In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Quarantine Book Club
Because of Covid-19 we are meeting via video chat for the foreseeable future.

1 Loved It
2 Liked It
3 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

Comments:
• I completely got hooked and engaged in this book. I liked the structure, the writing style, and the fascinating and dark, twisted story. A surreal glimpse into the minds and lives of murderers.. – Steph
• I was not too familiar with this story but was fully engaged with how Truman Capote told this non fiction true crime story. I really loved how we got insight into the character’s personal lives. I especially found the killers childhoods very interesting. I continued to think about this story and the characters weeks after I finished reading. -Nicole
• I mostly loved this. I found the character studies fascinating. I wish we got a little bit more about the slain family but after understanding how this came about, it makes complete sense that this is really about the killers. -Danica

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Quarantine Book Club
Because of Covid-19 we are meeting via video chat for the foreseeable future.

0 Loved It
3 Liked It
3 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

Comments:
• I missed reading this as a child and was happy to have the opportunity to return to it with our Book Club. I enjoyed the science fiction and fantasy elements of the story. I appreciated Meg as the main character and was also very drawn to Charles Wallace. Definitely a book I would like to re-read someday! I feel like I could get something new out of it by re-reading. -Hillary
• I never read this as a child and I didn’t love it as an adult. I enjoyed the science/science fiction parts of this book and wished there was more of that and less of the fantasy/adventure elements. I can appreciate this as a classic piece of children’s literature and can see why it is popular but overall it is not my type of thing. -Nicole
• I enjoyed reading the story, as I had never read it before.  However, it was not a genre I prefer. -Carrie
• This was a good, solid read. I enjoyed it. The writing style, characters and plot were all good! -Steph
•I had read it as a kid but did not remember anything about it.  So I guess it was not very memorable. The book has good themes of love and self sufficiency. -Sarah
• I read this awhile back but sincerely didn’t remember much about it. I appreciate that this gave rise to a whole new category and genre for kids lit but I didn’t love the fantasy elements. -Danica

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Quarantine Book Club
Because of Covid-19 we are meeting via video chat for the foreseeable future.

0 Loved It
2 Liked It
3 Neutral
2 Disliked It
0 Hated It

Comments:
• I found the book entertaining and funny especially in the beginning. Over time, I found the characters hard to relate to and lacking in perspective. I thought the book was a very good choice for a book club as there was lots to discuss. – Hillary
• It was an interesting commentary about relationships, gender roles, and how our early experiences in life lead to the decisions we make as adults! -Kerry
• I found some parts of this book more interesting than others, specifically Rachel’s story at the end. I do think the characters were not necessarily likable but the book did a good job at still making you feel empathetic towards them. -Nicole
• Although I didn’t enjoy reading this, I liked thinking about some of the commentary on privilege and modern dating. -Danica
• I did not enjoy this book, but since I kept reading and finished it, I won’t say I disliked it. It held my attention. I did not enjoy the writing style, too many run on sentences and tangential thoughts. I found it overly focused on sex and did not align with any of the characters. That being said, I finished it, which I don’t usually do when I’m not enjoying a book. So I’ll say neutral. I was happy when I was done. -Carrie
• I found the characters to be predictable and annoying. I didn’t care for the author’s tone. I found the end interesting regarding a woman’s place in society and expectations, but other than that I found it vapid. -Steph

Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

2 Loved It
2 Liked It
1 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

Comments:
• The book was more interesting than I expected. The research was thorough and really highlighted how easily the media could be bought. -Sarah
• I really loved certain parts of this book like the women’s stories and Ronan Farrow’s backstory. I found other parts dull. -Nicole
• Well written and heartbreaking to read. -Kerry
• Ronan Farrow is my hero. This book exemplifies how important the press it! -Steph
• I was throughly engaged throughout the whole book, it literally reads like a spy novel. I was glad that we read it when we did during the NY trial, conviction, and sentencing of Harvey Weinstein. With all the damage that he got away with all those years, it felt insurmountable to get to a conviction while reading their accounts. I am happy these women were able to get a little bit of closure. I also listened to the companion podcast, The Catch and Kill Podcast, which is just as worthy as the book. -Danica

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

2 Loved It
4 Liked It
1 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

Comments:
• I enjoyed this book, it was fun to read. -Carrie
• The book was a fun read. Writing style was witty and charming even though the story was creepy. -Steph
• I saw the movie forever ago but didn’t remember much besides the look of the film. However, when reading this, I felt a great sense of deja vu. I am happy I read it. -Danica
• A bit scary, but riveting. -Nancy (Hillary’s Mom)
• I loved listening to the audiobook, read by Neil Gaiman – such a treat to hear the author. The story was compelling. -Hillary
• I enjoyed reading this book and found it sweet and fun! Now I want to watch the movie. -Nicole
• I was glad to re-read it, it had been 5 years. I really liked it. -Chelsea

