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My Reviews

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
 
Dramatic, Scary, Confusing
This story takes place in the 12 century in England and traces the journey of a female doctor who has been summoned by King Henry II to solve the mystery of the death of several youngsters.

When reading a book for discussion, it must contain new, offbeat, inspiring, controversial topics and this book did all of that. Therefore, the read itself began as a "task" and evolved to the level of being involved in a movie. Our group discussion was stimulating and brought forth many interesting ideas. I personally do not like historical fiction but this held my interest and left me wanting for more!

 
Insightful, Interesting, Dramatic
This novel gives a realistic look into the lives of the mountain people of Kentucky and the mindset they maintain. Well-written.

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

 
Pointless, Slow, Interesting
Julie and Julia

In the rarest of cases, the movie is better than the book --- this is the very rarest! Reading this book aloud gives it a little "punch" but for the most part, this book is truly pointless.

When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Beautiful
When Crickets Cry

This book pulled you in with its beginnings of mystery. The path it led you on and the symbolism were insightful and thought provoking. Character development was done seamlessly and without extraneous detail. Our book club thoroughly enjoyed this read.

 
Fun, Adventurous, Interesting
No, no, no!

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
Great Read!

Very often we are intimidated by such a lengthy book but this one kept your interest! There was enough mystery to keep you guessing and yet you were absorbed into the different time frames.One of the best I have read this year!

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Gloomy
Olive Kitteridge

This selection of short stories gave the reader insight into the lives of Olive, her family, and many of the people that were touched by her. No, it wasn't a "feel good" book --- but I think if you are totally honest, you will find something that is "real" for you in each of the stories. The brilliance is in the writing and the ability of the author to pull you into the story and keep you there until the end.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Dark
The Devil in the White City

For a non-fiction book, it was well-documented and and flowed well. Two very diverse stories were brought together and kept the readers interest. A story of the Fair alone would have been quite tedious and a story of the dark Dr. Holmes would have been a bit bizarre --- so, pulling the two events into one narrative was well-planned and very informative.

 
Insightful, Dramatic, Unconvincing
the Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Although our book club discussion was very spirited, the book itself was very simplistic and lacked depth. I would not recommend this book to anyone unless they were doing a study of the Holocaust --- it offers a different outlook on that.

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Those Who Save Us

Well written and an awesome first novel! Story was well-developed but seemed just a little too "pat" at the end. But, the subject was intriguing and broke to focus many interesting side effects of the Nazi occupation of Germany.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Very informative!

What happened to the Chinese prior to and during WWII --- this book gives you the insight into this difficult time. I think many of us forget that the Chinese also battled Japan and through the family dynamics and "illegal immigration" many survived but were tarnished. Historically accurate and gracefully written.

Caleb's Crossing: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Slow
Wonderful writing --- language was brilliant!

The book club discussion improved my opnion of this well-written novel. One of our members took the time to do research on the area with maps, etc. That helped with understanding the time, the area, and the mindset of the people. I also think that the author did alot of research but she told a rather slow yet unpredictable story. I am glad I read it.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
A new look at an old topic!

We seem to have been exposed to many stories of the atrocities of World War II - Germany but very few have given us the insight as to how the world got into this dilemma. This non-fiction read goes into great depth in defining the reasoning --- both positive and negative --- for the stance of the United States at this time and the placement of diplomatic personnel to help define the situation. Clearly, Mr. Dodd was a sorry fit as ambassador to Germany --- but no one else wanted the job! It was an interesting read --- although not very fast. I don't feel that this was Larson's best work.

The Yellow House: A Novel by Patricia Falvey
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Romantic, Dramatic
Story wraps you like a warm blanket!

Our book club discussion on this book was very interesting as many had ties to Ireland. The story typifies the time and place and although, a tad predictable, it was a great read.

Calico Joe: A Novel by John Grisham
 
Calico Joe

Slow, uninteresting at first --- after 100 pages or so the point of the story began to surface. Although the ending was a bit shallow, it did bring a tear to the eye!

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
I liked it!

Had a thought provoking discussion ---- a real moral dilemma in this novel.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Interesting, Beautiful
A quirky read!

Although not well-liked by my book club, the discussion was thoughtful and interesting. This book is not one story but an series of stories that jump all over the place! That can be entertaining or exasperating depending on your mood. Keep your expectations low, and you will enjoy!

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
 
Insightful, Life Changing, Confusing

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

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic

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