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My Reviews

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Interesting, Beautiful
The Time Traveler's Wife

While I thought this book was well written and thought provoking as regards relationships, perspective, and fate versus self-determination, I could not drum up the enthusiasm to care about these people and their lives. I wanted to know what happens because I always do, but there was nothing intrinsically compelling enough to keep me engaged. Even the Tarantino-esque format required by the time traveling became rather mundane.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This book explores corporate malfeasance, family dynamics and dysfunction, and violence against women wrapped in a higly complex, suspenseful mystery. It was a little slow to start, but I did not mind the backstory and enjoyed how it all unfolded. I feel that some things might be lost in translation (they went with "anon"... really?), especially if your knowledge of Sweden is as limited as mine, though ultimately it did not hurt my understanding of the story as a whole. There are a couple scenes of graphic violence that may be difficult for some to handle.

Summer of Two Wishes by Julia London
 
Boring, Slow, Pointless
Summer of... who cares? Spoilers here if you actually do.

I found this book to be boring and predictable. She's trying to make a decision between husband 1: the love of her life she thought was killed in combat overseas and husband 2: the guy who comforted her when she thought the love of her life was dead. Did anyone doubt which decision she was going to make? Even the pregnancy by husband 2, which could be seen coming from the begining of the book, did not cloud the issue. It was an awfully long book for her to be wieghing these choices... I love H1, but H2 was so nice to me. Shocked though you may be, she chooses H1. There. Now you don't need to read it. You're welcome.

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

I know some in our group could not get into the format, but I enjoy an epistolary novel (written entirely in letters, documents, journal entries, etc). I feel kind of like I'm snooping... and I like it. It leaves a lot to imagination and anticipation as well. I learned that part of England was held by Germany, which WW2 buffs may know, but came as quite a surprise to me. I enjoyed the fictional story woven into this peice of history. It varied between funny and touching and sad, but because of the format you never got overwhelmed with the darker points or too sidetracked by liveliness. On top of that, there were some great, eccentric characters that it was really fun to get to know.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Inspiring, Insightful
Friday Night Knitting Club

Just ok for me. I thought it was well-written with nice character development, but a little predictable in the plot department, although I was in the minority on predictability. The meeting was more fun for me than the actual book. We got together in a yarn store. There were treats (homemade cupcakes, coffe/tea, and candy) and the experienced knitters taught the newbs some of the basics. I can safely say that I have never felt so incompetent in my life! However, I was determined to leave with some grasp on it and: success! I don't know that I will ever be a devoted knitter, but I will finish what I started (TBD... scarf???). I didn't contribute much to the conversation, but I enjoyed listening while I vigorously attacked that poor yarn. Only one problem: I learned how to cast on and very basic knit... pattern, I guess? ...but how do I cast off?!?

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
Another touching story about puppies...

Ok, that was a lie. The thing is, I already knew 'whodunit' because I had seen both the 1939 and 1959 film versions of this, the 1959 recently - fun, kind of cheesy, a young Christopher Lee as Sir Henry, ha! Anyway, I really enjoyed this one. It was a nice change of pace, for one, but also a well done mystery. I found myself totally engaged and getting caught up in the story. I had only read The Lost World prior to this, but have always enjoyed Holmes as a character on the screen, big and small. If it was this fun to read already knowing the end, then I am definitely up for other Conan Doyle adventures.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Adventurous, Romantic
I want this book to be true...

I think any Jane Austen fan would. I would make some different choices, but I so loved following this character through my favorite parts of England that I didn't care that the story was a little obvious. It does have a good message - don't let others dictate your life dreams/goals/direction, make your own future, a woman doesn't need a man to be happy (that is just a possible bonus to happiness), etc.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
The Red Tent

This was an interesting one. It did for a tiny passage in the Bible what Wicked did for The Wizard of Oz. It took someone that you don't really get much exposure to and created an entire and generally engaging history, completely fictional while consistent with what is in the original text. The story of the mothers and all of the birthing, a female version of begats, was a bit much for me. Once they got on the move it picked up and I started to enjoy myself.

Lucky by Alice Sebold
 
Book Club Recommended
Graphic, Dramatic, Dark
Lucky

This was a challenge. It was an uncomfortable read and for that reason I cannot say that I enjoyed it, but I'm not sorry I read it, either. I have no problem with hypothetical violence. Because it is fictional I can hold on to the fact that the incident, whatever it is, never really happened, but this book is the memoir of a rape survivor and she does not pull her punches - nor should she. It is an honest depiction of her experiences before, during, and after a brutal assault and how it affected her and those around her.

Hold Still by Nina LaCour
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Gloomy
hold still

This was a well thought out look at the impact of suicide from a teen perspective. The author did a good job of portraying teenage angst and drama, as well as the inward and outward effects of both depression and loss and how they impact the individuals and those around them. I can't say that I loved this book, because I found it depressing, but it was well done and I would recommend it to anyone from teenage and up trying to understand this subject matter on a fairly basic level.

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