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My Reviews

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
 
Inspiring, Insightful, Optimistic
Will spark different opinions for discussion.

A series of life lessons according to Randy. Great for his children when they get older. They will know how successful he was and how he wanted to be there for them. Not what I expected though. I came away thinking the book was more of Randy's resume. I missed the heart, spirit and emotion within himself aside from his professional life. This book will spark different opinions for discussion as was the case in our discussion. I wish him PEACE within most of all.

The Reading Group: A Novel by Elizabeth Noble
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Confusing, Adventurous
Good women friendship book

It was good to see how the characters eventually became closer as the book progressed. But it was slow and not much of a page turner. It was too long and the author could have cut 100 pages and still have been effective. It was good to read about real women and all their relationships.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
 
Book Club Recommended
Graphic, Brilliant, Scary
Great literature

Detailed page turner. Terrific writing. Will generate much discussion. Capote movie is good to watch after the book but lacks the rich detail that the book offers. Highly recommend.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
 
Boring, Persuasive, Unconvincing
Positive attitude :)

I'm all for positive thinking. I get the message and I'm trying to apply it to my every day life. The book is very repetitive though. I did not see the movie so I was surprised how the universe seemed to replace the role of God or faith. Would recommend based on the positive thinking.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Surprisingly great book

This book club selection was a pleasant surprise. I would never have picked this, especially never having read Kite Runner. So rich with detail and history. I learned much about the lives and traditions of a country better understood now. Recommended highly!

The Klone and I by Danielle Steel
 
Romantic, Pointless, Unconvincing
Not much to discuss

Silly idea. Short story but repetitive. A Danielle Steel fan but didn't care for this one at all.

 
Book Club Recommended
Gloomy, Interesting, Romantic
Culture and tradition

Good to learn about culture and traditions in China. Very sad. Moral issues present much discussion for a book club read.

 
Insightful, Brilliant, Inspiring
Good to read her Biography

It was good to read about Maya Angelou's history. She went through so much as a child. A sad story but one she must have dug herself out of to become successful. An inspiration for others.

 
Dramatic, Graphic, Unconvincing
Good read even if proven fiction

This was a page turner and intense. This lifestyle was detailed and shocking. Although proven not his true account, this is a good read and sure to spark discussion.

 
Insightful, Pointless, Slow
Cover is misleading but a good read

This is a story of abuse in more ways than one. It details the life of the author and the patterns of her abuse. I believe the title relates to only 5% of the book about the sister. Although the book should be titled differently, it was a good biography for women and the stuggles that can go on behind closed doors.

The Quickie by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge
 
Pointless, Unconvincing, Interesting
Very quick read.

More of a beach read than for club discussion. Patterson was a recommendation. I think I'll try one of his series next. This one was over too quick.

Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
 
Interesting, Difficult, Insightful
Long but worth the read

A great story and one I've recommended for discussion. Good summer read.

 
Gloomy, Confusing, Difficult
A rewarding challenge

Difficult one, poetic, but great story. Recommended.

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
 
Terrific story

Very good story. One that will generate much discussion.

 
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Long one but worth the time

This is a very long book but worth the read. Good for discussion as long as everyone likes long reads. I recommend.

 
Brilliant, Difficult, Boring
Too difficult

I struggled to get through this one. Difficult & challenging.

Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
 
Dark, Interesting, Difficult
Not this one

Just didn't care for this one. An Oprah pick but not my recommendation.

Where Are You Now?: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Brilliant, Interesting
Twists and turns

Lots of twists and turns. When you think you have it figured out, there's another turn of events. Great to the end. Loved it.

 
Fun, Inspiring, Optimistic
Easy fun read

Great story and concept. Easy read but will generate discussion. Wonderful book for ladies.

Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) by Charlotte Brontë
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Inspiring, Beautiful
Brilliant classical literature

Refreshing to read and revisit this classic novel. I appreciate this story so much more today than as a high school student years ago. It was recommended to read before "The Thirteenth Tale". Jane Eyre proved challenging at first with the classical language that differs from more modern writing styles today. It was rewarding and highly recommended for all.

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Dark
For the lover of reading and story telling

The story begins with a character's love of reading then transforms into a biography of another of the characters. A sad tale of the life and struggles of a family unfolds and captivates the reader. Surprise ending. Gothic and dark though. "Jane Eyre" is referenced throughout this novel.

 
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
The life of train circus crews with a love story.

A look at circus life in the days of the train circuit. Full of trauma and dark struggles to stay alive without basic human and animal needs. There is stark contrast between the promise of a future in the vet field and the choice to give it all up for this hard life.

So Long at the Fair: A Novel by Christina Schwarz
 
Poorly Written, Boring, Confusing
A story of betrayal.

There are stories within this story with multiple characters and involves two time periods. Difficult to follow. Wanted more of a conclusion but was left to interpret my own outcome.

