Monthly Archives: February 2012

Roger’s Wine Corner: Sparkling Wines

February’s wine tasting was lite on information and full of fun.  The purpose was to compare a sparkling wine that most people would never try – a Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, France (Loire Valley) – to a traditional sparkling wine from California that most are familiar with – Korbel.  The French sparkler was a “Chairman’s Selection” and the release price was $35 on sale for $18.  The Korbel retails from $13 – $15.  So… the basic education was – do you like it better (the Chenin Blanc sparkler) than the traditional California sparkler?  The majority of readers\pseudo wine connoisseurs preferred the French offering.  I, needing to find fault with the majority opinion so that I can maintain my self-given title of Lines and Wines Beverage Director, found it to; smell terrible; taste like sparkling Boones Farm and linger like a bad dream.

Next month: Can you say cheese?


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Linda offers several Reading Choices by or about Pearl Buck

By Pearl Buck:

The Good Earth (her Pulitzer Prize winner/historical novel about Chinese peasant life, turn of the twentieth century)

My Several Worlds (her autobiography)

The Fighting Angel (biography of her missionary father)

The Exile (biography of her missionary mother)

The Child Who Never Grew (about her severely mentally handicapped daughter)

The Townsman – under the pseudonym John Sedges (She wrote several historical novels about turn of the century Kansas under this name, to prove her worth to the literary community at the time.)

There are, of course, many other novels about China.  The Good Earth is actually a trilogy.  The second is Sons; the third is A House Divided.

About Pearl Buck:

Pearl S. Buck:  A Cultural Biography – Peter Conn

A Woman in Conflict – Nora Stirling

Pearl Buck in China – Hilary Spurling

Pearl of China – Anchee Min (this is actually historical fiction, but follows Pearl Buck’s life growing up in China very closely)

Just some ideas.  Feel free to choose anything you’d like.  Many of these books are out of print, but are available on Amazon.  Linda also has some, and is happy to lend them.

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May’s Meeting at the Pearl Buck House

Thank you Linda for organizing this exciting event to the Pearl Buck House. Please read below Linda’s detailed letter for further information:

I’ve confirmed our May 10th date to hold our meeting at Pearl Buck International.  As I outlined earlier, we will first have the Legacy Tour, and then our book club meeting.  We should supply wine and snacks.  They will provide water and sodas.

I’m excited that Charles Snyder will be joining us to moderate our discussion.  He did this for my other book club, and we all agree, this was the best meeting we ever had!!  Charles is a former librarian and has been conducting the Pearl Buck Book Club for some years now.  He’s delightful, a great moderator, and has many insights as well.

Our agenda for the evening will be:

·         7:00 – 7:30 – arrival, wine and snacks

·         7:30 – 8:15 – Legacy Tour conducted by CEO Janet Mintzer and VP, Relationship Development Tony Luna

·         8:15 – 9:00 – Book discussion with Charles Snyder, along with more wine and snacks

You can read any book of your choice either about or by Pearl Buck.  This format provided lots of interesting discussion for my other book club.  I’m sure it will be even more interesting with this group of much more serious readers!

If you need directions, or are interested in any more information about Pearl Buck International, their website is .

Thanks,   Linda

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LitLover Discussion Questions for Steve Job’s Biography by Walter Issacson

Here are some Discussion Questions I found on the LitLovers Site. They also provide a book summary and author description. Feel free to add more questions via Comments.

1. Discuss Steve Jobs as a human being, the man beneath the myth and the hype. What kind of person was he—in his private as well as professional life? Jobs told his Isaacson to leave out nothing, to lay bare his flaws. He also told his friends to stint on nothing. Does Isaacson lean too far in any one direction: or does he steer a steady course between Jobs’s Jekyll and Hyde?

2. What aspects of Steve Jobs’s life disturbed you and /or impressed you most? Did Jobs’s dark side overwhelm his good side?

3. Isaacson raises the question of whether feelings of abandonment in childhood shaped Jobs’s personality. Is his argument convincing?

4. At the end of the book, Jobs answers the bedeviling question “What drove me?” Do you find his answer satisfying … thoughtful … self-serving … or incomplete?

5. What would Jobs have been like to work with…or for? He was clearly a demanding boss. Was he unfairly so—abrasive and unrealistic in his demands? Or was he simply a strict task master who had a vision to be communicated? How might you have fared as a colleague or employee?

6. What was Steve Jobs’s concept of beauty—what was his aesthetic vision? Why were aesthetics such a crucial part of his life?

7. Jobs was eliminated from Apple, the company he founded, and in his absence the company floundered. Why? And when Jobs returned to Apple, he guided its meteoric comeback. Why was Jobs so critical to the company? Why was its performance lackluster without his leadership?

