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The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski
 
Insightful view of Africa during the 60s & 70s

Our bookclub enjoyed this non-fiction immensely. It was rich in topics to discuss and gave us all a different view of Africa than we had before. There was something enlightening in it for every one of us, including those who have visited Africa. Would read more books by this author!

Lace Reader, The: A Novel by Brunonia Barry
 
Interesting, Dramatic, Confusing
Troubled woman deals with childhood issues after beloved grandmother dies in historic Salem

Our club found aspects of the story interesting but many loose ends left. Two-thirds of our readers found the ending to be a surprise while the other third saw it coming. The author used the setting of sea-faring Salem well, wrapping in the history of the witchhunts and set together the modern-day "cult" of witchcraft/fortune-telling against traditional lace-making and a religious cult. However the change in voices was often confusing and many relationships among the characters were left unresolved. Some characters were not fleshed out well.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Epic, Interesting
Enjoyable history lesson with parallels to today

Our book club enjoyed this book. Compliments were paid to the unique angle presented with a focus on the cabinet, the depth of differentiated research (much of it coming from women's letters), the balanced portrayal of Mary Lincoln, and the author's ability to bring Abe to life (so many enlightening moments about him!).

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Dark
Liked It - But

Our book club was lukewarm on this one. We almost unanimously agreed that the ending needs a re-write. The positives from my point of view were the imaginative portrayal of a unique breed of dogs and descriptions of their breeding and training regimen. The best chapters were the ones in the dog's voice. The drama/murder/mystery parts were unconvincing and too fantastical relative to the rest of the book.

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Romantic, Dramatic
One of my all-time favorites

This book is really two in one - a romantic Asian theatre war novel and a novel of economic industriousness in the Outback. The first part of the book was the club's favorite but nearly everyone liked the whole thing. It is obvious that this book was written in the early 50s - I'd rate it PG for romance. It shown a spotlight on an aspect of WWII that was fresh for all of us.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Persuasive
Lively discussion and occasion for locavore banquet

Our book club mostly enjoyed this book. We all enjoy cooking and food to begin with and this just enhanced our desire to eat locally and organic. Members brought dishes and drinks with ingredients from gardens and farmers' markets so most of the fun and discussion centered around this, including a failed cheese-making episode on my part. Positive comments on the book: chapters on asparagus and turkey sex were very enjoyable and the threat of a monoculture insightful; the technical sidebars were offputting for some as was the author's sometimes pompous tone.

 
Book Club Recommended
Pointless, Slow, Interesting
Great pairing for food lovers

Our book club enjoyed this alot. We had a French food potluck and a member brought her old version of MtAoFC by Child. We all love food!

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Confusing
Brave New World

Members liked this. Lively discussion. Lots of laughs about the "feelys" and "soma" and zippicamiknicks. Who wouldn't want their own helicopter? One member thought it made so much more sense than when she read it in high school. The Savage isn't entirely credible - growing up on Shakespeare at the Zuni pueblo? Other characters are 2D but which bothered some but not others. Very imaginative & creative vs. Orwell's 1984.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
Lots of Ah-Ha moments

Everyone in book club enjoyed reading this a great deal. Lively discussion. Was a nice change from fiction. Everyone had "ah-ha" moments when reading this book.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Insightful
Laugh out loud funny

Well-liked by everyone. So many discussion items. We loved the unconventional romance, the near-charicatures, hilarious plot twists.

 
Dark, Gloomy, Pointless
Fulfilling a contract

We were all a little disappointed with this one. Didn't seem comparable to Sedaris' non-fictional work. Our impression was that he needed to produce a book to fulfill his publishing contract.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
A popular club selection

All club members enjoyed this book. The many different character voices all have a role in moving the plot forward. Loved the ending which brought together many threads. Many topics for discussion including the real event that is the backdrop along with its more recent counterpart in this decade.

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