by Sarah

Three Wishes – May Book Club

May 21, 2015 in recap

We read Three Wishes, the second book by author Liane Moriarty that our club has enjoyed. (First: What Alice Forgot.)

Three Wishes received a warm thumbs-up, which was nice for me since I normally pick depressing books that our club begrudgingly recognizes as good literary works (while also wishing their sad stories hadn’t been chosen in the first place).

For our book club discussion, we talked about the three sisters, who was dealt the worst hand, the adorable pre-chapter memory stories, and the love story of the parents. It was a short-but-sweet book club discussion, which fits the book.

Appropriately, here are my three wishes after our May book club:

  1. That I could see my lovely friends more. 
    Jen and Des are seriously awesome. Whether I’m hearing about wedding day details or learning about dating-world craziness, I love spending time with these two and wish we could hang out more! Too bad we all live at three different corners of Wake County.
  2. That I wasn’t allergic to pollen. (Or Des.)
    I spent the latter half of our book club sneezing into tissues. Jen and Des were nice enough to eat outside so we could try out our new patio furniture, but it’s still allergy season, and OMG was I dying. We joked that I might be allergic to Des (or, at least, to her clothes if she had recently cuddled a cat or two. or five.), but I think it was outside. Thanks for putting up with my AAaachoos, guys.
  3. That every meal started with chips and salsa and ended with strawberries and whip cream. 
    I feel like that reads like the start of a dirty joke, but it’s not. Des brought chips and salsa (yum!) and Jen brought strawberries and whip cream to top a delish low-carb pound cake. Everyone loved the whipped cream, especially Sawyer. I made a huge chicken casserole that we’ve been enjoying all week BECAUSE LEFTOVERS ARE GOOD FOR YOU! (Shoutout to your hubs, Mrs. McFarland.)

Other highlights included bachelorette-party-recap stories, discussion of upcoming movies (summer blockbuster time FTW!), and brief blurbs about kilt-gate and wife bonuses.

Now, everyone go die of shock, because I wrote this post like a MILLION YEARS BEFORE IT WAS DUE.


by Jen

Ready Player One – April 2015

May 18, 2015 in recap

Whew! Here we are again, in the shadow of next month’s book club, writing last month’s recap. Well, we’re consistent at least!

Let’s see. Book club for April was at my (Jen) house. We had lots to talk about since it was in the midst of wedding planning and we hadn’t seen each other in awhile. Sarah made an appetizer that I remember I really liked but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. Des brought strawberries. And… something? I also had food available. Yes, this is the worst recap ever. Wait! I made spinach and turkey meatballs, in a sauce of some kind. I remember people liked it and Des ate green stuff. That’s all I got.

After dinner we discussed the book. Des and Sarah both said they enjoyed it even though they’re not quite “children of the 80’s.” They haven’t see ‘Wargames’ or played many of the games from the book, but they still found it fun after it got going (was a little slow to start). They also liked several of the gamer characters, especially ‘H’, and the Steve Woz-like guardian overseeing their attempts to beat the “game.” Anyway, at least they found it entertaining.

We didn’t have too much in the current events so we mainly talked about teaching, looked at a very cool school for inner-city kids that was breaking the mold, considered Gilmore Girl quotes, and got a teeny bit excited about the fact that Spielberg may direct the “Ready Player One” movie. Then we watched movie trailers.

I know, I am a truly awful person and this is not only an late and incomplete recap, it’s also exceptionally boring. What can I say. It was an uneventful night, but awesome for the fact that I got to hang out with my two best friends and relax. Three cheers for book club!

by Des

Looking for Alaska- March 2015

April 15, 2015 in recap

It was a quick turn around between February and March book club. We scheduled it early because one of us always ends up having to change the date… but this time that didn’t happen. Good thing Looking for Alaska is pretty short!

So, we read our second John Green novel, which is the first one he wrote. Personally, this is one of my favorite books ever but having read The Fault in Our Stars first, Jen expected more from it. I think everyone enjoyed it overall, though.

Because of the quick turn around, there weren’t many current events on the forum. We chatted a bit about how punctuation is changing now that there’s certain connotations associated with it because of texting. It was pretty interesting.

What was even MORE interesting, though, was what Jen showed up with at book club. We decided to do another outing and so we met at Centro in downtown Raleigh for dinner. She pulled a little box out of her purse and showed us her ENGAGEMENT RING!!! She had just picked them up. She wasn’t technically engaged (but she is now!!!) so she couldn’t wear the ring, but we got to see the sparkly beautiful ring and get all girly over it.

We spent dinner gossiping about life and other fun things. We drank some margaritas, then went upstairs to the new bar and had another drink. Again, I forgot to take pictures because I’m awful.

I feel like I can’t convey how fun this evening was… partly because you had to be there, partly because I’m a horrible writer, and partly because I’ve been slacking and it’s been a month!

