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My Reviews

 
Inspiring, Informative, Dramatic
what a book!

excellent! Incredible story

Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali by Kris Holloway; Consulting Editor John Bidwell
 
Insightful, Interesting, Informative
Incredible

Wow!! What a book!! Our book club loved it.

Moloka'i: A Novel by Alan Brennert
 
Informative, Inspiring, Interesting
So much I didn't know

Our club really enjoyed this book--we learned about Hawaii and the take-over by the US government, about Hansen's disease, but mostly it was a really great story

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
 
Dramatic, Insightful, Beautiful
Excellent book!

You won't read many books better than this.

Seduction of Water by Carol Goodman
 
Interesting, Dramatic, Adventurous
Interestingly written tale

 
Interesting, Life Changing, Informative
So-so book. Main character FINALLY does some growing up

OK, but not one of my favorites. You just want to tell the main character to "grow up".

 
Difficult, Confusing, Epic
Really awful

Wow. This book really did not have anything reedeeming about it

 
Adventurous, Inspiring, Dramatic
absolutely astounding

what a great book!!

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
 
Unconvincing, Difficult, Slow
Horrible, tedious

I could find nothing redeeming about this book. It was so painful to read. I kept reading because I thought that there must be some reason this book and author became so famous. I read "Old Man and the Sea" in school and hated it then--I chalked it up to being too young, but now I realize my first impression was correct.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
 
Slow, Brilliant, Insightful
Really dumb philosophy of life

When I got through the 900+ pages, my thought was "how stupid! This philosophy does not work in real life" and then I did some research on Rand, and found that it did not work in her life either. Worth reading on an intellectual level, but not worth the time it takes to read for a club.

 
Fast read with your mind turned off--a "beach read"

Not the kind of book I would recomend for a book club. Nothing to talk about except maybe the characters' poor choices

 
Epic, Romantic, Adventurous
I loved this book.

This story was fanciful and wonderful. A tale seldom told in the west. Worth reading.

 
Insightful, Dramatic, Brilliant
Excellent!!

What more can I say--Excellent!!

Cloud Atlas: A Novel by David Mitchell
 
Brilliant, Interesting, Insightful
What an intruiging book!

Unique in style. A must read.

 
Epic, Dramatic, Adventurous
A grand novel. Different (and better) than most Follett

Excellent read

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
 
Difficult, Boring, Confusing
Thought-provoking, insightful. Very different look at Spiritual Life

Entertaining while bringing up serious Spiritual issues.

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
 
Adventurous, Romantic, Dramatic
I am glad someone rated this highly--I never would have read it but I LOVED IT

Exactly as the reviewers have said--an excellent story, complete with war, love, a death march, an crucifixion...what more could you want from a book.

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
 
Fun, Adventurous, Interesting
Just finished it--How did I miss this one before? What a wonderful book

Lots of fun in the south of France--and Englishman and his wife move to Provence and this is the tale of their first year NOT being visitors. Humorous, light. Great desriptions of characters.

 
Insightful, Interesting, Dramatic
Enjoyed it

 
Very fun mystery

I have enjoyed this mystery series very much. Makes you almost feel like you are in a coffee house with the descriptions of coffee!!

 
Dramatic, Optimistic, Interesting
lighthearted Suspense

Well written, fun, mystery series. A good choice for summer reads. Maybe not a lot to discuss, but a fun read nonetheless

The Wedding Officer: A Novel by Anthony Capella
 
Romantic, Unconvincing, Adventurous
Great Summer read

War romance. has some ties to actual events. Delicious descriptions of Italian food.

Bride Island by Alexandra Enders
 
Highly recommend

Different sort of novel. Deals with some real, raw issues. Excellent fodder for discussion at our club. Some could relate, some could not, but everyone liked the flawed heroine.

The Blind Assassin: A Novel by Margaret Atwood
 
Brilliant, Difficult, Interesting
difficult to read

kind of strange writing style. hard to follow. did not enjoy this book at all. Would not recomend

 
Wonderful, sumptious descriptions off coffee and love

A very enjoyable book. I liked Cappella's "The Wedding Officer" and enjoyed this book as well. A wonderful story woven around coffee trade, and of all things, women's suffrage.

 
Dramatic, Interesting, Informative
excellent book

I really enjoyed this book. Apparently a first for the author--kudos to that! The writing was awesome. One thing was that is was predictable, i.e., you know over half of the villagers will die, you know there is something going on between the Rector and Anna. There are a few surprises, but not many. The writing really carries the book, however. A good pick for clubs, with lots to talk about--sacrifice, redemption, understanding of disease and medicine, women's issues.

