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My Reviews

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
 
Adventurous, Romantic, Addictive
Our members were so captivated by this story that we've decided to read Gabaldon's next book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber!

I was new to Gabaldon and new to the romance genre in general, preferring crime novels and murder mysteries. I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by Outlander. I found this book to be incredibly riveting and engaging. Gabaldon blends a solid knowledge of history with elements of time travel and romantic fantasy into a "can't put it down" story that unfolds with satisfaction at every turn.
Highly recommended!

Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell
 
There were varying opinions in our group

I liked this book, but I like Candace Bushnell. Some of the members of our club didn't like the book at all and felt that Bushnell was too hard on men. Me? I liked the way she portrayed the men in her book. I liked the characters, especially Victory Ford. Some felt the characters were completely unrelatable but I didn't find that to be the case. Of course I can't relate from a wealth and power standpoint, but I did relate to the struggle to achieve and climb in a man's world.

As for recommending, I would recommend the read. Of the five who read the book, only two of us liked it and enjoyed it, one found it easy to read but didn't really care for it and two struggled to read it at all because they disliked it so much.

I think part of the problem was that some felt the book would be like the Sex and the City HBO series, but Bushnell's writing is not like the HBO series. Personally, I didn't like her Sex and the City book. It was totally different from the series. The writers at HBO made the series what it was, not Bushnell. She was there to provide input and direction, but the book is not the TV series.

So for Lipstick Jungle, perhaps there was an unrealistic
expectation from our club members.
I'm still a Bushnell fan and will read Trading Up next...and anything else that she puts out.

 
A memoir that leaves the reader with feelings of both admiration and pity for the author.

The History of Swimming essentially is part memoir and part biography, I found it more of an emotional mystery. I was drawn in and felt compelled to look over the author's literary shoulder to find out how deep and profound the twin bond was and also what was the essential chasm that separated them.
Often the brutality of the author's thoughts startled me. Often the author himself is surprised "Had I actually said any of that aloud? Silence from the Stanley staring at me in shock. That must mean I had." There was self revelation that left the author open to criticism. I felt alienated due to the often selfish thoughts and focus of the author, but also admiring the willingness to put his less noble thoughts and emotions out in print for dissection. Except for the brief moments of kindness toward his brother there was a complete lack of compassion for all the other people mentioned in the book.
I feel that the end portrays a vision that the brothers were actually more complete without one another. I felt that each brother was more free, but at the same time, a little diminished by the loss of the other.
The letters and essays from various moments during Tim's life and the analysis and meaning given by Kim made me feel sad about how much went unsaid between the brothers who were each others anchors in life in spite of the often toxic relationship between them. Also, the line "the popularity of the twins speaks for itself" was such a promising statement for lives that turned out become such a struggle for the twins.
The story line of swimming, while it does punctuate most of the pivotal points in the twins lives, it becomes a forced image in some of the later events, particularly during Kim's visit to the Mo Ranch.
I am left with lingering questions regarding the true relationship of the twins and what exactly caused their relationship to be so damaging to one another..

 
Optimistic, Fun
a wonderful story of how a goofy incorrigible dog can impact the lives and heart and soul of a family. An endearing, funny and heartbreaking story that will stay with you for a very long time.

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