Lots of fun stuff going on!

by Sarah

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

March 10, 2015 in recap

Can I get a pass on this one, because (1) book club was less than two weeks ago, so I haven’t had NEARLY the amount of procrastination time I’m supposed to, and (2) I was supposed to have time to write this today but I was bombarded with last-minute meetings, which also isn’t a great excuse since I shouldn’t have left this to the last minute. But ANYWAY.

In the interest of being out of time, I’m going to sort-of-but-not-really plagiarize. Since our book, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, was fantastically British, here’s our Saloon recap from the mouthes of the Brits. (I cite my sources, so it’s not really plagiarizing.)

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

We tried and tried and tried to have book club, but sickness and snow kept delaying. Still, we were successful, albeit on the last day of the month, on a Saturday, with a brunch-style book club.

Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.
Margaret Thatcher

Well sorry, Margaret, but the pop-lit book we read was well liked, so while it probably was in line with a fashionable consensus… the consensus was that this book was more adorable than a picnic in Hyde Park.

When you read a novel, your own imagery is the most important. It’s what makes reading such a wonderful thing.
Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig, you could not possibly be more beautiful. But this is about the book. That we read. God, the thought of a book-loving 007 is too much. What did we read again?

The internet has been a boon and a curse for teenagers.
J. K. Rowling

Well JK, we enjoyed the internet as a way to catch up on a very small amount of current events, to oogle at obscenely ridiculous Facebook posts, and to watch movie trailers.

Food is so freaking good.
Henry VIII

Okay, he probably didn’t exactly say that. But some form of it, I’m sure. He had gout, for chrisssakes. Anyway, that’s good to pull in because we had pancakes and sausage crescents and strange-but-good Cincinnati-style ghetta (guetta? getta?), which was a brunch-style first for Saloon.

Horray saloon!


by Jen

The Language of Flowers – January book club

February 2, 2015 in recap

Turns out we all survived the holidays – barely – but in all the chaos of the new year we got a bit behind. Flu season hit hard, there were a couple funerals to attend, and getting back to work made for a seriously overwhelming first couple weeks of 2015. And so it was that we managed to get together at Jen’s house, albeit a week or two late, for the discussion of “The Language of Flowers” and for some severely overdue catching up.

Sarah got us started with peppers and hummus for an appetizer and Jen made rice and peppers with jalapeño chicken sausage and cheesy kale. Des was a real trooper – so many veggies and she tried them all! We caught up with Jen’s traveling, Des’s dating, and Sarah’s job woes. And lots of other things.

Dessert was cookies from Des which we then took into the living room to begin the book and current event conversation. In general, the book was a pretty big hit. There were some actions that characters took that some of us thought didn’t make sense or didn’t match with their personalities. And not surprisingly, Sarah was extremely uncomfortable with the scene where Victoria, the main character, temporarily abandons her baby. But we did like the story and enjoyed the index of the meanings of all flowers in the back of the book. That alone was kind of great, simply to have as a reference.

Our current events were a bit sparse but somehow we still managed to find lots to talk about. Stupid people not vaccinating their kids, the church’s that hurl insults and insist that “the gays” are trying to brainwash us, a massively successful kickstarter of exploding kittens! We also talked – as always – about parenting, this time in the story of the “world’s worst mom” who let’s her kids be “alarmingly” independent in a world where helicopter parents have raised kids who can’t even work out an argument with their roommate without intervention. And then we watched the best video ever on how to talk to your kids about s-e-x. Brilliant.

We spent a lot of time talking about our various plans for the year both personally and our fun group plans! We are WAY behind on our movie days and we discussed plans for going away to celebrate D-DAY!! (That’s Des Divorce Day) We also decided we need to go see “50 Shades of Grey.” None of us are going to read that book and anyway this might be more fun from a visual perspective. If you know that I mean. 😉

So that’s another book club and I’d like to point out I’m turning over a new leaf here getting this done on only the second day of the following month. This is A+ work, people.

Here’s to another brilliant year of books and awesome friends. ♥

by Des

December book club- Essays and holidays!

January 26, 2015 in recap

As we have done in the past, for December book club this year, we decided to do short stories/essays instead of a book. We also did our traditional dinner and gift exchange!

So, we started with dinner at Capital Club 16. We got some appetizers and talked about our essays. Jen and I both picked essays/articles about happiness. Well, hers was about happiness and mine was about depression, but they worked together. Sarah picked a poem that was thought-provoking.

We talked about the current events as we ate our dinners and then gossiped a little before we headed to Bittersweet for dessert cocktails. There we exchanged presents and chatted some more.

It was a super fun night out. Now on to the new year!


Edit: I’m the worst. Pictures coming soon.

by Des

The Forgotten Garden… and AN ADVENTURE- November book club

November 26, 2014 in recap




Sarah noticed this tweet from Counter Culture about an event at Busy Bee (sorry the image is small, I didn’t feel like fiddling to resize)




and she tweeted at Jen and I that we should have more book club field trips…




I’m always at Busy Bee so I invited them to come along….




But then we just decided to have book club at Busy Bee!




