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My Reviews

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

Beautifully written, not a word was wasted. Gives a glimpse into a world that many of us don't even realize exists. The ending was not on par with the rest of the book.

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

What an amazing thrill ride! Well developed characters, inventive plot -- a great read. Be warned though -- if you read this book you will be compelled to see this story through to the end and will find yourself reading both books that follow.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Informative, Beautiful
Quiet, Powerful Story

A beautiful read about a time and place I knew little about. I never thought much about the actual cost in humanity of the internment camps and about the racial profiling that occurred at this time.

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

What a story. Three distinct women with three distinct voices, all brave in their own ways. A book that I can recommend to EVERYONE!

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Beautiful
Racing in the Rain

I didn't love this book. I didn't buy the dog as the narrator or the one dimensional extended family members. It didn't live up to my expectations from all that I'd heard about it. I'd still recommend it as a book club read -- especially to bring up for discussion what impact losing a spouse has on a family.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Inspiring, Dramatic
Glass Castle

How did Jeanette Walls make it through childhood? Stories like this affirm my belief in resiliency of our children -- thank goodness! A similar story about a child who makes it through childhood (albeit a bit more scarred) is Augusten Burroughs memoir, Running with Scissors.

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

What a book. It took me through the gamut of emotions. The idea of having death tell the story was fresh and interesting. This is not your average recounting of the horrors of the holocaust. This is a young adult book that should be a required read for all adults.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Inspiring
Other Wes Moore

This is a great book to use to open a discussion. It's a testament to how powerful a family can be. One Wes Moore's family was willing to give up everything to put him on the path to a successful future, the other Wes Moore had no one. The closest to an adviser he had was the older brother who ultimately lead him into the armed robbery that put him in prison for life.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Sarah's Key

I was resistant to reading another Holocaust book, but this book is something special. Whenever I think I know everything I need to know about that dark time in history a book like this comes along and teaches me a lesson. This is a book all should read.

 
Interesting, Pointless, Confusing
Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

As a rule I'm not a fan of magical realism, but I liked parts of this book. I thought the idea of Rose telling emotions from tasting food was intriguing. Especially once she started cooking. There are storylines and characters that I wished were more developed in this book, and then there's the brother's storyline. That was what tipped this book into the don't like catagory for me -- that and the lack of quotation marks.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
Still Alice

I read this book in one day. It grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. This is a book that everyone should read.

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

What a great book. It exhausted me. The author explored many issues without providing any pat answers to very complicated questions. This book requires a commitment of time to do it justice, but it's a book that deserves the time and the reader is rewarded with a beautifully plotted, well developed story.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Optimistic, Inspiring
Saving CeCe Honeycutt

I enjoyed reading this. I always enjoy quirky southern women. Many of the characters were a bit to cliched for my taste. It's hard for me to believe that CeCe had no other relatives in that town beside a great aunt by marriage -- who seemed a bit too good to be true.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Informative
Diary of a Part-Time Indian

I liked this book. I liked how I felt I knew Junior/Arnold, the main character who was living in between two worlds. Once he started at the white school, he didn't have a home in either place. There are very serious issued addressed with humor and without being heavy handed and that's a nice way to start a conversation. I was glad to have a peek into a life that is very eye opening to me.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Adventurous
Manhunt

The author does a great job of clarifying what happened after Lincoln was shot. Everyone seems to know about the assassination, but few know about that tumultuous time immediately after. This could have been a very dry recounting of the events, but it wasn't. It was a narrative that drew me in. I especially loved all the primary source materials that the author referenced.

 
Book Club Recommended
Epic, Insightful, Brilliant
Jitterbug Perfume

It took me a while to get into this book and see the direction it was taking. I liked the way the author wove the stories together. The characters were interesting, but odd. It's the first time I've read one of his novels.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Dramatic
What Alice Knew

I enjoyed being transported back to the time of Jack the Ripper. I like when authors weave historical characters and situations into their novels, and Ms. Cohen does a wonderful job with this. I knew little about the James siblings before I started this book. What an interesting family. I loved the clever solution to the Ripper murders. This book is worth spending some time with.

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