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October 10, 2021

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Book Club Reads

  • Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir

    Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir
    Although it had some fascinating and illuminating moments, this memoir of a young Chinese immigrant facing poverty and prejudice was ultimately a let down. Part of it was the writing and lack of proofreading(too many grammar mistakes) while the rest related to my confusion about whether I admired or disliked the author. She was often mean and dishonest. Much of the time I didn't find her sympathetic. (***)

  • Pooley, Clare: The Authenticity Project: A Novel

    Pooley, Clare: The Authenticity Project: A Novel
    A solid 3 1/2 stars--I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. It felt like a beach read with a bit more depth to it. Still it was often predictable and wasn't particularly well written. (***)

  • Whitaker, Chris: We Begin at the End

    Whitaker, Chris: We Begin at the End
    This read picked up 1/2 star because of the ending. I began excited about the mystery aspect, and ended frustrated and disappointed in the writing, the "mystery," the geographical and language inaccuracies, and the constant and unending tragedies. I will miss the BC discussion which could have possibly redeemed it. (***)

  • Lyons, Annie: The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett: A Novel

    Lyons, Annie: The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett: A Novel
    This was a feel good/feel bad book which read like "A Man Called Ove" combined with "The One in a Million Boy." I liked it much better than Ove, but much less than Boy. I felt emotionally manipulated, and knew where the plot was headed, although I did (mostly) enjoy the characters. I look forward to discussing this in Book Club for more insights. 3 1/2 stars. (****)

  • Erdrich, Louise: The Night Watchman

    Erdrich, Louise: The Night Watchman
    I think I'll like this book better once we discuss it at Book Club. It had too many characters and too loose an organization and plot structure for me. If you want to experience Erdrich at the top of her game, read "The Roundhouse." (***)

  • Krueger, William Kent: This Tender Land: A Novel

    Krueger, William Kent: This Tender Land: A Novel
    For the beauty of the writing and the fascinating narrative, this book is 5 star. I love WKK's style. Yet I was vaguely disappointed by the epilogue which dropped it to 4 1/2. This is a very worthy read, but I preferred his "Ordinary Grace" by a whisker. (****)

  • Walter, Jess: The Cold Millions: A Novel

    Walter, Jess: The Cold Millions: A Novel
    4 1/2 stars for this fascinating and historically based tale of Wobblies in Spokane, Washington; many passages were disturbing to read, but the book was also beautifully written which made up for its tragedies. (****)

  • Lemmie, Asha: Fifty Words for Rain: A Novel

    Lemmie, Asha: Fifty Words for Rain: A Novel
    This book isn't badly written, but showcases a creepy(nearly incestuous) half brother/sister relationship, and is a perfect example of "tragedy porn." The ending was a huge disappointment, as well as the rest of the book. 2 1/2 stars. (***)

  • Daré, Abi: The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel

    Daré, Abi: The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel
    Although it took a while for me to get used to the vernacular (difficult to read), the story itself was riveting, horrific and inspiring. It should be an excellent discussion at BC. (****)

  • Kline, Christina Baker: The Exiles: A Novel

    Kline, Christina Baker: The Exiles: A Novel
    I'd never read anything about the exiling of criminals to Australia, so the history behind this was interesting. The writing wasn't outstanding, but it should elicit a decent discussion. (****)