Member Profile

Name : Jan M.

My Reviews

Informative, Gloomy, Interesting
Good historic fiction from a well known author, good research.

At one time I considered Alison Weir to be the "be all" of historic fiction. However, I think I have become less enthusiastic since becoming a reader of Anne Easter Smith's novels. Lady Jane Grey is perhaps one of the saddest heroines in history and I think that Alison Weir has done and excellent job of making that obvious to all who read this novel. I would recommend this book to others who enjoy this genre of fiction.

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Scary, Confusing
Mistress of the Art of Death

I had a good time reading this book. and, I think it gave our bookgroup a lot to talk about because all readers did not agree with my opinion or I theirs. I liked the authors writing style, thought her storyline was different and creative and fun to read. I have since read her next book and enjoyed it too. I recommend Adriana Franklin as an author to watch for on the book shelves.

People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
People of the Book, A journey of love.

I liked the drama and the unweaving of the mystery in the book. I also like Geraldine Brooks writing style. The book was very engaging and made a very good subject for discussion at our reading group meeting.

Adventurous, Graphic, Informative
The Lotus Eaters

Please spare me from any book about VietNam. I just get angry all over again and life is too short for that. I could not engage with this book at all and spent nearly every attempt to get into it, throwing the book across the table. Sorry I just couldn't stand it. I NEVER would have picked this book up had it not been a Book Club pick for the month of May...Why ruin Spring. If you must read a book about Viet Nam try : "Up Country" by Nelson DeMille a very fine book that not only had an engaging story line but clearly made every attempt to make sense out of chaos.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Cutting for Stone

This was a magnificent read. I could not put it down. the author grabbed me from page one and never let go. I do not believe I will ever forget the characters in this book. It is very near the top on my favorite 25 novels of my adult life (and I am nearly 72!!!) The only thing that might hold some readers back are all the medical references and situations. I found every bit of this book entirely engrossing.

Adventurous, Graphic, Informative
Lotus Eaters

I have previously submitted my review of this book and my opinion hasn't changed. Reviewed May 2 or 3rd.

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful

I really admired the skillfulness of the author, Emma Donoghue. She seemed very insightful when it came to a tramatized child. I was amazed at her ability to continue "child speak" so flawlessly throughout the entire book. The story , tho tragic and frightening and scary, seemed plausable. The draw backs were the length of time that they were in captivity and the level of sanity that the mother(victim #1) was able to maintain.
This was a very fast paced novel and one that was very hard to put down. It will be very interesting to discuss this with my book group when it meets this week.

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
Slow, Gloomy, Dark
Monster of Florence

I think that reading non-fiction for book club discussion is absolutely pointless. What's to discuss beyond the writing style and the level of interest? It was a total waste of my valuable reading time!! Thank goodness I did not purchase the book.

Book Club Recommended
The Invisible Bridge

A story about Hungary during WWII , is the story of the Leve family and the untold story of Hungarian Jews. I haven't been this involved in a novel for a long while. The novel is based on truth and history and was incredibly moving. Any student of WWII will want to read this book. Any one who believes they already have read the best of WWII novels are perhaps wrong and should read this novel based on real family experience. Who knew what horrors existed in Hungary as they find themselves caught between the Russians and German's. Seldom am I brought to tears by a book, but this one did it. In my humble opinion, Julie Orringer is a brilliant author. Her use of the English language is amazing. She challenges the reader to think outside the box and open their minds to an excellent piece of truly academic brilliance. I loved it and the challenge as well. I found myself deeply engaged in the story and the characters.There simply were no weak characters...I felt their fears and could almost identify the smell of fear! The passion and love for one another was very real and not at all contrived. The flow of the book was like and amazing ride with no reverse!

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Confusing
The Imperfectionists

I liked this book. I thought it was very courageous for a first time author to take on this writing style and that may account for the fact that it was sometimes confusing to keep the characters straight.( He wrote each section of the book as a short novella with a continuing thread of commonality running through it.) I loved the settings, the themes and the characters.They were all interesting and sometimes humorous,sometimes sad, and sometimes amazingly normal!. We had a good discussion in our group about the book and the reviews were decidedly different for each of us. That rarely happens.

Fun, Interesting, Adventurous
Where'd You Go Bernadette

I just could not get interested in this book at all. so I am probably a poor judge of the quality of the read. I just gave up after a few chapters of not being drawn in.

Orphan Masters Son by Adam Johnson
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Graphic
The Orphan Master's Son

Quite honestly I found that I was unable to engage with this novel. The writing was brilliant, and the style was fine. I just did not like the story, the characters, the plot, or anything else. This is only a personal opinion. However others who read the book really found it fasinating to read and the incredible horror of living in No. Korea ...awful but at the same time worthy of consideration. It was agreed that there was a lot to learn in the book that is likely more fact than fiction. If you are looking for a great place in which to move, this is not it!

Informative, Poorly Written, Life Changing
Let Go...etc.

Not appropriate for a Library Book Club. Discuss it with you Shrink or best friend. who thought this would be a good read for group?

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