There There by Tommy Orange

2 Loved It
2 Liked It
2 Neutral
1 Disliked It
0 Hated It

Comments:
• I learned a lot about urban native culture that I was not aware about before. I enjoyed the way all the characters were connected towards the end of the book. -Nicole
• I can’t say I liked or disliked this book. I found it hard to follow and everyone’s voices sounded the same. I also found that everyone fit the stereotype which was annoying. -Carrie
• I found the book to be devastating and compelling. I thought it was really well written and exposed the lasting effects of genocide and oppression. -Steph
• The writing was beautiful and I enjoyed the introduction of each character. I did get confused at the end and so had trouble following the conclusion of the story. -Kerry
• By happenstance, the audio book didn’t download the first few chapters so I read things, at least in the beginning, out of order. At first, I was really excited about the thought that this could be single chapter glimpses into the native population in Oakland. I loved the tapestry of experience that was being fleshed out with these introductions. As the book progressed and the characters connections started to be unveiled, I started to lose interest and had a hard time distinguishing the characters and their relation to one another. -Danica
• Intense read! This book offered a unique perspective, a promised, and I appreciated the various speakers’ voices. It was interesting to hear the “urban” Indian voice. -Hillary
• I needed this book and I am so lucky that we are getting more voices from the native community. My favorite part was the prologue and I was fascinated by the knowledge of the Alcatraz occupation. -Chelsea
• It was awful to show all characters and people being stereotypes of all the bad Indian stereotypes instead of showing different perspectives. -Sarah

Our 18th Birthday

18 years!!! As has been the tradition, we had our annual holiday/birthday party, complete with gift exchange and our annual photo, this time at Chin Chin, Salt & Straw, and Bookstar. Thanks ladies for making it another great year!

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

3 Loved It
4 Liked It
0 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

Comments:
• I enjoyed reading about the history of LA and the library and the mystery element of who/how the fire happened. Very excited to visit the Central Library. – Kerry
• I learned a lot fro this book and appreciated the narration style. I think I have arrived at and acceptance of ambiguity regarding arson. My favorite parts of the book were about Harry Peake and the mystery around his involvement with the library. -Hillary
• I enjoyed reading about the fire and the background of Harry Peak. I learned a lot about libraries and Los Angeles history, and appreciated how the author bounced around all these topics throughout the book. -Nicole
• I vaguely remembered the fire and aftermath from my childhood but didn’t remember much else. Orlean expertly weaves the history of the Los Angeles, the library, the fire, the investigation, the recovery, and the evolution of library services in such a way that even with unanswered questions about the arson abound, the reader feels satisfied. – Danica
• The book was so informative. I really liked that the story jumped around because if it was in chronological order, I would have gotten bored. I found the whole book fascinating. – Sarah
• I fell in love with this book. As a bibliophile I have always adored libraries and the history and the stories of what libraries can be. -Chelsea
• The Library Book was fascinating, interesting, and a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed learning so much about Central Library and beyond. -Steph

December 2019 – What We Didn’t Choose

The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone (New Release)
2 votes

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (Classic)
1 vote

Sarah brought these in and Coraline by Neil Gaiman was chosen as our book for February.

The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley (Classic)
1 vote

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (Free Choice)
3 votes

Danica brought these in and Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow was chosen as our book for March.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

1 Loved It
6 Liked It
0 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

Comments:
• I thought it was a well put together story, especially for a first time novelist. I wish some of the characters were more developed. – Kerry
• I thought the way the story was told makes it a very unique psychological thriller. I was very readable. – Nicole
• I was entertained for sure. I appreciated the various twists and turns. I also liked the way in which the author played with time. I would be curious to read something else by him. – Hillary
• I enjoyed it; especially the plot twist. It went fast for me. – Chelsea
• I was a good quick read. I didn’t see the twist coming. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed this book. I was very surprised at the end! A fun and engaging read. – Steph
• I was a little dismayed by the male perspective swooping in to fix the female patient but as the story unfolded I understood the need for that paradigm. In the end, I enjoyed the book and read it super fast. – Danica

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

0 Loved It
3 Liked It
2 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

Comments:
• I am enjoying it; I haven’t finished it yet. He has a very specific and evident voice and opinion. – Chelsea
• Interesting narrative of the history of sapiens. A lot of information to take in. – Kerry
• I thought the book was interesting and I felt like I learned a lot. It’s important to read with a critical eye. – Stephanie
• The beginning captivated me; I lost interest toward the middle and that left me feeling less motivated to persevere in reading. Still, I appreciated the depth of knowledge and a new take on topics learned about in prior schooling experiences. – Hillary
• I was fascinated by the ideas in this book and find that it often comes up in conversation. However, there were aspects that felt slightly biased especially towards the middle and end. – Danica

The Book of Jeremiah: A Novel in Stories by Julie Zuckerman

One of our members has a friend, Julie Zuckerman, who wrote a book of short stories centered on different stages of one man’s life. We were fortunate enough to have an international Skype author visit with Julie to discuss the book. It really is a privilege to speak with authors and we have done so a handful of times over the years. With this one, we dove into questions about the writing process and decisions about order, character POV, and character connections. It was a wonderful evening and we are certainly thankful for the time that Julie spent with us and for how technology has allowed us to connect with her, which wasn’t available when we started our book club 18 years ago!

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