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My Reviews

The River King by Alice Hoffman
 
Good storytelling but some of the story jumps and skips

Too many characters made too many flawed decisions. I would keep the mystical value of the story, but 3 people wandering the lands outside the school were a bit far fetched. I would elaborate on Betsy and Abel's romance.
The movie was well done and stood close to the story of the book.
However, we chose to read another novel by Alice Hoffman, "The Ice Queen" for June's selection.

The Ice Queen : A Novel by Alice Hoffman
 
Entertaining subject intertwining a lightning strike study with instilled childhood fears

Our opinions were mixed and everywhere on the spectrum about this book. One loved it, another found it an aggravating read because of repeated history, another felt the author could have put in more actual facts about the effects of lightning strikes in people that survive them,and another found it too mystical.
I love hearing the mixed reviews.

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
 
Mixed reviews

We had mixed feelings about this book, with some not liking it and some loving it. We had a longer discussion with this book than any others and it was good to see how it affected each person in so many ways. It is good that we are not all alike.

Rise and Shine: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
 
Two sisters leading different lifestyles, one a social worker in a shelter, the other the nation's top morning show host, with careers constantly crossing each other's paths, and both heading for what

Yesterday we all enjoyed the first PB Readers meeting of the year discussing Anna Quindlen's book, "Rise and Shine."
We, of course had varied opinions of the characters, but we all enjoyed discussing Anna Quindlen's journalism career to include her Newsweek article publications.
We liked how the sister's lives ran parallel with each other even tho their lifestyles were extremely different.
Of course we all enjoyed the characters Leo and Tequila, who both had a lot of input in the story.
We believe Anna Quindlen's parents died when she was young. We saw the connection in the beginning of the story.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
 
Interesting, Inspiring, Dramatic
Our group's discussion covered every senario from the parents personalities and backgrounds to how they chose to raise their children.

We had a hearty and lengthy discussion covering all aspects as to how these two parents chose their path in life and how each constantly enabled their partner along every step of the way. We discussed the many chances they had along their lives to improve conditions for their children and how they looked the other way and chose the other way countless times over and over again justifying their actions with elaborate schemes and stories.
We all connected in some way with the story, be it an experience of our own, of a friend or a relative.
A frustrating read of not wanting to put it down and yet wanting to throw it down.
A story of intelligent people whose eccentric personalities just take over and where common sense is nowhere to be found.
An amazing survival story of the children and how they pulled themselves up and out of their poor, nomadic life.
This story shows how just one person can change the lives of many, like the one person Lori wants to be like that visited the school. Lori worked, saved, lost, and struggled to get to New York City. She finally did it because of that one person who visited the school and Lori herself was that one person to her siblings who followed her path into a level of life that brought food, comfort, hard work, and rewards.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Insightful
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4

A laugh out loud book that takes you through one full year of a 13 year old British boys' life. We laughed all during our meeting as we talked about his thoughts of the world around him and how he sees it. Insightful as to the Royal Family's impact on the common folk. Block parties are thrown to celebrate their activities.

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring
Infidel

This book was written by a woman who was born into a world where women are unbelievably suppressed into being submissive to the men of the Islamic religion. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an activist for Muslim women and this book takes us though her road to her own freedom. She shows us how it all starts and how even tho the beatings were done by the mothers to the daughters, it was to protect them in this barbaric land. Horrible things happen to the women if they do not do what is expected of them. You know they can't even walk on the streets alone. They must be accompanied by a man of the family. They must not have any skin or hair showing lest they temp the men to lust.
This book was difficult to come back to because of the atrocities done to the Muslim women, but it is a must read because this is happening today and it opens our mind to what drives these people to hate any one of the modern world and what drives them to bring us down. It is difficult to imagine that true change can ever take place in such a backward world with religion being used as a power to keep things as they are.

Watching The World Fall by Justin A. Edison
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Adventurous
Watching the World Fall

This story is about a famous football star, MacReynolds Galtier, and his path to greatness to include how he lived through the loss of his parents when he was young. The story is told mostly through Ben Gerrard's eyes, the father of Mac's rival. Ben goes to extraordinary lengths to give his son this one last huge gift. Are his choices and mistakes from the affects of Huntington's Disease or has this all been within him?

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Beautiful
Have a Little Faith: A True Story

Our book club had a fantastic discussion. We all loved it, felt it was closely written along some of the same lines as Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays with Morrie" book, but we all had interesting things to say about the characters and the two compared clergymen and what their personalities and purposes in life were. Makes you want to go out and do some good in the world.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Insightful, Graphic
Luncheon of the Boating Party

A Must read. It captures you from the first page. We actually had fun learning about Auguste Renoir and the makings of this painting. We all felt a closeness to the people in the painting and felt a part of it all. So much so, that we dined on much of the same food as did Renoir and his Boating Party did during the sittings for this painting. A book club member had a copy of the painting in her dining room, so ate and drank and dressed in straw boating hats just like the painting. Loved it!

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