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The History of Love: A Novel by Nicole Krauss

Histoflove  Loved It
5 Liked It
4 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• It was OK. Not a very memorable book. Three weeks after I read it, I couldn’t recall the story. – Sarah
• What I read, I liked, but it made me cry and I couldn’t finish it. – Stacey
• I enjoyed it. It wasn’t my favorite book, but I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed the way she wrote the characters. – Tami
• I liked it – I just got a little confused. – Steph
• I loved the first chapter. I really enjoyed being inside his head. The rest was okay. Nothing special. – Carrie
• I cried through most of it. I enjoyed the way that the different lives and generations intertwined. – Melissa
• The character of the old man was definitely my favorite. I thought his descriptions of his aging body were beautiful and showed such realism. The story itself didn’t engage me too much as I thought several of the loose ends were conveniently tied up. – Marlo
• I enjoyed it, but I hated the ending, I liked all the writing styles for all the characters. – Brandi

Conclusion: Although not an overwhelmingly success, most made it through the book and that is a triumph these days. There were good elements but they did not add up to a good story.

Reading Group Guide

The Birth of Venus: A Novel by Sarah Dunant

Birth_of_venus_bookcover4 Loved It
4 Liked It
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Comments:
• I really liked this book. I genuinely cared about the main character. – Steph
• This book had so much drama. I loved it. – Sarah
• Liked the book, but it was hard to get into it. – Stacy
• This was a great read. The premise took me absolutely by surprise, but I liked the conflict. I would have liked more development of the romantic relationship. The tattoo was very intriguing and I love anything set in the Renaissance Period. – Marlo
• The historical aspect that was woven through the story – or, rather, the story was woven through the history – was refreshing. The growth of the main character was a driving force. – Mellissa
• I really liked the book. There were times when it slowed down, but once I got into it, I never put it down. – Tami
• I enjoyed the book and especially the development of the main character. It was interesting to watch her growth and understanding through the years. – Carrie
• The prologue hooked me right away and I wanted to see where it was going and how it was going to end up encompassing what was revealed. – danica

Conclusion: I think this was a hit! Everyone read it and most really really liked it.

Reading Group Guide

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

11037 Loved It
3 Liked It
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Comments:
• A fast read – completely engaging with a great story and characters. I’ve recommended it to lots of friends. – Steph
• I enjoyed reading this book. I’ve read so many in this time/place, but learn something every time! – Kerry
• Well written and I loved the way the author painted a picture of the event/story. – Stacy
• Beautiful and touching story. Although on the surface a story of friendship, I really felt it was a love story. – Marlo
• I really enjoyed this book. I loved seeing this culture from the women’s perspective. – Carrie
• Very good read. Loved how it told the history though the characters. -Brandi
• Excellent book… Foot binding fascinated me. Also, the development of characters was thoroughly interestingly. – Rachelle
• This book was so good and interesting! I loved it. Such an easy read. – Tami
• Fun read. This story is more unique than other stories of this genre. – Sarah

Conclusion: Everyone read it, most finished it, everyone really liked it. This is a definite recommendation to other book clubs!

Reading Group Guide

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

jungle-upton-sinclair-paperback-cover-art3 Loved It
2 Liked It
1 Neutral
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Hated It

Comments:
• It was a really good book, but I would not recommend the extended version. It got a little too political with a rant about Socialism. – Sarah
• I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Except for the end, too political. I couldn’t put it down. – Carrie
• This wasn’t quite the non-stop meat packing horror I expected. It seemed more focused on the plight of the immagrant families and the lack of support in society. Although I liked the storyline of the main character involved in politics, the Socialist commentary at the end was too contrived. – Marlo
• I thought this book was increadibly insightful and still relevant. – Steph
• I thought this book was a really important read – a real look into the life back then. Makes me glad to be a vegetarian – Brandi

Conclusion: We sure had a chatty book club and didn’t even get down to business until 9PM. I think we all miss each other and the time was well spent even though we weren’t discussing the book as much. We did get down to it at the end and we all had similar feelings as demonstrated in the comments.

Reading Group Guide

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

4953  Loved It
1 Liked It a Lot
3 Liked It
1 Neutral
2 Disliked It
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Comments:
• The writing style was too muh like A Million Little Pieces to really get into it. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed this book. Would have said “Loved It” but got sick of the long monologues. Paragraghs and sentences are not meant to be 2 pages long. – Carrie
• I have only read the 1st few chapters. What else is new? So far, it’s good. – Tami
• The relationship between the brothers was very touching. I loved the silly games that were described and how they were so rude to each other, yet there was so much love between them. I enjoyed the first half of the book much more than the second. – Marlo
• I didn’t really like the stream of consciousness narrative. I was kind of worn out by A Million Little Pieces and for this to be only a month after, I was burnt out. Nonetheless, I did read it and finish it almost as a challenge although I was annoyed most of the way through. – danica
• Didn’t quite finish but… got sick of the MTV interview part, otherwise enjoyed the story. I’ll finish it eventually. – Brandi
• The best part of the book was the title. I read the whole thing, but never got into it. Found it boring. – Steph

Conclusion: Not an overwhelming success. I think the comments pretty much cover how we all felt.