8. How would you characterize Isaacson’s book: as an intimate study of a visionary or a treatise on the rise and fall of one of the world’s most successful companies? Were your expectations, either way, fulfilled by the book?

9. Can you describe the Reality Distortion Field? What exactly is it, and how did it serve Jobs?

10. Talk about the way in which Jobs wrestled with his contradictions—a counterculture rebel who became a millionaire; a disdain for objects yet someone who shaped others’ desires for the products he made? Was he ever able to resolve those dilemmas?

11. Talk about Steve Jobs’s legacy. On what do you believe he will he have a lasting impact? How much did he change the landscape—in technology, design, or gadgetry?

12. In his “Think Different” ad, Jobs wanted to convey his belief that the ones who are crazy enough to think they might change the world are the ones who end up doing so. Do you agree? Can you think of other examples of singular individuals whose vision changed the world? Does that statement apply to all of us…or to the very talented few?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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Sue Ann’s “Fruitful Baker” offerings!

“Think of me when you need a small batch baked good made
with some local ingredients.”
Only those who risk going too far will ever know how far they can go. — T.S. Eliot
We have so enjoyed having all these delicious pies and goodies
of Sue Ann’s at the meetings.  
Here is her information, if you would like to order some for your
own gatherings or meetings.
Winter Items: Apples from Solebury Orchards and my own maple syrup.
9″ Pies: 2 crusts or crumb topping $18
Apple, pear, and cranberry: any combination of these 3 items is great.
Apple or pear crostata (free-form bottom crust)
Apple tart with apricot glaze
8″ Cakes: $17
Ginger Pear cake
Moist Apple cake
Cranberry buckle with vanilla crumb topping
Pumpkin bread/muffins

Rustic Granola: using Heidi’s honey or my maple syrup
select walnuts, pecans, almond slivers, craisins and/or raisins $8.50 lb

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How well have you read The Mezzanine?

Now that you have been reading The Mezzanine for sometime, see if you can pass this quiz: GOOD LUCK!


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Questions to Ponder for David Crockett by Michael Wallis

1. Is there a connection between all the traveling Crockett did as a young man and his inability to stay home and restlessness as an adult?

2. What are the differences and similarities between David and his father?

3. What are the differences between David’s life and his wives? How did the one affect the other?

4. How close did he come to becoming President of the US? What kind of President do you think he would have been?

5. Discuss the Land of the Shakes.

6. What ways was Crockett’s final move to Texas unexpected, especially the way it ended?

7. Which of the stories about Crockett’s adventures in the wilderness were the most surprising and interesting to you?

8. Did the book, in your opinion, succeed in conveying why Crockett was fascinating to so many people for so long?

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Discussion Points for The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis

1. How did Walsh’s passing strategy change the game? p. 113

2. What facts/events/changes surprised you?

3. What did you think of Miss Sue’s description of University of Tennessee? p. 170

4. Discuss grade changes through the courses from BYU? p. 210

5. What are your thoughts about NCAA?

6. What are some fond memories of football games for you?

7. What are your thoughts about foster care? Experience?

8. Discuss the change in role for the offensive lineman/pay/free agents role.

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Timeline for Events presented in “Empire of Summer Moon” by S. C. Gwynne

