Member Profile

Name : Judith B.

My Reviews

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Unconvincing, Romantic
A Good Substitute

It has been said that being an optimist is going to the bookstore expecting to find a new Jane Austin novel. Now the optimist can turn to P. D. James to fulfill that expectation. It was entertaining to continue the story of Darcy and Elizabeth. James owes no apology for her efforts. Her language rings true as if it flowed from Austin's pen. It is a light story populated with familiar characters. The real star is the language that evokes descriptions of country life in the early 1800s. Read it for fun and hope that the BBC options the book.

Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Informative, Poorly Written
A Feel Good Story

Bound up in youthful energy and innocence, Katie's story is one of faith and action. The reader is swamped by Katie's positive outlook on life as she gushes with demonstrative adjectives. While the reader is left wanting more facts and details, one can't help but admire Katie's efforts. Our discussion was lively.

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Beautiful, Interesting
Second Gamache as Good as First

This second installment of the Chief Inspector Gamache novels does not disappoint. Penny continues to create a worthy Three Pines series. The reader gets re-acquainted with the many interesting citizens again. In this mystery Penny has included many clever references to modern culture, among them Ralph Waldo Emerson v. Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Penny also provides an entertaining explanation of the difference between Anglos and Fraqncophones. As with \\\"Still Life\\\" there are subtle references to faith, God, and the Bible. For this book the Scripture is Psalm 46:10. Penny\\\'s mysteries have depth in the plot, in the characters, and in the setting.

Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Informative
From a Different Viewpoint

Once again Sandra Dallas has crafted an entertaining story populated with complex characters. It is refreshing to read about a Japanese internment camp from the perspective of the citizens of the small Colorado town of Ellis. Dallas portrays the deep level of racial prejudice that permeates the citizens. Foremost, "Tallgrass" is the story of a farm family and how they live, work and love. The actions flows naturally and the story reaches a satisfying conclusion.

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Adventurous
No Highway Rest Stops for Me!

Once again Alex Kava has penned an interest-grabbing Maggie O\\\'Dell novel. It has the expected amount of suspense with just a touch of romance. While the characters and their relationships are the glue, the star of the novel is the action-filled plot. Best of all the reader meets two remarkable K-9 heroes and their delicious handler. I hope to meet him again in future books. The information about the training and working habits of these service dogs is both informative and entertaining.

A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
Informative, Adventurous, Insightful
Needs a Good Edit

I knew I was in trouble when I opened the book to find a two-page List of Characters. I would prefer to have the characters developed on page, not in a list. A good edit would have improved my relationship with the characters. I never felt I knew them or cared about them. The historical events that spawned this book are interesting and deserve to be told. However, they merit better treatment.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Optimistic, Adventurous
I Couldn\'t Put It Down

This novel is the perfect follow-up to \\\"The Paris Wife\\\' by Paula McLain. The setting is Hemingway\\\'s 1930s Key West as seen through the eyes of fictional Mariella Bennet. The reader experiences the famous writer\\\'s many moods from tender to cruel. His love of deep sea fishing is central to the story. Robuck\\\'s writing style is fluid and natural.

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

You don't have to be a Hemingway fan to like this book. Enjoy it for the great writing style and for the insight into Paris in the 1920s. You will meet lots of interesting literary characters from Fitzgerald to Stein.

Blonde: A Novel by Joyce Carol Oates
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Graphic, Informative
Oates Delivers

It\\\'s creative and brilliant. It\\\'s difficult and frustrating. It makes you think. Our discussion was great. Even those readers who didn\\\'t care for the book were engaged in the discussion.

Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann

I suggest this book for a solo read--not book discussion. We did have a Skype session with the author and that helped us to understand the character of Ellie. The book is short on back-story.

State of Wonder: A Novel by Ann Patchett
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Dramatic
Jungle Adventure

This novel is written with beautiful language and gorgeous descriptions. The symbolism in the book offer much to discuss.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Dramatic
Hurricane Herroes

Fink has taken an unpleasant topic and written a most pleasing account. She tells the story through the eyes and ears of those who lived the drama. The book does not get bogged down in medical or legal language. The book could benefit from the addition of a timeline. The story reaches a satisfying conclusion, except what happened to the animals sheltered at Memorial. Did they make it out?

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Inspiring
Good Discussion

This book is well researched and ties to Scripturel. Our discussion was interesting and everyone liked the book. The writing style holds the reader\\\'s interest.

