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Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Insightful, Dramatic
A Exquisitely Constructed Story

This story is as unique & exquisite as the Sea of Flames diamond.

The intricately interlocking sections of this story are as beautifully constructed as the puzzle boxes created by Marie-Laure\\\\\\\'s locksmith father throughout the story.

My only complaint is that I wanted more of Jutta\\\\\\\'s point of view. I found myself missing her just as much as Werner did.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Fun, Insightful
A Book for Book Lovers

What a clever & charming little story! This is a book that book lover's will enjoy reading.
Classics & modern day books are intricately & intelligently woven into the storyline.
I loved this book!

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Beautiful
A Beautiful Sad Love Story

This is a beautiful & heart wrenching story.
You will be balled up crying by the end...but...you'll feel as though the characters made the right choices given their circumstances...or...will you?

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring
I wanted...no...needed more

Solid plot & characters but I wanted more back story about the supporting characters.
Good book though.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Very Informative

An informative read but I didn't love it. I didn't hate it but I just didn't connect with the characters as much as I would've liked.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
An Unpredictable Story

A nice easy read with beautiful language & an unpredictable storyline.

The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Interesting
Beautiful

Lovely imagery & beautiful symbolism

 
Boring, Unconvincing
Disappointed

Best suited for readers in their early to mid 20's. Immature writing that had the author lived probably would've matured as she aged & gathered some life experience outside of her entitled sheltered life. The characters who are older than 30 all sound like they're 20 years old.

 
Confusing, Poorly Written, Boring
Disjointed

Extremely difficult to get into this book due to the disjointed writing. I couldn't force myself to finish it so I quit about 50 pages in.

 
Slow, Insightful, Informative
Interesting but slow

This book had a lot more stats & information about statistics that I expected it to have. It's very informative but it's a pretty dry read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Insightful, Adventurous
An easy fun read

It glosses over the effects of grief on children when they lose a loved one but it's an easy fun read with fairy tale elements.
Is it realistic? No. But it's written well & translated very well.

 
Slow, Insightful, Interesting
A Slow Read with Little Pay Off

Our book club read this as a selection in January 2016. Most members found it to be an incredible slow & frustrating read.
It didn't spark much conversation during our meeting.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Beautiful
Read This Book ASAP!!!

Fantastic read! It's my favorite book I've read so far in 2016.
It's beautiful & honest.
It's creative & uses a few unique formats/structures for a few of the short stories.
The author is amazingly friendly and approachable. She agreed to attend our book club meeting to discuss the book with us!

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Inspiring
Addictive Read

I couldn't put this book down once I had started reading it. Had I not had to participate in real life, I easily would've finished it in one sitting.

The story is told in alternating points of view of multiple characters. The characters feel very real & provide insight into how the reincarnated Noah/Tommy affects their lives & makes them question what they believe about death, the after life, and reincarnation.

Some chapters are preceded by an excerpt of a true story of a reincarnated person who returns as a child and vividly remembers their past lives. The excerpts are from “Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives” by Jim B. Tucker, whom the author consulted with while writing this book. These serve as documentation of other cases similar to that of Noah/Tommy and assist the reader in believing the possibility of a child being a reborn individual because of the similarities to Noah/Tommy’s case.

The book examines memory & its impact on our lives. One of the characters is losing his current memories due to aphasia yet at the same time the child Noah/Tommy still retains vivid memories from his previous life. Losing our memories is devastating & makes life confusing and painful and unbearable yet while retaining our memories may also have the same effects…it’s our memories that ground us & remind us of who we are and where we have been. Our memories impact who we are. The choices we make in life…make us who we are. Who are we if our memories are lost?

The overarching explanation for why we retain certain memories & why some people are reincarnated is love. It's nice to think that if people are reincarnated & remember their past lives...it's because they ferociously loved and/or were ferociously loved….that love can survive even death due to its power & effect on memory.