 
Difficult, Interesting, Graphic
Historical novel

Similar to reading a history book but with romance both real and imaginative. Difficult to follow. Highly researched and includes an extensive bibliography.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Graphic
Couldn't put this one down!

True story of her life growing up too soon in a world known by few. Heartfelt drama of families ripped apart by a dictatorship controlled society right her in the USA and in this day and age. Couldn't put this book down. Hard to believe this life exists in America. Sure to spark discussion on numerous issues.

The Beach House by Jane Green
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic, Optimistic
Refreshing Read

Fabulous book. The lives of very different people and families come together in this wonderful beach read. Terrific writing. Will choose more entertaining books by Jane Green.

Escape by Carolyn Jessop, Laura Palmer
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Brave tale of life in the FLDS and escape with 8 children.

It is very brave of her to write about this abuse and escape. Her sacrifice and struggles inside the FLDS and on the outside fighting for her rights. This is similar to "Stolen Innocence" and just as shocking. Highly recommended for discussion.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Adventurous, Dramatic
A love story with a bite.

This is a love story of an unlikely couple. The suspense builds and keeps you reading. Easy and interesting to the end. Can't wait to read the others in this series. Great for adults and teens.

 
Insightful, Inspiring, Life Changing
Spiritual story.

This book would be suited for the club that prefers books on God and spirituality. It is a book to turn to for a story about faith and healing.

 
Boring, Inspiring, Slow
Gave this one a shot.

I tried but couldn't get into this one. I do not understand what all the fuss is about.

New Moon (The Twilight Saga) by Stephenie Meyer
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Romantic
Great and leaves you wanting to know more.

Not as captivating as Twilight but the end gets much better. Will definitely read the next two books and see the upcoming movie "New Moon".

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Scary
Terrific thriller.

This story is very entertaining. Fueled by an obsessive attraction, Chick's life of luxury spins out of control, by his own choices, in many twists and turns that will keep the pages turning. It generated much discussion in our group and everyone enjoyed this novel.

Eclipse (Twilight, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer
 
Book Club Recommended
Boring, Adventurous, Dark
Another amazing saga book.!

Eclipse was another terrific book in the series. I was happy to read more about Edward in this one. Some of the characters' history is explained in detail and provides more depth to the series. Looking forward to reading Breaking Dawn and following up with the movies as they are made. This is a thrilling page turning series for teens and adults.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
The power of a "first love" is captured here.

This story is highly recommended. From the very beginning it is captivating and sends the reader on a journey totally unexpected. Morally challenging. The author sets the tone with a love story of two unlikely people and takes readers on a journey through history at the same time.

 
Boring, Inspiring, Insightful
Repetitive and for medical professionals

This is an admirable doctor and his selfless quest to cure the poorest. Patient after patient stories became too repetitive for me though....much of the same. For our little reading group, only one liked it. This is great for medical students, doctors, nurses or those wanting to practice abroad.

The Duchess by Amanda Foreman
 
Insightful, Difficult, Romantic
Detailed biography 1700s

Set in 1700-1800s England is the story of Georgiana's life, loves, gambling and political efforts. The book is highly researched. There were so many characters and layers that it was very hard to follow and keep interested in the story line. Looking forward now to seeing the movie.

 
Dramatic, Gloomy, Interesting
Slow moving sad story.

I was expecting more after hearing about the movie but was disappointed in this book. Not very entertaining. Sad, depressing and so slow. This was the case to the end. Will still view the movie to see how the book gets interpreted.

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Romantic
The 4th tale brings new thrilling drama.

This gripping tale was very different than the other three. Not my favorite of the series but still a treat to add to the delight of the other three.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fantastic, Fun, Adventurous
Thrilling murder mystery set in a part of Florida tourists rarely see.

This story was a delight to read. It is filled with adventure and is brilliantly written. She makes you feel the old Florida charm. It will make you laugh and keep the pages turning. Highly recommended!!!!

Judge & Jury by James Patterson, Andrew Gross
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Adventurous, Graphic
Thrilling crime novel.

Drama kept the pages turning. Great trial fiction. Recommended.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Inspiring, Optimistic
Inspirational fun story.

Uplifting adventures keep it moving to the end.

Accident by Danielle Steel
 
Life Changing, Optimistic, Scary
Life curve balls of family and marriage ~ and midlife issues.

Recent series of tramatic events bring out hidden secrets in this family drama. Believable curve balls especially in this day and age. Finally a story about the hush hush people don't like to talk about. A good read for pleasure but not for book discussion.

Stalking Susan: A Novel by Julie Kramer
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Fun
TV Reporter turns detective.

It was interesting to read from a TV reporter's point of view. Fast paced story and light read.

Missing Mark by Julie Kramer
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Scary, Dramatic
Murder mystery with a twist.

The characters continue from "Stalking Susan" with a new interesting mystery unfolding. Fast light read.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Dramatic
Suspense with great mystery.

Loved it. Some found it difficult to read. Filled with details of secrets and mystery. Highly recommended.

 
Dramatic, Interesting, Informative
Not for book club selection.