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Great Discussion

This book was a hit with our group. We all have some ties to the South and could relate to the theme of the book.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Great! Great! Great!

Great writing, great characters, and great history! Once again the reader is treated to engaging female characters--set against a piece of history that is often forgotten.

The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
Book Club Recommended
Stretches the Immagination

Parts of this short book are difficult to accept. However, the author is to be congratulated for his immagination into what Mary's later life might have been.

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring
Needs a Thorough Edit

While the topic is interesting, the writing is only average. The information about clans is very informative.

Minaret: A Novel by Leila Aboulela
Poorly Written, Unconvincing, Gloomy
Poorly Written

This book is part of the Book Bag program at the Omaha Public Library, but no one in our group of 12 liked the book or felt that it was a good book group selection. Plot and character development are lacking.

Book Club Recommended
Great Historical Fiction

This is the second book in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Series, and it not only entertains but it informs about the Wyatt Rebellion.

Dreams in the Medina by Kati Woronka
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Informative
Coming of Age

This is a debut self-published book, based on research for a master\\\'s degree. The author does a fine job of bringing us into the lives of college-age girls in Syria. It brings to light the diversity of faiths found among the women in a college dorm. Our group had a conference call with the author which further enriched our appreciation of her work. I can\\\'t wait to see what she writes next.

Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Informative
Good Biblical Fiction

We read the section on Mary, Mother of God. It is a great Advent selection. This is a sweet telling of the story from the viewpoint of Mary. The reader experiences her from a frightened girl to an older mother with dreams of a successful son. We realized that Mary\\\'s time is not God\\\'s time. Suggested for those who readers who are grounded in Scripture--not novice seekers.

Martha: A Novel by Diana Wallis Taylor
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Informative
Great Discussion

This book is thoroughly researched and based on Scripture. Our group, all seasoned students of the Bible, enjoyed the insight into Martha\\\\\\\'s position in Jesus\\\\\\\' ministry. We liked \\\\\\\"seeing\\\\\\\" how women lived and were treated in Biblical times.

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Informative
Great Discussion

I'm always impressed when a fiction book has an impressive bibliography. Moriarty really did her research for this book. I know very little about Louise Brooks and enjoyed getting acquainted with her. Cora's Orphan Train experience was accurately described.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Good Discussion

Book Club Recommended
Epic, Dramatic, Insightful

Everyone in the group loved this book. It is well written and based on thorough research. Lee's paints realistic word pictures. We plan to read more of her books.

Not a good selection

Go see the movie.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Adventurous, Interesting
Held My Interest!

Mary Doria Russell manages the English language brilliantly. Her thorough research results in plot and characters that captivate.

In the Shadow of Sinai by Carole Towriss
Book Club Recommended
Follows Scripture

We had a good discussion of this book. While all of us agreed that the writing style is very basic and straight forward, we did like the book. It is appropriate for young adults.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Slow
A Woman's Place

The book present Robert Louis Stevenson as author and as a man battling to stay alive. His wife, Fanny, is the force behind him. She sacrifices her own creative yearnings to foster his genuis.

Eventide by Kent Haruf
Good Idea/Poor Execution

What an insult it is to attempt to read a book with no quotation marks to indicate conversations. This is such a poor excuse for artistic expression. Respect your readers and use proper punctuation. Our group had a lively discussion about how much we disliked the book.

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Insightful
Interesting Reading Followed By Great Discussion

This thoroughly researched historical novel, reads like a who’s who of the mid-1840’s. The reader gets a brilliant picture of Edgar Allen Poe and also receives a vivid overview of New York City and the robust literary circle. Poe is explored from the viewpoint of his relationship with Frances Osgood. This is an excellent book for group discussion.

Mary Magdalene: A Novel by Diana Wallis Taylor
Book Club Recommended
Great Discussion

As with all of Taylor's Biblical fiction books, it is well researched and well written. She presents a realistic approach to Mary Magdalene.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Optimistic
Good Discussion

All 12 members of our book group enjoyed the book. Some found it difficult to get into it while others had problems with the reality of someone waling in boating shoes. Overall we found it to have great lessons for life.

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
A New Twist on an Old Hero

Everyone in the group of 12 liked the book but felt it bogged down in the part about the kidnapping. We learned things about Lindbergh that we didn't know and really came to appreciate Anne. We like Benjamin's writing style and would read other books by her.

