Monday, May 8, 2017

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik

Bound by Books (Female Friendship Group)

This book is about five neighborhood women who form a book club and friendships that span over thirty years. On a whim, Minneapolis housewives decide to start a book club in 1968, which they call “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons” after one of their husbands makes a snide remark about their group. This club is about more than eating bon bons, or good desserts, though, or even the books they discuss. It’s about sharing a part of themselves.  It’s about trust, and heartache, secrets and support. As the lives of these very different women move on with highs and lows, there are two things that remain constant:  their friendships and the book club. 

For anyone who’s been involved in a book club, as I’ve been lucky enough to do now for almost a decade, this book is partiularly gratifying.  It reminds me that books aside, we are a group of friends whose time together I truly value. The books are fun to discuss. We get riled up. We vent. We relate to the characters—or not. Being in the club also makes me read books I would never have picked on my own.  It opens up a new world for me and I appreciate that. But books aside, we get to share our lives: good and bad.  Mostly we laugh and smile in the excitement of babies, vacations, and even a reality show my sister was involved in. But there are also tough times where quiet nods offer heartfelt consolation.   

Our book club is the glue that binds us.  Even though many of us in our group are related, we probably woudn’t get together on a regular basis if it weren’t for the club. We wouldn’t make the time in our busy lives—and we’d be missing out. Book clubs give a whole new meaning to clubbing!

My own book club had this to say about "Angry Housewives":

  1. No surprise, we all enjoyed the book theme, although it would have been nice for the ladies of Freesia Court to dive into the book discussions more instead of just mentioning the titles as was mostly the case. 
  2. We liked all the ladies with their diverse personalities. Audrey especially stood out, because she's a woman who's comfortable in her skin--no matter what her scale says.
  3. One big distraction was that while most of the chapters were written in third person, every so often some chapters switched to first person. This sudden change left some readers scratching their heads.  
  4. Some big gaps in time also didn't sit too well with other readers.  (Not me. I thought the flow was fine.)
  5. This book could have been shorter in length and definitely in a larger font, not that tiny print.  I'm not saying it should be a huge font that you could read across the room, just the normal-sized fonts of most books.
  6. On the whole we appreciated the friendships and the club that knit their lives together. 

Also by Lorna Landvik:

If You Like Books About Books, check out:

Other Female Friendship Books:

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas: Loved this book!  Group of women connect through quilting.

The Floribama Ladies’ Auxiliary and Sewing Circle by Lois Battle: Group of women connected through their workplace.

Love Book Challenges? Check out:

Books Mentioned in "Angry Housewives"
  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  5. The Kinsey Report
  6. Author: Eudora Welty
  7. Author: Charles Dickens
  8. Author: Edna Ferber
  9. Author: Bernard Malamud
  10. Hotel by Arthur Hailey
  11. Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver
  12. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  13. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  14. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  15. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  16. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  17. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
  18. Dr. Faustus by Thomas Mann
  19. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Thomas Wolfe
  20. Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex by Dr. David Reuben
  21. Love Story by Erich Segal
  22. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
  23. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  24. The Total Woman by Marabel Morgan
  25. Roots by Alex Haley
  26. The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank by Erma Bombeck
  27. Carrie by Stephen King
  28. Looking for Mr. Goodbar by Judith Rossner
  29. Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell
  30. Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurty
  31. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  32. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  33. The Confessions of Nat Turner
  34. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
  35. My Home Is Far Away by Dawn Powell
  36. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiesen
  37. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  38. Out on a Limb by Shirley MacLaine
  39. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
  40. West With the Night by Beryl Markham
  41. The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West
  42. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  43. Handling Sin by Michael Malone
  44. The Stand by Stephen King
  45. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  46. A Farwell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  47. The Beginning and the End by Naguib Mahfouz
  48. Kristin Lavansdatter by Sigrid Undset
  49. Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
  50. The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
  51. Eastward Ha! By S.J. Perelman
  52. Love in Ruins by Walker Percy
  53. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
  54. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  55. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  56. The Drifters by James Michener
  57. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
  58. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
  59. Think on These Things Krishnamurti
  60. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Did I miss any?

(Bold indicates books I've read)

Happy Reading, Happy Clubbing,


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