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My Reviews

 
Book Club Recommended
Graphic, Dramatic, Adventurous
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo

Don't let the Swedish names throw you. Just keep reading. This is a fantastic read and well worth the effort of trying to figure out the names. This is one of those books that will capture you and won't let you go. Good thing the author wrote two more in the series...they just keep getting better.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Informative, Graphic
An interesting read of a difficult subject

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

This was a great read and my entire book club really liked it. I think for once everyone of our members actually read the book. We had a great discussion that covered a wide range of topics ranging from the earthquake that just happened in Japan to hurricane Katrina and it was all generated from this book believe it or not. I think any book club would do well to select this book as one of their monthly reads.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Informative
Kaffir Boy

I read this book a long time ago after hearing the author interviewed on the radio. I just remember that the book made quite an impression on me at the time.

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

I know this book has received glowing reviews from many quarters but it just wasn't my cup of tea. My mother-in-law (another avid reader) also read it and really didn't care much for it either. My next door neighbor was very interested to read it but once I gave it to her she just couldn't get into it and eventually gave it back to me unread. For me it was just slow, boring, and the style it was written in (letters back and forth from one person to another) just didn't do it for me. I finished it...but I really didn't care about it one way or another.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Difficult
The Great Santini

I love Pat Conroy! He is one of my favorite authors and this was the very first novel of his that I read. I think for that reason it has remained my very favorite novel of his. This book has stuck with me through the years and that is saying a lot since I read a lot. Sometimes I have already forgotten the protagonist and the plot of a novel by the time I set it down after closing the back cover. That wasn't the case with "The Great Santini". I can still remember the story, the characters, the setting and even the overall feeling of this novel. It's one of those books that once you start it you can't put it down. At least it was for me. I love the way Pat Conroy writes and the way he can just take you and drop you right into the scene he has created. He is a gifted writer and we are blessed to have him to enjoy.

Swan Song by Robert McCammon
 
Book Club Recommended
Scary, Graphic
Swan Song by Robert McCammon

If you like Stephen King's "The Stand", you'll love Swan Song. This is another (EOW) End of the World book that is a fast paced page turner that will keep you up several nights racing to complete the almost 1000 pages!

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Remarkable Creatures

Our book club liked this book although many of the readers hadn't completely finished the book by the time we met. Those who hadn't finished it said that they were interested enough to continue to read and finish it. One thing that all of us found most interesting was the fact that this was based on a true story and yet that was not made very evident until you finished the book and read the wrap up. These were two real women who really were friends and lived in the same town in England. They are credited with many significant finds of fossils and if you go to London you will find their names credited with some of the fossils that are still on display in a museum today. From the cover of the book you would think that this is just a nice little novel about friendship and the title gives you no clear indication. We were also fascinated by the science/religion aspect that was dealt with in the novel. Even though we have 2 geologists in our book club neither of them had ever explored the history of the science/religion battle that apparently took place. It was quite interesting.

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
 
Slow, Pointless, Boring
Cold Comfort Farm

I guess this book was a best seller when it was published back in the 1930's. It was considered quite risque and very comical for that time period. Alas, in my opinion, the humor just hasn't stood up to the test of time. Our book club read this book because it was listed on the BBC's list of 100 books everyone should read in their lifetime. Well, now we have read it but I really don't understand what the point was. One of the members of our club didn't read the book but watched the film version of the book on video. She said that it was pretty funny. Maybe it translates better in the medium of film to our modern day life than going through the torturous process of reading this book.

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

I liked this book since it dealt with a disorder that I had never heard of before. In that respect it was very interesting and informative. As far as the story went it was somewhat unbelievable. My book club pretty much shared my view. We felt that a woman who was such a type A personality would probably have much more difficulty coming to grips with her disorder than the protagonist of this novel. Where was the depression, the angst and the utter disbelief of her situation. She was a little too happy go lucky and Polly Annish for all of us. But all in all a good, quick read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Optimistic, Inspiring
Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt

My whole book club really liked this book. We found it funny and thought it would make a good movie. We all thought we would love to be adopted by an aunt like that! A good romp.

