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My Reviews

The Almost Moon: A Novel by Alice Sebold
 
Dark, Gloomy, Dramatic
Excruciating!

This book was absolutely excruciating to get through, painful to read. The characters were unlikeable. Very depressing, with no redeeming qualities. The Lovely Bones was interesting and kept you reading. This one was horrible. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

 
Fun, Insightful, Graphic
Luncheon of the Boating Party sheds light on Impressionism

This fictional account of the events involved in Renoir's painting was an enjoyable, light read. We all agreed we'd never view the painting the same way again. Everyone learned something they hadn't known about Renoir's take on the Impressionist movement and France at this time period. It was nice to have a book club selection that wasn't depressing and dark, like many books we've read lately!

 
Fascinating, chilling real-life crime

I grew up in Toledo, moved away in 1978 and remember watching this trial on Court TV. It reads like a real-life daVinci code! Fast-paced, can't-put-it-down account. Would highly recommend it to anyone. Would probably make a great book club discussion book.

 
Quirky yet profound

I found this book oddly intriguing. It is as quirky as the names of the inhabitants of Witless Bay. Should generate lots of discussion as to motives, themes and symbolism. Very different and off-the-beaten path choice. I would recommend it to those who enjoy something different - not your usual book club choice, but certainly thought-provoking.

 
Adventurous, Slow, Confusing
Pulls you in.

Loved the style and story, but hated the ending. Felt like the author was tired of writing and ended the story abruptly, with key elements (and characters) tossed off and disregarded!

World Without End by Ken Follett
 
Book Club Recommended
Epic, Interesting, Insightful
Fantastic Follow-up

 
Informative, Graphic, Confusing
Spanish Required!

Although I enjoyed the tragic (yet sometimes humorous) story of Oscar Wao, there was so many spanish phrases and expressions that I felt I was missing some of the subtilities of the story. Sometimes I got the gist of what the author was trying to convey, other times I felt completely lost - and I speak English, but know French and Italian, too. Pulitzer prize-winner or not, this was just not my cup of tejava!

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Another wonderful novel by Lisa See

Loved this book! Couldn't put it down. Lisa See provides a beautifully-written account of sisters escaping Shanghai and coming through Angel Island to LA and their lives in Chinatown. Twists and turns keep you engaged and surprised. Insightful and entertaining. Great story.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Interesting
Good to hear both sides of the story

Our book club is reading "Beautiful Boy" by father David Sheff and "Tweak" for September/October selections. Very interesting to read both sides. Makes you count your blessings.

The Shack by William P. Young
 
Insightful, Inspiring, Life Changing
The Shack - Didn't make me a convert!

This was horrible! Nonsensical, poorly written. Come on..if you're looking for a religious book, just read the bible, for Pete's sake!

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
Inspired very good discussion.

Great discussion on the specifics in this book and of addiction in general. Our book club is reading "Tweak" next month - good to get both the father and son perspective on the same events. Sad, put insightful look at drug addiction. Makes you feel lucky/apprehensive as a parent.

Alice I Have Been: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Pointless
Not Your Disney Alice

An interesting fiction based on fact, Benjamin gives us a sometimes touching, sometimes uncomfortable look at the relationship between Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell. I learned a lot about the famous author's life, and this book prompts you to do some extra research into Charles Dodgson's life outside of his creation of Alice in Wonderland.

State of Wonder: A Novel by Ann Patchett
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Dramatic
A "Wow" Book

An excellent read - great discussion. Perfect for book clubs.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic
Stellar debut

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Insightful, Dramatic
All the Light We Cannot See

So beautifully written…gives me goosebumps!

A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Insightful, Beautiful
Charming!

A Gentleman in Moscow by AMOR TOWLES
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Brilliant, Insightful
Fabulous

Brilliant writing, great characters, fabulous story. I

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
 
Confusing, Inspiring, Slow
Disjointed

Our group was very excited to read this book since it was this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature winner. But no one ended up liking it. In fact, only one person bothered to finish it! It was very disjointed, fragmented, and did not live up to all the hype. Although it was extremely well written in sections, it dragged. Better to cut out a lot of the author’s random thoughts and stick to the “stories” - Bill it as a short story collection instead of a novel.

Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Inspiring, Informative

 
Informative, Slow, Boring
No one finished this one

We were really looking forward to reading this book that we won on a book movement giveaway.Of the eight people in our book club, no one finished this. Three of the eight people barely got past the first 30 pages. Too many characters, the story went all over the place, and nothing to make you want to continue reading were some of the comments we received. I don’t think anyone will continue and finish the book. And we’re a group that always finishes. Too bad. One person gave it a four, everyone else twos and threes.

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