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The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Loved It
5 Liked It
1 Disliked It
Hated It

• I feel like tha author used every cliche she could think of, then built a story around that. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed this one. – Melissa
• A very quick read that I got very into. The ending was a little too neatly tied up but I still really enjoyed it. – Danica
• The was a really fast read, I could not put it down. – Carrie
• I like it – it was a good story. – Steph
• Great story – a bit over the top sometimes. I was bummed that the author wasn’t black. – Suthi

Conclusion: We mostly liked this one, discussed it for awhile with enthusiasm and then moved on.

Reading Group Guide

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

300px-The_Count_of_Monte_Cristo_(cover)6 Loved It
1 Liked It
Disliked It
Hated It

• I was so sad when the book ended. Just loved it!
• I was trying to finish on time, because I was enjoying it so much, but I couldn’t bring myself to rush. I still finished it! It was wordy at times, but well worth it. – Brandi
• When I saw how long it was I was afraid I wouldn’t finish in the amount of time I had to read it. I did finish it and I really enjoyed it. Glad I read it.
• I didn’t finish it. It dragged, then picked up for me. Ultimately it never grabbed me. – Kerry
• This book ranks as one of my top favorites. It was so good – to plot revenge for 20 years! – Melissa
• I have wanted to read this book for years and it definitely lived up to my expectations. – Carrie
• This book is so good. The story is amazing and I would only suggest reading the full version of the book. – Sarah
• Although I had problems keeping up with all the names and although I got lost a few times, I loved this book. I enjoyed the refrences, symbolism and character studies throughout. – Danica

Conclusion: Another classic down, another success. For being such a long book, a lot of the members actually committed and finished and enjoyed.

Reading Group Guide

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

lacuna_cover-200-2f0868f473ab5ae602f3de7f8715d0a4bf52db0f-s300-c853 Loved It
2 Liked It
2 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

• I always enjoy a good historical fictions story. Kingsolver is a wonderful author. – Melissa
• I was engrossed in the story and particularly enjoyed reading about the politics of the time. – Kerry
• The first half of the book was alright, the second half, once the main character is back in the United States, mired in a McCarthy scandal, the story picked up markedly for me. – Danica
• I didn’t finish it. – Suthi :(
• Kept me invested, though a bit slow in the middle. The McCarthyism was very interesting, I enjoyed the historical fiction.
• It was OK. Parts of the middle and end were not needed and made it feel more like the book was dragging. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed this book. The beginning dragged a little bit for me, but I was fascinated by the second half. I have always been intrigued by the McCarthy witch hunts and I loved to see it in this perspective. – Carrie

Conclusion: For the most part, we enjoyed this tale although “The Mexican Forest Gump” did come up in our discussion. We spoke for a little bit but did not have a particularly long conversation about it.

Reading Group Guide

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

41J4AH47MVLLoved It
3 Liked It
5 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

• I read it and thought it was interesting but a little too slow and I didn’t get attached to any characters. – Steph
• It was a good one to read, as I had read it in high school. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t leave a resounding impression. – Brandi
• The story did not make a strong impression on me. I did not feel that the character development was strong. – Vicki
• I enjoyed it while I was reading it, wanting to know how it was going to resolve. Once I have finished it though, I haven’t thought much about it. – Danica
• This was a book I read to get through the book. It was alright. I’m looking forward to the discussion. – Melissa
• I don’t normally like war books but this book was really short and I loved the writing style. I could not put it down. – Sarah
• After I was done with this book I thought, “What was the point of that?” I didn’t dislike it, but I don’t really have a strong opinion of it. – Carrie

Conclusion: While we didn’t love… or hate this book, we discussed that our experiment with reading a “classic” every other month is definitely something that has been successful and that we really love enough to do it for another year!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Dragon-tattoo-cover1 Loved It
4 Liked It
1 Neutral
1 Disliked It
Hated It

• I didn’t finish (oops) but liked what I read. – Brandi
• There was a lot of unnecessary information, parts I really enjoyed, but many parts I had to skim. The plot was intriguing at times. I had a hard time relating to the characters. Very undecided on an actual opinion – still back and forth on whether I enjoyed it or not. – Carrie
• I loved most of the story until the end which really could have been much more succinct. – Danica
• It took me awhile to get into it, but once I did, I was absorbed in the mystery. It seemed a lot of the background info on the minor characters was unnecessary, but I wonder if that is set up for the other books. Overall, I enjoyed reading it. – Kerry
• I liked it – after I got 1/2 way through – I couldn’t put it down. – Steph
• Too long. Boring intro and conclusion. The solution to the mystery was a let-down. And how much coffee can one person drink?! – Melissa
• I love the unorthodox female lead character. – Suthi
• It took me a while to get into it. Didn’t finish it :( – Vicki

Conclusion: We were really chatty this book club – it seemed like we talked about everything under the sun including the book… a bit. We spoke about the female lead, is coffee to Sweden as tea is the England and the setup for the other books in the trilogy.

