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Name : Maryann G.

My Reviews

Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
Great story about a traveling circus during the depression.

Everyone liked the story of a young man's experiences with a traveling circus during the depression. There was humor, suspense, sorrow and joy in the story. Jacob was a plucky young man and also in his 90's. The nursing home scene was portrayed very realistically and although most of our members didn't think it that realistic for him to go off to join the circus, we did think it was a wonderful ending. It was a compelling story and we loved learning about life in the circus during the depression. The pictures we a wonderful addition as well. Would highly recommend this book. My husband also loved it.

Loving Frank: A Novel by Nancy Horan
Informative, Interesting, Dramatic
Intriguing account of a great love

Provided so much to discuss. Illuminating account of life in the early 1900's.

Discusses failed female friendships and how women handle this failure.

Interesting topic that inspired a lively discussion. Everyone had something to say about their experiences with failed female relationships. The book isn't fabulous but the topic is well worth discussing.

Midwives (Oprah's Book Club) by Chris Bohjalian
Interesting, Informative, Dramatic
Midwife performs emergency C-section on woman she is sure has died during childbirth.

The book is written from the perspective of the woman's daughter who has gong on to become an OB/GYN. So much to discuss regarding natural childbirth and how it was not readily available in the hospitals at that time. Great book for discussion.

Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali by Kris Holloway; Consulting Editor John Bidwell
Insightful, Interesting, Informative
Heartwarming story of a young peace corps volunteer in Mali. She assists the local midwife who also becomes a very dear friend.

This story is lovingly told by the peace corps volunteer. THE amazing cultural differences do not keep the two women from forming a beautiful friendship. We had a very good discussion expecially since we read MIDWIVES last month. This is a beautiful book.

Run: A Novel by Ann Patchett
Adventurous, Inspiring, Insightful
24 hours and how so much changes for this family

Highly readable, so much to discuss. Was a perfect choice at inauguration time. Even though there were not questions at the end of the book we had no trouble coming up with things to dicuss. Everyone enjoyed the book tremendously. Would higly recommend to other clubs.

Inspiring, Interesting, Insightful
Very readable book about a group of lady friends and how important they all become to each other.

I felt like I had read this book many times before - just slightly different circumstances. A bit of a soap opera. Don't know why so many books have to have a character die from cancer.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Insightful, Interesting, Gloomy
A grouping of short stories that all take place in the same Maine town. Olive Kitteredge is present in each one in totally different circumstances.

Amazing, intelligent book that explores the woman Olive Kitteridge in varied situations with different people of the town. The stories all stand beautifully on their own yet weave a fascinating depiction of Olive and who she is. We could have discussed this book till morning!!!

Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dark, Fantastic
The Book of Lost Things

Very touching story of an unhappy young boy and the fantastic journey that brings him to realize how fortunate he is.

The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The 19th Wife

Grabbed the reader on the first page. Two different but very compelling stories. Learned a great deal about the Mormons. Everyone jumped right into discussing the book without even going to the questions. Sparked more interest about Mormon life and the history of their church. Very readable and lots to discuss!!

Book Club Recommended
Slow, Dramatic, Beautiful
A Prayer for Owen Meany

Owen Meany is such a fantastic character. There are scenes that are downright hilarious and some tragic. He is "bigger than life" in so many ways. The writing is amazing . . . one can't help wonder just what Owen is going to do next. Interesting commentary on the Viet Nam war as well.

Informative, Inspiring, Boring
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent A Year tring to sing in the Morning Clean my Closets, Fight, Read Aristotle, and GEnerally Have More Fun

Awful, Annoying

Book Club Recommended
Informative, Beautiful, Fun
Mistress of the Vatican

I learned so much about behind the scenes life in the Vatican. I was astounded at some of the customs and machinations that were commonplace during this time. Olimpia was certainly a force that could not be ignored. She was a personality bigger than life and it was a great to see a woman make her way in what was so totally a man's world. Lot's to discuss here.

Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan
Interesting, Confusing, Unconvincing
Heart In the Right Place

It was not an awful book but there are so many GREAT books out there. The author had an interesting story but she left out so much of what her journey back home entailed. She seemed more comfortable retelling what was happening to her father's patients as opposed to her day to day personal interactions with her parents and especially her mother. The book left you with lots of questions.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Adventurous, Brilliant
Await Your Reply: A Novel by Dan Chaon

Somewhat terrifying, always intriguing. Leaves much to wonder about and loads to discuss. An excellent book club pick!! Brought up many questions about who we really are and whether we can change into someone else. Quite a page turner!

Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Insightful
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

Major Pettigrew's seems to be your classic "stuffy" englishmen on first take. Yet he finds himself in a romance with a Pakistani woman, a challenging relationship with his son and numerous hilarious situations. He is an endearing character and you will love Mrs. Ali!!

Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Insightful
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew's very orderly world is turned upside after the death of his brother. Times are changing and it is how he deals with these changes that make for a lovely story.

Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Brilliant, Inspiring
After Long Silence

Two sisters raised as Catholics in the US by parents who were holocaust survivors. How they finally figured out that they were indeed of Jewish descent and the lengths their parents had gone to to assure that they never faced the horror they had endured by being Jewish. Once they discovered the truth they traveled to Europe to investigate their parent's past. Truly amazing story.

Before Ever After: A Novel by Samantha Sotto
Unconvincing, Difficult, Fantastic
Before Ever After: A Novel

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic, Interesting
The Christmas Train

This was a pleasant enough book and not a bad choice for a December meeting. The ending did seem a bit contrived. But if you want an easy, pleasant read for the holidays this will fit the bill.

Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The Dressmaker: A Novel

Though the topic of Titanic survivors and information on the aftermath of the tragedy was interesting, the actual story was quite predictable. It was actually a Cinderella story and many of the events were farfetched. It was an easy read.

Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic
Rules of Civility: A Novel

This is an extremely well written and thought provoking book. The prose is just beautiful and so insightful. Our group had one of our best discussions yet. The topic is certainly one we could all relate too and the meaning of photographs was a great emphasis!! EXCELLENT!!

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Optimistic
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

Sweet book about Harold's sudden decision to visit an old friend, providing time for reflection on his life. His adventures/misadventures carry us along with him. Satisfying read.
GREAT discussion material!!

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Adventurous, Informative

Loved getting a glimpse into the life and mind of Willie Sutton!

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Adventurous
Where/'d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

Refreshing, intriguing and fun. The characters are quirky and the story unexpected. Most enjoyable!

Inside the White House by Ronald Kessler
Inside the White House

Gossipy, jumped all over the place and out dated. Just not a good choice for a book club discussion. Was written toward the beginning of the Clinton administration so there was nothing about the Bushes and Obamas.

Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Light Between Oceans

So much to discuss. Choices, forgiveness, understanding.

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

Excellent story about a time in our country's history that most of us were not familiar with. The two stories being told said so much about how some things changed yet remained very similar. It was a wonderful story of preservearance and redemption. Loved it. Very well done.

Book Club Recommended
Dark, Slow, Interesting
The Goldfinch

So beautifully written I am reading it for a second time! There is so much here as far as beautiful descriptions, musings and page turning story. This is certainly a book to savor-I find myself reluctant to leave these characters!!

Schroder: A Novel by Amity Gaige
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Slow, Confusing

This is an excellent book club book and provided one of the best discussions we have had in a long time. There was so much gray area as far as our perceptions and opinions about the main character. He was certainly unlike any protagonist we have encountered so far. Of course we wished for more information about him, his background and other characters in the book but that was what made the book so compelling.

Book Club Recommended
Fun, Pointless, Slow
The Vacationers

More substantial than your usual beach read but just as much fun. The characters were all well drawn and I was eager to find out what was going to happen next. Very enjoyable.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Addictive, Dramatic
Big Little Lies

This author continues to give us topics that are great for discussion and characters that are very realistic. A thoroughly enjoyable read, Big Little Lies will not disappoint.

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

Great story about the many challenges in life and how Ove handles his and then how the universe conspires to change the course of his life.

Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl
Fun, Informative, Interesting

Not as good as her non fiction books but a pleasant read.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Slow, Dramatic
The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty

Fun, humorous book about beauty and it's relative importance in life. Friendship vs romantic love. Very different and a great book to discuss. Even our members who weren't sure they loved the book had plenty to say about the topic. Most loved the kookie situations and characters.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Inspiring
Ordinary Grace

Beautifully developed characters and plot embrace the reader.

Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
Waiting for Snow in Havana

Amazing telling of Castro's takeover of Cuba. And the resulting migration of 14,000 Cuban children to the United States.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Brilliant, Epic
A Little Life: A Novel

Difficult to read at times and yet very compelling. The main character has suffered horrendously while growing up. An amazing story of friendship, love, betrayal, violence. An amazing, gut wrencing story.

Love and Iced Tea by Leslie Finegan
Book Club Recommended
Optimistic, Insightful, Fun
Love and Iced Tea

Our book club had a great discussion about the many characters, relationships, motivations and life in a small southern town. There were some fun plot points and several parts of the book made me laugh out loud. The beginning pages were a bit confusing with the introduction of various characters but it all came together pretty quickly.

The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Adventurous
The Overstory:A Novel

It took awhile for it to all come together but the individual character’s stories were compelling on their own. It was not a quick read but it was definitely worth the effort.

Pretty Things: A Novel by Janelle Brown
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Pretty Things: A Novel

Beautifully descriptive, great characters and interesting plot.

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