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Roses by Leila Meacham
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Confusing, Epic
Review for "Roses" by Leila Meacham

I found this book to be a very easy and relaxing read. I feel it's a good read for a group of ladies as it is a good discussion book for topics such as love, inheritance, obsessions, family relationships. The book is long, perhaps a little too long but Leila does a great job developing her main characters even though some of the detail can be tedious. It brings to mind the television series, "Dallas" in its epic proportions plus the fact that it is based in Texas and delves into land ownership, Southern culture, etc. I would recommend it for a great vacation read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Difficult
Potentially depressing but an interesting theme....

I enjoyed this book but my fellow bookclub members were mixed in their review. "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" has a decidedly "European Feel" as it takes place in an upscale residential building in a Paris neighborhood. Renee, the buildings concierge, a woman who has clearly given up on life's social joys as well as her appearance (calling herself "a Hedgehog")lives the secret life of a connoisseur of Japanese art and fine music and writing yet portrays the expected role of a concierge in a posh apartment building. We follow the unlikely friendship of Renee and a resident of the building, little Paloma, a brilliant,depressed and suicidal 13 year old girl who lives on the fifth floor. A spiritual connection develops as both of them fight to conceal their most beautiful attributes while sharing their mutual love for intellectual and artistic joy. The story winds up in a most unusual twist, leaving a reader thinking about the characters long after the book is finished.

 
Book Club Recommended
Confusing, Interesting, Beautiful
The Best Discussion Our Book Club Has Ever Had!

If I had more stars to give, I would give them. I read this book once, then recommended it for our book club as I knew it would be a great discussion book and perhaps give me more perspective. I didn't expect that we would have the very best book club discussion we have ever had and that I would gain even more insight than I dreamed of.
You can read other reviews for synopsis of characters so I won't repeat. I appreciated and loved the effect of the tiny illustrations at the beginning of each chapter (heart-"Leo", compass-"Alma", Noah's Ark-"Bird", etc) to alert the reader as to whose "voice" the chapter pertains to.
"The History of Love" is quirky, beautiful, complicated yet simple (much like love) and continues to loop through my mind long after the last chapter was read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
Could have kept on reading.....

I absolutely loved this book. I learned so much about, Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingways first wife and learned so much more about him in the process. Ernest was just a young boy (21 years old) yet living in an old mans body as a survivor of World War I, when he met the overly protected, less worldly Hadley Richardson, 9 years his senior. They married after a brief courtship and moved to Paris where they socialized with the twenties Paris Glitterati such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Paula McLain does a beautiful job of narrating the romantic, tumultuous and, at times, heartbreaking story of a true love through the eyes and voice of Hadley herself. I felt I knew Hadley or at least would surely have loved to have known her by books end.
I had not read or researched Ernest Hemingway in years but found that after reading this book, I hungered for more and have a rediscovered interest in "Papa".

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Brilliant
An Intriguing Read

"The Shadow of The Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon was a complicated but rich and beautiful read. It is perfect for a book club selection as it is so helpful to get all of the different perspectives where someone may have noted or interpreted a part of the story in way that helps the plot "click" even more for the reader.
We all agreed that we were very glad to have read it and loved the romance, intrigue, themes and beauty set in post war Barcelona.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
Absolutely perfect for a spirited book club discussion!

Our book club enjoyed our meeting to discuss the book as much as reading it! One member brought a chapter synopsis which was so helpful and recommended to others. We hope to add a Gladwell book every year as a great genre change up and educational read for us all. I highly recommend.

River God by Wilbur A. Smith
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Brilliant
Excellent choice to try out a prolific author

Our book club (all ladies at this point) really enjoyed reading and discussing "River God". A number of ladies had read this in years past but a number also had never read the author so we thought it would be a lovely intro into the author, Wilbur Smith. Personally, I learned a great deal about Egyptian history that I had not previously learned including local geography, etc.

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