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Name : Judith H.

My Reviews

Interesting, Insightful, Informative
sparked some great topics for discussion but the book itself got a "thumbs down"

Unfortunately, the verdict on our book pick Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel was a resounding "thumbs down".

From Sobel's title we had had high hopes and expectations that we would gain some insights into the life and times and human-side of Galileo along with having some refreshment on the brilliance of his many scientific achievements. Basically, we found the title to be a sham which served as a sort of "shell game" that drew us in with reference to his daughter and family but did not deliver more than a few crumbs. We found the writing rather dry and not very "novel-like" in form and execution.

Still, we did have some interesting discussions spawned and admit that we enjoyed the evening because the book sparked those topics. We talked about things like how amazingly many family members Galileo had to support We pondered some new understandings about how great the consequences were for a child born "out-of-wedlock" in that time and place in history as opposed to society today in the USA. We considered what it meant to be "politically correct" in Galileo's time - vs - today, and we talked about the difference between religion and science.

So, we would NOT rfrecommend this book as a book club pick. We felt that there are many other books about Galileo and his times which would have been better "reads".

The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
Informative, Adventurous, Insightful
a family from Georgia is forever changed by Africa

The consensus was that we liked this book very much and would recommend it to other individuals and book clubs. It was a better book than the other Kingsolver book (The Bean Trees) which our book club had read, although Kingsolver really had some trouble with character development and with maintaining a consistent and believable “voice” for each of the characters.
Of course, no one liked Nathan all thought that, even in 1959, they would have struck out alone rather than remaining married to him in either the USA or the Congo! Of course, this led us to discuss how things have changed – and not – for women since the late ‘50’s / early 60’s. We recalled other husband and father figures-who-were-preachers in other books we have read as a club – March and Wicked. These men did not get our vote as desirable spouses and/or fathers.
The many beautiful sections where Orleanna was reminiscing were enjoyable both for reading and for reflection, being described as “almost poetic”. The unfair way in which Western nations plundered Africa, and the connections to real historical events (like the Cassius Clay fight) also led to some lively discussion.

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