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Cutting for Stone: A Novel by Abraham Verghese
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Informative, Interesting
Cutting for Stone

I was jealous of any minute I could not spend reading the book until I finished it. It hooked you and didn't let go even after you were done reading. For one thing, the book took place in Ethiopia and included a little of the history in the story as it affected the characters' lives. The chapters dealing with surgery didn't just touch on the topic but carried the reader into the operating room where the action was occurring. Even when the main character came to New York, the story stayed fascinating. Five of the six readers in the club loved the book. It was definitely not the usual plot or characters.

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
The Heretic's Daughter

Although this book is about one person named in the Salem Witch Trials, the book begins with a family overview which provides background for the problems that will arise. Because the book is written by a family member who used information passed down through ten generations, the book has a different slant than one which is not so closely linked to one family. The mystery of the red book caused our members to wonder if that will be the topic of the author's next work, whenever it is written.

Angels at Christmas by Debbie Macomber
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Inspiring
Angels at Christmas

If you are looking for a light quick-read for the Christmas season, this is it. It was a refreshing change from some of the heavy titles we've read lately.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Dark
The Thirteenth Tale

This is a mystery within a mystery. Of course the characters are seeking the murderer but we ultimately spend more time dealing with the question of identities. Although the words, "Once upon a time there were twins..." encourages the reader to think in one way, there is really a more provocative answer to the puzzle. The writer throws in the hint of an impossible romance to lighten the mood and set up more complications. Confusing isn't it? But it is worth reading this "new" author who has gone on the write two sequels to this book.

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Secret Daughter

The story follows an Indian adopted child from the time of her birth in India to her adulthood in the United States where she was adopted. Interestingly, it follows the birth mother and her family since the birth and the new family which adopted her. "Consequences" would be an apt word to describe what this book is about.

 
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Personally, after having to get used to the sentence structure in the beginning of the book, I liked it and read it all the way through. Unfortunately, I was the only one in my group to finish reading the book. That is why I would not recommend it for a club.

All This Talk of Love: A Novel by Christopher Castellani
 
All This Talk of Love

Although this is regarded as a stand alone book, it is the third book in a trilogy. The cover is deceptive, causing the reader to expect that the book will primarily be about an Italian-American family's trip back to Italy to see where their family sprang from. Instead, the book is mainly about the children, and grandchildren, but primarily about the youngest son who is away at school having an affair with his dissertation adviser. When some of the family eventually get to Italy, it is anticlimactic and with little of interest.

The Lock Artist: A Novel by Steve Hamilton
 
Adventurous, Interesting, Dark
The Lock artist

We selected this book because we wanted to try mystery and because the author was an award winner. Most of us found this book to be very much a \\\"man\\\'s book\\\" and were confused by the constant switching from one time period to another.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot took a decade to cull the truth about the harvesting and growing of cells from a cancered black patient which never stopped growing. They are the basis of much of the experimentation in medicine which has brought cures and knowldege of disease. In the meantime, the dead woman\\\'s family did not have access to good medical care.

The Perfume Collector: A Novel by Kathleen Tessaro
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Insightful
The Perfume Collector

This book runs two stories from different time periods (20s and 50s) at the same time. At times it is a little hard to keep everyone straight. But the book handles a topic (perfume) in a different city (Paris) with an interesting plot. All the members of our club liked the book, with one member absolutely loving it. It ends on an upbeat note and is an interesting read. We recommend it to other book clubs.

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker: A Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Slow
Mrs. Lincoln\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Dressmaker

This book is historical fiction, highly researched, which puts the spotlight on Mary Todd Lincoln and the services rendered to her by her \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"modiste\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" (dressmaker and dresser) during and after the Civil War. Having purchased her and her son\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s way out of slavery, Elizabeth Keckley finds herself sewing for the wives of future rebel leaders but eventually is selected by Mrs. Lincoln as her dressmaker. Mrs. Lincoln\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s rages and depressions fall heavily on the care of Mrs. Keckley who goes above and beyond the call of duty to be a friend to the President\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s wife. This book incorporates history but takes place mainly behind the scenes of great incidents. A very readable book.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Addictive
The Husband's Secret

This is three stories in one that intersect at the end and throughout the book. Once the husband's stunning secret is revealed, the book becomes a tense read as others are affected and it's unclear what will happen. The story takes place in Australia but its geographic location is unimportant to the story. There are two endings to the story and the epilog is a stunner.

 
She Makes It Look Easy

This is a Christian writer who has a plot that does not bring things into a Christian perspective very much. It was a quick read for someone who doesn\\\'t want to invest much time or thought into reading a book at the time.

Step on a Crack (Michael Bennett) by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Interesting, Dramatic

A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Insightful, Beautiful
A Man Called Ove

The book started slowly but, as the pace picked up, began to grow on the reader through new insights into the main character. Our entire book club liked it.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Orphan Train

Most readers enjoyed learning about a part of history of which they knew little, if anything. The author claims that everything that happened in the book actually happened somewhere. She researched this story for years. The switch back and forth in time and characters was a little confusing to most of us but all but one of us liked the book and would recommend it.

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Adventurous
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

Interesting read and enlightening on working conditions in the first half of the twentieth century. The characters Lillian meets during her ten-mile walk are sometimes unusual but worth including, especially as they reflect modern-ish New York.

Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Adventurous, Informative
Smoke

The book was slow in ramping up but the very different scenario and plot kept the reader interested. There are characters who are a distraction to the story and could have been eliminated but they do not harm the book. Told from the perspective of a woman fire-fighter/investigator.

Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Beautiful
Take Me With You

This book is very different from most other fiction plots involving children. The characters are interesting, the plot twists every now and then and the story is not predictable.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
A Different Format for a Change

If you like the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, you'll like this one. It uses the same format of letters and diary entries. The timeline is straight-forward, no switching from one century or one country to another as many of today's books do. There is plenty of actual history thrown in to make this fiction book authentic. Our whole book club loved it.

 
Book Club Recommended
Optimistic, Inspiring, Fun
A Redbird Christmas

All the members enjoyed this book. The characters were interesting and not those you would see in many books. The twists at the end were refreshing as everything came together.

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