Subject: A book that made you laugh

“The Tuesday Murder Club” by Richard Osmon

This is the first book in a series of four, so far.  It takes place in a retirement community in England. There are four participants of very varied personalities and occupations before retirement. They are not really friends, but enjoy checking into cold cases and that is what pulls them together.  They meet weekly and occasionally pull the police into it. The police do not understand the group. It is typical British humor and very enjoyable.

“Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sidaris

An Englishman decides to learn French, and, with a friend, moves to France. He abhors computers and learns the language the hard way, immersion.  The title refers to the fact that learning a new language runs into literal translations, which mean one thing in one country and another thing in the other. The title refers to the fact that one day the author expects to speak French like a Frenchman.  Mr. Sidaris books are often biographical, such as this one, and our reader prefers the biographical ones to the fiction ones.  His attempts at French are comical.

These books led to a discussion of how hard it is to write about oneself. There is online instruction on and a class, Wednesday evenings at Cuesta College, and several writing groups in the area, including the Central Coast Senior Center.  For those whose children or grandchildren want to know about family history it is a good place to get started.

“The Mad Woman Upstairs” by Catherine Lowell

The last remaining descendent of the Bronte family goes to Oxford. However, there is no place for her to live, so she is put upstairs, in student housing.  She is attempting to find a family ‘treasure’ since the Bronte girls father worked at Oxford and she hopes to find clues there.  She is a bit eccentric and the book is filled with British humor. We don’t know the outcome as our reader is not finished with the book.

“Francesca’s Kitchen” by Peter Pezelli

This book was chosen because the reader needed something to pass time and her name matched in another language. She enjoyed it because many parts of the storyline matched her own.  A widow with three children, one in Florida, one in Colorado, and one in her hometown, is bored.  She decides to take a job, but was always a homemaker, so she applies as a part time babysitter.  She is to supervise two children after school for a working mom.  That is all. One day the mother works late, so she fixes supper for the kids, who are not used to home cooked food.  She realizes when she visits all her children they request home cooking and baking. Her relationship with her employer and children change once she realizes this. She realizes what she felt were her boring characteristics are really valuable and appreciated. This is a large print Reader’s Digest book turned in for the book sale.

Discussion was about British humor and how people’s lives can change when they decide to learn something new, make their lives better, even in small ways.

Best quote: “The great reward given to intelligent people is that they can invent all the rules and equate any dissent with stupidity.”   From “The Madwoman Upstairs” by Catherine Lowell.

-Fran Strauser

Next Meeting: November 8, 2022 at the Grover Beach Community Library, 240 No. 9th St, Grover Beach at 10:30 a.m.

Subject: The Future