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My Reviews

Night Road by Kristin Hannah
 
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Night Road

Felt the book was shallow, full of unbelievable dialogue and was very predictable.

Bossypants by Tina Fey
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Boring, Interesting
If you like Tina Fey...

...you should like this book. Funny, self-depracating, insightful, and slightly raunchy. I listened to it with Fey narrating her own book. Great!

Secrets of Eden: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
 
Book Club Recommended
Boring, Dramatic, Interesting
Bohjalian weaves

tales which wrap around the reader's mind and seduce the reader into a comfort that both know is false. There is upheaval to come, but when and how?

The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Dramatic
The Lost Quilter

The story of a slave woman who, for a variety of reasons, lived under three different masters/mistresses. She gained family at each situation. Her son was the result of being raped by the first plantation owner. She found her husband at the second home. They had a daughter. Joanna, the woman, learned dressmaking skills which were indispensable to the daughter of the second owner who gave her to his daughter as a wedding present.
The story was bookended by a modern story of finding letters and a quilt in a Pennsylvania home and wondering what became of the maker.
The book evoked anger in me that man could be so cruel to any man. I also felt the ending was hurried and didn't answer all the questions presented in the first chapter.
A good story that needed a better written ending.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Difficult, Confusing
Introducing Aimée Leduc

The first of thirteen (so far) novels with private investigator Aimée Leduc. Well researched, well-written.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
What's so Great about Gatsby?

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Dramatic
Langdon on home turf.

A good, not great, follow up to The Da Vinci Code. Well-researched and intricately plotted. I did figure out something important very early in the book, which was revealed very late in the book. I don\\\'t consider myself necessarily astute at forshadowing and therefore felt a little letdown by this piece of the puzzle Brown attempted to hide. Still a good read - I had to find out for sure that my guess was correct! Perhaps it read more easily since I am more familiar with Washington D.C. than I am with Rome or Paris (from the previous two Langdon books).

 
Book Club Recommended
Optimistic, Inspiring, Insightful
Was she crazy?

Living and working in San Francisco, the author purchases a Villa in Tuscany that needs major renovations that she will live in 3 months of the year. I know how much trouble people have trying to get work done in the same city when they can supervise. This lady was very brave and lucky. Beautiful writing.

 
Book Club Recommended
Difficult, Dark, Scary
1984 has come and gone, but...

I read this book when I was in high school when 1984 was still the future. It seemed to be a more difficult read now, post 1984, because I am not as naive and now see that I may have been wrong with \\\"that\\\'ll never happen.\\\" There are parts of life in 2013 that could be considered parallel to the action of the book.

Sunflowers by Sheramy Bundrick
 
Interesting, Romantic, Fun
Speculating about Van Gogh

This is chick lit. It is a romance. Not my usual genres. It was an interesting fictional read of people who Van Gogh knew or could have known, but mostly it\\\\\\\'s a story of the prostitute with the golden heart. Not a meaty read, but entertaining.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Romantic, Inspiring
Beautiful Love Story

This is NOT a romance, but a love story that takes several unexpected turns. Possibly the best story demonstrating a circle of life and love that I\\\'ve ever read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Interesting
A Heart of Gold in a man\\\\\\\'s work

Anthony Shadid is an American of Lebanese decent who sought and found, if not his family\\\\\\\'s roots, at least his ancestral home that he painstakingly restored. Along the way he learned the customs and personality of the peoples in his sphere, both family and strangers. Shadid restored not only the home, but the land, the olive trees became of special significance to Shadid - a link to the past while starting a new tradition.
The story weaves ancestor stories with Shadid\\\\\\\'s tribulations restoring the home.
As with the house restoration, the reader needs to be there at the end of the book to truly appreciate the beauty of the work done.

The Hunger Games (Book 1) by Suzanne Collins
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
Hungry for more.

I wasn\\\'t going to read this book. I thought it was about vampires and werewolves. Finding out it was about teenagers fighting to the death in survival games, didn\\\'t change my mind about reading it. I was disgruntled when I discovered this was to be our book choice for November. Why!?!?!?
Not only could I not read this book fast enough, I immediately had to read the rest of the trilogy. Give it a chance. The writing is marvelous. That will hook you.

