April & May 2014 Book Club Discussion and New Selection

Sigma Kappa Book ClubWelcome to our Virtual Sigma Kappa Book Club! Be sure to visit us on Goodreads, and please join our Sigma Kappa Group! Even if you can’t participate in our book discussion, join the group and meet a new reader.


Our March 2014 selection was the novel, Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner. The book tells the story of a political mogul, his wife and children who find themselves in the midst of a heated scandal. When I started this book, I thought it was going to be just another ‘fluff’ story. Yet, this book was so much more than I thought!

The story is about the Woodruff family; Sylvie and Richard, along with eldest daughter Diana and youngest daughter Lizzie. Each chapter was told from one of the three women’s point of view and offered wonderful insights into the ‘person’ behind the story. I thought the varied storytelling made for an intriguing family story. It helped me understand what the characters were feeling, thinking, and why choices were made, from their perspectives. I also enjoyed reading about the different family relationships, and how they changed over the course of time. I’m glad I purchased this one, and am pleased to add it to my collection.

Here are some questions to get you thinking a little more about the book. Please do post your thoughts and questions in the comments or in our Goodreads group!

What are your thoughts about the book? Have you read a Jennifer Weiner story before?

Did you like that each chapter had a different narrator?

What do you think of each of the three main women characters? Did you find fault or success in their end choices?

What do you think about the title, “Fly Away Home,” and its significance to the characters?

What do you think about the sister dynamics and the mother-daughter relationships? How do they work together? How does Sylvie and Richard’s marriage affect the family dynamics?


The InterestingsOur next book selection is the New York Times bestselling novel, The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer. Not only does it have this fantastic, colorful and striped cover, but is also a 2013 Goodreads Choice Nominee for Best Fiction and a 2013 Paris Review Best of the Best. (By the way, how many of us choose a book by its cover?)

The story begins at a summer camp. Six teenagers meet the summer of 1974, the year President Nixon resigns. The group remains ‘best friends forever’ over the years, each growing a life in different directions, yet, staying friends. The story follows the group to New York City, through careers and life choices, and displays for the reader how these personalities and friendships develop and change. The book has been described as panoramic, wide in scope, and even epic.

Visit Meg Wolitzer’s website and learn more about the author and her works.

Read the April, 2013 New York Times review upon the book’s release.

Read an interview of the author, Meg Wolitzer on NPR’s Fresh Air from February, 2014. You can also listen to the interview and read an excerpt.

This has been on my to-read pile since it first came out and I’m eager to read it! I hope you like it too. Happy Reading! See you in May!

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January 2014 Book Club Discussion and New Selection

Sigma Kappa Book ClubThanks for all of your great responses to our Virtual Sigma Kappa Book Club! Be sure to visit us on Goodreads, and please join our Sigma Kappa Group! Our group is steadily growing. We now have 40 members! Even if you can’t participate in our book discussion, join the group and meet a new reader.

Goodreads is a social site for book lovers and readers. You can see what your friends are reading, keep track of the books you read or want to read, and more. You can link Goodreads with your Facebook account, among several other sites.

You’ll notice we seem to be alternating between fiction and non-fiction. I haven’t set this type of pattern on purpose, but am choosing books based on suggestions from other Sigma Kappas, interesting stories, time and news worthiness, and hopefully just plain great reads! I love keeping the mix of fiction and non-fiction as there are great books out there in both areas. If you don’t see a book you like, or really want to introduce the group to a story you love, then tell us! It will be considered for an upcoming selection with my fellow bloggers.


18619684Happy New Year Sigma Kappas! I hope you enjoyed our December selection, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I’m still in the middle of reading it as I got a bit of a late start and the holidays took up more of my reading time. I found myself having a tough time with the first 50 pages or so and that has slowed down my progress with this book. I’m not sure if it was the number of pages that intimidated me, or that I felt confused in the beginning and found it hard to continue the story. Overall though, I’m enjoying this book and the storytelling is fantastic once I got over the hump.

Here are some questions to get us started:

Did anyone else have a hard time with this novel?

What did you like best or least about this book?

Have you seen the movie? How do you think the book compares? Which did you like better?

How do you think the romance and time travel affect each other?

Is there any scene that particularly stands out to you?

Did you like the main characters and/or their relationship?


malalaOur new selection for January 2014 is the New York Times bestselling memoir, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb. This is the story of a teenage girl named Malala who was shot in the head by the Taliban because she believed in her right as a woman to an education. She is also the youngest person to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This book won the 2013 Goodreads Choice award for memoir & autobiography, and it came recommended by a fellow Sigma Kappa.

Check out more about this at Google Books or at our Goodreads group. The book is available in hardcover and e-book format.

Watch her when she talked to PBS’s NewsHour and learn first hand about her battle.

Read a review from The Washington Post which gives a great overview of her story and some of the politics surrounding it.

