Scottsdale and Cave Creek Women's Book Club Message Board › How is everyone enjoying Jeneration X?

How is everyone enjoying Jeneration X?

Jennifer W.
user 6953917
Group Organizer
Scottsdale, AZ
Post #: 8
Okay, I confess, I can not stand this book. I gave it a few chapters and just couldnt tolerate it anymore. I still want to show up to see you all--hopefully you all are having a better experience than me!

I previously read 50 Shades of Grey and was extremely disappointed, and needed to really enjoy a book. I am currently readying Elin Hilderbrand's "Silver Girl" which is pretty good.

I have a suggestion for the next book and I wanted to get your feedback. Let me know what you think:

Customer Review

"I never Promised you a Goodie Bag"
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A Memoir of Resilience, Inspiration and Love, March 3, 2012
Rachel Kramer Bussel "Cupcakes Take the Cake blogger, author, editor"
This review is from: I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag: A Memoir of a Life Through Events--the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don't (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
I read a lot of memoirs, and was drawn to this one because of the title. It sounded cute and fun. What I got instead was one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Jennifer Gilbert's story is one I think all women in New York City, certainly (and elsewhere!) should read, as she opens up about the attack by a stranger that almost killed her, and then how she coped with it, both in healthy and less healthy ways. She is searingly honest about how the attack affected her closest relationships, with friends, family and romantic partners, how it helped drive her event planning business, Save the Date, and how it affected her process of getting pregnant. I stayed up late to finish this, utterly inspired by Gilbert's drive, her ability to, sometimes grudgingly, love herself, learn how to be a better person and let go of the shame she held onto around her attack. She goes back to topics she'd gone over earlier and gives different perspectives as she moves through major life passages, like becoming a mother.

Gilbert is humble, as well as humbled by what she's been through, and while I got many lessons out of this book, the biggest one is that what you look like on the outside isn't always how you feel on the inside. I'm sure this is something everyone instinctively knows, but when you read about Gilbert's hiding of her scars, facing her attacker in court, her chasing after unavailable men until finally welcoming love (with some cold feet along the way), learning from her children that once you start on a course of action, no matter how instinctual and habitual it feels, that you can always change, was incredibly moving. Gilbert writes, "The scariest step is always the first one." In this memoir, she takes multiple first steps, both literally, and figuratively. She rebuilds herself from the inside out, over and over, and has an incredible amount of empathy, mostly for others, and eventually, for herself. While about her very personal story of building a successful business and life from a tragic event, this memoir will also speak to anyone looking to move beyond their past and learn from it and help it mold them not into someone who succeeds despite their past, but because of it. Read this book, and keep tissues handy.

Here is another review….

Kindred "In All But Spirit"
This review is from: I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag: A Memoir of a Life Through Events--the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don't (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
Being a wedding and event planner is probably one of those professions that some people think would be fun and easy. I mean, who doesn't love a good party or reception? This book by Jennifer Gilbert should disabuse those people of that fantasy.
Ms. Gilbert started her party planning at an early age, throwing beer bashes (with a cover charge) for her teenage friends when her parents were out of town. Needless to say, this is usually a recipe for disaster. But in fact, she says that her parents never found out about it. How lucky for her.

Fact is, she led a fairly charmed life in a successful family. She spent a lot of time traveling, attending college and generally enjoying life until her luck ran out one afternoon on her way to visit a friend in NYC. She was brutally attacked by a complete stranger and was lucky to have survived. She does a good job detailing the emotional and physical effects the attack had on her and her loved ones. I'm sure that she has had to distance herself emotionally from it, but parts do read as if she's discussing it at a remove.

But this is mainly a story of overcoming the attack and how she made the decision to put her life back together and get on with it. Soon enough she made a place for herself in the event planning business and set out to build her own business and live the way she had always desired.

Don't be put off by the grim parts because Gilbert writes the majority of the book in a light, breezy voice describing a few of her favorite or unusual experiences in the business along the way. Sometimes it almost verges into sappy land, but after what she lived through, I'd say she deserves all the mush and sunshine she wants, even if I did crave a little more dirt about events that went sideways. Ah well, maybe next time.
A former member
Post #: 3
I have not even opened the book-Jeneration X. Did almost finish 50 shades of gray. I have two books to suggest for possibly July...An Invisible Thread or Hand Me Down.I could host our book club, but would need to keep it to about 12-15 people. The parking at my place isn't that great, but my place is cozy...
Renee H.
user 44631792
Scottsdale, AZ
Post #: 1
I admit it did take me a while to get into the book. I think it was after the Thanksgiving meal that the book got more interesting and at times I did find myself laughing because I could relate to some of the things she wrote.

I'm looking forward to our meeting and to reading the next book.
Bridget McLonis H.
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 8
Hi All,
The Goodie Bag sounds really good to me. I like personal accounts as well. Although I hope the group will some day read the book about Escape from Camp 14, the account of the young North Korean boy who escaped life in a prison camp. It's compelling and the situation for many in NK is still going on. He was a lucky one.

I haven't started the current book yet, planning to do that in a week or two so I can't comment yet.

Looking forward to our next discussion. I wish I had more seating, or I'd host an evening. I just don't have that many chairs.

;o) Bridget
A former member
Post #: 2
Thank you for saying that, Jennifer! I just couldn't get into it either. I've read all three Shades of Grey and another Fannie Flagg book in the meantime watching the calendar rushing toward the next Book Club meeting. I still want to attend too, but I may not have a lot to add to the disucssion. An Invisible Thread sounds good. I'm out of thigns to read right now, and I was looking for a suggestion!
A former member
Post #: 4
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag sounds good, and I suggest An Invisible Thread
Here are a few reviews. If we don't read it for July, please lets get it on the list for the following months, as well as the one Bridget suggested. Looking forward to seeing you all.

"I thought I knew what An Invisible Thread was going to be. I thought it would be a simple and hopeful story about a woman who saved a boy. I was wrong. It's a complex and unswervingly honest story about a woman and a boy who saved each other. By its raw honesty and lack of excess sentimentality, it is even more inspirational. This is a book capable of restoring our faith in each other and in the very idea that maybe everything is going to be okay after all."
—Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay It Forward and Jumpstart the World

"An Invisible Thread—a remarkable story, told so beautifully and honestly—shows us what's possible when we are not afraid to connect with another human being and tap into our compassion. It is a story about the power each of us has to elevate someone else's life and how our own life is enriched in the process. This special book reminds us that damaging cycles can be broken and not to neglect the humanity of the strangers we brush up against every day."

—Chris Gardner, bestselling author of The Pursuit of Happyness and Start Where You Are

"A straightforward tale of kindness and paying it forward in 1980s New York . . . For readers seeking an uplifting reminder that small gestures matter."

—Kirkus Reviews

"According to an old Chinese proverb, there's an invisible thread that connects two people who are destined to meet and influence each other's lives. . . . As Schroff relates Maurice's story, she tells of her own father's alcoholism and abuse, and readers see how desperately these two need each other in this feel-good story about the far-reaching benefits of kindness."

—Publishers Weekly

"An Invisible Thread is like The Blind Side, but instead of football, it’s food. These are two people who were brought together by one simple meal, and it literally changed the course of both of their lives. This is a must-read . . . you can read it in a day because it’s impossible to put down. If you read it and find it as moving as I did, pay it forward: buy a copy and give it to a friend.”

—Rachael Ray, host of The Rachael Ray Show

“This book is a game-changer . . . each chapter touches your heart. An Invisible Thread is a gift to us all. America needs this book now more than ever.”

—“Coach” Ron Tunick, national radio show
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