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Book Club Reads

  • Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy

    Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy

  • Tyler, Anne: French Braid: A novel

    Tyler, Anne: French Braid: A novel
    I can see why some might not enjoy this book (not much plot), but I loved Tyler's writing, the complexity of the characters and the storytelling. Families are like a French Braid; you can never really be free of them since "the ripples are crimped in forever." I'm hoping our BC discussion will be enlightening and personal. (****)

  • See, Lisa: The Island of Sea Women: A Novel

    See, Lisa: The Island of Sea Women: A Novel
    Although it wasn't perfect (sometimes hard to follow the timelines), this book was fascinating on a personal, historical and cultural level. I learned so much while suffering through the tragedies and celebrating the joys of the characters. I'm hoping for an insightful discussion at Book Club, as this novel deserves. (*****)

  • Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel

    Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel
    Extremely well-written, atmospheric and full of fascinating characters and history. Being a mystery reader, I would have preferred more plot though. If you haven't read Whitehead before, I recommend "The Nickel Boys" instead. Fortunately, the book seems like it will elicit a decent discussion. (****)

  • Klune, TJ: The House in the Cerulean Sea

    Klune, TJ: The House in the Cerulean Sea
    This book was hard to rate (***1/2): heartwarming, yet cheesy and predictable. Imaginative, but also preachy. It reads like a YA novel. There were some wonderful characters if you enjoy fantasy. I think it will be nearly impossible to discuss as a Book Club read. (***)

  • Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel

    Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel
    This is a exquisitely crafted book and extremely well-written. I didn't always like the way it jumped from one person to another, especially when I was very engaged in the last story. It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but the ending was also beautiful in its own painful way. 4 1/2 stars. (*****)

  • 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. (****)