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

This book generated much discussion from our club members at our last meeting. We enjoyed the perspective of three separate first person narratives which we felt helped us to understand the entire premise of the book much more clearly.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Optimistic, Beautiful
Heaven Is For Real

Simplistic in narration but a powerful message of hope.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring
Between Shades of Gray

Once you read it, you will not forget the life of Lina, the main character. This story really puts the little disappointments and despairs of our lives today in perspective.

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Interesting
Left Neglected

The story was a little confusing at first because there were some dream sequences that didn't make sense until the end. But the main character was interesting and her ultimate changes in her lifestyle as a result of the crisis in the book made for good discussion by our group. We felt that the author's previous book was a better read (Still Alice).

The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Kitchen House

The book was very well written and researched. There were dark themes throughout which depicted a very sad time in our nation's history as well as the depths to which human nature will sink contrasted with the persistent hope of people of strong character. The characters in many ways were all isolated and yearned for connectivity.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Optimistic, Insightful
No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

The club had mixed reviews about the book, but I enjoyed it so much that I have read all the other books in the series. I always feel as if I were actually in Botswana. I enjoy the style of writing and the description of the culture. Some of the members felt that there was too much back story at the beginning which interrupted the narrative of the main story and prevented them from enjoying the book. However, I feel that it helped to explain the development of the main character's life.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Interesting, Brilliant
Night Circus

Dark with beautiful imagery. I would be interested to see the movie to see if it can equal the author\'s descriptive and imaginative world of the night circus.

Staggerford: A Novel by Jon Hassler
 
Book Club Recommended
Staggerford...a small town

As an individual who has lived in some very small towns (most well under 1,500), I enjoyed the descriptions of small town life and the importance that small events have. Everyone in town follows the high school sports teams and gets involved in everyone's business. But we also care for each other and share each others' burdens.

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Aviator\'s Wife

This historical fiction based on Anne Morrow Lindbergh\'s life was written in a format that drew the reader into her life right from the beginning. Our club enjoyed a lively discussion about this woman who remained in the shadow much of her life, but was quite an accomplished person in her own right. It was informative and insightful.

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Slow
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

Our club had a great discussion on this book regarding the two main characters as they were portrayed in this book compared with other accounts about Mary Todd Lincoln. We all agreed that we would recommend the book. It was well researched and really gave new insights into the Civil War as well as some of the politics of the day without being pedantic and scholarly.

The Witness by Nora Roberts
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Dramatic, Interesting
Interesting plot

The Witness was well written compared to others in this genre and with the same theme of "Witness Protection", The characters were well developed and the book club members had an interesting discussion on the book. However, we had negative comments about the profanity used by the main characters. Understandable perhaps from the "bad guys" but not necessary for those who are supposed to be the "good guys." And no, not all of our book club members are in their twilight years and out of touch with the real world!

South of Superior by Ellen Airgood
 
Book Club Recommended
Optimistic, Adventurous, Inspiring
We all voted thumbs up

This book has been in our library for awhile. I had read it when it first came out and loved it but couldn't get anyone else to pick it up. Finally (a few years later) another book club member read it and suggested it for book club.
We enjoyed the book because it actually had a plot instead of a series of sexual adventures or a rehash of familiar themes. The characters were well drawn and, as readers from a small rural town, we could identify many of them! The questions that our leader devised provided a great discussion. We all decided it was our favorite book of the year...so far.

Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel by Kimberly McCreight
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Cyber Bullies

This book's plot is very contemporary. The author used a variety of writing styles: Facebook entries, blog entries, text messages and narrative to tell the story of a teen and her relationship with her mother, her peers, and her friends. The topic of cyber-bullying is well covered. The language is pretty strong. Our group concluded that the book was a compelling read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Inspiring, Dramatic
On the Run

Our entire book club voted this book a winner. We enjoyed the villains and the heroes, the twisting plot and the growth of the main character.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Fun, Informative
44 Scotland Street

This book had mixed reviews in our book club. Some had found it too difficult to keep track of the characters. The writer's approach (as a newspaper serial) was a unique one which some of us enjoyed immensely (short chapters!) while others did not. I would read another book in this series.

Taken by Dee Henderson
 
Book Club Recommended
Optimistic, Inspiring, Insightful

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic
The Giver

This book provoked a lot of positive and negative discussion. It was definitely a scary perspective of a society and maybe not so farfetched today as it was in the time period it was written.

 
Book Club Recommended
Epic, Interesting, Slow
Some Luck

Our group read this as part of the One Book South Dakota choices for a Community Read. The author had an excellent grasp of her time periods and farm life in Iowa. She covered a lot of information and the characters were well developed. Everyone had something to contribute to the lively discussion.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Maisie Dobbs

This historical/mystery/literary work was enjoyed by all members of our book club that read it. Details were well researched which enlightened the readers in regards to the historical setting of the book. Character development was excellent and, while the story line did jump time periods, it was done very cleverly to reveal the story and the characters in the best way.

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