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Name : Wendy R.

My Reviews

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Slow, Pointless
Still Life

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative
Flesh and Bone

Tell No One by Harlan Coben
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
Tell No One

Still Waters by Tami Hoag
Romantic, Unconvincing
Still Waters

Rules of Prey by John Sandford
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Adventurous
Rules of Prey

Unconvincing, Slow
The Book of Old Houses

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Adventurous
Murder on the Iditarod

A murder mystery that includes history of Alaska and specifically, the Iditarod. Very interesting facts about this annual event. The main characters are likeable. There is a touch of romance, but it doesn't overpower the story.

Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting
Shakespeare's Landlord

Likeable characters, small community intrigue, potential romance.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Informative
Thinking in Pictures

This is not an easy read, but very informative. Anyone who has a family member or friend who has characteristics of autism or Aspergers should read this book. Anyone who thinks that immunizations cause autism should read this book. Temple Grandin explains how the "geniuses" of our world have characteristics of autism and because of their single-mindedness and determination in their specific fields, whether it be the arts or math or sciences, we are the better for it as a civilization.

Dramatic, Dark, Difficult
The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

Even though Pat Conroy has a wonderful writing style, I found this book difficult to read because of the "darkness" of the title character. He was verbally and physically abusive to his family and others. It was hard to read 440 pages detailing his dysfunctional behavior - and the effect his behavior had on his wife and children.

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic, Optimistic
The Secret Lives of Dresses

This story is about a directionless woman finding direction in her life. It is an enjoyable read with moments of genuine humor. The "secret life" stories of the dresses are an added dimension to the overall story. The characters are well developed and some are quite colorful.

On Folly Beach by Karen White
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Adventurous
On Folly Beach

This is a mysterious, romantic story with a touch of history thrown in. The author uses notes written in the margins of classic novels by two unknown people during WWII to propel the story along. She keeps you guessing about what happened during the 1940's as you wait for the characters in the current day storyline to try to figure it out. For me, this was a page-turner.

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali, Delphine Minoui
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

This is a memoir written by a 10 year old, with help, and that is how it reads. It was interesting, but doesn't go into a lot of depth. Nujood explains things the way she saw them happen in her naive, inexperienced life. It was a fast read, easily read in two sittings.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Informative, Interesting
The Winter Sea

A well researched book about a very specific event in the history of Scotland, told by a present day historical fiction writer, with romance woven through both story lines. The present day author is able to share what happened to her ancestors hundreds of years ago through genetic memory. An enjoyable and informative read, although initially confusing for me since I had no prior knowledge of this historical event.

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Inspiring
Half Broke Horses

A good preview to "The Glass Castle". Jeannette Walls has a good writing style, which is easy and entertaining to read. I loved learning more family history leading up to Jeannette's childhood with Rosemary & Rex. It explains a lot!

Barefoot: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Fun

This is a story of three women at a crossroads in their lives. They come together to support each other, while trying to escape from their problems in their respective lives. Their behaviors are, at times, understandable, frustrating, and heart-warming. I enjoyed their journeys as individuals, and as three women trying to figure out what they mean to each other.

Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Brilliant, Adventurous
The Wise Man's Fear

Day 2 of Kvothe sharing the story of his life to the Chronicler. The author has created a different world, including several unique languages. It reminds me of a very adult Harry Potter. This book however, doesn't really answer a lot of the questions I had from book 1 - it only left me with more questions! It will be interesting to see if Patrick Rothfuss can actually wrap up his story in one more book.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
The Hunger Games

Loved it! This is a page turner. It's difficult not to get emotionally involved in these characters. This first book of the trilogy sets the stage for a well deserved battle to bring down the "system".

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Dramatic, Interesting
A Reliable Wife

This is not an uplifting book. It's a book filled with despair. The characters are tragic - and simply difficult to like at times. With that being said, there is some personal growth in the main characters and it is written in a easy reading style. I would not recommend it to everyone, but those who enjoy looking into the minds of tragic characters will probably love it.

Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Romantic
Catching Fire

Storytelling at its best!

Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Brilliant

I loved this trilogy so much I could have started it over immediately after finishing the last page. Great storytelling!

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Dramatic
The White Queen

Very interesting part of England's history that I knew little about. The author has combined historical facts, addressed rumors of the day, and included the mysticism that Elizabeth's family was known for. The book is presented well, especially considering the repetition of names. I plan to read the other two books in this trilogy.

