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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
The Great Gatsby

Our group is composed of senior adult women, whose opinions on the book were quite interesting. All agreed that the only redeeming character in the book is Nick and although the lifestyle depicted is empty and unfulfilling, many expressed the thought that Fitzgerald was showing both sides of himself in this novel in the persons of Nick, the Midwestern idealist and Gatsby, the ambitious man willing to stop at nothing to get what he thought he wanted. All of us also agreed that the writing was almost poetic, that one could definitely see that Fitzgerald thought about every single word written. Writers just don't write this way any longer and it seems to be a lost art. Many expressed the opinion that although they didn't care for the characters in the book, they loved, loved, loved the writing.

This is of course a must read on anyone's reading list if only to savor how well written is Fitzgerald's greatest work.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Optimistic, Insightful
The Alchemist

Well, our group certainly had a lot to discuss at this discussion. While most of us read the book, others tried and set it aside. For some, the experience was just too dreamscape and fantastical. Others found the novel delightful and a fun read.

The major question that didn't seem to get resolved was "What makes this book so popular?" Given that the book spent 242 weeks as a bestseller and has become the most widely translated book by a living author, for those in the group who "didn't get it," understanding the appeal of the novel was key to their experience with the book.

The Alchemist was one of those books that you either liked or disliked. Those who enjoyed had a great journey.

So, if you're planning to read this one for discussion, be prepared for the disparity. :)

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