 
Poorly Written, Confusing, Unconvincing
The Astronauts Wives Club

I was in middle grades when Alan Shepard and John Glenn were shot into space. My formative years were the formative years of the space program. This book helped dust off many cobwebs that have accumulated in the 50 ensuing years. Customs were very different then and make for an interesting conversation about whether the changes have been for the better. I felt this book could have used \"more meat.\" It felt like an appetizer, preparing me for something more.

Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Confusing, Insightful
What if...

you could live your life over. Not like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. Ursula is born on February 11, 1910 but her umbilical cord is wrapped around her neck. So...
Ursula is born on February 11, 1910 during a snow storm. The doctor does manage to get to Hugh and Sylvie\\\\\\\'s house in time to save Ursula who is born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. Ursula is born at least 11 times living to varying lengths of time and experiencing different deaths. She at times experiences a sense of deja vu. Questions are raised that may or may not be answered in a parallel life (universe). Unlike anything I\\\\\\\'ve ever read before.

Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
All is not as it seems

Andy is an assistant district attorney whose son is accused of killing a classmate. Other members of the accused\\\'s family have done time for murder. Is there something in the family genes? How best to handle this situation may shock some.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Light Between Oceans

A beautifully written tale of a a lighthouse keeper and his life on a solitary island. The lighthouse is on a remote island and he is allowed limited leave. He marries, becomes a father and tries to live a normal life under many abnormal conditions.
Sound ordinary? This book is anything but. From the opening sentence the reader is drawn in accompanies the family through more travails than seem normal. This tale of humans attempting to stay connected and remain moral doesn\\\'t always present clear cut options.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Fantastic, Dramatic
No Reservations

Welcome to Earl\\\'s All-You-Can-Eat, but don\\\'t sit at the front window table. That table is saved for The Supremes, the name given to Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean by Earl. These three women have been friends for over 40 years - since high school. Each has married, had children, and dealt with the vicissitudes life has for us.

This book is part comedy and part drama. Most of all it is a hoot. Once you meet these women, you will know you have found true friends.

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Inspiring, Interesting
One foot in front of another

Cheryl Strayed's life whirled out of control after her mother died. Falling into a maelstrom of infidelity and drugs resulting in a divorce. So what better way to "find yourself" than to try a completely new endeavor - hiking the Pacific Coast Trail from California to Canada.
Strayed learns much about the trail, hiking, the people on the trail and most of all herself.
Would she be a better, more stable person at the end of the trail? Walk her path and see.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
The Paris Wife

The first of Ernest Hemingway\\\'s wives follows him to Paris where she is thrust amid the crowd of writers and ex-pat friends: Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Ezra Pound, Scott Fitzgerald and others. Despite her encouragement, Hemingway\\\'s writing drys up and soon, so does the marriage.
Enter the 20s in a past world full of camaraderie and literature.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Dramatic, Adventurous
Re-reading a Classic

ooking forward to reading it again for my book discussion. It turned out not as bad as I remembered. In fact, I probably understand it a lot better now than I did as a naive teenager. We did have a lively discussion about it tonight.

Is This Tomorrow: A Novel by Caroline Leavitt
 
Book Club Recommended
Addictive, Interesting
We all know that tomorrow never comes...

...but there is always the promise. The promise of tomorrow and a better turn in life and love is the quiet river that runs through this book. I read this book in two sittings. It changed from a view of life in the 1950s to a mystery - what happened to Jimmy, Lewis's best friend. There a lot of tomorrows before Lewis and we get the answer.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Adventurous
Putting the

Bernadette is an award winning architect who tries to withdraw from the world and unfortunately includes her daughter and husband in the withdrawal. She doesn't volunteer as classroom mother, she doesn't go out to shop, including for a planned trip to Antarctica. Too many adults acting like children and a child who seems the most adult. Still quirky and amusing despite everything that happens. Found myself shaking my head. A lot.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Inspiring
Walking with Lillian Boxfish

I went on this walk with her. I adored this book. Beautiful writing. Wonderful character driven book of an elderly woman reviewing her life while she walks on New Year's Eve. Could have been maudlin, but Lillian is and always have been a strong woman. Bravo Lillian and thank you Kathleen Rooney for bringing her into my life. I know I will read this over and over again. (This from someone with 4000 books on my TBR.)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Dark, Interesting
Fahrenheit 451

Like many other dystopian books written years ago, this one seems to have changed since the year it was written which means it is even more poignant and prophetic ow.

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