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Brookland: A Novel by Emily Barton
 
Story of Woman Living in Brooklyn in the late 1770's with a dream

The story moves very slowly and is laborious reading.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
 
Interesting, Romantic, Slow
A wonderful study of human interaction.

This story takes one behind the scenes of what could very well be today's headlines and clearly demonstrates that a common hope and and common bond exists among people from different backgrounds. While each has his or her own agenda or reason for being at an event that brings them together, their lives are changed forever becuase of this encounter. Our only criticism is that we did not like the final ending and found it to be somewhat incredible in view of the preceding events and emotions.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
 
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Story of Struggles in Afghanistan Throughout the Late 1900's and Forward

Khaled Hosseini is a master in his craft and we can learn the recent history of a nation by reading this novel. The story is very sad, but so is has been the life of these people. It is a story of how two women bond in the most unlikely of circumstances and how lives are torn apart by war and internal struggles. It is also a story that shows that hope continues in the midst of the worst of circumstances.

Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner
 
Discussion of Thought Process Needed for Today's Culture

This book is a great book for individuals to read, but not particularly a book for book groups. We had a lively discussion of our current culture and how developing the five "minds" suggested by Gardner would benefit our society. There is much to ponder in this book, but the book is more like a book one would read in a college course.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Informative
Information about the upper level of Black American society

This book introduces the reader to the upper social strata of Black Americans and provides very detailed information about the schools and organizations in which they are involved. Prior to reading this book, no one in our reading group was aware of the exclusivity and the preferences of this group and it was a real eye opener for us all.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Difficult
The Elegance of the Hedgehog

An intellectually challenging and brilliantly written story giving insight into the lives of individuals living in a wealthy apartment in Paris. The author gives the reader a window into the heart and soul of individuals and the fears and doubts and other emotions that have a grip on their lives.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Confusing
Mrs. Astor Regrets

The story of a wealthy family who did an amazing amount of philatropic work, but maybe missed out on one of the biggest treasures that life offers, a warm and loving family. The title did serve a dual purpose-- she may very much have regreted some of the events in her life.

 
Slow, Interesting, Difficult
The Black Swan

This is a book for college professors who are teaching classes in probability theory as it tends to be very technical for the average reader. The subject is interesting, but even at the end of the book the causes or predictability of the incidence of "black swans" remain shrouded in mystery. There are many interesting categorizations and observations, but overall it failed to meet our expectations.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Inspiring
Catherine the Great

Very informative and interesting biography of the greatest woman to ever rule Russia and her many accomplishments.

The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula Mclain
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
The Paris Wife: A Novel

We enjoyed reading about Heminway from the perspective of his first wife and the book also talked about the lifestyles of other prominent authors during that era such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Slow, Interesting
The Goldfinch

Loved the characterization and the unfolding mystery. Not so crazy about all of the drugs and the dysfunctional families.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Optimistic, Slow
The Telling Room

Interesting non-fiction account of the joys and challenges of living in a small Spanish village and spending years in perfecting a cheese. The book is full of Spanish history and gives a good insight into the Castillian culture and lifestyle.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Insightful
I am Malala

Interesting story about the problems women face living in Pakistan today with regard to getting an education. Sad to see that the Taliban continues to violate human rights and fosters radicalism in this area. The story line moved slowly until the latter part of the book.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Beautiful
Colorless Tzukuru Tazaki

Interesting development of the thoughts and inner life of a young man who is isolated by former friends and his journey. Unfortunately, there is a cliff hanger ending.

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Interesting
Very Inspiring Biography

We have all heard about the Wright Brothers, but little did we know the entire inside story of the effort it took to accomplish what they did with their truly focused efforts.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Insightful, Persuasive
Persuasion

A real period piece dealing with the romance of two young people among the titled families in England. It might almost be compared to a "soap opera" of those times.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Romantic, Beautiful
Lara

A biography that reads like a novel. Behind every strong man is a much stronger woman. This is the story of one who suffered much for love.

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