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Name : Sheila F.

My Reviews

Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
An examination of relationships between women in China

This book is an interesting examination of women's culture in old China. It illustrates a different way of life. Although far removed from our American culture in time and place, it brings up many issues of interest to us today. How do women form and nurture relationships--between friends, sisters, mothers and daughters? How do women react to cultural definitions of beauty? How do you reconcile love and the pain that it can cause?

"Snow Flower" is an excellent book for a book club to read and discuss.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Fun, Dramatic, Difficult
As much depth as a paper cutout--skip it.

Skipping Christmas is a light, easy read--very simplistic and not very imaginative. The main characters are one dimensional and not very engaging or sympathetic. It reduces attitudes toward Christmas to their extremes and to stock cliches. It can lead to a discussions of members' attitudes toward Christmas traditions and materialism, but there must be better books out there to start that discussion.

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring
Good basis for discussion

The book opens a variety of topics, many of particular interest to women, for discussion.

Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Educational and interesting

I learned a lot about different religions and enjoyed reading of other women's spiritual journeys. I could really relate to so much of this book.

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult|Jodi Picoult
Insightful, Dramatic, Interesting
An excellent book on a difficult subject

This was the first Jodi Picoult book I read. I was very impressed with her style and quality of writing. Her characters were complex and well developed. She was able to portray the events and emotions around the main event--a school shooting--from a variety of perspectives and each one rang true.

Help by Kathryn Stockett
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Interesting
Beautifully written, engrossing story

"The Help" is an amazing first novel from an author that I hope to read more of. Her prose is beautiful and she captures the voices of her characters perfectly.

The story is funny, informative, dramatic and compelling. It examines many aspects of human relationships between people of different races in a world that is struggling with the changes of the civil rights movement but which is so fundamentamentally flawed that it must change.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Beautiful
Creative and interesting read

Although I didn't care for the first couple chapters, once I adjusted to the writer's very creative style I loved it. The characters are strong, well developed and complex. The point of view is unique as is the writing style, incorporating several voices and different formats. The story is very compelling. It works very well as a whole and is very conducive to a lively discussion.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Inspiring
Tree of Life

This must have been a ground-breaking book when written. It is beautifully written and heartfelt while depicting the extreme poverty of recent immigrants in pre-WWI Brooklyn. Francie is a heroine who must must rely on her inner strength to advance in a world that can ill afford to help with either material or emotional support. There is little plot but there is a tremendous sense of place and time lovingly portrayed.

Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Dramatic, Informative
Good book for discussion

This is a compelling look at a man who reached highs and lows in his lifetime. Full of detail, I learned many things about the war with Japan that I did not know. This even having heard stories from my father in law who was a sailor there.

Hillenbrand makes her main characters come alive, although sometimes her cursory treatment of minor characters becomes tedious. Overall, a really good book for club discussion.

The Hunger Games (Book 1) by Suzanne Collins
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
I hunger for more

This was my second time to read the Hunger Games and I loved it even more. Collins is an accomplished story teller creating fully realized characters across a spectrum of types. The world she has created is complex and entirely convincing. It brings up many interesting ideas for discussion questions while still working as a great read. It is hard to put this book down and most of our members were wanting to read the second book immediately.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Good book for discussion

Come Back To Me by Melissa Foster
Boring, Poorly Written, Unconvincing
Soap Opera

I realize that there are people who have one bout of bad luck right after another, so I guess the story is plausible. The characters and the writing were unimpressive. I just didn\\\'t buy into them as real people, only character types to fulfill a function. Suha perhaps being the exception. The inner dialogue was repetitive and boring. Obviously, I just didn\\\'t like this book.

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Inspiring, Beautiful
Gentle Love Story

Spanning years, it looks at the immigrant experience in the early twentieth century. Very sweet and interesting.

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Epic, Insightful
Written some time ago, but still relevant

The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Interesting

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic
Challenging but worthwhile

This book has multiple story lines which intersected on many different levels. It explores human nature in the context of war, family, and the nature (and mixture) of good and evil intentions.

It was a great book for discussion and was a compelling read.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting

The Japanese Lover: A Novel by Isabel Allende
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Beautiful, Romantic
Good, not great

I was the least enthusiastic reader of this book in our club. The story's historical setting was very interesting, I wasn't a fan of Alma, the main character. Her story seemed to be a bit of a soap opera. It was a good book for discussion, however.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting

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