Visit the website A World at School or The Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education to find out about the international effort being done to ensure all children’s right to an education.

Enjoy this inspirational and fascinating story! See you in February!

December 2013 Book Club Discussion and New Selection

Sigma Kappa Book ClubThanks for all of your great responses to our Virtual Sigma Kappa Book Club! Be sure to visit us on Goodreads and please join our Sigma Kappa Group! We have grown to a group of over 35 women already, and I hope we can get more of you readers included. Goodreads is a social site for book lovers and readers. You can see what your friends are reading, keep track of the books you read or want to read, and more. You can link Goodreads with your Facebook account, among several other sites.


Wild Book Cover

November was our first selection and we read Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed. Find out more on Goodreads, visit the author’s website, or check it out on Google Books where you find out where to purchase the book or get it at your local library.

What did everyone think of this book? Did you hope to read it for fun or to find personal insight from the author’s experience? Did it meet your expectations?

I had high aspirations for this book and it did not fail me. I absolutely loved this book, from the cover design to the acknowledgements and everything in between. It has moved up to my list of all-time favorite books. I thought Cheryl Strayed showed courage to abandon what she knew to be comfortable and try a new journey. I felt she really learned about herself and what she wanted from life, as well as how to be a better person to others. I hoped to read this and hear a story about a woman who persevered and challenged life, maybe so I could try and beat certain obstacles in mine.

Have you ever had an outdoor experience like the Pacific Crest Trail?

What do you think about the author, Cheryl Strayed, as a character? Do you believe Strayed grew as a person? Do you believe she learned from her mistakes?

A recurrent theme in this book is how the death of her mother affected her life and how she deals (or does not deal) with the grief. Do you think she deals with the grief or masks it? How does grief or the loss of a parent or close loved one affect our reading of this book?

What do you think the title Wild and subtitle, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail of the book mean?

If you have further ideas, questions, comments or suggestions, send them my way! Please use the comments below or the Goodreads group to share your thoughts and ideas.


Our December 2013 book selection is The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. While Niffenegger is now an established writer, this is her debut novel which was also turned into the 2009 feature film starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. Read more at Google books, where you can buy the book, or check it out from your library. It’s also available in audiobook, e-book, and foreign language editions. Visit Audrey Niffenegger’s website to learn more about her.

I have always been a fan of Niffenegger, mostly for her uniqueness as an author and artist. I got to meet her at the American Library Association’s annual conference this year. She signed a book for me and talked with me for a few minutes; she was so nice and had a great British accent. Perhaps this swayed my decision to choose the book! I also love the movie and yet, have never read the book. Not to mention, it combines two of my favorite things….a Chicago setting and one of the main character’s status as a Newberry Library employee. If you haven’t been to the Newberry on a visit to my favorite city then you must check it out! Go during the annual book sale and you’ll score great finds.

I hope you enjoy the book!

New Sigma Kappa Book Club!

Sigma Kappa Book ClubStaring Nov. 1, the Live Sigma Kappa Blog will be launching its very own virtual book club. Each month, a new book will be announced. I will pose discussion questions for us to think about at the end of my post. Once you read the book, please add your thoughts or questions to the comments section. My goal is to introduce new books and authors to SK readers while perhaps providing a new idea about the book we read.


Wild Book Cover

Our first book will be Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed. You can visit the author’s website or check it out on Google Books where you find out where to purchase the book or get it at your local library.

It was an Oprah book club selection, however, this isn’t my reason for choosing the book. I have a personal love of memoirs, and this one has been in my to-read pile for quite some time, always calling out to me! This memoir is about a woman who is grieving the loss of her mother, a divorce, drugs, and an otherwise chaotic and unsettling life. Her discoveries and personal journey of endurance and perseverance are throughout her story as she treks along the entire Pacific Crest Trail. You can see videos and read an excerpt on her website to get a sample of the book’s first chapter. It is a New York Times bestseller and has been an acclaimed novel on many lists and sites, including being a Goodreads Reader’s Choice for 2012. If you are on Goodreads, please join our Sigma Kappa Group! Goodreads is a social site for book lovers and readers. You can see what your friends are reading, keep track of the books you read or want to read, and more. You can link Goodreads with your Facebook account, among several other sites. We already have a small number of members, but we would love to have more.

While reading Wild, you may want to learn more about the Pacific Crest Trail, a hiking trail that spans three states and borders both Canada and Mexico. Check out the US Deptartment of Agriculture where you can view an interactive map and learn the history. Visit the Pacific Crest Trail Association to learn about a nonprofit group that preserves and protects the trail. Watch a PBS special about a couple who rides horses from the start to the finish of the trail in one year, a feat everyone said could not be done.

Happy Reading! Please check in with us on Dec. 1 and tell us what you thought of the book! You can also email me with questions or suggestions for future picks.