The Painted Girls: A Novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
Great Discussion

While we all agreed that "The Painted Girls" deals with a dark topic, we really liked the book. The discussion ranged from Degas' art to the dismal treatment of young women to the brutal world of the ballet.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Fun
A Bit Dated

Our group had a good discussion. Some readers didn't get the point of the book. Is it a road-trip story? A spiritual quest story? or Just an amusing story? Probably all three. We selected it because it was available from the public library as part of the book bag program. I would not select it otherwise.

Informative, Interesting, Insightful
So Disappointed!

When this book was published I was intrigued by the title and the cover art. I had high hopes of entering that time in WWII and getting to know the women who worked at Oak Ridge. Unfortunately, despite extensive research and many interviews, the author missed a great opportunity to bring these women to life. There is a minimum amount of character development. There is as much emphasis on the men as there is on the women. The author did a great job of describing the landscape of Oak Ridge, and the mud becomes the most developed character in the book. The descriptions of the housing were detailed and interesting. We invited the author to Skype with us and she declined through her agent. If you want to read a book that brings this era to life, select \\\"The Wives of Los Alamos\\\" by Tarashea Nesbit. It is fiction and the most creatively written book I\\\'ve read in a long time.

Book Club Recommended
Optimistic, Inspiring, Informative
Lessons for All

It\\\'s more than a dog\\\'s story. \\\"Comet\\\'s Tale\\\" is about a family dealing with loss and finding one another again--all through the grace of a smart rescue greyhound. Author Steven Wolf opens up about himself and the process of adoption, Read it and you will feel better. Discuss it with a group and you\\\'ll want to adopt one of these peaceful canines.

Moloka'i: A Novel by Alan Brennert
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Interesting
Historical Fiction at its best

Our group had mixed opinions about this book. Most of us really liked it and enjoyed learning about this period iin history and especially about leper colony. Others did like it because it was sad. The book is well researched but perhaps a little too long.

Havah by Tosca Lee
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Brilliant, Beautiful
Creative Approach to Creation

Written from Eve\\\'s perspective, this well-researched novel is a delight to read and discuss. Good for book groups that appreciate Biblical fiction.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring
I'm Conflicted!

While I admire the writing style, I did not enjoy the story. It is superbly written, but the story is hare to deal with. The characters and scenes are well developed. Our group had a great discussion.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Inspiring, Informative
Good Discussion

This book is based on the author's thorough knowledge of Scripture. She does an emense amount of research. We had a delightful Skype session with her.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Informative
Another View of WWII

Sarah brings the reader a thoughtful approach to the war from the viewpoint of ordinary Germans who are just trying to survive. My book group had a delightful Skype session with Sarah and that added to our appreciation of the book and her thorough research.

Glow: A Novel by Jessica Maria Tuccelli
Book Club Recommended
Confusing, Beautiful, Pointless
Debut Delight

Our book group enjoyed a Skype session with the brilliant Jessica Marie Tuccelli. \\\"Glow\\\" deals with an aspect of history not often explored in novels. This is literary fiction at its finest. I expect great writing from Jessica as she publishes her next books.

Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion by Karen White, Pam Jenoff, Sarah Jio, Melanie Benjamin, Kristina Mcmorris
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Inspiring
Brillant Concept

This collection of novellas is perfect reading for book clubs. There is so much to discuss and the reader will be exposed to writing from some of the best authors who are publishing today.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative
Good Discussion

Our book group read \\\"The Winter Garden\\\" about a year ago and followed up with \\\"Empress of the Night.\\\" Of the two books, we preferred Garden to Night. But both books are well written and reveal so much about Catherine and Russia.

The Comfort of Lies: A Novel by Randy Susan Meyers
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Dramatic
Well Written

Peopled with characters the reader will love and hate, this is a good book for groups to discuss. Randy's plot holds the interest and the writing brings the situations to life.

Woman of Flames by Kim Stokely
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Inspiring
Good Biblical Fiction

Deborah from Judges 4-5 comes to life in this self-published debut novel. Based on sound research it is an appropriate addition to a Bible study library. Our book group enjoyed the book and had a meaning discussion.

Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Interesting, Insightful

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Romantic
Historical Fiction With a Twist of Romance

This novel will appeal to fans of both genres. Our book group had a good discussion.

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting

Thoroughly researched. Well written. Provides information on WWII events not generally written about. Good discussion material.

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