All of this occurred the morning of book club… we’re so spontaneous and adventurous!





A couple of my favorite bartenders were working and we stalked the bar until some seats became available. We each got a beer and Jen started us off with loaded tots. Obviously there’s not a picture of the tots because they disappeared pretty quickly. Then Jen and Sarah shared…. a burger? And I got short ribs, I think. We talked about the book, which everyone agreed was maybe a little bit like one of our favorites*The Thornbirds, but not as depressing.

Then we chatted about current events, our need to see Pitch Perfect 2, and how it feels to be adopted.



*The Thornbirds was a very good but very long and very depressing book.


For dessert, we wandered over to Bittersweet, my other favorite place, and got drinks and dessert. I failed to take pictures…  My friend Tony (That’s him in the background) made me a modified French 75. Sarah got a dirty gin martini, and Jen got a Laura Palmer.




We shared the Bacon-apple cobbler and a carrot cake cupcake. The cupcake below is not our actual cupcake, but still a carrot cake cupcake from Bittersweet!



We made our Saloon Christmas plans for December in which we are reading short stories/essays and going to The Pit!

After this book club adventure, we all agreed we need to do it more often. Super fun!

by Sarah

Your Brain at Work—October Book Club

October 16, 2014 in recap

I used my brain to come up with this post strategy. Thanks, David Rock!

Book club was:



image8 image7 image6





by Jen

All the Light We Cannnot See – September Book Club!

October 14, 2014 in recap

Ok, I swear I wasn’t trying  to wait until the last minute to post this, it just happened. But I really think I may have taken the award for latest post, at least so far. I’m sure someone can beat me.

Naturally I remember nothing that we did or talked about so this will truly be a pathetic recap. I just got super-excited when I finally remembered that I made tacos for dinner. Yay tacos! That’s it. That’s all I got.

Adding to my confusion is the fact that, though it was my turn to host and I made dinner, we actually had book club at Sarah’s. I feel that this justifies, at least in part, the next several paragraphs.

Appetizer was Sarah’s and I’m just gonna go ahead and say it was cheese and crackers. And grapes maybe? Close enough. Then I made tacos. Yay tacos! And Des brought dessert! Dessert was a “disgusting thing” Des brought. (These are her words not mine. I liked it! But it was really sweet.)

We talked about the book, which everyone agreed that they liked – huzzah! People liked several of the characters – the dad, the housekeeper, the boy, Werner. We agreed it was hard to read some parts- Werner, the young Nazi, is not a bad person, but is a victim of circumstances . It’s a beautiful tragedy, and while it’s lovely that the blind girl (Marie-Laure) lived to a ripe old age, you can’t help but be sad to never know what became of her father, and to feel like the jewel is a bit wasted hidden in the ocean. Anyway good.

We talked about a couple things – not many posts this month but still interesting. ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ is coming out soon, and we’re all so excited! We talked about a couple other movies – trailers are out for the new Hunger Games and Des and I wanted to go see ‘Gone Girl’ (and we did!). We talked about what a dick Kanye is (he wants people in wheelchairs to “stand up” for him, ugh). So it was a very light, fun, musical book club and now I have (somewhat) accurately recalled it for posterity, and officially taken the “latest recap post” award since it’s now 30 minutes into October book club. GO ME!


by Des

Code Name Verity- August book club

September 8, 2014 in recap


August book club! Let’s start with the food! Jen brought some mini tacos and chicken taquitos from the freezer section. They were pretty good and added a little variety to our dinner. I made fried chicken cutlets and a spinach blueberry salad with homemade candied walnuts and a cranberry-pear balsamic vinaigrette. For dessert, Sarah brought various colors of freezy pop and the season’s first pumpkin beer! We also drank some pinot grigio out of big goblets because I don’t own regular wine glasses. It made the dinner a little more fancy 🙂

This month’s book was a young adult novel set during WWII. It is the story of two girls who are friends and one is a pilot and the other does some intelligence/spy work. It has another book that is kind of a sequel in that some of the characters appear in the second book, but they are definitely independent of each other. That one is called Rose under Fire. We all enjoyed the book even though it was sad.
Sarah told us a funny story about how she bought a book called Code Name Verde and started reading it and wanted to kill me because it was so bad. So, be sure you’re getting the right book!

Here’s what I learned from current events: People are crazy, especially when they tell you why you’re not invited to something LIKE WE CARE, but you should tell your friends when they’re being crazy. We also learned how to be polite (ask questions instead of talking all the time) and how to enjoy life at any age. It kind of reminded me of a line from the Sex in the City movie (it’s been on TV a lot so it’s recent in my mind. It’s not like I own it or anything.) The line goes something like “Enjoy yourself, that’s what your 20s are for. Your 30s are to learn the lessons. Your 40s are to pay for the drinks.”

And, we chatted about our lives and how things were going. Sophie was determined to be pet by Sarah, even though Sarah kept politely pushing her away. I think the rest of the cats were mostly well behaved 🙂


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