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The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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

Comments:
• This was definitely an enjoyable read. Although there were points that seemed either slow or tedious traits to the characters, I enjoyed the glimpse into 1920’s Avant Garde Paris. Specifically, it was inspiring to read about how Hemmingway wanted so hard to become the writer he was. – Marlo
• I enjoyed the glimpse into the lives of the clearly influential members of artistic and literary history. – Melissa
• I really liked it at the beginning and liked the insight into Earnest and his personality, but he really was a horrible person. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed this book – good, interesting story and very well written. Yay! – Steph
• This was not one of my favorites. I did not get drawn in until the end and then I was angry, nauseous and crying. – Carrie
• I loved the setting and descriptions of their friends and travels however, the main character’s passivity really bothered me, especially towards the end. – Danica

Conclusion: We naturally started discussing the book even before formally doing so and also decided to put The Sun Also Rises on our schedule because of this book. I’d say it was a good choice.

Reading Group Guide

Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors

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

Comments:
• It took me awhile to get onto the book. I enjoyed the different status levels of the characters and how each dealt with the war. – Melissa
• The book was boring. The author did not do a good job of pulling the reader into the time period and the dialogue felt too modern. – Sarah
• I liked the book, but it did take me awhile to get into it. About half way through I started to get really drawn into the relationships and experiences. I enjoy his descriptive writing and feel able to picture the scenes he describes. – Carrie
• I found the language too simplistic and I never connected with the characters or felt invested in the story. – Steph
• Although I didn’t like it as much as his previous work, I did appreciate the multiple perspectives on the same event. His descriptions of the surroundings was also a highlight. – Danica
• I did not enjoy reading this book. I was bored by the description of the battles and violence. I did enjoy the descriptions of the temple. – Kerry
• This was a well constructed story, with all the components for an epic historical novel – romance, intrigue and combat. I felt it could have been condensed, but liked the quickened paceas they went into battle. The descriptions of Angkor and surrounding areas brought me there. When I looked up pictures after reading, it was exactly as I had imagined. – Marlo

Conclusion: We had a fun phone conversation with John, so all in all, it was a great book club.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

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

Comments:
• The author was just trying too hard to be taken seriously as an adult author and it just did not work. – Sarah
• I thought it was an easy read. Difficult to relate to any the characters who were mostly, unlikable. – Carrie
• I am 87% in. It has kept my interest so far. Not sure what to think of it overall. – Kerry
• I made it about a 1/3 of the way in and just didn’t connect with it. I was having trouble with motivating to pick it up and read so I decided to abandon it instead. – Danica

Conclusion: Didn’t go very well, not much to talk about except for comparing her previous work to it.

Reading Group Guide

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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

Comments:
• Hated the first half and the end. The second half was not bad but the characters never grew or changed. – Sarah
• I hated the characters, I felt they were vapid and toxic, no redeeming qualities. Because of that, I hated every word, action and story development. – Danica
• I liked the first part, but strongly disliked the second part. I felt the story lacked. – Steph
• Very warped story but a quick read. I enjoyed it. – Vicki
• Have not finished it, but am liking it a lot. I do plan on finishing it! – Tami
• What a fun book! For all those who have witnessed/been a part of adultery and desired revenge, this book was a treat! Loved the characters… enjoyed it all! – Rachelle
• I’m not done yet, but I’m really liking it. – Melissa

Conclusion: We we very divided on this one but it did lead to a fruitful discussion. There was a lot to talk about.

Reading Group Guide

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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

Comments:
• I loved the setting but really disliked the story line. It definitely gave me some things to think about. – Danica
• Glad to have finally read this book! I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would… but interesting. – Steph
• Some parts were interesting but the story didn’t come together as much as I hoped it would and I didn’t love the ending. – Shannon
• It was better than 1984. I thought it closer to what the future may be. – Sarah

Conclusion: We had a very lively discussion that connected current trends and event to the setting of the book. Even those who didn’t end up reading it were able to participate. I call it a success!

Reading Group Guide

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

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

Comments:
• At first, I really like the book but then it became obvious and repetitive in the emotional responses. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed it. It was a fast, easy read. I didn’t love all the characters, but did like the relationship between them and the development through the past to present. – Carrie
• I enjoyed the book. I thought the relationships between all the characters were interesting. – Kerry
• I didn’t love the story but I did like how some of the small everyday expressions were not translated so you really got a feel for the setting outside of the physicality of it. – Danica
• It took a while to decipher the characters. But I enjoyed the strengths that the female characters were able to portray.
• The characters in this book were intriguing and they made me ask questions about Indian culture. I’m still shocked at the brutality at the hand of men in the book! However, the women were resilient and vibrant. Good read. – Rachelle
• I enjoyed the book. Got into it quickly. Did not enjoy the end but I finished it! – Tami
• I liked the writing style, but found the story very/too depressing. – Steph

Conclusion: I think we all read and finished it, that says a lot. We also had a very lively discussion about caste systems and women’s roles in society.

Reading Group Guide

December’s Book Club

11 years, not too shabby!!! 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. Thanks ladies for making it another great year!

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

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

Comments:
• Was not a fan of the songs, prose or story at all. I also did not like how all the characters were driven by greed. – Sarah
• I am ultimately glad I read this as I felt it was a missed opportunity from childhood. There were parts that I really enjoyed and other parts that I could have done without. Having said all that, I am still really excited to see the upcoming movies. – Danica

Conclusion: Most of us didn’t want to read it and most didn’t.

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King

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

Comments:
• I totally enjoyed this book. I learned so much and was happy to find out it was non-fiction. It has made me really want to go to Rome. – Sarah
• I learned a little more about the Sistine Chapel Ceiling masterwork, but what really intrigued me was the political and interpersonal history that played into how it got made. – Danica
• I haven’t gotten very far.

Conclusion: Those of us who read it, loved it, but few actually cracked the cover.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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

Comments:
• It is a great story and a classic for obvious reasons. However, I did not like it as much as the first time I had read it. – Sarah
• I didn’t ever feel any enjoyment in reading this. It droned on and on and the dialogue was repetitive and boring. The concept is interesting, but I didn’t enjoy it. – Melissa
• I didn’t understand why this has become such a classic. I finished it hoping it would get better, it did not. I found no climax and little plot. – Carrie
• I expected more of the creating of the monster and less of the chasing of it. I also didn’t feel the need for a story within a story as the most interesting part was when the monster was learning, not when he was scheming and rampaging. – Danica

Conclusion: We were a bit disappointed at how much the modern day version of Frankenstein is much more interesting than its source material.

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

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

Comments:
• This was a really interesting book. However, I thought the book would focus on looking at people in business (CEOs etc) rather than the history of psychopathy. – Sarah
• I enjoyed his writing style. I also found the topic to be interesting. – Melissa
• While I did enjoy the book, I didn’t love it. However, I did keep thinking about it long after finishing it, so something did connect on an intellectual level. – Danica
• Not the book for me. Interesting concept but many the actual psychopath anecdotes were just too disturbing. – Marlo
• Very easy read, but did not enjoy. Hard to put into words why. Probably because of my profession. – Carrie

Conclusion: While we had mixed reviews, we had a lively conversation about it.

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