ahead of schedule at this point. The bad news is I can’t remember anything about the book club…

I know it was at my place – my NEW place! First Jen-hosted book club in Farmington Woods. Well, first book blub in Farmington Woods, period, but I’m just stalling at this point. Oh! I do remember that Des forgot that she was dessert, not appetizer, but it was a win for us since the brought over this awesome Buffalo Chicken Dip. Sarah did remember that she was supposed to bring an appetizer, and she brought over some veggies? And stuff? I made dinner. Which consisted of a meat of some kind. And some cheesy bread? I know there was asparagus! Right, that’s all I got.

We chatted about the book which – I am delighted to say – everyone liked even though it was British, and a mystery, which are not usually Sarah’s favorites. We talked a bit about J.K and why she chose to write from a man’s point of view. We talked about Adele’s new song and how the album was a little late for Des’s love life – thanks for nothing, Adele. We talked about integrating school’s because I am a moron and did not realize that Wake was the exception to school integration, not the rule. Pretty sure Des had just started seeing Lucas so Sarah and I had plenty of questions about that! And we talked about my (and Cam’s) wedding reception party thingie which was a mere week away at that point.

That is it. I mean, that’s probably not it. We probably talked about WAY more stuff. But that’s all I got for you in this recap. If, in seven hours, Sarah and Des can help me remember more I will happily update this recap but until then, hope this is a useful record of Saloon’s past. Jen out.


by Des

Gulp- September recap

October 19, 2015 in recap

It’s been a while since our September book club… so here is what I remember:

  • We were going to go out but Matt and Sarah got schedules confused so we went to Sarah’s instead and ate pizza!!!
  • We all mostly liked Gulp but there was a lot of talk about poop. But overall, the content was interesting.
  • I’m sure we gossiped about our lives and Jen’s upcoming wedding celebration.

BUT THE HIGHLIGHT was watching Dinosaur Train with Mr. Sawyer and listening to Sarah sing us the theme song WORD FOR WORD. It was super impressive.

I’m sure other stuff was chatted about but it was a while ago and I forgot to take notes. It was a fun book club, as they always are. But as for recaps, I kinda suck. I’ll try to make the next one better!

by Sarah

The Story of Science — August Recap

September 22, 2015 in recap

It’s September. September 22nd, even. The last day of summer…

And I’m writing the August recap.

Here’s another factoid — I also just created the group space for August bookclub. That’s right — the group space: the place where we add questions about the book, current event, music suggestions (except no one does that), basically all the things we want to save and then talk about during book club; I JUST MADE THE GROUP SPACE for the August book club… that happened a month ago.

It was mainly for posterity. Didn’t want there to not be a group for that book… even if we don’t use the group.

ANYWAY. It’s the last day of summer, I’m more than three weeks too late even posting the group space, and I’m going to talk about August book club.



Let’s talk about alternate universes for a second.

Like, how there is possibly an alternate universe where I don’t procrastinate and do things in an appropriate time frame.

There is possibly an alternative universe where I take scrupulous notes during book club so that I can post scientifically detailed recaps.

There is possibly an alternative universe where Jen, Des and I are actually famous book authors and we only have book clubs to talk about our own published works because we’re just that amazing — and then no one has to write recaps because THEY’RE OUR OWN BOOKS, PEOPLE. How do you like them apples.


Of course, there is possibly an alternative universe where Jen, Des and I aren’t friends. A universe where we didn’t start book club at all. A universe where we didn’t meet in that fateful graduate school class. A universe where our lives never intersected, our friendships never started, and our nights of book loving and food enjoying and life bashing and girl-power supporting and movie preview watching… none of those ever happened.


SO. In the grand scheme of things, even though I post recaps way last minute and maybe this last time didn’t even remember to make a group, even though I’m running out of ways to be quippy about my lackluster recaps, and even though our book clubs aren’t quite as detailed and well run as they were in year one… even though ALL THOSE THINGS…

it’s still better than the alternate universe where we’re not friends.

So I say we just accept this one for what it is and embrace messy recaps and late groups.


Oh! And before I forget… we had a book club in August. We went to brunch at Busy Bee, sat outside, talked about The Story of Science and how it missed the boat on more recent scientists, then gossiped about all things boys and work and family and clothes and life. 


I love my friends. Thanks, universe.