1598 Horses arrive in North America
1700 All TX plain tribes using horses
1720s Spain/Comanche Wars begin (p. 61)
1724 Comanche vanquish Apache from southern plains (p. 57)
1757 Spanish Missions attempted for Apache (p. 64)
1803 Louisiana Purchase (p. 40)
1820 Mexico encourages Americans to settle TX to act as buffer to Comanches (p. 25)
1823 Parker clan moves from IL to TX (s. 13)
1830 Indian Removal Act (p. 209)
1835 TX population at 40,000
Battle of Alamo
1836 Republic of TX – Battle of San Jacint (p. 13)
Cynthia Ann Parker and others kidnapped by Comanches (p. 8)
1837 Parkers refer to “Rangers” for 1st time in legislature (p. 135)
1838 Colt Rifle introduced
1839 Rachel Parker Plummer publishes memoir of captivity (p. 36)
1844 Battle of Walker’s Creek – Hays uses Colt revolvers
1845 US Annexation of TX
1847 Walker Colt Pistol created (p. 50)
1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalog – SW taken from Mexico – adds 1.6 million sq miles to US – AZ,CA, UT, NM, NV
Quanah born in area of SW Oklahoma
1858 Battle of Antelope Hills (p. 169) Texans not army fight against Comanches
1860 Peta Nocana raids TX – Martha Sherman brutalized (p. 157)
TX population at 600,000
               Dec. Cynthia Ann Parker (Nautdah) rescued/captured with daughter Prairie Flower. Peta Nocana kllled, sons escape (Quanah and Peanuts)
1861 Civil War Begins, US withdrew troops from Indian Territory
US replaces Rangers with ineffective army, treaties fail (p. 161)
1864 Due to violet Indian attacks, huge stretches of land depopulate (p. 212) – Kit Carson  – Howitzers (p. 214)
Lincoln re-elected, Sherman burned Atlanta
1865 End of Civil War (p. 222)
1868 – 81 31 million buffalo sold for fertilizer (p. 260)
1869 Transcontinental Railroad completed
1870 Cynthia Ann Parker dies of influenza
1871 MacKenzie/ Quanah
1874 Quanah with Isatai attack on trading post of buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls(p. 268)
3000 Comanches left in world (p; 274)
Red River War (1000> horses shot) (p. 282)
1875 June Quanah surrenders to Mackenzie (p. 289)
1876 Custard’s Last Stand
1878 March Failed Buffalo Hunt – Goodnight’s canyon (p. 294)
1884 Quanah wins right to lease cattle (p. 299)
1889 Ranald Slidell Mackenzie dies in NY hospital
1890 Quanah’s 10 room, 2 story house completed (p. 302)
1905 Quanah rides with Teddy Roosevelt’s at the inaugural parade (p. 312)
1911 Feb 23 Quanah dies (p. 318)

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Character Breakdown

Main Character:  Juliet Ashton (British – writer – aka Izzy Bickerstaff and wrote semi-weekly column for Spectator called Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War also wrote about Anne Bronte)

–        33 yrs. old, brown hair, her parents died when she was 12, lived with great uncle in London, then to boarding school where she met Sophia (p. 118)

–        had a fiancé, who dies – Rob Dartry p . 19

–        suitor – Markham Reynolds (American) – publisher, sends lots of flowers , likes to go out, asks to marry her (p. 132)

–        publicist helper – Susan Scott organizes book tour

–        hateful reporter – Gilly Gilbert p. 18

–        publisher – Sidney Stark of Stevens and Stark’s  – he breaks leg in Australia while visiting friend Piers

–        Sidney’s sister and her close friend from boarding school – Sophia Strachan – married Anthony with child – Dominic

–        Lady Bella Taunton – fire wardens together – write recommendation for her – p. 42

–        Reverend Simon Simpless – recommendation letter – p. 45

–        she visits Guernsey on 21 May 1946 (p. 159)

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Members:

Rules for the club: p. 51

Island: 7 miles long by 5 miles wide, 42,000 inhabitants, off the coast of France, once belonged to Duchy of Normandy but when he became William the Conqueror, he gave the islands to England (p. 111)

Dawsey Adams – pig farmer – reads Charles Lamb, the copy once owned by Juliet – The Selected Essays of Elia, sends Juliet white lilies, quiet, reserved, Juliet falls in love with him and proposes (272)

Amelia Maugery – lives in a manor house and farm by the sea –  secret pig roast and hence started group p. 28

Elizabeth McKenna was a servant of Sir Ambrose Ivers, who took Elizabeth after her mother died, (p. 66), with German Captain and doctor Christian Hallman have baby Christina – Kit born April 1942 and being raised by the members of the Society, Elizabeth sent to prison camp in France for sheltering and feeding an escaped prisoner, executed March 1945 at Ravensbrueck

Isola Pribby – lives in cottage next to Amelia, has chickens, goat, Ariel and parrot , Zenobia, fond of Bronte sisters, p. 53, has letters from Oscar Wilde to her grandmother Granny Pheen (p. 234 -)

Eben Ramsey – fisherman, read Selections from Shakespeare, Eli is grandson – was evacuated to England and is now 12(p. 74), daughter Jane and new born baby died the day the Germans bombed the island on 6/28/40

Clara Saussey – reads from her own cookbook and drives everyone mad (p.103)

John Booker – read The Letters of Seneca: Translated from Latin in one Volume, pretended to be Lord Tobias Penn-Piers, was his valet before he fled to England (p. 88) and lives in his house, drinks his wine and wears his silk pjs., is drunk at the 1st mtg. found out (p. 148)

Clovis Fossey – courted widow Hubert with poetry, p. 73

Sally Ann Frobisher (p. 143), Micah Daniels (p. 145) food list, Will Thisbee (pie)

Remy Giraud – friends with Elizabeth while at Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp – letter p. 178

Adelaide Addison – not in the group – Christian women who despises the others

German occupying soldiers – arrived June 30, 1940 – there to fortify islands using Todt or slave workers(105) and under Himmler’s horrifying Death by Exhaustion campaign

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