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Name : Karen C.

My Reviews

Dramatic, Adventurous, Beautiful
100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Read on the recommendation of a book club member. The description is "magical realism" and there were some really interesting aspects to the author's writing. Unfortunately, the book was about twice as long as it should have been. After reaching the climax, the remaining 200 pages kind of dragged on. Most book club members didn't finish the book and thought it was just too strange.

Moloka'i: A Novel by Alan Brennert
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Interesting
Moloka'i - Alan Brennert

Fascinating read about leper colony on Molokai. Most book club members didn't know the history of the island or how recent leprosy was in the history of the US. The way the characters are isolated and ostracized was sad and at times difficult to read. But overall, they formed a strong community and found joy despite their circumstances.

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Adventurous, Boring
My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands

Overall, not the most intellectually stimulating book. However, it did leave to some fun discussion and a lot of laughs. This was a nice break from all the serious selections that are our usual book club picks.

The Shack by William P. Young
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Life Changing
The Shack

A book club choice that led to a lot of discussion. The book itself is relatively short but includes a lot of heavy topics. Peronally, I found myself thinking about this book long after I finished it. I couldn't give it a five-star review as there were things that were a bit too strange for me - but definitely a good book to discuss if you are not afraid of getting into religious debates.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Interesting
The Help

This book was actually recommended by my mother. One of the few that our book club seemed to unequivocably agree upon and enjoy. There were so many elements to discuss that we actually spent most of our meeting talking about the book - a rarity for a group that sometimes has trouble staying on track. Overall, the author showed a lot of insight into an error and the people involved. A book to save, to share, to read again...

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Those Who Save Us

This is a dark read about a difficult time period. The insight into the characters led to a lot of interesting discussion about what you would do for your own safety, for your family, for those you love. You can never really know how you would react to such extreme tragedies but the author tries to help us understand the motivation behind individual's actions. Given the subject matter, it was a difficult read at times but worth the effort.

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

Mixed reviews from our book club on this one - I really enjoyed the book and found it addictive. The short letters made me want to keep reading and gave it a feel of being from a different time (when people still wrote letters!). Others found the letters to be distracting and hard to follow from one to the next. In general, worth a read as you learn about different aspects of WWII in England and get great insight into the characters.

Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Inspiring, Dramatic
Endurance - Alfred Lansing

The start of the book seemed a little slow but ended as a dramatic adventure story - all the more amazing because it is a true story. One book club member had a version with actual pictures from the journey and it was great to see what the ship and crew members looked like. Definitely recommend this as an interesting read that leads to a lot of good discussion.

Next by Michael Crichton
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Confusing, Informative

Overall an interesting read...probably very applicable to the times as technology and science is moving faster than our laws can keep up.

Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Little Bee

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The writing style of different points of view for each chapter really came through and the author did a good job of assuming the voice of each character. The characters were at times frustrating and difficult to understand - but that is what made them more real. There is a message to be considered as well and it will have me thinking for a while...

Feed by M.T. Anderson
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting

Ursula, Under by Ingrid Hill
Epic, Slow, Confusing
Ursula, Under

Sadly, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought that I would. The premise and the history contained in the book seemed to be promising for a good read. I found there to be just too much detail at parts and it was hard to get through some of the sections. In the end, there was a lot that I skimmed over trying to complete the book.

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Slow, Unconvincing
Best Friends Forever

This was an impulse buy on a night that I couldn't sleep and wanted some light reading. Jennifer Weinter's books are always fun and quick reads. This one doesn't fail - no real surprises but an enjoyable book.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Life Changing, Inspiring
Half the Sky

This was a very difficult book to get through. There is a lot of information about the plight of women around the world. The stories are graphic and disturbing but it certainly gives you a different perspective about life in various countries. Overall, it is worth reading and does make some concrete suggestions about what can be done to help and agencies that are making a difference.

Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Beautiful, Adventurous
Casting Off

Enjoyed this read about relationships and moving on set in Ireland - with a backdrop of knitting and the meaning of different stitches within Irish sweaters. Sad at times but overall a good and likeable read.

Open An Autobiography by Andre Agassi
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Inspiring

Good read that really keeps you interested all the way through. Even with (very) limited knowledge of tennis, this book provided insight into an athlete's life and the challenges he faced through all stages of his career.

Interesting, Slow, Boring
Lady Chatterley's Lover

Not a huge fan of this book...It definitely took me a while to get through although the second half moved along faster than the first half. I kept waiting for something to happen but seems like it never did. I'm curious to hear the book club discussion and see if that changes my opinion.

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

This book was so disturbing that you didn't want to keep reading it but couldn't stop. Certainly offered a lot of interesting topics for book club discussion.

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

Really enjoyed this read as I have liked other works from Geraldine Brooks. The mixture of history and fiction makes this an interesting read that keeps your attention through all the separate stories. Would definitely recommend this for good reading and good book club discussion.

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Unconvincing, Pointless
Bitter is the New Black

This was fun read although a little unsettling at times. I enjoyed the book overall and would look into reading other books by this author.

