Monica’s Musings: The Tuesday Night Survivors’ Club

The Tuesday Night Survivors’ Club by Lynn Cahoon

“She’d spent long enough pretending she wasn’t still recovering from the cancer treatments. It was time to check into her body again.”

― Lynn Cahoon, The Tuesday Night Survivors’ Club


Two things got Rarity through her breast cancer treatments: friends and books. Now cancer-free, Rarity is devoting her life to helping others find their way through the maze of healing. She’s also started the Tuesday Night Survivors book club. It is the perfect fit for Rarity’s bookstore and a close-knit group of survivors.

Their club is disrupted when one of their members suddenly goes missing. Martha has always kept to herself, never opening up much of her personal life to the group. Now she’s nowhere to be found. With her car abandoned on a trail and her dog left home alone, Rarity is sure something terrible has happened—but will she be able to uncover Martha’s secrets before it’s too late?

This is the first book of a new series by Lynn Cahoon.

My Thoughts:

Honestly, cozy mystery is not really my jam. I wanted to give this one a try because it sounded interesting enough, but the overall story line seemed to drag on compared to many other mysteries I have indulged in.  I can’t complain too much though, because the story wrapped up nicely, and although the book seemed slow in a few places, I found it good enough to finish it! If you are a fan of cozy mysteries this is right up your alley.

I did appreciate the fact that the author drew from her own cancer journey. She stated in her dedication that a nurse gave her a bag of cozy mysteries to read during her cancer treatments, and that had made all the difference in her journey. This particular genre is sentimental to the author because of that.

*This is available as an eBook or eAudiobook on Sunflower eLibrary, or potentially through interlibrary loan.

Monica’s Musings : The Tobacco Wives

The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers

“Knowledge is power, she had argued. And conversely, the withholding of knowledge is an act of oppression.”
― Adele Myers, The Tobacco Wives


Maddie is an amateur seamstress who just arrived in Bright Leaf, North Carolina—the tobacco capital of the South—where her aunt has a thriving sewing business. Maddie is dazzled by the bustle of her aunt’s clientele: the wives of the powerful tobacco executives. 

However, she soon learns that Bright Leaf isn’t quite the carefree paradise that it seems. Tobacco is marketed to women in 1946, especially moms, and many women began to experience substantial health problems. Although Maddie is quick to believe this is a coincidence, she uncovers evidence that suggests otherwise.

Maddie wants to report what she knows, but in a town where everyone depends on Big Tobacco to survive, she doesn’t know who she can trust—and fears that exposing the truth may destroy the lives of the proud women with whom she has forged strong bonds. Shedding light on the hidden history of women’s activism during the post-war period, at its heart, The Tobacco Wives is an emotionally satisfying and dramatic novel about the importance of seeking truth.

My thoughts:

It is nearly impossible to imagine the world the way it was before people knew the dangers of smoking. It only seems logical to us now that filling your lungs with smoke, nicotine, and chemicals is not good for you, and it’s terrible for pregnant women and babies. It’s so hard to imagine the doctors actually recommended that women smoke to “calm their nerves”!

This book takes us back to the time when that was totally and completely acceptable. It is also almost shocking the way women were treated; the way men condescended to them and treated them as if they were fragile little beings who could not do much. We have come such a long way. I love the way the book highlighted all of the social differences between that time and the present.

The plot itself was well done. I love a book with an epilogue that tied things up in the end and this book delivered on that.

*FYI, this is the current read for the book club, Bemused Bibliophiles, who meet September 7, 2022 at 1:00 pm!

What’s Ashley Reading?: The Other Woman

There are so many good book clubs out there!  We have 3 here at the library.  Joyful Page Turners, our longest running book club.  Bemused Bibliophiles, our hot and popular book club.  And last but not least, Hauntingly Good Reads, our paranormal book club. I love to see how each club is expanding, adding new members and picks a wide variety of books.

It is great that we have options but sometimes it is not always easy to make it to a meeting.  Or you are an introvert who likes to read but not talk.  I have found several online book clubs that I like to follow.  I read the book and can chat on websites like about my thoughts without leaving home.  The most recent one I have checked out is Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club.  Her book for November is The Other Woman by Sandie Jones.

