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Name : Barry B.

My Reviews

Summer in Tuscany: A Novel by Elizabeth Adler
Fun, Unconvincing
Lighter Than Air; Shallow As A Creek In August

A wonderful book for fans of flyweight travel romances; highly predictable genre fiction. In one paragraph we counted seven different colors being described.

With character names like "Cash Drummond" (a scoundrel) and Ben Raphael (a painter) the author telegraphs every punch.

A delightful 2 hour beach read, but far too lightweight to engender any discussion.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Slow, Brilliant
One Man, Two Centuries, Three Great Themes

"Time And Again" is a fascinating, thoughtful and fabulously researched book. Although time travel is at the core, it is not really a science fiction book. Instead, the travel between New York in the 1970s and 1880s is merely a device to create a framework for a romance, a mystery and a thought provoking look at how cities and cultures change - and don't.

Si Morley, the protagonist is an average guy who is chosen to participate in a top secret program - the chance to travel through time to a New York of 90 years earlier. While there, he he undergoes a personal catharsis along with observing history first hand.

Among the many outstanding qualities of the writing is the author's ability to bring to life New York of the 1880s in a way that neither glamorizes nor diminishes it. We simply see people living their lives , as we learn about games, culture, romance and the challenges of day to day life.

The book contains a superb mystery, a touching romance and many wonderful surprises.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Epic
A Fascinating Novel, Both Epic and Highly Personal

I'll begin by saying most of our book club members did NOT like this book. I loved it!

The story follows the intersecting lives of three men, beginning with a childhood prank with consequences that were unexpected and long lasting. The men, a cantankerous schoolteacher, war hero and researcher into the lives of the saints, a pompous and prosperous businessman/politician, and the world's greatest magician cross and diverge, revealing truths great and small across the decades.

Themes of faith, religion, fate and truth culminate in a fascinating mystery.

Fifth Business is a serious novel, not an easy read but a very rewarding one, written by Canada's greatest novelist.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Fun
A Serious, Yet Funny Book With Fabulous Characters and Wonderful Writing

This terrific novel earned a unanimous thumb's up from our book club! The characters are unique and original, the plot fresh and the humor both unexpected and very touching. The author did a chat with our group via speakerphone and was very witty and interesting - just like his book!

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Epic, Romantic
A Serious Novel For Serious Readers

Many of our members found the opening chapters of the book to be quite slow, but then they were slowly, inexorably drawn into the lives of Pellagia, the Doctor, and Corelli, as well as the numerous interesting, well drawn supporting characters.

The book's description of Greek history during World War II andthe Greek Civil War were too detailed for some, but the central story - the lives of wonderful people who are buffeted by leaders and events over which they have no control was endlessly fascinating.

Only a somewhat unconvincing end of the novel weakened the superb writing.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Slow, Beautiful
A Mixed Bag Of Short Stories With One Masterpiece

Elizabeth Spencer's stories, about Southerners in Italy in an earlier era are often lovely, slowly paced and sometimes insightful.

The Light In The Piazza is the masterwork.

I would like to add that the author - who is now 90 - graciously spoke to our club via speakerphone. She could not have been more gracious, informative or interesting. She is truly a woman of class as well a gifted writer!

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Optimistic
A Fabulous Autobiography

Sidney Poitier is a superb writer. The intelligence, insight and poise he brought to his movie roles are reflected in his prose and in his life.

From a dirt poor upbringing by wonderful parents on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas, to the heights of international fame, Poitier has taken the time to learn the lessons of a lifetime and share them in a richly powerful and beautifully written memoir.

Highly recommended!

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Sex, Celebrity, Murder And Madness

Evelyn Nesbit was small town waif, an innocent, and America's first supermodel. She was pursued by glamorous polo players, publishers and actors. After being drugged and raped by the nation's best known architect, she eventually married the insane heir to one of the nation's great fortunes. Her crazed husband then murder her rapist - at a society gathering on the rooftop of Madison Square Garden!

The author is not only meticulous in her her historical research, she manages to create a context for all of the events - giving us great insights into the roles of women, money, celebrity and the legal system at the turn of the last century.

Confusing, Interesting, Insightful
Cannot Recommend

In a chat with the author, even he was unable to clarify several points.

The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic
An Addictive Read - Great For Book Clubs

Our club, which includes both women and men - LOVED this book.

To begin, the subject matter was fresh and interesting. While many people are familiar in broad terms with the idea of government protection of witnesses, few consider what it would mean to go into the Witness Protection Program. On that level alone, the book was fascinating.

On a deeper level, the author cleverly raises much more intriguing questions about the nature of identity and the development of personality. The main character is unique, real and endlessly interesting, the plot is suspenseful and the conclusion certainly led to a lot of discussion from our group members.

Strongly recommended!

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