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!

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

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

Comments:
• I appreciated the setting and historical context. At times, I felt the book’s pace was slow, and in these moments, I didn’t feel fully engaged. – Hillary
• I didn’t really care or like the story. It really did not show that people have any sort of control of self. – Sarah
• I was hoping to connect more with the book than when I was in high school I found it to be more slow, but I do respect the historical significance. – Chelsea
• I did not enjoy the writing style. It was engaging in the first half of the book, but I didn’t connect with the progression of the story. – Carrie
• I listened to the book. My experience seemed to be a little different than everyone else’s because the reader changed his voice/accent for the different characters and read the more lyrical parts with an almost musical cadence. I did however, agree that the second half was less interesting. – Danica
• I thought the book was an interesting and important book of the history and culture of South Africa. I’m glad I read it. – Steph
•I liked the way the book was written, the poetry of the descriptions of South Africa, and the different points of view. – Kerry

The Mirage Factory by Gary Krist

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

Comments:
• I haven’t finished it yet (so close!) but do far, I love it! The Amy Semple McPherson parts were the most interesting to me. – Chelsea
• I really enjoyed this book. I wouldn’t have read it on my own, but the commitment through book club inspired me and I was pleasantly surprised by how compelling the history was. Loved the choice to profile McPherson, Griffith, and Mulholland. – Hillary
• It was pretty interesting but at times I got really stuck in the history of the movie industry. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed learning about the history of LA through 3 people in this book. It was so interesting, but the writing style was not great. – Steph
• I understood the choice of profiling Mulholland and McPherson (who I never heard about previously) but I thought DeMille would have been a more Los Angeles story than Griffith because of Griffith’s deep roots and story telling about the South. I feel the only reason Griffith was chosen over DeMille was because of Griffiith’s downward spiral after talkies became popular. All 3 people profiled had a major downfall after riding high, DeMille worked vigorously until his death. – Danica

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

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

Comments:
• The book was slow at times but had some amazing imagery. – Sarah
• I tried so hard to finish this… and I did, albeit by watching a 10 hour Russian mini-series based on this in the middle and then finishing the rest. I had a really hard time keeping everyone straight which is normal for me, especially with Russian literature. – Danica
• I tried to get into this book but it didn’t hold my attention. I found there were many moving parts and I got a little bit lost. – Hillary
• I didn’t read it. Crazy month. – Steph

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

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

Comments:
• Most of the book dragged but there were parts that were really good. It was a very Lisa See book, the writing style was the same as all her other books. -Sarah
• It was slow for me to start, but I did enjoy it in time. – Chelsea
• It was interesting to read about a hill tribe in China after reading so many other books set in China. – Kerry
• I enjoyed this because because of the setting and the family saga woven throughout. The adoption thread felt very powerful. – Hillary
• I have always enjoyed Lisa See. The relationships and stories weaved together well. I enjoyed reading and learning about the hill tribes. – Carrie
• I enjoyed the arc of this story. In the beginning, I thought the story took place much earlier than it had. It was fun to follow along with the modernization of the hill tribe for the good and the bad. – Danica
• I enjoyed this book – a glimpse into a new world to me. I also liked the magical elements. – Steph

Mouth Trap by Rebbecca Brown

We went a bit out of our comfort zone to read Rebbecca Brown’s poetry anthology, Mouth Trap. Most of us haven’t read much poetry and were delighted to have had the opportunity for Rebbecca to join us for dinner, reading, and a discussion. We spoke about process, flow, succinctness, deliberateness, imagery in words, and personal experience.

February 2019 – What We Didn’t Choose

Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us by Sam Kean (New Release)
0 votes

Macbeth by William Shakespeare (Classic)
2 votes

Sarah brought these in and The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (Free Choice) was chosen as our book for April.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Classic)
0 votes

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor (Free Choice)
0 votes

Danica brought these in and The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles by Gary Krist (New Release) was chosen as our book for May.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

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

Comments:
• It was fun and engaging; The science is questionable but reasonable enough. Also, I am always rooting for the dinosaurs. – Chelsea
• It was an interesting and fun read. – Sarah
• I hadn’t read this since high school. It was really fun to read. – Carrie
• I read JP when it first came out, and remember really liking it. I didn’t have the same experience this time. I had a hard tie keeping the characters straight, except for Ian Malcolm – who was of course Jeff Goldblum! I wonder id the movie spoiled it for me? – Kerry
• Something very different for me! I was entertained and I enjoyed the dinosaurs. I’m curious about science fiction after reading this. – Hillary
• I am so happy that I didn’t read this years ago. I found the speculative science on dinosaurs and cloning fascinating given that we know a lot more today with both animals being actively cloned and that there’s more evidence that dinosaurs were most likely were avian as opposed to reptilian. – Danica

December’s Book Club

17 years!!! As has been the tradition, we had our annual holiday/birthday party in lieu of an actual book club discussion, complete with gift exchange and our annual photo, this time at The Counter, Salt & Straw, and Bookstar. Thanks ladies for making it another great year!

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