by Jen

The Princess Bride – July 2015: Take 2

August 5, 2015 in recap

So Des came over today to borrow one of my kick-ass suitcases and as we hung out talking I mentioned doing the July recap and she asked if I had remembered to mention that we didn’t invite her (I’ll come back to that) and I realized that I wrote a recap about the wrong night. Yep. Sure did. I recapped June’s book club which 1. was not my book club to recap and, 2. has already been recapped beautifully by Des. But if you’d like a second perspective on that June 2015 book club, you have a rare alternate perspective available to you in this case. Congrats. Now I feel like you do when you do your homework and then realize that you did it wrong and have to start over. But in my defense I am doing TWO recaps in the time is usually takes us to barely get one completed. This is also excellent documentation for the onset of symptoms when I get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Ok! July Book Club actually started earlier that day when Sarah, Des, and I started texting back and forth about what we should do for dinner. See I was telling the truth when I said we were super-busy and I had stuff all over my house from the move out of Cam’s place, so hosting and cooking was going to be a challenge for this month. And Sarah and I both wanted sushi! And Des was being suspiciously quiet but Sarah and I were so busy and excited about the sushi that we didn’t really notice that Des hadn’t chimed in. We just kinda assumed it was cool (although in hind sight, DUH. Des definitely would have sent SOMETHING). Anyway, long story short, Sarah and I went to Sushi Thai and enjoyed appetizers and chatted while Des busted her butt to get to my place because she didn’t get any of our texts about the change in plan. Whoops. Sorry again, Des!!

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Fortunately Sushi Thai is not that far from my place and while Des wasn’t in mood for sushi she was able to find something else to eat. This was also good news for Sarah, who got Des’s leftover mini corn veggies (see exhibit A). So we hung out, relaxed, vented about our crazy lives, and talked about the book. (For this section I refer you back to the previous recap because I was fairly accurate in the book discussion, thank you very much. I just didn’t remember WHERE it happened).

Exhibit B (you’re welcome)

Since it was Salooniversary we followed up dinner with ice cream! Goodberry’s is right down the street and it was a nice warm summer night so we headed down there and sat outside with our concretes and chilled for a bit longer. I also drove the ladies past my new place which is very close by, and which I cannot resist detouring past anytime I’m in the area. Then we headed back to our cars but AGAIN! we definitely went to see Magic Mike XXL a couple days later (see exhibit B). Cause, hello, another chance to show Channing Tatum’s abs? Yes, please!) which was awesome because we don’t usually get that chance.

One final shout-out to Des, the very good sport who brought dessert because she thought we were meeting at my place. And therefore I still have Snickers Ice Cream bars in my freezer. Which are awesome and delicious. Thank you, Des!

by Jen

The Princess Bride – July 2015

August 1, 2015 in recap

As usual, things were chaotic. It was my turn to host but we had just closed on Cam’s place and moved all his stuff so my house was a pile of boxes and spare furniture that didn’t fit into storage. It was also half-birthday time for both Des and Sarah, AND it was Salooniversary! So we decided to go out.

We had a lovely meal at Oak City Meatball, which allows you to make your own meal with a mix of meats in the meatballs, sauces to adorn them, starches to mix them with, and sides to pair. Everything was very good AND we were introduced to brocolini, the coolest new veggie out there – a mix of asparagus and broccoli!

We started with a beer at the bar and then moved to a table and talked. I love these ladies. And I love that we have book club to let us catch up on each others crazy lives every month! Des didn’t actually care for the book – she didn’t like that the narrative was often interrupted by the author (which is an excellent point). Sarah and I, who have seen the movie, talked about how amazingly true to the book it was; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book more accurately portrayed in film. And since Des hasn’t seen the movie, we wonder what she’ll think of it, if she does ever get around to seeing it…

We talked about lots of other stuff, some of which was in the current events section of the site, most of which was not. Mostly we just enjoyed each other’s company on a rare and lovely evening in downtown Raleigh. And when we were done we went to Busy Bee so Jen and Sarah could have dessert (is that true or am I mixing up nights?) and Des could have a drink (since she’s avoiding sweets – or are you avoiding beer now? DAMN. I suck at recaps!). AND later that same week we got to go see Magic Mike XXL together! TWO events in one week! Which is crazy awesome, just like Channing Tatum’s dance moves. And abs. So WIN.


See you next month!

by Des

The Martian- June 2015

June 30, 2015 in recap

June book club and my (Des) half birthday! We were supposed to have a book club pool party, but Sarah needed to reschedule because she had some silly trip to Qatar. Geesh.

Since it was my half birthday and my turn to host, I chose to go to Oak City Meatball Shoppe. Sarah and Jen had never been there and I think it was a hit! Here are some things we chatted about over dinner and beer:

  • Sarah’s trip to the Disneyland of the Middle East. Apparently it’s very hot there. 🙂
  • The not-so-fun task of trying to find and buy a house.
  • The book was so good! Everyone really liked the book and the main character. We are afraid the movie is going to mess things up.
  • How well Neville Longbottom grew up.
  • But also how we’re not super excited about the Fantastic Beasts movie that is being made into 3 movies or some nonsense.
  • There was a Gilmore Girls reunion that required our attention. Do we all agree on Jess? I know we all agree with what Luke said… but, c’mon. Jess.
  • The bamboo ceiling is a thing, apparently? It’s harder to Asian kids to get into Ivy League universities because otherwise there would be more Asians than white people. Crazy.

After our lovely dinner, in which Sarah was the only one to get something remotely healthy (she ordered broccolini), we headed to Busy Bee for dessert. Jen and Sarah shared some brownie thing and I got a yummy cocktail. We chatted about boys and life and planned the next book club, which will be our 4th anniversary!

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