Reading Group Guide

Bee Season by Myla Goldberg

bee-season11 Loved It
1 Liked It
1 Neutral
1 Disliked It
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Comments:
• It was an interesting story, but only got really good at the end. – Sarah
• Didn’t read it : ( – Steph
• Recommended it – I really enjoyed this story. I especially enjoyed the perspective of the little girl. It was well written and truly conveyed an eight year old experience. – Marlo
• Started it today : ( First 40 pages look good. Hope to finish it next week. – Tami
• Quick, easy read. Enjoyed it through the read, but towards the end changed my mind. – Carrie
• Neither loved it nor hated it, it was just kind of there. It took me longer to read than it should have. There were elements that I did enjoy but on a whole, it was OK. – danica

Conclusion: We ended up having a fairly small book club meeting. We spoke about the book briefly and ended up mostly socializing and talking about movies.

Reading Group Guide

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

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

Comments:
• Wild ride. Interesting even if not true. What do you expect a drug addict, criminal to tell the truth??? – Sarah
• Fun to get in his head. But never really believed certain details. – Carrie
• I enjoyed reading this, although I did find some parts questionable. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel. – Marlo
• This book was enjoyable BECAUSE I knew it wasn’t all true… It was a novel, to me. – Brandi
• Enjoyed the book. Some of it is not believable. Enjoyed it as a story. – Tami
• I don’t feel any better for having read it and because of its inauthenticity, the message of triumph does not shine through as it must have once done. – danica

Conclusion: While the debate raged on about truth and lies, we did have a good discussion. If not about the subject matter, than about what the term “Memoir” means.

Reading Group Guide

Three Junes by Julia Glass

41eVpiRCc8L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_  Loved It
2 Liked It
1 Neutral
1 Disliked It
1 Hated It

Comments:
• I read this a couple of years ago and don’t remember being impressed. – Marlo
• Hard to get into, but got better. I didn’t really like the main character – kind of irritating. – Carrie
• Stupid from the start. Waste of your time. – Sarah
• I didn’t get a chance to read it. : ( – Steph
• Liked what I read, but didn’t finish it… wanted to, though. -Brandi
• It took me forever to read it. I was only interested in the characters and the story in the middle section – the rest was just a time suck. – danica

Conclusion: It seemed like most of us didn’t get to finish it – whether we lost interest or everyday life stuff just got in the way. The few of us that did make it to the end, were not wholly impressed. Book club ended up being mostly about business and socializing this time – we did have a lot to figure out and discuss other than the book.

Reading Group Guide

A Man without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut

220px-AManWithoutACountry1 Loved It
4 Liked It
1 Neutral
1 Disliked It
1 Hated It

Comments:
• If you’re a socialist, you would like it. – Sarah
• Liked some parts of it. But overall, I didn’t enjoy it! – Sonia
• Read it twice in a row! Good sound bites still ring in my head. – Kerry
• I can’t get enough of Kurt Vonnegut – he’s one of my favorite writers of all time. – Steph
• A surprisingly fun read. I enjoyed his wry humor and shots at the administration. – Marlo

Conclusion: Most liked it and we discussed it a bit, but we didn’t have an AMAZING discussion. I think a lot of us didn’t feel like getting into a strong political debate so we just discussed a few different passages.

My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest

Because it was our 4th birthday, we decided to have gift exchange and decorate Kerry’s tree. It must be mentioned, Brandi left early and Lilac couldn’t move, therefore both are not in this picture.

11088631 Loved It
2 Liked It
1 Neutral
1 Disliked It
1 Hated It

Comments:
• Was interested in this cult before, good insight into what it was like living it. – Lilac
• A complete waste of tim. Reading the mundane details of someone’s childhood who you couldn’t care less about. – Stephanie
• The subject matter held my interest, but the writing style was rather dry. I would have liked to see some sort of evolution of character or mindset. – Marlo
• Was an interesting look at this boy’s life. – Sarah
• More a glimpse into the author’s life than an in-depth loook at the cult, but it was still an enjoyable read. – Brandi
• I wanted something more, but not sure what that “more” would be. I was left unsatisfied. – danica

Conclusion: Wow, we could not agree on this one at all. We also didn’t have much to say about it and didn’t even want to do the reading group questions.

Reading Group Guide

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Kite_runner4 Loved It
1 Liked It
Neutral
1 Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• Was a lot better than expected from reading the back of the book. – Sarah
• Reads like a non-fiction book, very insightful to how severe the situation in Afghanistan was. – Lilac
• Such a good book. Loved the themes – guilt, courage and redemption. – Kerry
• A great book on many levels. Excellent story and imagery – I couldn’t put it down. – Stephanie
• Very hard to become excited about the main character. – Julie Ann

Conclusion: Recommended for book clubs. We had a lively discussion and most really enjoyed the book.

Reading Group Guide

Khaled Hosseini on NPR

My Sister’s Keeper: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

Sisterskeeper6 Loved It
3 Liked It
Neutral
Hated It

Comments:
• Very thought provoking. – Brandi
• Good discussion for that book! – Lilac
• Very easy read. – Lilac
• Good story, interestingly written, brought up good discussion. – Stephanie

Conclusion: We all really liked it and actually all finished it. We also had a really good diiscussion on ethics. Definitely recommended for book clubs.

Reading Group Guide

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