Book Club Recommended
Dark, Interesting, Fun
One Fifth

Accidentally bought this book but enjoyed a fun in between read. There was a little more depth and intrigue in this book and that made it an engaging read.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Inspiring
Keeping Faith

Jodi Picoult always keeps me attention rough her books and this one didn't disappoint. You are still left wondering about a lot of things at the end...but it is certainly thout provoking.

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Persuasive, Scary
The World Without Us

Very thought provoking book that I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. Certainly makes you think about the impact that people are having on the earth and what would happen without us.

American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
American Wife

Offered interesting insights into the life of a political wife. Interesting to speculate about what parts were based in fact and what were truly fiction. Overall a good read that would lead to a lot of discussion.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Really enjoyed this book and found it to be a surprisingly quick read. It captures your interest from the start and keeps you reading to learn more about this fascinating and disturbing true story. Will definitely make for some interesting book club discussion.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
The Hunger Games

Read this book in two days while on vacation. Extremely addiictive - but also very violent...not sure that it's really appropriate for teens. Glad that the other teo books are out already as I'm not sure how long I can wait before reading them!

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Interesting
Nineteen Minutes

I enjoyed this book as I've enjoyed the other Jodi Picoult books I've read. It was a fast read that gave you a lot to think about. The subject matter was very dark and you couldn't help but think about your own high school experience. That the book referenced so many real life school shootings and tragedies just made it that much more compelling.

Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Romantic
Catching Fire

Read through this one just as quickly as the first and found it just as addictive. It does leave you at the end wanting to jump right into the third book to learn the resolution.

Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Brilliant

Didn't want to wait to read this after finishing the other two. Overall, it wasn't quite as good as the other two but still a very quick read. I'm glad to finally know the conclusion of the story - but a little sad there are no more.

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

This book seemed a little slow getting started but was really enjoyable as it continued. Especially as it continued into the final section, it seemed to go in an entirely new direction. There will be lots of content for book club discussion.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Boring, Dark
Where Men Win Glory

This is a dark story but a good read. Think that you still have to read with a degree of skepticism but it is an informative book.

Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Informative, Beautiful
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

A quick read and an endearing story.

Pirate Latitudes: A Novel by Michael Crichton
Pointless, Dramatic, Poorly Written
Pirate lattitudes

Sorry to say...not the best pirate book or the best Crichton book. There was combination of a lot of elements in one book but none of them fully developed. Have read all other Crichton books so fet that I need to make the list complete...but this was a disappointment.

Matched by Ally Condie
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Fun

A quick read....can't wait for the other books to be released. This leaves you with a lot to consider in the picture that it paints of a future society. Am looking forward to seeing where the rest of the series leads.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Beautiful
The Book Thief

An Interesting read...but at times difficult to keep going. Death as a narrator an observer gave a different kind of perspective to the book. Also, the characters were complex and real enough to keep you engaged. The formatting and structure was just at times a little hard to follow.

March: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Dramatic

I have enjoyed all that I have read of Geraldine Brooks and was excited to read this novel. While I would recommend it, this one was not my favorite. I liked the premise of telling the story behind Mr. March of Little Women. However, I found his character to be unsympathetic at times and hard to relate to. Overall, I would still recommend this book for bookclubs as there are a lot of good discussion topics.

The Brethren by John Grisham
Persuasive, Interesting, Insightful
The Bethren

A quick read - nothing too startling.

The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula Mclain
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
The Paris Wife

A really interesting read that gives some insight to Hemingway, his first wife, and the experiences that inspired much of his writing. It definitely made me want to read more of his writing and more about his life - although he certainly comes across as a tormented soul.

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Difficult
Perfect Match

The subject matter makes this a difficult read at times. But like all of Jodi Picoult's books, it keeps you engaged until the end wondering what will happen.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Adventurous
In the Heart of the Sea

I had borrowed this book from my father and held onto it for years before finally starting it. I was worried that it would be too dark and depressing. While the story definitely is dark, it is also written in such a compelling way that you just cannot put the book down. Similar to other reviews, I found myself talking about it to anyone who would listen. This would definitely make for good book discussion as well. We have previously read Endurance about Shackleton's voyage and there was some interesting compare and contrast between the two.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Interesting
Girl in Translation

This was a fairly quick read and a story that kept your attention all the way through. Without giving too much away, I think there is a lot of material for good book club discussion.

Bossypants by Tina Fey
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Boring, Interesting

Listened to the audiobook read by Tina Fey and it was great. Hearing the anecdotes in her own voice made it even funnier. There was also more depth than I was expecting and had some insight about women in business, in comedy, and at home.

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Pointless, Interesting
About a Boy

This was ok...An interesting read but nothing amazing.

Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Adventurous
Eiger Dreams

A quick read...a collection of essays about mountain climbing and the people drawn to such a dangerous sport.

Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Inspiring

A good read...can get a bit repetitive at parts. But interesting description of both the personal and physical journey.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Dark
Before I Go To Sleep

Recommend this as an interesting read and a good book club choice. The amnesia provides a unique backdrop to the story and you're never quite sure what to believe.

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