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My Reviews

 
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Great read

A great read although some of us in club were very disturbed about the feet binding. Wonderfully written, a story of loyalty and trust and how women bind together.

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
 
Slow, Romantic, Interesting
Good Read - Organic, Kingsolver has a way with words

My first Kingsolver book. Understand she is both a writer and a biologist. I really like the way she writes, she really sets her scenes up descriptively and in a very organic way. A good read for those of us who grew up in a dysfunctional family with a strict father - and for those of us who dearly love our sisters. It takes a village to raise a child.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
 
Beautiful, Interesting, Inspiring
Quick Read - Interesting Premise

Interesting premise - the experience of owning an undocumented Vemeer over the centuries told by the various individuals that were fortunate enough to have snagged it for a time. And a very quick read.

Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
 
Dark, Confusing, Difficult
Great fiction with historic context

This book was written from Irene's notes found decades after she was executed at Auschwitz and provides a window into the German occupation of France. Beautifully translated, it's many subplots provide rich opportunities for spirited discussion. Take the time to include research into Irene's life story if facilitating as our discussion lead had done - what a heartbreaking story.

Raney by Clyde Edgerton
 
Unconvincing, Confusing, Difficult
Funny, poignant, quick read

Opposites attract - a poignant story of two young people from different worlds who somehow marry and survive despite being from different walks of live and holding very different life and religious beliefs. A wonderful diversity and tolerance lesson.

Cloud Nine by Luanne Rice
 
Beautiful, Romantic, Inspiring
Cloying, depressing, implausible.

This book was a selection of my other club that does not use Bookmovement. I had never heard of this author but now know she has written 26 books. This was one of the most improbable books I have ever read - a "heroine" who within two weeks meets a handsome pilot, wins over his difficult daugher, mends fences with her family who live a difficult farmer's life on an obscure island, has a cancer relapse and marries said pilot on her deathbed. If you like trade romance you might like this book, but I thought it was horrid.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic, Adventurous
Great Beach Read - Especially if you are Southern

Ok, this book has all of the ingredients of a Southern romance: the plucky heroine who just can't seem to be the perfect Southern belle, the cad of an ex husband and his new maneater wife, disapproving parents, a new love in the wings (that cooks great), antiques, a rich and fluffy friend named BeBe. It was a guilty pleasure - we usually read heavier stuff, but always pick a fun Beach read in the summer. It was a fun romp perfect for a long plane trip or for reading over a vacation.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Fun, Interesting
Beyond my expectations - wonderfully written, unique, inspiring

When we selected this book for club, I did not think I would enjoy it, but stoically set about finishing it. Within a few chapters it had won me over. Well written, authentic, and honest, it is the story of triumph over despair and way literature binds us all together in unexpected and inexplicable ways. I loved the way the book was written as a series of letters to and from each of the characters. If your club has not yet tackled a book set during WWII (alas, our club has done this many times - ready to move on!) I highly recommend this book as your entre'.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Adventurous, Inspiring
Fun, Witty, Inspiring for those of us tired of the rate race

Our author launches this journey originally in support of her husband's dream to simplify, but ends up embracing a new kind of life and abandoning her formerly materialistic sense of reality. Book was well written and full of humor and simple but poignant revelations. A great club read especially if there are restless souls amongst you that wish they could chuck it all and do the simple life. Green Acres for the well heeled.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Beautiful
Enzo is the eloquent narrator of this optimistic and charming book - great read!

I could not put this book down once I started it. Perhaps the love I have for my own dog drove me to pick it up in the first place. Well written, unique and creative premise, well developed characters, and a central theme (racing in the rain) that truly inspired me to persevere when the chips are down. You will not be disappointed.

 
Boring, Dark, Interesting
Interesting Premise but Not My Cup of Tea

Our club won this book from BookMovement last year. While I was intrigued by the premise (a philosophy student leveraging her learnings to resolve her currently messed up life) I thought the book was a bit episodic and the ending was dissatisfying.

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Dramatic, Interesting
An inspiring read - incredible true story with an even more incredible outcome.

This book was compelling and amazing on so many levels. It is a true and rare story of hope, faith and forgiveness. It emphasizes the issues within our legal system as well as the incredible strength of two people to overcome their own biases and personal trials and become joined in a single and important cause. It highlights how faith and perserverance can and does pay off, as well as the key role of Innocence Projects as they face what appear to be impossible odds to right the wrongs of our system. A great and memorable read.

Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters
 
Book Club Recommended
Optimistic, Insightful, Interesting
You Either Love Barbara or Hate Her.... liked but didn't love this book.`

What an interesting life Ms. Walters has led. This was my book club pick, and if it had not been would have never picked it up - too long and autobiographies are not my favorite. However, Barbara's career and her groundbreaking work were truly an inspiration, along with her struggle to gain credibility during the sexual revolution and the dominance of men in media. Her unique and tragic upbringing also helps us understand how she came to be such an empathetic and insightful interviewer. I would recommend it if your club is not one that likes trade fiction or the more upbeat and mainstream reads.

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Dramatic, Interesting
Great Book Club Pick - True Story, Incredible Outcome

I live in NC and was aware of this noteworth true story even before I met the author at a party. The incredible shame of rape, the wrongs of our legal system, and the impacts of the victim of rape and the accused - a vitcim of the legal system - make for a compelling read. Thompson-Cannino and Cotton have forged a deep bond and are telling their incredible story in the national media, a story that inspires forgiveness and motivates the reader to consider the wrongs in their own past. Highly recommended.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Life Changing, Adventurous
A Must Read... Incredible Journey, Incredible Woman

This book rates in my top 10 of all time. In the vein of Eat, Pray, Love, with a much more humanitarian and adventursome bend, given this story begins in the 50's. I cannot say it better than what Shirely herself posts on her blog: "When I was 27 years old, I boarded the MS Oslofjord and set sail for the Land of the Midnight Sun: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. My plan was to work my way around the world playing jazz accordion, and that is exactly what I did. I ended up visiting and living in 67 countries, became the first woman to drive a Land Rover from England to Kathmandu, was kidnapped and questioned by Turkish police, was offered a job by the CIA, was cured of asthma by an indigenous doctor in Kashmir, managed a clinic in a Tibetan refugee camp in Nepal, and stood against death threats to write and publish the first ever Who’s Who of Black South Africans.". This is a must read and a very good Book Club pick -her incredible experiences and the risks she took for not only herself, but for the South Africans and refugees she helped along the way, show us all that one person can truly make a difference.

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