 
Poorly Written, Interesting, Confusing
complicated plot

I did like this book, but probably did not pay attention to all the characters as I should have--and was getting pretty confused half-way through. A fun book

 
Dark, Interesting, Confusing
yuck yuck yuck

Not much redeeming about this book. Difficult narrative, descriptions awful (bestiality, etc--who wants to read about that!). There are some social themes worth talking about (i.e., a misunderstood ostricized person being percieved as evil when not, or forced to be evil because they have no choice). However, There are better books that are more enjoyable to read that bring out the same themes. Don't bother reading this book. The musical is much better, and (not surprisingly) not as dark, and has a happy ending. If they actually used the plot of the book, it would have been an astounding flop on Broadway.

The Condition: A Novel by Jennifer Haigh
 
Insightful, Interesting, Slow
Really liked this book

I liked this book for the way it looked at the personal implications for an individual and family for having a diagnosis of a "condition". Turner's sydrome in this book was also discussed extremely well. Interesting how all the kids in the book had a "condition" (being gay, ADHD) yet the family chose to focus on the girl with Turner's.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
 
Interesting, Insightful, Beautiful
Long, rambling story with no satisfactory conclusion

Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Eye opening story

Intense, but well written book. One reviewer said "lame ending" but I would say "realistic" since it was definitely not happy, but what probably happens in real life, and therefore not satisfactory to a "western" mindset.

City of Thieves: A Novel by David Benioff
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
good book, but very graphic. Likely pretty accurate description of what happened during the Russian revolution

overall hopeful book, but very hard to read at times due to the graphic descriptions of horrors that occured during the time period described.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
near future distopia and a girl who defies it

I had a hard time figuring out how I felt about this book. It was well written, and you really like the main character, but the subject matter (a tale of a reality TV show that is to the death? and the contestants are 12-18 year olds? gruesome!) was something that really made me think. What if there was a situation like this (Nazi Germany, for instance) that I lived in, and there were difficult choices to make--feed my children or defy the state. The story was riveting.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Persuasive, Informative
A poetic description of the Great Lakes and their history from someone who has lived by them all his life

I grew up in Michigan and now live in Ohio, so I tend to take these lakes for granted. However, as I get older and travel more I realize that people outside the Great Lakes states have no idea how unique these inland fresh water seas are. I love the lakes, and this book just served to augment that with the author's descriptions of the lakes, their biology and history. I hope more people read this and are intrigued by it. These wonderful bodies of water need more people to appreciate them and protect them.

Story of O by Pauline Reage
 
Difficult, Graphic, Dark
Yuck

terrible. Don't read it

 
Fun, Adventurous, Graphic
ridiculous

not good. Don't recomend

 
Pointless, Romantic
pointless

not even close to romantic.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
 
Romantic, Inspiring, Beautiful
An attempt to tell a Biblical story by a romance writer

It was better than most Christian fiction, but still had elements of "cheezy-ness" that were a little hard to stomach. Too modern sounding (the phrasing used by the characters, idioms which are very modern, women starting their own businesses--were they even allowed to do that in 1890? etc) which made it unconvincing. I don't think the writer researched the time period very well

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Dark
interesting book about the Guilded Age

Interesting non-fiction. One of those "life is stranger than fiction" type books

The Passage by Justin Cronin
 
Dark, Dramatic, Confusing
Really stupid

I hated this book. Only finished it to see what happened--and oh dear, its the first one of a trilogy! I will not be reading the other two to find out what happens. We all know there are only three possible outcomes--the vampires win, the humans win, or they just keep fighting endlessly.

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Brilliant, Boring
An awesome book

Really gets to the heart of spirituality in a clever satire. Lewis is brilliant

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Beautiful
ONe of my favorite books ever

this book is brilliant.

 
Informative, Epic, Interesting
a disappointment

I was very much looking forward to this book after thouroughly enjoying Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. However, I think Follett was trying too hard for this one. Hard to read. Lots and lots and lots and lots of war scenes. There is no compelling villan, and no feisty heroine. There are some likable and interesting characters, but in the end very large cast without too much to tie them together. I guess I learned more than I ever hoped to about the causes of World War I, and some of the things that came out of it--the Bolshevik Revolution. I just didn't enjoy the book when I really expected to enjoy it.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Dramatic, Informative
wow

I loved this book.

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