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My Reviews

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Interesting

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Dramatic, Adventurous
Looking Out For #1

Has there ever been such a life? You have to love Moll! She's a survivor!

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Book Club Recommended
Difficult, Confusing, Insightful

"ON A FIELD, SABLE, THE LETTER A, GULES." Sin can be not only all consuming, but eternal! WOW!!! A psychological masterpiece.

Poorly Written, Unconvincing

The story is preposterous and so is virtually every character in the book. The over use of metaphors and similes (there seems to be hundreds and hundreds) is nauseating. The author's simplistic moralizing is condescending. After 600+ pages one learns that it's good to be compassionate and value human life. Also, that it's bad to play the role of God with others and take pleasure in their suffering.

Book Club Recommended
Gloomy, Insightful, Fantastic

A mesmerizing tale of how a man can adapt to a Hell like existence.

Book Club Recommended
Dark, Informative, Dramatic

A great sociological study of how humans react when propaganda, power, love, self-preservation and freedom collide.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Epic

Interesting family saga of how three generations are affected by a sudden change in social status, the disillusionment of finding their guiding principle is propped by falsehoods, and living through the collapse of that guiding principle.

Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Fun, Insightful

An insightful view of the slow, gradual death of an American industrial town and how it impacts the lives of its inhabitants.

Tinkers by Paul Harding
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Slow, Difficult

Some of the book was the tedious. I really liked the ending though. George is reunited with his father at the moment of his death and Howard reunites with his son long after he's died. When does a life truly end?

The Girls by Emma Cline
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Graphic, Dark

What I found most gripping about the book was Evie's contemplation of her pent up hate as compared to the hate acted out by Suzanne. Evie was in thrall to Suzanne just as Suzanne was in thrall to Russell. At the end of the book Evie comes to realize that she probably would of done anything Suzanne told her to do, even cold blooded murder.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Informative

Wild journey down Mount Olympus, across the Atlantic, to the ups and down of 20th century Detroit. I truly enjoyed the ride!

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Gloomy

Sadly and ironically Brother Juniper's fate disproved what he hoped to find, that God is fair and just. He was unjustly martyrized by the Church for showing the unjustness of God.

Interesting, Boring, Informative

This book just wasn't my cup of tea. It was obvious that "The American" would be the one responsible for the explosion from the start. The only surprising thing about him was that he was not just a zealot, but an homicidal madman. The characters seemed to be superficially drawn. They felt like shallow descriptions (the stewardess, the cabin boy, the navigator, etc.). I couldn't feel the drama.

High-Rise: A Novel by J. G. Ballard
Book Club Recommended
Scary, Dark, Graphic

Although it took years and years for man to evolve, devolution may come in the blink of an eye. Scary stuff!

The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Optimistic, Inspiring

A morality play with an encouraging outcome of Man's inherent goodness triumphing against the evil's brought on by lust and greed.

The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Fantastic, Insightful

The most insightful thing about the book to me was gaining knowledge as to how ineffectual it is in overcoming oppression to only react to it and have no better thought out plan to take its place. By merely vanishing the current oppressor with no other plan, a new oppressor will take his place and a vicious cycle will created. It takes a well thought out revolution for a society to defeat oppression and thereby achieve progress.

Optimistic, Romantic

This literary cup of tea has about dozen scoops of sugar in it. The book was sappy and predictable. I prefer my tea unsweetened.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Brilliant, Fun

Rick's hilarious stories within the story alone are worth the price of admission. Caveat emptor: I read some this book on a plane and looked like a fool laughing out loud! Reading this book has spurred me on to try and tackle "Infinite Jest".

The Crime of Father Amaro by Jose Maria Eca De Queiros, Margaret Jull Costa
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic

An insightful look at religious hypocrisy in the 1870's. Since then, religious hypocrisy has kept an even keel and made steady progress. It's amazing that the book was published in 1875 in a Catholic country. A film based on the book was banned in Mexico in 2002.

Informative, Interesting, Dramatic

Erik Larson is not an historian but a speculator. He writes as fact what no one alive witnessed. Also, the story of a 19th century psychopath is a subject matter that doesn't interest me. We have plenty of current day sickos who's lives don't interest me either of whom I could have not enjoyed reading about instead! I prefer fiction, but also enjoy non-fiction written by real historians. There's so many great books and so little time. To read this book is to squander precious time.

Love's Labour's Lost in Plain and Simple English by William Shakespeare, BookCaps
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic

Funny scenarios that should be a riot on stage. I'm seeing a staged production of the play next month. I'm looking forward to it.

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Insightful

Insightful play about a nihilistic malcontent who uses people as pawns to gain power and control in the game that is her life. Can she handle life when it takes control of the game?

Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Romantic, Epic

Epic tale of love, power, and pride.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dark

Insightful play about the death (in essence) of a family by its horrid and hidden sins.

A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
Beautiful, Insightful, Fun

A big heaping spoonful of banal, predictable treacle. (e.g. Big hearts often come disguised. e.g. To have a purpose and to feel needed are essential to a life that's worth living.) The author tries so hard to make you feel good it causes pain. Ove would have hated this book!

Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Insightful, Graphic
A Precious Monstrosity

This is THE MOTHER OF ALL BOOKS. A literary monster simultaneously nonsensical and right on the mark! After years of putting off reading it, it's now my ultimate desert island book.

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