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My Reviews

 
Informative, Interesting, Fun
It was okay.

Our club is in the Chicago area and wanted to pick a book about Chicago. It was an okay read. We thought the narrative was somewhat choppy and the information, while interesting, was not a "page-turner." It was, however, sort of cool to be reading the book at the same time the Mann Act was in the news because of the Eliot Spitzer affair.

 
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Oh no, not another woman in pain book!

I liked the book, but my bookclub has gotten stuck in this rut where every book we choose deals with women having horrendous things done to them for the sake of honor, duty, family, etc. Enough! So, while we liked the book, we're going to try something completely different for the next meeting.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
 
Brilliant, Insightful, Inspiring
Loved "To kill a mockingbird," could have done without the Harper Lee biography

Our book club decided to read "Mockingbird: A portrait of Harper Lee," by Charles Shields in combination with "To Kill a Mockingbird." Several of us could not get through the unauthorized biography. Too many irrelevant details, did we really need to know that the new courthouse in Lee's hometown was built without a basement? And it never really answered the question, "Why didn't Harper Lee write another book?" Lee doesn't grant interviews, so the book is a compendium of random facts.

That said, it was a pleasure to re-read "To Kill a Mockingbird." We had all read it as teenagers and it was interesting to see how our perspective had changed (we identified with the adults, instead of the child narrator). I rented the DVD of the movie and played some of the key scenes (the opening, the trial, the ham chase, Boo Radley).

I finished Shields' book and I thought it added some nuance to Harper Lee's book. He provides discussion questions on his website and is available to talk to book clubs by phone.


 
Unconvincing, Slow, Pointless
An interesting concept, but hated the main character

Our club would give this book a 3.5 stars out of 5. While we liked how off-beat it was, most really hated the main character. Apparently, this has been a common reaction. In later editions, a conversation between the author and main character is included, which provides some explanatory back story. Not all of our book club members read this version. It was helpful to read this conversation, plus the author's book club questions (which poke fun at book club discussions).

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Adventurous, Graphic
The Girl Who Played with Fire

A page-turner that will have you on the edge of your seat. However, the ending disappointed as it was merely a way to separate this second in a series from the third and final installment. Also, Larsson's depiction of women (who were either sluts or lesbians) was truly laughable. Despite its flaws, I'll will read the final book in the trilogy to see how it turns out.

Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
 
Slow
Gourmet Rhapsody

Meandering, confusing, some flashes of brilliance, not enough to sustain us. One book club member checked out the book in the original French and said it was much better.

Edges: O Israel, O Palestine by Leora Skolkin-Smith
 
Beautiful, Interesting, Poorly Written
God awful and that is being nice

Do NOT believe the reviews on Amazon that raved about this book because those reviewers obviously did not read the same book our club did. The book was poorly written and edited (obvious continuity errors), had no plot and was sophomoric. It reminded us of a high school term paper that had been packed with meaningless details in order to bump up the word count. We would have given it zero stars if that had been possible.

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