 
Confusing, Slow, Interesting
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht

My book club tried to read this book but to tell the truth I was the only person to finish it. We all agreed that the author has potential but this book was just a hot mess. The chapters did not flow smoothly from one to another. She would go from a current point in time to the past and there would be no point of reference. I didn't even realize until about half way through the book that the protagonist was female! My advise: wait until this young author has time to hone her craft. Don't bother trying to read The Tiger's Wife...it is a waste of time.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Dark
The Devil in the White City

My book club just finished this book and all in all the women liked this book. Having said that I should clarify that only a handful of the women in the group had actually finished said book in time for our meeting but the rest were continuing to read and were determined to finish it. I don't think it was a situation where the book was difficult, boring, or not interesting because all the comments from the women were just the opposite. I think it was just that we are in the middle of summer and people have a lot going on that prevents them from reading. Also, last month we read book 1 of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series and two of the women in our group found themselves involved in finishing up that series before they could even think about moving on to "The Devil in the White City". Most of the women were at least half way through it and what everyone was saying was that they found the book fascinating. Especially the parts about how the fair itself was pulled together by shear will and determination. Also, it was amazing to read about some of the items or things we use nowadays that were introduced at that fair. I think everyone in our group would recommend this book as a great book for another book club to select and read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Dramatic, Informative
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

 
Book Club Recommended
The Flame and the Flower

If you have never read a true romance novel, this is the one to read. This is the original that got all the romance novels started and it is by the queen of romance novels

Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
 
Informative, Insightful, Interesting

Shotgun Lovesongs: A Novel by Nickolas Butler
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Fun, Optimistic
Shotgun Lovesongs

A fun quick beach read.

 
Unconvincing, Pointless, Gloomy
The Last Summer of the Camperdowns

In my opinion this book was a so/so read. I was the only one at our book club meeting who had actually finished the book, although most of the women said they were planning on finishing. Even though we had read the description of the book, I was expecting something lighter. To my eye, the font the title is written in on the front of the book ,and the overall look of the cover lead me to believe it was going to be more of a summer beach read. I would have been fine with that. I also would have been fine with a heavier read. It just wasn't what I expected. The Last Summer of the Camperdowns is about murder and betrayal, revenge and loyalty. The Camperdowns are a family that had money at one time but not now. They are trying to keep up pretenses living among their friends in Cape Cod who still have money. The mother of the family is a fading movie star named Greer. Her husband is Godfrey (called Camp), a limousine liberal politician who is currently running for office. Their 12 year old daughter is Riddle James Camperdown. She is named after Jimmy Hoffa (REALLY!?) and is either called Jimmy or Hoffa or Riddle throughout the book depending on who is addressing her. She calls her parents by their first names. No reason is ever given for this that I remember. There is endless bickering between the family members. It gets old quick. Old family friends who live close by are an ongoing point of contention to the Camperdowns. The Devlin family has a 19 year old son who is intrigued (for lack of a better word) by Riddle. Keep in mind that riddle is 12 when the book begins. That makes the relationship between her and the 19 year old not only creepy but also very unbelievable. You then throw in a vague murder and you have a book. Or so it seems. Like I said, a very so/so read.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Dramatic
The Lost Symbol

Excellent, very entertaining, fast read that had lots of historical information about Washington DC. The whole book club really enjoyed it.

Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Optimistic
Wishful Thinking

As a woman do you ever wish you could be in two (or more) places at the same time? That's the delightful premise of Kamy Wicoff''s first novel, Wishful Thinking. My Ventura, California book club, Just One More Chapter, had the good fortune of winning copies of this attention grabbing book from bookmovement.com. We decided to use it as our monthly selection for March 2016. The overwhelming consensus was clear-cut. We loved this book! Every woman could identify with the central character, Jennifer, a divorced, working, mother of 2 young boys. Throw in a somewhat deadbeat dad, a rival at work who appears to be superwoman, a demanding male boss who expects everyone to give 150% on the job, and a mysterious time bending app that shows up on Jennifer's smart phone and you have all you need for a great read. And although the book was great fun, it also prompted very good discussion about the pressure placed on women not only by outside forces but also the pressure we put on ourselves. No matter what the age range of your book club members or where they find themselves in their life stages I think all women can identify with Jennifer's character and her desire to have it all, do it all, and be all things to all people. We all agreed that this would be a great chick flick and also that we hope we will be hearing much more from our new friend and author, Kamy Wicoff.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Informative

The Lost Constitution by William Martin
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting
The Lost Constitution

Overall I enjoyed this book. This book made history fun! Martin's descriptions of the areas where the action take place made me want to visit those areas and do some investigating on my own. The only complaint I had (and other members of my book club voiced a similar complaint) is that at times there were so many characters in different time periods that it became hard to remember who was who and when was when.

 
Adventurous, Epic

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