Perfect Days: A Novel by Raphael Montes
 
Book Club Recommended
Addictive, Dark, Scary
Oh My! What a page turner!!!

Thank you Netgalley, Penguin Press, and Raphael Montes for providing a copy of Perfect Days in exchange for an honest review.

Montes is frighteningly gifted at writing from the point of view of a very frightening and disturbing sociopath. You know that the narrator's thought and actions are wrong on so many levels but he's just so well written that you can't help but admire the skill of the author.

It's dark, twisty, & suspenseful...with a little satire & lots of wit...just how I like my psychological thrillers.

Shelter: A Novel by Jung Yun
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Insightful

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Informative

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting
The Trip

I liked this book much more than I normally like non fiction books. I learned a lot about Andy Warhol and the Pop culture movement of the time. It's well researched & well written.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Insightful, Dramatic
Sad...but so damn good

A sad story but it's beautifully told.
Tons of themes to discuss with a book club

We Never Asked for Wings: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
 
Unconvincing, Interesting, Adventurous
Eh...Disappointed

2 stars & I feel like that's generous.
Perhaps I'm disappointed because I enjoyed The Language of Flowers so much more than I enjoyed this one.
There isn't much character development & the plot is predictable.
The dialogue between characters is basic & boring.
There is not a single sentence in this book that is beautifully crafted. Nor is there a single line in the book that causes you to pause & think about the characters & their situations. Not a single one.
Everything feels shallow & too easy.
The book attempts to address the issue of illegal immigration & the effects it has on those living in the US illegally as well as their friends & family members...but it does so very poorly.
It's also a very inaccurate portrayal of single motherhood. I've yet to meet a single mom who has 2 responsible men in her life solving all of her problems.
Letty's parents return to Mexico & leave her to raise her kids.
Instead of Letty developing into a responsible mother...Wes & Rick swoop in to solve all of her problems.
This is a book that addresses very serious issues...in a very unrealistic manner.
But...if you're looking for a quick & easy read with an unrealistically happy ending...this book meets the requirements.

The Guest Room: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Informative
The Guest Room

This book provided our club with tons to discuss. Highly recommend as a book club selection.

 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant
Great book club book

Sophie Stark is a puzzle whose pieces are provided to the reader by those involved in her rise as a movie director by way of the memories of their experiences with Sophie and their interpretations of her behavior.

The reader never hears Sophie's voice or point of view directly but that's one of the genius aspects of the format of the oral history provided to the reader by those who knew her.

Sophie revealed to the other characters who they are by means of the movies she directed so it's only appropriate that who Sophie was is revealed to the reader via the story telling from the people whose stories she told through her movies.

In revealing their interactions & memories of their time with Sophie they also reveal who they are.

This is a fantastic book club selection. Each of the characters is extremely multi dimensional & would provide hours of discussion.

Happy Family by Tracy Barone
 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Interesting, Adventurous

Commonwealth: A Novel by Ann Patchett
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Confusing

 
Informative, Inspiring, Insightful

The Animators: A Novel by Kayla Rae Whitaker
 
Interesting, Insightful, Addictive

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
 
Unconvincing, Confusing, Boring

Stolen Beauty: A Novel by Laurie Lico Albanese
 
Interesting, Dramatic, Informative

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting

 
Dramatic, Addictive, Adventurous

It's a quick & easy read but I don't think it provides much to talk about at a book club mtg.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
 
Addictive, Dramatic, Insightful

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
 

 
Inspiring, Insightful, Beautiful

 
Informative, Interesting, Difficult

 
Informative, Dramatic, Graphic

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Addictive

News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles
 
Adventurous, Informative, Optimistic

The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel by Elizabeth J. Church
 
Beautiful, Inspiring, Interesting

The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright
 
Interesting, Informative, Inspiring

 
Addictive, Interesting, Dramatic

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Adventurous

Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman
 
Informative, Confusing, Dramatic

 
Inspiring, Insightful, Informative

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