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My Reviews

The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer
 
Unconvincing, Slow, Poorly Written
Reading this is like trying to struggle through a required reading assignment

Slow moving with lots of unnecessary verbage. So many in our book club did not finish reading it!

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Inspiring, Dramatic
Couldn't Put Down This Book

Easy read of an unbelievable life story. I am inspired to be the best mother I can be so my kids don't have to deal with such challenges. As an educator, I am saddened how they fell in the crack - I pray that I have my eyes wide open so that I'm aware of any hungry child.

 
Inspiring, Informative, Insightful
Greg demonstrates unconditional love in a foreign land

This book has a slow start but stick with it to the end. The author is very careful to include accurate details and include lots of cultural descriptions. It was fascinating to read about this area which has become war torn in our lifetime. The story begins years prior to 9-11 and includes his experience of being on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan when the twin towers were hit. I loved 'experiencing' the determination of the local people to bring education to their children. (How they volunteered with their own hands, bargained for who would provide the materials, and even pressured for fresh water prior to building a school.) Overall it is a good book that tells about real life in a terrorist dominated country.

The Piano Teacher: A Novel by Janice Y. K. Lee
 
Informative, Pointless, Confusing
Personal survival superceeds human decency

This odd story does not contain any joy, happy moments, or "hero's." It is not possible to find a character to connect with as they ALL have strange flaws/behaviors. (Even prior to the war, every character was playing head games and made it feel unrelatable for the reader.) I did find it interesting to read about the build up of WW2 prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
If this author chooses to write another book, I doubt I'll pick it up to read.

Savannah Breeze: A Novel by Mary Kay Andrews
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Pointless, Boring
Great Beach Read

Story about a middle age woman who determines what is important in life is not what she had worked hard to obtain. I enjoyed the characters as they were well developed and believable. This story includes clean romance, laughter, and a couple of good life lessons.
Good selection for a book club if they are looking for something light.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Interesting
Highly recommend reading The Help

Excellent book that I enjoyed reading from the beginning to the end. The characters are well developed and I was drawn into their world. I enjoyed 'experiencing' the varied lives of numerous African-American housekeepers/nanny's in the early 60's and their employers with several different opinions reguarding segregation. Reading this book helped me appreciate just how far our nation has come in less than 50 years.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Inspiring
We should all have lifetime friends this close!

I enjoyed reading this book because of how it took the reader through the life journey of so many different ladies. I found myself identifying with each one in some small way but at different times in their lives. Every relationship takes work and precious time. After reading this book, I'm inspired to keep doing that with the couple of ladies who have made a difference in my life. Well Done Lorna!

 
Book Club Recommended
Epic, Dramatic, Adventurous
Mini Series

I loved Pillars of the Earth because it spans the lifetime of two generations. It drew me in by including all the aspects of great novels ... well developed characters, romance, grief, ambition, deceit, mystery, evil, action, history, purpose, researched details, and a well thought out ending.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Graphic, Dramatic
Gracious where did that come from?!?

Although well written, this is not light reading that will make you feel good when you finish. Characters were well defined - so much so that I felt pain in my soul for some. Hard to believe that humans do such horrific things to each other. I did continue reading and the second book in the series is enlightening. I highly recommend going deeper into the story with the next book.

Blame: A Novel by Michelle Huneven
 
Unconvincing, Insightful, Informative
I don't think so ...

Easy read. Several interesting characters. But the conclusion is just not believable. I don't think the police would be that incompetent in the investigation of the death of two people. It did make me ponder about one event having such a dramatic effect in one's life journey. Do we all experience such a "turning point?"

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Inspiring
Clearly a different era!

I enjoyed reading this book, keeping in mind that it is historical fiction. I loved the determination of the main character but also saw a loose screw that sadly didn't meet the needs of her loved ones. I'm convinced her husband was the most patient man alive, maybe even too tolerant.
While reading this book I had a few "Ah Ha" moments about the characters in Jeannette Walls first book Glass Castle.
It solidified my conclusion that Jeannettes mother (besides needing medication) was herself raised under very unusual circumstances.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Insightful, Informative
A Peek into Japanese Life from the 1940's - 1960's

Fascinating story that takes the reader into Japan from pre WWII through the dropping of the bombs and on to their recovery. The authors descriptions help the reader invision the surroundings (both beautiful and ravaged) and feel the emotions of the characters. There are a couple of things that happen in the book that don't seem to have any effect on the story yet that is how life is ... some things just happen and we move on. I enjoyed learning about Sumo wrestling, Japanese Theater and gardens, and a little about Geisha's. I would definately read another book by this author!

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Dramatic, Informative
awesome historical read

I love that the author tells Louie's story within other people's stories plus historical information. Besides learning of so many hero's, I learned about the time period and WW II. I also couldn't help but think of all our current men and women soldiers - those who have been serving overseas and their journey home. Makes me appreciate my freedom and the USA even more.

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

Interesting twist as a white girl is raised among black slaves and then brought into the "white" world. Good character development - even though there are a couple of very evil people. My only complaint with the story was the complete isolation of the main family - to be more realistic is seems that some non-family members would have been around occasionally. I most enjoyed how the strength in relationships comes through as love binds people together for a lifetime.

Say Her Name: A Novel by Francisco Goldman
 
Boring, Dramatic, Slow
Rambling On and On

I had such a difficult time getting into this book that I finally put it down about half way through. Never finished it. I hope the author has started to heal after getting all his feeling out in writing this book but it did nothing for me.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Fun
My mother could be the main character

Light reading with fun character development. I like that you "hear" the thoughts of the main characters. I laughed a few times as the main character could be my mother in a few ways. Her children are not very loving to their mom but still an quick fun read. I wish the library had a copy of the sequel.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Insightful
Almost a romance

Older british gentleman falls in love with an unlikely mate but they suit each other quite well. Not really a romance novel as the most he does is kiss her fingers politely but they are in love. There are some cultural quirks which I found interesting. Characters were believable and easy to get to know.

The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula Mclain
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
Interesting look at some marriages in the 1920's

I enjoyed this piece of historical fiction mostly because I had no previous knowledge of EH early life, and found Paris in the 20's a surprise. However, the immoral character some marriages took during this time frame were disturbing. I also found myself frustrated with Hadley as she made excuse after excuse for EH being so self centered. She deserved better and thankfully it seems she found a better man when she married her second husband.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
a grandmothers life experiences & lessons learned

I liked this book for shedding some light on asian customs in the early 1800's within an interesting lifelong friendship. There were so many difficult situations that the females endured that the small moments of joy seemed all the more sweet. So much happened but most difficult for me to grasp: the process of getting ladies feet to be only 7cm and how that afffected their everyday life. I will probably reread this book at some point to remind myself of how vital deep relationships are in our lives and the importance of communication (listening with our hearts and not just our ears.)

Her Mothers Hope by Francine Rivers
 
Book Club Recommended
Didn't put down till finished both

Enjoyed both books in the series. Interesting dynamics between mother. daughter. and grandmother. Helps to see how perspective plays a huge role in relationships. I will be more careful about speaking what I mean in my heart with our children.

Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Adventurous
interesting historical fiction

Palisades Park covers most of Eddie & Adele's lifespan and quite a bit of their children's; allowing the reader to understand the characters perspective for the decisions they made. The story deals with career choices for both parents and also how parents can be supportive of their children in different ways. Mixed in are a wide variety of interesting "carni" characters exposing some of the shadier side of their lives.

Overall an interesting historical fiction read!

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