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My Reviews

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Brilliant, Insightful, Inspiring
Keeps getting better as time goes by

This is one of the very few books we have read that was enjoyed by all. Most of us had read it at least once before but found ourselves focusing on entirely new characters and details this time around. For myself it was Atticus and his preference to sit alone in church. Hmmm....what do you think that says about him?

Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Main character was unrealistic

First the positives - the setting in Florence and the details on Florentine life during the Renaissance were interesting - I have never been there but reading this book makes me want to go. The actual historical events - like the rise of Friar Savonarola and the French invasion - that were woven into the plot were interesting too.

The negatives - Two of our members likened the writing style to "romance or teenage novel" but a couple of other members disagreed. We all did agree, however, that the main character - Alessandra - was not well developed. She became a bride at 14 and then suddenly became an older and experienced woman. Plus she was a rule-breaker her whole life and then passed up the chance to marry her paramour and father of her child to stay in a convent. Needless to say this doesn't make sense in the 21st century but if it did 500 years ago, the author didn't explain it well. My score - C.

Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
Murder Mystery in Sweden

A disgraced Swedish journalist is hired to solve a murder that occurred 40 years in the past. His investigation is fascinating but in the process he uncovers some unsavory characters - to say the least - in a wealthy family. Rather slow-paced but intriguing, especially a crack female researcher that assists him. The reader was left with many unanswered questions about her past but I'm told that you find out much more in the sequel/prequel to this book.

Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Scary
Afterlife in a London Flat

Generally, our club liked this book - although one thought it was creepy. I loved the detail about Highgate Cemetery in London, which made it essentially another character. Very imaginative - if unbelievable at times - premise of what a ghost-like existence might be like. We also thought the portrayal of mirror twins and their idiosyncracies was very interesting.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
We could all do with a little Tiger Mom

This book had more humor that I expected. I learned a lot about the Chinese culture and thought she had some great observations about "western" child-rearing - some of which I didn't agree with. This is a quick read - read it in one Sunday.

Purity: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen
Interesting, Dark, Dramatic

One of our book club members is a former literature teacher. I agree with her assessment that this book is yet another example of the pornification of literature.

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