Some liked it and some did not. Sad story all the way to the end. For book club, another title would be better. Better suited for individual reading in my opinion. I do feel for anyone affected by this horrible disease and its consequences.

 
Difficult, Gloomy, Informative
True story but difficult read.

Tale of true hardship from an adventure that went wrong. We liked the fact the it was a true story. Some did not like it though. Another book better suited for individual reading rather than book club pick, in my opinion.

 
Fun, Unconvincing, Pointless
Not my cup of tea.

While I sympathized with her being jobless for so long, and the hardships that go along with it, I feel attitude has much to do with outcomes in life. If this were not a book club pick, I wouldn't have gotten through it. Wasted my money. Wish my library had at least one copy anywhere, but they had zero in all of the county and zero were checked out. Wonder why?

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Interesting
Terrific novel **5 Stars**

This was a wonderful read, especially for book club. You really get into the lives of the characters and how they relate to one another. Brilliant writing. Highly recommended!!!

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
Tale from the women's point of view.

Historical tale of the lives of women and their relationships from the women's perspective. Great fictional novel.

True Colors: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Dramatic, Fun
Family drama with traditions and heartbreak.

The story is centered around three sisters, their father and a family business. A family drama which includes prejudice, loss, love, deep tradition and heartbreak. It is an easy read but has many underlying issued that face most families today. We loved it and it sparked much conversation.

Next by Michael Crichton
 
Insightful, Confusing, Informative
Didn't hold my interest.

If you like medical research and trials, this could be for you.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Powerful story!

Brilliant writing. This is a sad tale with historical background that keeps the pages turning. Highly recommended for book clubs. A+

Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir by Catherine Gildiner
 
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
Not for book club.

Some in our group didn't finish it. Life story that is hard to follow, much the same as the main character. Sad and strange upbringing from the child's perspective. It has humorous parts though. Just not the best for book club in my opinion.

The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula Mclain
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
Great book club selection.

Highly researched novel. Left me wanting to read more Hemingway books.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
Insightful life in the 20's

Interesting classic memoir if his poor but happy years in Paris in the 20's with his first wife Hadley and friends. I suggest seeing the 2010 movie Midnight in Paris for a book club meeting.

The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
 
Informative, Adventurous, Insightful
Hard to get through.

Although some enjoyed this book, many of us did not get through this one. Sad story.

Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Interesting
Captivating

This is a page turner. Lots of twists and turns. You do not want to miss this ending.

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
 
Slow, Gloomy, Boring
Expected more.

House Rules: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
Insightful

Wonderful writing and story. Everyone loved it except for the ending.

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Dramatic
Fabulous Story

Everyone really loved this one. One of our favorites. A page turner.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Confusing
Another Great One

Heart wrenching story with terrific writing. Everyone loved this. Another terrific book. Highly recommended.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Dark
Great book!

Much better than expected. Highly recommend.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic
Makes you think!

Beautiful writing. The story draws you in by this way of life. It is great for discussion.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Beautiful
Insightful

Slow start but stick with it. Everyone really liked the story and we had deep discussion on this and related topics.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Optimistic
Captivating Journey

A pilgrimage of hope, determination, disappointment and new beginnings.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
Gripping Story

We all loved it. Sad but a real page turner. Some felt the disease was a bit romanticized regarding how bad the reality gets.

Necessary Lies: A Novel by Diane Chamberlain
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Dramatic
A Page Turner

The subject was difficult to read about but the story is heart wrenching and comes full circle. We had a great discussion.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Slow
A good followup.

Nice follow up of To Kill A Mockingbird. Different type of book though. The ending was a great conclusion.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Addictive
A real page turner.

This was a fun novel and page turner.

 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Insightful, Inspiring
Brilliant writing.

I reread this before reading Go Set A Watchman. This was, by far, a better book. Great story.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Eye opening.

A page turner. Our group had long discussions on this one.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Addictive, Interesting
We all loved it.

Great discussion on this this book.

The Nightingale: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Informative, Inspiring
Moving story.

This one will keep you turning pages. Heart wrenching.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Addictive, Interesting
Wonderful book.

We all loved this one. A long book but worth the read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Unconvincing, Insightful, Interesting
Great discussion.

Nice discussion on this story. Very different from her other novel.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Adventurous, Interesting
We all enjoyed this one.

Wonderful story telling. What an adventure. We watched the movie and then talked more about the book.

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Fun
Interesting family drama.

This is a page turner. It was believable. Great story.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
A gripping memoir.

A story of one man's life story, which rings true for so many more people and towns.

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Addictive, Interesting
Wow, a real page turner mystery.

We loved this one. It spiked interest from the start and kept us hooked to the end. Wonderful writing. Highly recommend.

 
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting

A Land Remembered by Patrick D., Smith
 
Adventurous, Informative, Interesting

 
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful

 
Gloomy, Dark, Slow

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Interesting, Addictive
Everyone loved this book.

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