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

First line: She looks beautiful in her wedding dress.

Summary: Emily thinks she has found the perfect man in Adam. He is handsome and smart. However, she has a rival. His mother, Pammie, is determined to keep Emily and Adam apart. Will Emily be able survive a mother’s love?

Highlights: Debut author, Sandie Jones, brings us a psychological thriller with the mother-in-law from hell! Emily meets the man of her dreams and everything seems perfect until she meets his mother. I immediately hated Pammie. She was terrible to Emily in every interaction. She was so smooth about everything. However, the closeness of Adam and Pammie seemed almost too close. I started to doubt my theories after each interaction. I was a little surprised by the ending. It was one of the options I had considered but it was still shocking to read it.

Lowlights: I kept getting mad at Emily too. Is he really worth all this mental torture from his mother? She keeps sticking around and taking it. Why? I did like it when she tried to stand up for herself rather than just letting it go.

FYI: Did you like this?  Try Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris for something similar!

Book Clubs at the library

Did you know that we have three book clubs at the library? Each of the book clubs has its own focus, and each one works just a little differently from the others. However, all adults are welcome at every book club. Here’s a little information about each book club, including when they meet.

Joyful Page Turners

This was the first book club at the library, and started almost 17 years ago.

“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles was a recent selection for Joyful Page Turners.

It was originally planned to be a 4-month summer program, meeting in May, June, July and August of 2000. The members of the club enjoyed it so much that they decided to continue and are still meeting today. The club doesn’t limit itself to any specific genre of literature, having read non-fiction, children’s literature and more along with its more usual fare of general adult fiction. Linda Voth manages this book club.

Joyful Page Turners meets at 6:45 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month, except in November, when it meets on the third Thursday. The club does take June, July and December off. The members of the book club take turns leading the discussions, and the member who is leading that month also chooses the book that will be read and discussed. They try to have the year’s titles chosen by February or March.

Bemused Bibliophiles

“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead was recently read by Bemused Bibliophiles. It has garnered a lot of recognition recently.

Bemused Bibliophiles is the one book club that meets during the day at the library. Dawn Best, adult programming coordinator, leads this book group. Reading choices for this group tend to literary fiction, especially the hot and popular titles that generate a lot of buzz in the literary community.

Bemused Bibliophiles meets at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month. Titles for this book club are chosen 4 months at a time, and discussions are lead by Dawn.

Hauntingly Good Reads
Hauntingly Good Reads is for anyone who likes a touch of the paranormal, supernatural or just a little twist of the unusual in their reading. You may run across zombies, or witches, or vampires in the books for this book club, or there may just be hints that something is not quite what you might expect it to be.

“Stoker’s Manuscript” by Royce Prouty was enjoyed by the members of Hauntingly Good Reads.

Hauntingly Good Reads meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month. This book club is the most loosely structured of the book clubs with the selections coming from suggestions of the members of the club, and discussions are lively and organic.

If you are interested in attending any of the book clubs at the library, you can learn what books they’re reading in several ways: check the online events calendar at our website, pick up the monthly brochure for adult programming, or follow our events on Facebook. You can also ask at the front desk. We hope to see you soon!

Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch was the December selection for our Hauntingly Good Reads book club. We had a great discussion about the book. Here’s my review of it (originally posted on my Goodreads page):

Jane and her reindeer Peppermint shared “Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch with library patrons.

This book might make you re-think your reality. While it’s definitely science fiction, the science doesn’t overwhelm the fiction and the story moves along at a great pace. The characters are well-developed and the settings are a vital part of the story. I had a hard time putting this book down once I started it. I genuinely wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters, and I like having a protagonist that I’m invested in.

There are plenty of unexpected plot twists, but none that feel artificial or forced. I love a novel that offers up plenty of suspense and this one does.

If you’ve ever wondered what might have happened in your life had you made a different choice at any juncture in your life, this book is for you. I highly recommend it.