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Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Life Changing
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

This book was very informative and gives lots of examples of situations that real people have faced in making end of life decisions. I believe everyone can relate to this book, either in imagining their own eventual mortality, or in making necessary decisions for loved ones.

State of Wonder: A Novel by Ann Patchett
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Dramatic
State of Wonder: A Novel

The book is a bit slow at the very beginning, but 30-40 pages in, you will be hooked! The non-stop action makes it hard to put down, as researcher Marina Singh heads into the Amazonian jungle to find out the truth behind a fellow researcher's supposed death. As Marina unfolds the dangerous secrets of the research team that has been silent and out-of-pocket for years, the suspense and revelations are hard to imagine.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Remarkable Creatures

I wish I'd known this was historical fiction prior to reading the book, but I did not. I didn't discover that until the very end of the book - had I known prior to reading the book, I believe I would have enjoyed the book more. The pace is quite slow, but it's an interesting book about how Jurassic period fossils were found on a beach in England in the 1800s. If you enjoy Regency fiction, you will probably enjoy this title, even though it is heavier on events than on relationships.

The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Kitchen House

This title was informative if you are not familiar with slavery, indentured servitude, and plantation life in the late 1700s. A young Irish orphan is brought to a tobacco plantation to work in the kitchen with the slaves. She becomes a member of their family, while grappling with the scattered memories of her past. This is a book that will grab you at first, and you will find you can't wait to find out what happens next. About mid-way through, you will find it becomes a bit predictable. This is not a feel-good novel, but the familial relationships are warm and sincere.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Dramatic
Leaving Time

Our club enjoyed the book until finding out the dramatic twist that totally changes the outcome of the novel! Not many saw it coming, and most were disappointed. However, the book is well written and is entertaining and informative.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Slow, Insightful

Dietland by Sarai Walker
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dark, Addictive
Dietland

A very dark, yet revealing look into the violence of dieting and the correlation between dieting and other forms of oppression. It's worth it to stick with this novel, even though language and graphic description may be offensive.

 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Informative, Adventurous
Brilliant storytelling!

"Too many people turn away from small wonders, I find. There is so much more potency to be found in detail than in generalities, but most souls cannot train themselves to sit still for it." - Ambrose Pike, The Signature of All Things. You will want to sit still for the many small wonders you will find in this magnificent life story of Alma Whittaker, a brilliant female botanist growing up in the 1800s. Alma looks to the natural world for the explanation of life, but doesn't turn away from the diversity of thought from the various people who influence her life.

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Adventurous
Apocalyptic, yet ultimately unrealistic

This literary post-apocalyptic novel is a bit of a coming-of-age, grow-up-fast tale about two sisters who ultimately are left alone in the woods to fend for themselves on the edge of civilization. Released in 1996, parts of the book will seem dated. And yet, as electricity, food, and gasoline disappear in this novel, it doesn't seem like an impossible scenario were it to happen today. The ending is not particularly hopeful, yet you do get the sense that somehow these resourceful young women will find a way to survive.

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