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People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The historical parts were interesting and well-told.

Our book club liked the book but found Hanna and her story more of an intrusion than an addition.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Gloomy
A well-crafted story about an unpredictable and not always lovable woman.

Once you began reading each chapter as a short story, the novel smoothed out and grabbed you.

 
Pointless, Boring, Unconvincing
Using pop culture references to support her theory, author generalizes about how women treat one another.

There are too many good books out there to spend much time on something this shallow.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Fun, Interesting
A charming story.

Likeable characters, an intriguing history, and an unusual location/setting combined for a book we were all "glad to have read."

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Informative
Well-written study of how the many women in FDR's life influenced his life and U.S. history.

This book was generally well-liked by our book club but some felt it may have leaned toward justifying a "use 'em and lose 'em" treatment of women by FDR. The book generated some good discussion and an opportunity to try to view historical events through the lens of a different age.

Testimony: A Novel by Anita Shreve
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Insightful
Each "testimony" about a shocking event in a small private school provides another piece of the puzzle.

We liked this book as a vehicle for discussion but did not feel it was a striking piece of literature. Still, it was a good story that raised relevant issues.

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Dramatic, Interesting
Disturbing story of desperately unloved people.

The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The story of Brigham Young's 19th wife coupled with a present day mystery.

Using the true story of Brigham Young's 19th wife and her rejection of polygamy, the author gave readers a look into the reasons, rationale and results of polygamy in the U.S. This book generated much discussion within our group. Some preferred the mystery, others the history but all felt it would have benefited from further editing.

The Coral Thief: A Novel by Rebecca Stott
 
Book Club Recommended
Unconvincing, Informative, Beautiful
Beautifully written passages but confusing structure.

Our club liked the book but did not find it compelling reading.

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Wonderfully written, thought-provoking story of surviving war.

Our club really liked this book and had a wonderful discussion, beginning with the question, "What would I have done?" We were impressed with the author's writing and her "total immersion" writing process.

 
Unconvincing, Poorly Written, Pointless
Author Robert Sabbag is in plane crash and analyzes his and other survivors' reactions 30 years later..

This would have made an interesting magazine article. The plane crash and aftermath is vivid and compelling reading. Then 30 years go by and the author tries to reconnect with the other survivors. Some talk a little, others not at all. Why? No mystery here; they just have put it all behind them or choose not to participate in Sabbag's project.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Difficult
This biography of a battered heiress in England in the 1700s would be unbelievable if not so well documented.

Very densely written, scrupulously researched account of the life of the Countess of Strathmore in the 1700's. Intrigue, debauchery, abuse, treachery--this book has it all.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Insightful
Witty dialogue and well-written characters wrapped up in charming scenery and relevant themes.

Our book club unanimously liked this book and predicted it will be a Masterpiece Theater presentation one day.

Russian Winter: A Novel by Daphne Kalotay
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Slow
A dance between beauty and despair.

Russian Winter starts slowly but holds your interest through to the end. Generally, members liked the book but found the constant jumping from past to present somewhat jarring. Its themes of mistrust and betrayal provided great discussion.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Saga of twins born in Ethiopia who both become doctors.

Our club agreed unanimously that reading this book made for one of the best weeks of our lives. Elegantly written with description that places you squarely on the scene and characters so true that you want to follow them all through the rest of their lives.

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
 
A recitation of interesting facts about Hawaii

A travelogue? History? Satire? Yes, yes and yes. A smooth narrative combining all three into a readable, entertaining book? No. I kept expecting the book to start and then it was over. Sarah Vowell is better than this.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Insightful
Family without a mother and barely a father, raises itself

While I found this book to be over-written in many instances, it certainly held my interest and introduced me to a completely new world. Savage is mixed with sweet, brutality with tenderness. The hurricane sweeps so much away, but life goes on and it was disappointing not to follow along to learn what happens next.

The Clover House: A Novel by Henriette Lazaridis Power
 
Book Club Recommended
Rudderless woman returns to her mother's homeland to sort through her inheritance and, ultimately, find answers.

I found this hard to get through. The main character seemed shallow and her "discoveries" were not fleshed out enough to make them as meaningful as they should have been. I just wanted more from this book.

A Good American by Alex George
 
Book Club Recommended
Epic, Informative, Inspiring
German immigrants find a new life in middle America.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Slow, Interesting

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Insightful

Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Confusing, Insightful
Practice makes perfect.

beautifully written, thought provoking novel whose main character lives through the worst of times, several times.

The Lost Child: A Novel by Caryl Phillips
 
Dark, Gloomy, Confusing
Everyone in this book was lost.

Our book club was united in our dislike for this book, primarily because it was so depressing and the characters were not relatable. It offered many intriguing themes but they were not explored well enough to satisfy.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Dramatic

Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful

Unsheltered: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
 
Slow, Informative, Interesting

 

 
Inspiring, Dramatic, Addictive

Anxious People: A Novel by Backman Fredrik
 
Fun, Insightful, Interesting

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