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Confusing, Adventurous, Slow
YPU long, multi-leveled plot, intriguing writing

i really enjoyed this book - often confusing with characters and some Yiddish terms but the mystery plowed right on through. really enjoyed the descriptions and characters and felt pulled in from the first - although it didn't get "compelling" to me until after 100 pages. our group - many jewish women (i am not) - had a rousing discussion that veered off on many other sub-discussions. We enjoyed herring during the meeting, too!

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
 
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Do not - repeat - DO NOT NOT read this book!

Powerfully touching. Amazing storytelling. So "couldn't put it down" - with discussions that were rich and questioning with the HOW did people survive this? How did others get to BE that way? And isn't the realm of "power" entrapping on so many levels? READ THIS BOOK!

 
Fun, Pointless, Insightful
A multi-faceted book great for discussion!

This is, at first blush, a "fluff book" - however, that being said, not only is it an easy-breezy read, it's got some miraculous depth - a few laugh-out-loud spots and many whooshing-to-the-heart, touching moments that caused a little tear to fall. Is it "spiritual/sacred"? Is it "secular"? YOU decide. AND if you've read other Lorna Landvik books, you'll be so pleased to see what a lovely and strong job she does of creating a MALE narrator, Joe - a really, really nice guy. Our book group REALLY liked these people - some were more shallow than previous works - but I believe they,as characters/people were more shallow - ergo, how they appear on Landvik's pages ... Definitely a great discussion - plus, there's loads of little food hints in the book that make for good noshing at the discussion table! :)

I'd also obtained Lorna's DVD which we used in the discussion group and it was fun to see her - quite a lovely and funny Scandanavian gal - UffDa, girl - i'm Norwegian, too! :) Tak!

Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
 
Dark, Confusing, Difficult
Had we read this book before??

While we enjoyed the writing style and the "story", more or less, there was much about this book that seemed like "we'd read it before" - nothing really smacked as being "too creative, original or new". Kind of left our discussion "flat". oh, well. the story of HOW this book came to be was actually more interesting than the actual book.

 
Insightful, Interesting, Dramatic
A Juicy Discussion, especiallyl if you live in a diverse community

Everyone in our group enjoyed reading this book which fueled us for a very rich discussion. WE are a very diverse gathering of women so had many nuggets and tales to offer. We used discussion questions from Book Movement and from Random House - and enjoyed thematic treats (American, Korean and Middle Eastern) during the evening.

For a discussion among folks who live in communities of diversity, this is a GREAT book - as we each have had our own rich experiences that cross cultures. We also have run into folks - diversity aside - who have similiar personalities to all the characters and, at the core, we really aren't all that different.

The one thing that bugged us - and we ALL noted it - was that at Chapter 9, the narrator/voice changed - and while it didn't "bother" us to the point of annoyance - we just couldn't figure out WHY - what was the purpose? Maybe we're all clueless and missed some major literary craft/technique but it seemed "huh?" as we read. We shared that we'd all stopped, went back to see if we missed something and then went on. What WAS that, Anne Tyler?

We have enjoyed other of her books and like her writing. Her characters are believable and the storylines so probable. Thank you.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
 
Unconvincing, Difficult, Slow
UGH - Hemingway did not appeal

We tried but barely anyone BOTHERED to read this "nobel prize for literature" winner ... Some didn't care for the storyline. Some didn't like his writing style (IS there a style?) Some just didn't CARE about the strongly male-written, underdeveloped characters. The fact that it's a book of gloom, doom and hopelessness causes a reader to not want to finish ... UGH ... we tasted Hemingway. We spat him out.

 
Dramatic, Interesting, Informative
And you thought YOU had it tough!

Year of Wonders is a creepily delicious book. the story is quite riveting and, once one can get used to the rhythm of the older language, it really draws you in. alas, it's about the plague, so "it ain't pretty" - but it's a strong story filled with loads of twists and turns and a bit of gross stuff, too. alas, the ending was a little weaker than the rest of the book and while it had its smack of "happily ever after", it also left us with many unanswered questions. which, actually, helped fuel the discussion. i highly recommend this historical novel by a powerful journalist.

Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
 
Interesting, Dramatic, Epic
Provocative Tale that keeps moving you forward and backwards - to the Middle!

brilliantly written tale - fiction/memoir - VERY powerful - generational, ethnic, cultural, gender-questioning, thrown between greece and the US over three generations of family. a long read creating pauses to reflect ... we loved it.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Slow
Rich Discussion

GSaW - is it REALLY the first or the second book of Harper Lee? SO autobiographical - SO rich for discussion based on civil rights times, geographics, demographics and the ever-amazing character of Scout/Jean Louise Finch, her sage-wise father and her amazingly to-the-point uncle. it was a compelling read and our group ran longer than usual with many comments & contributions

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