Caleb's Crossing: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Slow
Caleb's Crossing

This is the story of an actual person's life (Caleb's) written in fictional form, surrounded by fictional characters. The main character, who narrates the book, is fictional. The author wrote the novel using the language of the time, which can slow down the reading process. The story is interesting and seems to represent the true relationship between the native Americans and the people sent to America from Britain to "Christianize" them. With that being said, the book seems to be more about the life of the fictional narrator than Caleb himself. Fortunately, "the narrator" led an interesting life as well!

Poorly Written, Graphic, Romantic
Fifty Shades of Grey

This book is poorly written and irritatingly repetitive. I don't get what the fuss is about. Most of the "supporting" characters have little depth. The only thing I found amusing in the book is the exchange of emails between the two main characters, Ana & Christian. This is not a genre that I typically read however, so I don't have anything to compare it to within the genre (erotic romance).

Oxford Messed Up by Andrea Kayne Kaufman
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Romantic
Oxford Messed Up

I loved this book! This is a story of two extremely flawed characters, coming from dysfunctional families who find each other - and help each other. The author uses the music/poetry of Van Morrison to accomplish this task. Wonderfully well written with great character development of both major and minor characters.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Well researched book with authentic observations and perceptions of Henrietta's life and her contribution to the medical field. A good discussion of a controversial subject: scientists and their discoveries vs. patient consent.

Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James
Romantic, Dramatic, Poorly Written
Fifty Shades Darker

A tad more interesting than Fifty Shades of Grey, but that's not saying much. The writing isn't any better, and it is still extremely repetitive. It's like a novel written for young teens with graphic erotic sex thrown in. Very odd combination.

Romantic, Poorly Written, Graphic
Fifty Shades Freed

Definitely the best of the three books. The relationship between Ana and Christian has developed - and Christian finally starts to face his demons. Thank goodness. Either the author has become less repetitive - or sadly, I got used to it.

State of Wonder: A Novel by Ann Patchett
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Dramatic
State of Wonder

The story is set in the Amazon, which is adventurous in itself. The native people are fascinating, and the doctors/scientists are so varied in personality that it makes for a good discussion about each of their motives for being in the Amazon. The novel gives food for thought about infertility, drugs, and the people who profit from them.

Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Interesting
Something Borrowed

I found myself supporting the main character, Rachel, despite not agreeing with what she what doing. The novel delves into childhood friendships and how difficult it is to break out of your childhood friendship "role" even though you have moved into adulthood. I found "Something Borrowed" to be entertaining, funny, and a quick read. I will be reading the sequel "Something Blue" to finish the story.

Home Front: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Inspiring
Home Front

An engaging read. There is character growth in the main characters and the details about military life seemed realistic. Kristin Hannah books almost always have one character that drives me crazy, and in this book it was Michael. Michael's character did not distract me from my interest in the book however. Definitely a book worth reading.

Park Lane by Frances Osborne
Confusing, Gloomy, Informative
Park Lane

Although there was a lot of information about the suffrage movement in England, it was difficult to connect to any of the characters. No one was particularly likable. The story was confusing at times when the author decided to suddenly switch to a different story-line. The lack of communication between characters was frustrating, even for those times.

The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Kitchen House

This is a well written story. The characters were complex in nature, so I found myself hating a character at one point and then sympathizing with them at another point. It's a story that represents the days of slavery and the inter-mixing of slaves with their white owner's families. I would recommend this book to everyone.

Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Graphic
Ender's Game

This is "youth fiction" for intelligent minds. It is more sophisticated than I anticipated. This is a story of a brilliant child who is trained, molded, and used by the military for the purpose of fighting - and destroying - another species who is threatening the known world. You can't help rooting for Ender from beginning to end, no matter what he does.

Nothing Daunted by Dorothy Wickenden
Informative, Adventurous, Slow
Nothing Daunted

If the author had stuck to the main story of two women spending a school term teaching students in the early settlement days of the west, the story would have moved faster and been more interesting. The author digresses into other background stories and details much to often, which bogs down the story. Even though the author uses original letters and has certainly done her research, the reader doesn't get a true sense of the hardships these women faced.

Something Blue by Emily Giffin
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic, Optimistic
Something Blue

Since I disliked the main character of this book in "Something Borrowed", I was not convinced that she could be redeemed in my mind, even with the story being from her perspective. Well, I was wrong. This is a story of growth and redemption and maturity - and I enjoyed the journey.

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