Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Week two discussion of Friendship Makes The Heart Grow Fonder–––**The Bucket List**



We're deep into week two discussion of the novel and I thought I'd take this time to bring up
"The Bucket List"

For those of you reading the paper version you'll find the list at the beginning of the reading group guide and knowing the list won't give away any spoilers feel free to look at it in it's entirety.

For those of you reading on a device I'm not sure if it's listed here's the list

a. Take a ride on the London Eye
b. Enjoy a scenic cruise down the Rhine River
c. Dine at Le Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower
d. Visit the catacombs of Paris
e. Go abseiling in Interlaken, Switzerland
f. Ride a motorcycle through the Black Forest
g. Blow $1000.00 in a Monaco casino to see how long the money lasts
h. Travel 100 mph on the German autobahn
i. Celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich
j. Enjoy the wine and truffle festival in Alba, Italy


Lets talk about the list.
Knowing Lenny only peripherally why do you think he made it?

Why Europe?

Do you agree with Becky's assessment?



Again only use these questions as a guide, jumping off point


28 comments:

  1. Lenny and Monique made the bucket-list as a way of hope that maybe Lenny could be saved by some miracle. He know Monique was not really to face his inevitable death.

    The first six things on the bucket-list were to give back to Monique the things she loved to do before she married Lenny. The next part of the list was Lenny's hope for Monique's future.

    Monique didn't want to finish the list because she believed that Lenny was trying to make her forget him.

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    1. Thanks Eadie. So do you think that Lenny knew from the beginning he'd never be going on the trip?

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    2. Yes, Lenny knew but he knew the discussion would be hard for Monique, so the bucket-list was a way of giving Monique hope.

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  2. Spot on, Eadie!

    On a somewhat different subject, while writing this book I started a bucket list of my own. For now, it's mostly places I want to visit--I'm looking forward to a period in my life when hubby & I can go back to our traveling ways. ;) Right now, with two kids in college and another right behind them, our priorities are a little different.

    In any case, it's fun to dream! I've even posted some possible destinations on pinterest:

    http://pinterest.com/lisavergehiggin/my-bucket-list/

    Anyone else have a bucket list ...?

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  3. OOh Lisa, great bucket list.

    hmmm you were an inspiration Lisa, I just started one
    http://pinterest.com/dhaupt3/my-bucket-list/

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  4. My husband and I have a bucket-list and with my husband having his 70th birthday this year and I will be 64, we have already started working on it.

    Last year we went to Croatia because I have always wanted to check out my family heritage. My grandfather left Croatia in 1914 followed by my grandmother in 1920. We were never in contact with our Croatian family and after my father's death in 2006, I found papers that made it easy for me to find our family and I did that last September.

    We are going to Italy this September which is another bucket-list destination of ours and then we will go back to the Croatian village of my family which is Vrsi for their Church Festival. They invited me to attend and said that it would be an opportunity to meet more family since both grandparents were from Vrsi.

    Next year will be Ireland and Scotland.

    Future trips:
    Alaska
    Australia/New Zealand
    St. Petersburg, Prague and Budapest
    back to Hawaii to visit the islands we missed in 2005

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    1. Eadie I so enjoyed your pictured from Croatia last year and what a great thing to be able to connect with relatives that you may never have found if not for the papers saved by your dad. With all the "connectivity" we enjoy today I often wonder what it will relate to in terms of "crumb trails" will it be as effective as finding long lost papers in your dad's belongings or will it get lost in the massness of it.
      I look forward to your upcoming pictures too
      thanks for sharing

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  5. Okay, Lisa/Deb..... bucket lists. I have been thinking about those and Fred and I have joked about them every since the movie came out.
    I see where Lenny used the bucket list to give Lisa hope. But why these places? Why these activities? Hmmmmmm. Lisa, I revisited and the list and there are 3 things I would love to do.... dinner at La Jule Verne, a cruise down the Rhine, and a tour through the catacombs, but not necessarily those in Paris.
    Now you and Deb have done it. I am going to have to go to Pinterest and start my own Bucket List.... and yes there is one in my head.... unfortunately I will have to find someone to go with me for most of it, as Fred will only go with me for the parts that are in the US. :-( He's a homebody.
    Http://pinterest.com/klairdmail/my-bucket-list It is set up.... so now to fill it with wishful pictures. :-)

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    1. Hey travel buddy great list. I'm buying tickets for us all and I think we'll have a blast. Think of all of us here on a trip through Europe remember the trip we took w/Marilyn Brant last year we could get ourselves a handle like the S&M club. :)
      Whadayathink :)

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  6. Oh yeah.... can you imagine a trip with Lisa AND Marilyn WOOOO EEEEE Talk about mid life cone head biddy party time LOL Tears roll at the idea. Hubbies would be bailing us from somewhere.

