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My Reviews

Dramatic, Interesting, Beautiful
fictional account, but presented as a true story, of a geisha

I enjoyed this book on several levels. The story itself rang true, and it gave me a glimpse into a world that I knew nothing about.

Interesting, Fun, Brilliant
the cinderella story from a different view

I enjoyed this book. I recommend approaching it with no expectations, either of the story (try to forget it is supposed to be a "Cinderella" story) or of the author (don't compare it to "Wicked"). Leaving those expectations aside, you may find that you enjoy an unexpected setting, Holland, for a story that compares different types of beauty and plainness. You may also come to realize how preconceived our ideas sometimes are about fables and legends, and learn to look behind the familiar facades.

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Interesting, Gloomy, Dramatic
This book gets better on each additional reading.

I enjoy "Snow" on so many levels - the courtroom drama, learning about a time in American history I wasn't familiar with, the characters and their relations to each other. This book, like "To Kill a Mockingbird," is an enjoyable tool for re-examining our beliefs and prejudices. This was my third reading of the book, and I liked it just as much as the first.

Hissy Fit: A Novel by Mary Kay Andrews
Fun, Interesting, Dramatic
a fun read

I enjoyed this book so much that I bought and read Mary Kay Andrews other books (which were also entertaining). This is a fun, light read. The characters are entertaining and Southern. I like the fact that the main character has strong ties to family and friends.

Fun, Romantic, Adventurous
fun, entertaining

Maybe not a very in-depth book for serious discussions (our reading group enjoys it all...serious books, fun books, or sometimes no books but there for the good company and snacks!), but I liked it as much the other Mary Kay Andrews books. Humor, entertaining plot and characters, and a little mystery thrown it. (If you enjoy this book, Andrew's new book, Savannah Breeze, follows some of the "Savannah Blues" characters.)

The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
very readable

I enjoyed this book. I wanted to keep turning the pages to find out how the young, successful attorney on the fast track to partnership will deal with a potentially life-changing event.

It seemed like a good idea, but ...

There really wasn't much discussion about this book. The best thing about it was that it was short, which can be a blessing at this time of year when we are all so busy. The author did a credible job of turning some Christmas classics (Rudolph, Frosty, A Christmas Carol) into "clever" "politically correct" versions (Rudolph has the reindeer joining a reindeer labor union, for example). But why? Oh well, on to the next book.

If you have an interest in college athletics or in the Citadel...

you will enjoy this book. I enjoyed it on both points. Getting college athletic scholarships - the difference between what you are told when you are recruited and what actually happens once you are committed - is one aspect of the book that interested me. The harsh environment of the Citadel itself was another. To me, reading about it is so bad, but you can't turn away, like watching a carwreck. The author's relationship with his father is another disaster. Oh, another thing that athletes may find interesting is the author's portrayal of his coach. I found his coach to be in many respects like a coach I was involved with. Although I obviously found much to interest me in this book I don't think members of my book club would generally enjoy it.

Confusing, Interesting, Insightful
I found the writing style to be jolting

The writing style is unique. Some will find it creative and clever. I thought it distracted from the story. Lots of different use of paper space, typing, and photographs. The story itself was very good, but the distractions in the way it was presented keep me from recommending it without reservation.

Insightful, Informative, Interesting

I enjoyed this look into the mind of an autistic teenager. It made me re-evaluate how I might view and react to a person with that condition. Our book club was divided; not all were able to get into the book. I liked it, though, and would recommend it.

did not appeal to me

I didn't think the short "skits" presenting the author's life as viewed through a tour of her old credit card statements was very funny or entertaining. I didn't particularly care anything about her or her life! (but I did like her mother's comments). I would skip this one.

Unconvincing, Insightful, Interesting
ok, but not as good as "Bees"

I liked the South Carolina coastal island setting. I liked the friendship and history among the mother and her two friends. I liked the background story of the daughter coming to terms with her mother's mental illness, and with her father's death. However, her relationship with her husband, her mid-life crisis, and her relationship with the monk did nothing, to me, to improve the story. Just not as compelling a read as "Secret Life of Bees."

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
Dramatic, Fun, Dark
we liked it

We thought this turned out to be a good book club selection. It generated a lot of discussion about the South, racism, relationships, keeping secrets, bargaining with God, perceptions. Some of us knew people who were like Aunt Florence. A few of us were embarassed about the R-rated antics of Arlene/Lena, but most felt that it all tied into the story.

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