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Summer Reading: General Fiction! (Updated with latest discussion link!)

Posted by on Jun. 13, 2011 at 2:11 PM
  • 11 Replies

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to CafeMom’s Summer Reading Retreat! For our general fiction, we've chosen Ann Patchett’s brand new book STATE OF WONDER, which we're so excited to read!

Here's the link to our discussion of chapters 1-3, 4-6 here, and we're now discussing chapters final chapters and overall thoughts here!

Here’s a little bit about the book:
Years ago, Marina Singh traded the hard decisions and intensity of medical practice for the quieter world of research at a pharmaceutical company, a choice that has haunted her life. Enveloping herself in safety, limiting emotional risk, she shares a quiet intimacy with her widowed older boss, Mr. Fox, and a warm friendship with her colleague Anders Eckman. But Marina's security is shaken when she learns that Anders, sent to the Amazon to check on a field team, is dead-and Mr. Fox wants her to go into the jungle to discover what happened.

Plagued by trepidation, yet propelled by her sense of duty, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the unknown, down into the Amazonian delta, deep into the dense, insect-infested jungle to find answers from the company's research team. Led by the formidable Dr. Annick Swenson, the scientists are looking into the development of a new drug that could have a profound impact on Western society. But the team has been silent for two years and the daunting Dr. Swenson does not like interlopers inserting themselves in her work, as Marina well knows. The eminent and fiercely uncompromising doctor was once her mentor, the woman she admired, emulated, and feared. To fulfill her mission, Marina must confront the ghosts of her past, as well as unfulfilled dreams and expectations-a journey that will force her to make painful moral choices and take her deep into her own heart of darkness.

A rich narrative dense with atmosphere and full of deeply realized characters, packed with amazing twists and surprises-encounters with an anaconda, cannibals, death, and birth-State of Wonder is Ann Patchett's most enthralling and confident novel, a tale that will leave readers in their own state of wonder, examining their own values and beliefs.

(Taken from Ann Patchett’s website)

A bit about the author:
Ann Patchett
was born in Los Angeles, California in 1963 and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She attended Sarah Lawrence College in New York and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her other works include Bel Canto, Truth & Beauty, and The Patron Saint of Liars, her first novel, which was named a New York Times Notable Book of 1992 and subsequently made into a major motion picture.
(Adapted from and

You can purchase the book here:


Barnes & Noble

And here’s the reading schedule:

This week: chapters 1-3
Week 2 (6/20 – 6/26):
chapters 4-6
Week 3 (6/27 - 7/3): chapters 7-9
Week 4 (7/5 – 7/10): chapters 10-11

We’ll start discussing last week’s reading on the following Monday (so we’ll be discussing chapters 1-3 a week from today, Monday 6/20. The 4th of July holiday falls on a Monday, so that week’s discussion will begin on Tuesday 6/5). We know it can be hard to not read ahead, but if you do, please try to avoid spoilers until the discussion begins in fairness to those who haven’t finished that week’s reading yet.

Check out early reviews for State of Wonder here.

Rather read romance? Click here! >>

Mystery more your thing? Click here! >>



by on Jun. 13, 2011 at 2:11 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Jun. 13, 2011 at 2:20 PM

have fun I hope lots join in. I wont be able to as I have 70 books already downloaded to my kindle that are in line first forsummer reading.

by on Jun. 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM
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by on Jun. 13, 2011 at 3:09 PM

The only Fiction i read is Gay Erotic Fiction... Good Luck though

by on Jun. 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM

 Eeep!  I would love to do this but already have so many books waiting in the wings.....have to think about it.

by on Jun. 14, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Like the others I have a long list of books to read but I'm going to try to join in.

by Member on Jun. 14, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Good luck hope you get a lot of people to join.

by on Jun. 15, 2011 at 10:03 AM

I go through a couple of books a week...and this one sounds interesting, so I think I'll order it when my youngest girl FINALLY picks out what she wants to get with her gift card.

by on Jun. 17, 2011 at 6:47 PM

I would love to do this but not into mystery and hate romance. What about a great non-fiction book selection?

by on Jun. 20, 2011 at 1:21 PM

I haven't even started this one yet!  Hopefully tonight I can!

by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 7:37 PM

 So far I have read up to Ch 6. I will just post my thoughts as they came and the pg number. pg 3-This woman's tyraid about Anders death made me think of those millions of thoughts that ran through my own head after my mother's death. pg 5-so many questions, why?????? pg5- he felt such guilt about sending Anders to the Amazon. pg 15- no one can understand a devastating loss. pg19- When we experience a loss or something painful we want to place blame somewhere or on someone. pg 43-is hope a good thing or not? pg 46- reminders of my mom. pg 75- why direct billing? pg 79-who is this Dr. Swenson and why is she so elusive? pg 96 Why is this mysterious couple so protective of Dr. Swenson? pg 127- She is real!! pg pg 136- rudeness or self importance.  


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