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Marley & Me by John Grogan
 
Fun, Adventurous, Inspiring
Wonderful book for Dog lovers

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
 
Dramatic, Insightful, Beautiful
Set during WW II IN Nazi Germany

Our bookclub loved this book. However, it may not be for everyone as it is set during WWII in Nazi Germany, and told by the "Angel of Death," with his opinions of what is going on around the life of one little girl, who learns to read, and choses to steel books in order to feed her obsession.

The book is one of the most unusual we've read for a long time, . The USA has decided it is appropriate to be listed as a young adult book, but I'm not so sure how they came to that decision. It does lack graphic violence and sex, but the content is multi-layered and does lead to a wonderful discussion.

 
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
My favorite, the clubs Not-so-favorite

The older ladies in our club loved this book; the younger ones hated the story.

It is diffiult, I suppose, for the younger gals to realize that just a few years ago babies who were born with deformaties or retarted were often secretly taken and placed in homes, never to be seen again. The premice was to protect the family was a lifetime of sorrow and "EMBARRASSMENT."

Such is how this story begins when a doctor delivers his own set of twins, and without telling his wife, hands one of the children over to the nurse to take to an institute for retarte children, telling his wife the child had died.

Thus begins a novel full of secrets and wonder. The story intertwines the lives of all involved and how this once second decision had affected their lives. The ending is bittersweet.

One thing this book does is evoke a world of feelings from the reader, and for that reason is an excellent pick for a bookclub due to the possibilities of discussion on various levels.

 
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
Excellent History, with story that evokes a huge amount of discussion

 
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
excellent history/great for discussion

I have read this book for two different bookclubs, and both times we had lively discussions of the characters. This book is definately different than most we read, and was a welcome change.

The book is a story of an old man who begins to discuss what life was like during the depression for persons who worked for a traveling circus.

The characters are rich, and the story intertwines several characters in a wonderful way.

 
Gloomy, Informative, Unconvincing
Very well researched historical novel

This novel provides a glimpse into how trading, transporting and obtaining commodities in the 1600's in the Dutch countries post-inquisition was conducted.

Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese Jew, escaped the Inquisition on the Iberian peninsula and moved to the much more tolerant Netherlands. After loosing his wealth when the sugar market took a plunge, he was approached by a widow who wanted him to enter a scheme to trade an unknown commedity: Coffee beans.

At first, the manner in which Liss writes is annoying. However, it soon became evident that he was attempting to create at atmosphere of the actual time. The reader is swept into the trading market, where stories of political power, greed, lies and manupulation, and suspense prevail. It led to a wonderful discussion, and is well worth a bookclub selection.



The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
 
Dramatic, Insightful, Beautiful
Entwines History, Fiction, Mystery, and gives for great discussion

The Book Thief is one of my favorite all time book club read. Basically, it involves a small girl who is left orphaned when her parents are taken from her during WW II in Germany.

Not wanting to spoil the story for you, I just want to say that the story is correct in historical facts, and pulls the reader in from the first page. Many subplots occur, leaving for a lively book club discussion. I felt as though I was there during this time, and often had a rollar coaster of emotions.

What this child does to find books and read stories to escape from her horrible reality is amazing. The book can be dry at times, but that seems to be a necessary evil in order to lull the reader in.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
 
Brilliant, Interesting, Insightful
Scary, Scary, Scary - it COULD happen here!

Fahrenheit 451 was chosen last year as the official "Peoria Reads" book in Peoria, Ill. Each year the city adopts 1 book, then plans multiple discussions, educational events, movies, and author participation (when available) to enhance that years choice.

The fact that this science fiction book was written in the early 50's, and began as a weekly chapter is amazing.

Fahrenheit 451 is about a Fireman: written in the early 50's, it predicts that TV will begin to take over our lives with "Life size television sets that take up the entire wall of a living area."

The political powers-to-be have decided that reading books would hurt the mass as everyone would then be able to form their own opinion of things. The fireman, who are no longer needed to fight house fires due to to modern building materials, are responsible for going to homes and burning them down if books are found which have not been destroyed as ordered by the local authorities. In addition, the people who have horded these books are jailed or killed themselves.

This book is short, but the contents leave the reader shaking to the core, wondering if another "dark ages" can suddenly appear in our society. The ability of Bradbury
to write a "science fiction" book in the 50's which has multiple truth in it for today's world is uncanny. The book leaves many items to be discussed in a bookclub.

 
Informative, Interesting, Slow
Wonderful history, great mystery, a great one to discuss

Larson has written two stories in one. The reader is taken into the 1800's, and learn how a filthy city and a prestigious doctor were brought together during the making of the World Fair of 1893.

This book is multi-leveled, and is somewhat technical at times. The book includes stories of the people responsible for building the White City, the first ferris wheel, and a mystery where countless numbers of women were being murdered by a prestigious physician, who went undectected until AFTER the fair closed.

This story allows a wonderful bookclub discussion. I have read it in 3 different book clubs throughout the years, and everytime I am not disappointed.

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