November 26, 2012

November 2012: The American Heiress

Jill:  Fun, easy read and the main character became more likable as the book went on, despite her making some rather stupid decisions.  Recommend for what it is: enjoyable fluff. 

Holly:   Good summer beach read.

Chari:  Thought the book was a fun, light read but not a great discussion book. Therefore, I have nothing else to say.

October 24, 2012

October 2012: Room

Mary:  Holy shit. This thing was terrifying. And also so amazing. At first I wasn't sure I'd be able to stomach it because I am so sensitive and I sort of hate to read things that are hard to read, especially when there are children involved.  But I persevered and the middle chapter was just incredible. The last part of the book was heart-wrenching. I cried and cried--even at just the simple things. This book is going to stay with me--I practically want to change my whole life because of it.

Jenn:   It feels wrong to say I liked Room, but I really did enjoy reading it.  The story was innovative and told in a really complex way revealing the circumstances slowly in a very intentional way. It got a bit Lifetime movie at points, but I defnitely recommend it to others as a worthwhile read.

Becca:  Loved it. Read it twice.

Barb:  It took me a while to get used to the narrative style but I was hooked after about 75 pages.  I appreciated the subtext-- a great reminder that kids don't need "stuff" to be happy; they simply crave love and attention from their parent(s). 

Amanda:  ROOM was very different.  The climax to the book was definitely (spoiler alert) the big escape.  After that, it just got tired.  The mother made me angry with her selfishness once they got out.  Plus, there were some things that were a little too personal that I could have done without.

Holly:  Intense!!

Aday:  This was a unique way to tell a complicated story, and I found the 5 year old main character to be very believable. There were times the book seemed slow and a little redundant at times, and then a page-turning section where you wanted to text all of your friends: "OMG, have you read ROOM??!!!!!" All in all, a good book and definitely one I would recommend.

September 27, 2012

September 2012: The Clan of the Cave Bear

Chari:  I enjoyed the book and the author's interpretation of history through the eyes of a cro-magnon family. Different and fun using imagination. I read the sequel, valley of the horses, and liked it even better.

Jill:  Couldn't get past 50 pages on this one.  Wasn't interested in the characters at all and didn't want to commit to the next 450+ pages.

Amanda:  Very long, but very intersesting.  Its fascinating to see how far women have come...ha ha ha!

Becca:  I enjoyed the historical fiction aspect of the book but can't say this was a "page turner" for me. Decent read--now I want to re-watch the movie.

Stephanie:  Interesting subject matter, entertaining story, so-so writing.....glad to have read it, though, and would like the read the rest of the series!

Holly:  A commitment of a book, interesting, and it made me crave beef jerky.

Aday:  Life is too short for a book this boring.

August 21, 2012

August 2012: Unbroken

Barb:  I found this book totally engrossing, if a bit oppressive at times.  It was inspiring to read how a person was able to will himself to live through the most challenging circumstances imaginable.

Chari:  Really enjoyed the book and insight to the hardships the POWs faced.  Thought was very well written.  LZ is an inspiration for everyone, I love his spirit and willingness to forgive and move on with his life.

Becca:  I thought Unbroken was an inspiring novel about the atrocities of war and the resilience of the human spirit.

Aday:  Slow to start, but transformed into an inspirational story of survival that was hard to put down.

Kerry:  Unbroken is such a wonderful book that tells a powerful, true story.  This book is well worth reading.

Mary:  This was an incredible book- I loved it from start to finish.  It was so interesting to learn about the running, the raft, the pacific part of the war and who couldn't just love Louie?

Stephanie:  All the hype is true - an amazing story and a great read!

June 25, 2012

June 2012: What Alice Forgot

Kerry:  I loved this book.  It was a quick read and a book that I identified with and it resonated with me.  I have continued to think about it.  Highly recommended.

Amanda:  I LOVED this book.  I could not put it down.  It was such an interesting idea and I can only imagine how our "moms" in the group must have felt reading this.

Jill:  Really enjoyed this book in spite of the plot contrivance of amnesia – this may be the first chick-lit book that actually made me think!  Good reminder that small decisions can add up over the course of ten years.

Stephanie:  I liked this book, I think because I could relate to Alice being in my late 30s with kids and a busy life.  It was an easy read and enjoyable.  I did think it could have been much shorter, though - I got a little frustrated with how the author dragged it out and think it would have been better at half the length.

Aday:   A little cheesy in the beginning and filled with characters of little substance, but an interesting read nonetheless.

Becca:  I thought this was a good, easy read.  It wasn't earth-shattering, but decent enough if you're looking for a beach read.

Chari:  I liked it and thought a fun, unique way to share a story. Reminds us to keep our priorities in line. Thought an easy read and good summer material.  

Jenn:  Truly enjoyed the book from beginning to end. It immediately dives into the drama and moves quickly. The author reveals each primary character in an interesting and meaningful way, causing you to pause and really evaluate if what you value right now is what is important to you long term. 

May 23, 2012

May 2012: A Reliable Wife

Jen S.:  Slow start... and an annoyingly horny dude.

Amanda:  Thought it was pretty good--juicy and full of intrigue. 

Aday:   This was a fast read, but ultimately made up of characters with little substance, and an unrealistic plot.

Stephanie:  Not the best book I have ever read but entertaining enough.  I did appreciate the way the author switched back and forth between narrative voices from the different characters smoothly and without it being distracting - that is hard to do!

Chari:  I really enjoyed this book and the big twist. I liked the writing style/pace and even found redeeming qualities in each main character. Thought the time period was interesting, too.

Kerry:  I did enjoy this book, I thought that it could have been better edited because it seemed to go on at some places, but overall it was an interesting read.  I am glad that I do not live where it is that cold! It made me think about life and when it is worth fighting for as well as being an interesting love story.

April 25, 2012

April 2012: Starvation Heights

Aday:  Good story, poor writing.

Stephanie:  Interesting premise but would have made a better long magazine article than a book.  Too much detail made the book tiresome!

Chari:  I didn't finish the book, made it about 120 pages.  Felt like had reached the climax already and lost interest.  120 pages was hard enough!

Amanda:  This book was the only book in a long, long, long time that I could not finish.  I really wanted to get in to it, but I found myself frustrated by that stupid quack doctor and her lousy excuse for a husband.  It just went on and on and on....

Holly:  That's $10 I'll never get back.

April 10, 2012

March 2012: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Kerry: I loved this book & had no idea it was a classic. I learned so much & have continued to think about this family.

Aday: An interesting coming of age story, but not one that I would single out for the highest praise.

Stephanie: I loved this book! I did not think I would but I loved the characters - I found them rich and complex and Francie was so relatable to me even from a completely different era. Great classic that I am glad to have taken the time to read!

February 3, 2012

January 2012: These is My Words

Becca: Loved this book! I enjoyed the the author's perspective on a time period I knew little about. Definitely worth the read.

Chari: I loved the book! Really enjoyed the writing style and Sara's character. I never would have selected to read about a pioneer woman on my own but so glad we did. This book is on my top ten favorite list of all time.

Stephanie: These is My Words was a great read! Very enjoyable and good historical fiction about a time in history I don't read much about. Loved the characters!

Kerry: I loved this book, the writer has a wonderful way of making her characters come alive. I was inspired by the heroine and loved the story.

Very good historical fiction.

Aday: I am so sad to have finished this book. "These is My Words" is everything a great book should be: beautifully written, funny, heartbreaking, and great from the first page to the last, from one sentence to the next. Definitely made my 10 all-time favorite list, and is one of those rare books that I might read again.