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  7. Would love to go on a European vacation with a bunch of us. Went to China in 2006 with my friend Grace and we had a blast. Lots of fun with more friends I'm sure!

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  8. Finished this section last night (and read ahead a bit--just couldn't stop!). Sorry for the very tardy comments, but this week has been extremely busy, a week filled with nagging chores and responsibilities. I thought last night about if I had been married to Lenny what he might have put on our bucket list for me! Deb, your question about why Europe is a good one. I think Monie could not have made progress in moving on with her life as Lenny would have wanted her to do unless she went to some place where she and Lenny had no memories. They had never been to Europe, right? Everything at home reminded her of Lenny and allowed her to continue talking with him in the comfort of familiar surroundings. Europe was a clean break. Monie can remember happy memories about Lenny, but she cannot "relive" experiences with him in Europe, because such experiences don't exist. She seems to have talked with him mostly about their daughter and her day-to-day life. In Europe, with new, unfamiliar surroundings and new experiences to confront, she cannot fall back into this rut.

    I am surprised each time that Monie says that Lenny is trying to make her forget him entirely and neither Becky nor Judy protest. And I am also surprised that Monie has not felt his "presence" more often in subtle ways on this trip. I just want to reach into the book and shake all of them and shout, "He's not saying to forget him completely--and you won't if you really love him--just don't forget how to be the person he loved." OK, so that's one of the kind of platitudes everyone hates to hear. But I just hate to hear Monie say that Lenny wants out of her life completely.

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    1. Eadie, thanks for your great comments.
      Your pondering about if Lenny was your hubby made me think in that direction too and your thoughts about why Europe are some that I didn't consider. (which is why I love these conversations)

      And your thoughts about Lenny's "presence" not being felt too much in Europe and remember Monie tried to "feel him" while she was there. This will be something I earmark for the end of our discussion to ask Lisa about.
      And I agree that forgetting him wasn't on his wish list for her either.

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    2. Edie, I love your thoughts on why Lenny planned the bucket list to be set in Europe. It was a real eye opener and makes perfect sense to me. Thanks!

      April

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  9. I'm in for a girl trip to Europe . . . or Asia! When? Do any of you snore? Can I drive the Porsche?

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    1. Yes I snore and we draw straws for all the fun stuff :)

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  10. Oh, a couple more things . . . I like the mysterious item #13 added to the list. I'm going to speculate that Lenny wants her to go on a date with someone she meets in Europe? Oh! Or maybe he wants he to go back to school and become a doctor! (Have I gotten ahead of this reading section?) The biker bar and hotel scene was a bit extreme for me, almost unbelievable, although I'm glad Monie got kissed; and Judy is still my favorite!

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    1. You've gone a little ahead but heck it's Saturday so no fear the end is right around the corner.

      Tell us why you like Judy best

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  11. Okay here are my thoughts
    I believe Lenny knew this wouldn't be a trip he'd go on but I don't envision this trip either I personally think he made it for Monie's benefit because he saw she wasn't ready to let him go. I think maybe he thought Monie her mom and Kiera would go.

    As to why Europe I like Eadie's thoughts but my initial reaction was maybe it was something the two of them dreamed of when they were younger before life and mortgages and tuition and insurance became top priorities.

    I don't think Becky was totally right on about the list but I think she was on the right direction. I don't think that Lenny wanted to give Monie back what she sacrificed for him because neither of them saw it as a sacrifice I think he wanted to do it because after his death and the insurance pay out it was something he could make happen just for her because he loved her.

    I can't believe that next week we'll be talking about the end. the month's gone really fast!

