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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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

Comments:
• The book was sooo good. I loved it. The story and character development is amazing. – Sarah
• I didn’t get far, but I felt the storyline was really intriguing. – Melissa
• Read years ago, new to the group, did not re-read. -Fay

Conclusion: Most of us didn’t read it, Sarah did a good job of explaining its appeal.

The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh

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

Comments:
• So far so good! Will finish it later! – Kerry
• I liked it, but it was slow. About 30% in, I initially got interested but the next day was book club! – Steph
• I finished it and enjoyed it. Slow in parts and very political. Not at all what I expected. – Carrie
• I haven’t gotten very far. I’m not loving it. – Melissa
• Even re-reading this novel, the historical perspective is still interesting. However, I did feel that there was some inconsistency in the level of description and pace of storytelling. – Marlo
• I made it only 15% through. I enjoyed it while I was reading, but had no motivation to pick it back up. – Danica

Conclusion: With much confusion over actually not remember picking this story, we mostly spoke about how it was very political, a sweeping multi-generational story that could have been weaved better and a general lack of interest.

Reading Group Guide

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

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

Comments:
• This is my favorite Shakespeare play. It is fun and whimsical. I can’t wait to see the play. – Carrie
• I’ve loved the whimsey and humor of this play for years! – Marlo
• I actually read it! I did not understand anything I read. Never read it before. Looking forward to the play so I can get it. – Tami
• I have a hard time with Shakespeare so I ended up reading a scene and then watching that scene of the Royal Shakespeare’s version on Netflix streaming. It really helped me understand who was speaking with whom and get more of the humor… – Danica
• I really enjoyed the play and am looking forward to seeing it acted out. – Steph
• It was not as funny as I used to think it was. While the story was good, I did not like it as much as I had in the past. – Sarah
• Eh. It’s my least favorite Shakespeare, but I didn’t hate it like I did in high school.  – Brandi

Conclusion: While we all read it, we didn’t speak much about it, but we are really excited to be seeing in live at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in September. I am sure there will be much more conversation during that outing.

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 by Mark Twain

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

Comments:
• 25% in – just started the autobiography! The intro was very academic. It would have been easier to skip if I wasn’t reading it on a Kindle. I did enjoy reading the parts with Twain’s voice. – Kerry
• I didn’t get far. – Melissa
• I chose to read The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel, instead…. – Danica

Conclusion: We all had the best intentions of reading this one, we chose it after all, but most barely started it so we didn’t have very much to talk about.

Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber

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

Comments:
• Amazing book and amazing story. – Sarah
• Fascinating read both for pleasure and professionally. Interesting to see the Freudian influence in therapy. This was a re-read for me since adolescence. I was able to see a completely different side. – Carrie
• I loved this story, devouring it voraciously. It is amazing to think of how much of this story has permeated pop culture and how much it is used in contemporary storytelling. It was written really well and even though the roots of the story were very disturbing, I thoroughly enjoyed it. – Danica
• It was a fascinating book – I couldn’t put it down. – Steph
• Disturbing, but enlightening. Fascinating. – Melissa
• Very fascinating, very well written. – Vicki

Conclusion: This one went over really well. Most read it, really enjoyed it and we had plenty to talk about with it.

Reading Group Guide

John Dies in the End by David Wong

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

Comments:
• It was fun and wacky. Moved quickly and a fun, light read. – Sarah
• I liked it and hope to finish it one day. It was refreshingly different and funny. – Steph
• I enjoyed this book, as campy as it was. Totally engaging and kept me reading until the end. – Brandi
• I loved the humor. I loved the plot. I did not appreciate the ending. John didn’t die at the end – or at all for that matter. – Melissa
• Just a bunch of gratuitous gore. Stuck it out for just over a hundred pages, then decided my time was too valuable for this book. – Marlo
• I don’t know if I actually “liked” the book, but I loved the writing style, I wouldn’t put it down. A true “page turner.” – Carrie
• I really loved the prologue to this book, however I didn’t feel like it kept up the pace I expected after reading the beginning. There were parts that I loved and parts that I could have done without but overall I found it pretty funny. – Danica

Conclusion: Most liked it, we spent some time on talking about it and had a great time recalling some of the funnier parts.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

