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My Reviews

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Beautiful, Dramatic
movie: The Jane Austen Book Club

Our club watched this movie for our first meeting of the fall after taking a break over the summer. I did not read the book, but we loved the movie!

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Insightful
unique mystery

This is a unique and clever mystery in which all (or most) of the characters are nursery rhyme figures. It's a little bit silly, but we had a lively discussion.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Brilliant
Dreams from my Father

Everyone in our group liked this book. I personally listened to the book on disc version, read by Obama, and I loved it--he does accents and even sings briefly! The book is very thought provoking regarding issues of race and prejudice.

Away: A Novel by Amy Bloom
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Poorly Written
Persevere!!

A long dark tale of perseverence in the face of immense suffering. Nicely written, but some of our members found the despair/depravity overwhelming and never finished the book. The ending was satisfying however, and I'm glad I read it. I would note that this book contains more explicit sexual situations than I normally prefer.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Insightful, Pointless
I Feel Bad about My Neck

A funny but true commentary on the challenges of aging gracefully, addressing "maintenance", parenting, "things I wish I'd known", and "the alternative", among a number of other subjects. We laughed a lot during our discussion.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Confusing, Beautiful
Out Stealing Horses

This is a beautifully written novel. The story is woven together from the memories of an aging widower. The author is fairly successful at shifting back and forth from childhood recollections to present time, although in the end it feels as if there are still a few loose ends and unanswered questions. Nonetheless the beauty of the prose makes the book well worth reading.

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Epic
Daughter of Fortune

Our club members loved this book. It presents historical fiction set in an era that most of us were not too familiar with, and focuses on themes of the role of women, racism, and the history of medicine. The many characters were mostly well developed and interesting. We had a great discussion.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Interesting
perfect for book club

This book is engrossing from the beginning, and contains themes that make for a great discussion. Everyone in our group (on Long Island) liked the book, although I spoke with friends and family who were raised in the south who were less enthusiastic about it.

Q & A: A Novel by Vikas Swarup
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Adventurous, Interesting
The REAL "slumdog"

Q & A was very popular amongst our group members; the biggest difficulty is the many characters and places with unfamiliar Indian names, and the fact that the different episodes in the main character's life are presented as flashbacks but not in chronological order. I personally listened to the book on disc version (titled Slumdog Millionaire) and it was excellent and probably easier to follow because the reader took care of all the difficult words. The most striking thing, and that which makes for good discussion is how VERY different the movie was from the book. It's as though the writer of the screenplay took the basic premise of a poor kid winning a game show based on his experiences and then changed everything else--characters names, the game questions and many of the details of the story.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
hard to put down

This book is definitely a page turner! The author manages to weave together several overlapping story lines involving numerous characters, yet without confusing the reader. I did not anticipate the outcome of the main plot line and was pleasantly surprised. The theme of violence against women was a bit much in my opinion, to the point that I am reluctant to read the sequels right away. Overall an enjoyable read though, and made for good discussion.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Dramatic
Digging to America

I love Anne Tyler!! And this is one of my favorites of all her books. As always there are her delightfully quirky characters and a pleasant story line. Lots of laughs but also interesting insight into the lives of immigrants and second generation Americans.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
great for discussion

This book generated some of the best discussion our book club has ever had; none of us want to emulate the "tiger mom" but we all found that the book caused us to question our own parenting to some degree.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Adventurous, Interesting
11 year old solves crime

this is a fun and funny whodunit with an especially engaging narrator, Flavia de Luce.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Slow, Interesting
great characters

A fun, light read with plenty of material for discussion.

The African Queen by C.S. Forester
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Adventurous
who knew there was a book?

This is a fun read; we all saw the movie years ago, but the book is fast-paced and romantic. Quick and easy to read, we chose this for January because we knew we would all be too busy to tackle anything long or difficult during the holidays.

Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
"Committed" (or not)

I read this book for the second time for our book club discussion, and although I am much more conservative than the author, I again found the book thought provoking and laugh-out-loud funny. It is a great book for discussion; we generally decided that the author is rather immature and self-absorbed, but she is a very good writer and she brings up a lot of interesting points.

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
Run away with the circus!

I did not particularly expect to like this book but it is well written, easy to read, and addresses some difficult issues without being too dark.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Optimistic
The Last Lecture

This book is inspirational and makes for great discussion. It's also a quick read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting
meaningful mystery

This book is a fast-paced mystery that takes place in Sweden and South Africa in the 1990's. Although the juxtaposition of these 2 locations seems strange the author weaves in issues of race and immigration as well as insight into the impact of apartheid. The action is at times a bit hard to follow especially because of the many characters and the foreign names, but I listened to the audio version and enjoyed it very much.

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