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My Reviews

 
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
This book was written extremely well, great descriptions and characters.

Everyone loved this book in our book club because of the way the author seamlessly switched from present day to past events, great descriptions that you could easily picture in your mind, and its unusual subject matter. We all felt for the character, Jacob, who was now living out his last days in a nursing home, and we were enthralled with his past. None of us knew much about the American circus, despite the fact we live in a town that is called "the cradle of the American circus," where Bailey lived (from Barnum & Bailey), and our town's symbol is an elephant. We loved Rosie the elephant in this story, and felt for the animals as much as the people. This book led to a good discussion about nursing homes, love, and loyalty, to name a few topics. Great, easy read!

 
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
interesting story of Chinese culture

Everyone in our club enjoyed this book. The details and descriptions kept you interested throughout. It did not lead to one of our better discussions, but worth reading.

 
Good for discussion but not easy to read

This book was not what we expected at all. The author is an adoptee who reunites with her birth parents. She feels she has no identity and spends years searching for answers.
The beginning of the book was interesting, it tells the story of both birth parents. She describes characters well, parts are humorous, but she is not a happy person.
The middle of the book explains her genealogical searches. She goes into too much information, that may be of interest to her--but not to most readers.
The book in general left more questions for everyone, she lets you in her life--yet doesn't really want you to know everything.
I found the author to be annoying, and not necessarily your "typical adoptee." One person in our group, who is also an adoptee, agreed that she was not representing any of her feelings/thoughts. She is angry, resentful, unhappy, and self-absorbed.
This book can lead to good discussions on the adoption topic, but not a well-liked book in our group!

Moloka'i: A Novel by Alan Brennert
 
Informative, Inspiring, Interesting
This book was an easy read, everyone loved it, and highly recommended.

Great book about a Hawaiian girl, Rachel, who suffered from leprosy, and was taken away from her family at a young age. The book followed her through her entire lifetime, which everyone appreciated. Very often books can leave you wondering "what next" and this book covered all bases. The description of character and environment are great, bringing the reader to another time and place that none of us had any prior knowledge about. I would suggest that book discussion questions be thought of as you read, the reader's guide questions were not great. With a little extra thought, political, ethical, and religious discussions can follow.

 
Informative, Interesting, Graphic
Not for the faint-hearted but humorous look at options for human cadavers

Some members may not find this topic appealing, so beware. The author takes a look at the history of scientific study of cadavers. She approaches the subject with humor which makes this book readable and interesting. You will certainly learn new things, some you may not want to know! It can lead to topics concerning; death, funerals, ethics, life-after-death, religion, and others. Good discussions, not a "fine piece of literature," but good.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Dramatic

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
A Cuban Story That Must Be Told

In the early 1960's 14,000 children were airlifted out of Cuba, alone and afraid. Imagine being a small child leaving your parents, schoolmates, and the only country you've ever known behind and being put on a plane. The author, Carlos Eire, and his brother, never saw their father again. The author lived in a foster home and orphanage,struggled to survive, and decades later writes this amazing story. His memories and descriptions of Cuba are enlightening and fascinating. His writing is poetic and holds the reader's interest. I learned a lot from this book and it led to a great group discussion.

Greylock by Paula Cappa
 
Pointless, Boring, Slow

 
Informative, Interesting, Insightful

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