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

Comments:
• I enjoyed reading this story because I had always wondered what the original text was like. On the other hand, I didn’t love the book. It rambled (as well as it should have, being a dream), so it was difficult to follow. – Melissa
• I enjoyed it because it reminded me of my childhood. But, at the same time, it was too confusing. – Dina
• I have always wanted to read this, and enjoyed the memories. However, nothing was page turning. – Carrie
• I like the first book although I couldn’t stop reading it in the voice of Disney’s Alice. By the second book, I was worn out by the surreal plot points. – Danica
• I really like the book – Alice was so cute! She cracked me up! – Steph
• I love these books. They are so whimsical and fun. – Sarah

Conclusion: We didn’t talk much about the book. Everyone was very chatty about everything else… beside the book.

Reading Group Guide

The Lace Reader by Bunonia Barry

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

Comments:
• I’m sorry I suggested it! I thought the writing was awful and the story wasn’t much better. – Steph
• It was OK. The storyline went by quickly. It was a little predictable but fun. – Sarah
• It was enjoyable, but not memorable. It was not a surprise ending. – Brandi
• It was a fun, easy read. – Vicki
• Started to read, easy – will finish it later. – Tami
• The first half was interesting, but the 2nd half was unbelievable and dragged. – Melissa
• I found parts of it interesting, but parts of it were slow. – Dina
• If you’re going to work in multiple voices, make them different. The story was OK, but predictable. – Carrie
• It was OK. Interesting attempt at a surprise plot twist! – Kerry
• The author couldn’t decide which genre she wanted to write in which made it bland and nowhere. None of the characters were interesting, all sounded the same. With all this combined, this book was just boring. – Danica

Conclusion: We didn’t talk much about the book, but there were definitely mixed feelings from hate to disinterest to a few liking it.

Reading Group Guide

The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence

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

Comments:
• Wow! This was a tough one. I was drawn to the idea that it was so controvertial, but it let me down! The amount of story develoment was nil. The descriptiveness was nauseating. Blah. -Brandi
• This book was so bad. There was no variation in the different character’s voices. I hated this book. – Sarah
• It was not an easy read. I didn’t even make it through the 1st chapter. – Melissa
• Ditto – Carrie
• I made it a third through and just couldn’t stand the bickering. I truly hated all the characters and their sour demeanors. – Danica

Conclusion: Negative, negative, negative…

December’s Book Club

This year we decided to forgo discussing a book during our Annual December/Birthday/Holiday Book Club. As usual we exchanged gifts (paperback books, Secret Santa style) and picked our next round of classics (viewable here at the bottom of the page). We also took our annual birthday photo, 9 years and counting!!!

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

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

Comments:
• The whole premise felt contrived and forced. I immediately forgot the book after reading it. It was not memorable. – Sarah
• Very easy read. Made me think outside of myself. – Vicki
• I loved the idea of the story and it was food for thought. Even though it was short, it was intense. – Kerry
• Although it was a fast read, I hated all the characters in this story, except for the child. I would have been much more satisfied if we were to have continued to follow the refugees and their stories in England – their part in the book was the only section that I thoroughly enjoyed. I also felt duped by the hype on the back of the book. – Danica
• The book hyped some big twist, but I didn’t think there was one. I enjoyed the story, though. – Melissa
• I enjoyed how the author revealed bits of the back story and layered the moral elements of the characters. I also appreciated that there wasn’t a neat happy ending, but the sad ending that would be the likely outcome. – Marlo
• I liked the way the book was written, but found it very depressing. I couldn’t find the benefit of the depression – I wouldn’t recommend it. – Steph
• It was a fast read, but very intense. It was depressing, but I couldn’t put it down. – Brandi

Conclusion: Mixed reviews across the board, but it did spark some intense debate about the characters and the marketing ploy used to sell the book.

Reading Group Guide

The Inferno by Dante

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

Comments:
• It was alright. Very quick read. Lots of references that I had to look up. – Sarah
• I tried really hard and made it halfway through. I felt like so much was going over my head that I was completely lost. – Danica

Conclusion: Most of us couldn’t get past the prose and references. Very few of us read more than a few pages.

Reading Group Guide

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