Reading Group Guide

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

97804515322512 Loved It
4 Liked It
Disliked It
Hated It

• I really liked the story and the language – very well written. I wish I didn’t already know what was going to happen! – Steph
• It was such a good story. I loved it. I would also suggest reading the copy with some of his short stories, they are amazing. – Sarah
• This was such a wonderful suspense to me. I loved this story. There were so many elements from character descriptions to how the story was presented and unfolded that I really enjoyed. – Marlo
• The story and language were wonderful, especially the last chapter which I loved as a cap to the tale. It made me think about mental illness and how we perceive it today vs. in the past. – Danica
• This was one classic I was looking forward to reading. It’s nice to finally understand the references made by movies, TV, etc. – Melissa
• I was intrigued. Of course I know the general story, but parts were still surprising and fascinating. – Carrie

Conclusion: Those of us who read this one, really enjoyed the story, language and discussing it.

Reading Group Guide

Welcome Vanessa Shir


Vanessa Shir was born on March 18th at 6 lbs 8 ozs, 20 inches long. We knew it would be soon as we were timing mom’s irregular contractions at book club earlier in the week! This begins our baby boom 2010 :)

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

51OaYOMsRHL2 Loved It
6 Liked It
Disliked It
Hated It

• I really enjoyed the dual story of how Mormonism traveled across the country and how modern extremist communities still exist. – Melissa
• I loved this book. I could not put it down. It was interesting how it entwined historical fiction and modern day mystery. I also learned a lot and found the history intriguing. – Carrie
• I really liked learning about Mormonism of which I knew very little going into it. The mystery kept me engaged and in the end, it kept me thinking about women’s rights, origin of religion and freedom of religion even after I put it down. -Danica
• Very interesting and well-written. I liked the intertwining stories. – Kerry
• I liked it – it kept me interested for over 500 pages! – Steph
• The subject matter is very interesting to me, and I liked the way the two time periods were interspersed. It put the modern story in perspective and game me understanding as to why people choose a plural marriage lifestyle. However, I felt the last 100 pages or so really dragged and could have been drastically cut down to reach the end of the book. – Marlo
• This book was really good. Could not put it down. – Sarah

Conclusion: We had a really nice dinner out at a restaurant and also had a really in depth, lively discussion on the issues in this book.

Reading Group Guide

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

the-call-of-the-wild2Loved It
2 Liked It
4 Neutral
2 Disliked It
2 Hated It

• Too much animal violence. – Rachelle
• The book was very violent. The writing style and vocabulary were awkward and the story was not gripping for me. – Melissa
• I thought it was an interesting read. – Steph
• I had a hard time with a few of the violent scenes, but I think the author did a great job getting into the psychology of dogs. – Danica
• I enjoy the masculine viewpoint; at times it was hard to read the violence. – Suthi
• I was glad that I read this book. I enjoyed the animal’s point of view and the history of the west. – Kerry
• Couldn’t even get through it… Ugh! I tired and tried. – Brandi
• I thought it was a quick read. I didn’t really like it, but I didn’t hate it either. – Carrie
• The book was really violent. I did not like the book at all. – Sarah
• Although I think this was very well written, the suffering of the dogs made it unenjoyable to read. – Marlo

Conclusion: While most of us did not like this book, we did have a very wonderful and long discussion about it. Some topics covered:
1. Why all of our guys have read and enjoyed this book in school while none of us girls read it.
2. The psychology of animals and how instincts come out when you are pushed to survive in a life and death situation.

Reading Group Guide

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

tumblr_m5hlp1SgUb1qbaom0Loved It
5 Liked It
2 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

• It was a fast read and very entertaining. – Sarah
• I read this years ago and can’t remember much except for liking it at the time. – Danica
• Quick read, but very interesting. Parts have really stayed with me. – Carrie
• The journey of the main character was inspiring. – Melissa
• Fast read (I finished it!) Loved the journey. – Tami
• Enjoyable. I think it’s a good book to read for a new year. I wonder what my Personal Legend is? – Kerry
• This book didn’t resound to strongly for me. Although I didn’t mind finishing the story, the wisdom wasn’t quite earth shattering for me. The adventure of his travels kept me interested more than the journey to find his Personal Legend. – Marlo

Reading Group Guide

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