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  12. Ladies, what a great discussion about Lenny's motivations! Becky thinks she knows what Lenny had in mind -- but, really, with Lenny gone, who can say whether she's right or not? I hoped to suggest that Becky's speculation had enough truth in it to get Monique thinking more critically about the list, or at least to make Monique realize that Lenny may have had more than one motivation in creating it during those difficult last months.

    Mountain Muse glad to see you've joined us! And, yes, wouldn't it be a hoot for us all to take a trip together? A bunch of booklovers on the loose.... Just last October I took a trip to the wine country with my college girlfriends for our mutual landmark birthday (I'll never tell which one!). It was only four days--but oh, what fun we had! No sleep, lots of wine, a little bit of whining, and plenty of dining! I made sure to rent a convertible so we could ride the California highways with the top down.

    As I collect more of those landmark birthdays . . . I appreciate my friends ever more.

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  13. Hi all. First, my daughter just graduated today from Smith College - WOOHOO!!! (just had to get that out of my system...)

    As for the bucket list, I know that Judy and Becky, and really most of us, think that it was all about Monique letting go. And I agree, I think to some extent that really was what he wanted. But isn't it just possible that Lenny was thinking a little bit about Lenny, too? That these were things that he wanted to do, and that there might be just a tad of magical thinking going on here - like, if I make this list, then I'll have to live to see it through. I mean really, it's ok to not have your motives be completely altruistic. And I suspect that Lenny wanted to go on living, wanted to share these adventures with Monique. By the way, Deb, the entire list is included at the end of the book if you're reading on a nook. Sorry, I won't say any more, I finished the book while I was waiting for the graduation ceremony to start this morning.

    This book is really a wonderful adventure in self-discovery, and I so love that these ladies are sharing that. They each bring their own strengths and weaknesses, and I only wish I had friends like that to pull for, and to pull on me.

    I'm on the hotel computer, so I'll sign off for now. Didn't want you to think I'd disappeared or anything!
    Elaine

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    1. first congrats to you and your daughter Elaine Yay!!!

      I never thought that Lenny thought he'd be around Elaine but now that you've put it out there I can definitely see it

      I think we wished we had friends like that if we don't and grateful for them if we did. I have my family and maybe one or two close friends unfortunately they work with me it happens when you're at the same place for 20 years and we could never travel together until we retire.

      thanks for your thoughts have a safe trip home )

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  14. Lisa, I'm wondering if this book might be a reflection of your own bucket list, your own experiences. I know that you do discuss that a little at the end, and I don't want to spoil that, but it would be great at some point to hear a little more about how much of you is in this story. Thanks!
    Elaine

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  15. Lisa, Deb and Mountain Muse - I'm loving reading all of your thoughts on "bucket list" travel adventures! It would be great fun to take a trip with you all ;). The book sounds wonderful, Lisa, and Mountain Muse, your line "Talk about mid life cone head biddy party time" made me laugh aloud!! As always, Deb, what fabulous discussions you have!

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    1. Hi Marilyn, (waving) thanks for the visit. We mentioned the other day what a fun trip that would be
      I'm packing right now LOL

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  16. I think Lenny made the bucket list because he knew Monique wasn't ready to face the fact that he might not be able to beat his cancer. She wasn't ready to consider for a moment that Lenny might die and it was a way for her to hold on to the hope that they would have a future together.

    My first thought was that the bucket list was set in Europe because it might have been a place Lenny and Monique had wanted to visit at an earlier time in their lives. Even though I don't think Lenny believed he would be making this trip with Monique, I think planning the list together was a way to take their minds off what was really going on in their day to day lives. It gave them something else to focus on and a reason for them to spend hours dreaming of the future together.

    I do agree with Becky's assessment of the bucket list. There were too many items on the list that Lenny would not normally want to do. I liked the idea that Lenny made the first half of the list to give Monique back all the things she used to love doing before they were married (although I didn't agree that it was a sacrifice on her part) and the second half of the list was Lenny's hopes for her future. It made the list that much more special to me to realize how much thought Lenny must have put into planning it.

    April

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    1. Thanks April great minds :)
      It's so good to have you and all my friends from B&N here :)

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