Friday, June 17, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister






About the book:
A group of seven women gather for an intimate, outdoor dinner in Seattle to celebrate their friend Kate’s recovery from cancer.  Wineglass in hand, Kate agrees to a pact: to start her new lease on life, she’ll go white-water rafting down the Grand Canyon, a journey which frankly terrifies her. But if she goes, each of them must also do one thing in the next year that is new or difficult or scary – and Kate gets to choose their challenges.








My Thoughts:


Joy for Beginners is about friendship and finding joy in life even when you step out of your comfort zone..by choice or chance. This is a novel about a group of women who band together to help Sara who has twins, they call it a baby-holding circle. Doesn't that sound great for a new mom, especially with twins? They develop a friendship and connection through this experience. They then switch gears as  the circle of life changes to helping one of the women, Kate, who is diagnosed with breast cancer. This is where the book begins, the women are having a celebration party as Kate  learns that she is cancer free. Kate's daughter has encouraged her  to consider taking the challenge of a white water rafting trip which terrifies Kate. The women encourage Kate to take this adventure and in Kate's acceptance she asks each one of the women to allow her to choose a challenge for them to take on as well.

From here, the story is told in chapters with alternating perspectives of each woman. They each describe the adventure they experience that Kate has chosen for them as well as Kate's own adventure. There is some interaction between the women in each chapter which are each loosely connected. They don't flow together but are more segmented into short stories. The strength of each individual is able to shine through as they grow and change through their experiences and face their challenges. 

I absolutely adored Erica Bauermeister's novel School of Essential Ingredients when I read it a few years ago (you can read my review here). I was excited to read Joy for Beginners which is a rich novel with strong characters and storytelling.  For me, I just didn't connect to the women as I had expected to. If you like books about women's friendship, developing characters and strong writing told in each characters voice, this is a book you'll want to pick up.

Check out Erica Bauermeister's website and you can also find her on Facebook. You can read an excerpt of the novel here and there is a Reading Guide as well. 

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my advanced review copy. Check out the other stops on the book tour,  HERE.


*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

I have one copy of Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister to give away to one lucky reader. 
For 1 Entry: All you have to do is leave a comment about this review and what you found interesting about JOY FOR BEGINNERS. Make sure to include your email address (no email, no entry)

For a 2nd Entry (Separate Comment):  Follow my blog, you can follow through Google Friend Connect to the left in my side column. If you already do, thank you, and please  make sure to let me know in your comment so I can pass the entry on to you as well. Make sure to include your email address (no email, no entry).

For a 3rd Entry (Separate Comment): Spread the word about this giveaway and Retweet, retweet button below my name at the end of this post. Make sure to include your email address (no email, no entry).


*Open to US/Canada only.

Enter by July 8, 2011





31 comments:

  1. It sounds wonderful to have a support group like that.

    headlessfowl at gmail dot com

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  2. I'm following on GFC w/ @headlessfowl.

    headlessfowl at gmail dot com

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  3. I also liked School of EI. Reading your description of this new book reminds me a bit of a book I read earlier this year (The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship). Don't enter me in the giveaway but I will keep this in mind for reading down the road. Nice review, Bonnie.

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  4. Its wonderful you have real friends you can rely on to help you out. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

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  5. I'm sorry to see you didn't connect with the characters, but I'm still anxious to read this book since I loved The School of Essential Ingredients so much. No need to enter me.

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  6. I read this one in the last week and think I liked it better than you did, Bonnie. That is often the way though, isn't it? I have not read the author's first book yet, so this was my only experience with her writing. Joy over at Thoughts of Joy and I were having a discussion yesterday about time of life and how sometimes books just really zing with a reader due to what's going on at that moment. And, of course, sometimes it's just not a perfect match. For me, this one resonated powerfully. Not every character, but 2 or 3 of them especially. All of this is part of what I love the most about blogging and reading others thoughts. :-)

    Of course, don't enter me in the contest. LOL

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  7. Loved the first book, can't wait to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ladybook21 at yahoo dot com

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  8. Loved your review- I love books about women's relationships and especially a diverse group of women friends. I like the idea of the women encouraging Kate to try something new now that she's cancer free and that she in turn challenges them to choose something to take on as well.

    junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I am a Google Friend Connect follower.

    junegirl63 (at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. I retweeted the review and giveaway post using your retweet button. My Twiiter id is Crazymidwestgal.

    junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. I attended a reading for this book last week. I knew very little about her work at the time but she was charming to listen to. I didn't buy a copy of the book because I wanted to first read School. I don't know why I did that. I regretted it later (didn't get either book) so I would love to win this one.

    bookishchatter AT gmail DOT com

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  12. I'm also a follower.

    bookishchatter AT gmail DOT com

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  13. I love reading about the friendships of women and this has the added twist of seeing how the other women react and live with the fact that one of their group will never be there again because of cancer.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  14. I follow with GFC as Carol N Wong.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  15. I tweeted as Carolee888.



    http://t.co/xoRDqaM Giveaway of "Joy for Beginners"

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm sorry to hear you didn't connect with the characters as much as you were hoping to! I'm curious to read about women stepping outside their comfort zones and changing their lives (I presume) as a result. Please enter me in the giveaway!

    shereadsandreads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. I really want to read this one because I absolutely adored her first book. This one sounds like the type of story that I'm drawn to.

    stacijoreads@gmail.com

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  18. I love books about groups of female friends—please enter me to win!

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  19. I follow you via GFC (skkorman)!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  20. I'm sorry that this book didn't work out for you, especially since you'd loved the author's previous book. Hopefully your next read will be a better fit for you.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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  21. this sounds like a great novel...w/ twins :)

    ~karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  22. i'm a follower (and email subscriber, too)

    ~karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  23. Sorry that this book didn't quite do it for you Bonnie. That's too bad. I really did enjoy it. No need to enter me.

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  24. No need to enter me in the drawing--I've just read it. I didn't connect to about half of the characters which I found disappointing but then the other half I really related to which redeemed the book for me.

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  25. I find friendship stories always reminds me of how fortunate I am to have wonderful friends. sounds like a great summer read.

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  26. Also a GFC follower

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  27. Sounds like an up-lifting book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

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  28. blog follower via GFC
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

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  29. I've been wanting to read this one! Love the premise . . . I'm always interested in books about female friendships and women reinventing themselves.

    JHS
    Colloquium

    jhsmail at comcast dot net

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  30. GFC follower!

    JHS
    Colloquium

    jhsmail at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete

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