Book Club Books

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

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Comments:
• Don’t waste your time. Just read The Tempest directly. – Sarah
• It was great, not perfect, but I enjoyed it. I love theater, so the play within a play element was great for me. I loved the concept more than the execution. – Chelsea
• There were parts were I was super engaged, especially in the beginning but by the time the whole plot was coming to an apex, I just didn’t care anymore. I like the concept of this series, this one was just a little too obvious and beating you over the head with The Tempest story. – Danica

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy by Jacqueline Kennedy

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Comments:
• It was an interesting look at that time of history from a very specific point of view. – Sarah
• I understand why the structure was how it was, but it didn’t have great flow. Glad of certain stories, but didn’t need some of them. – Chelsea
• I have always been fascinated by Jackie. I was very engaged and interested in the conversations about the events and people that I had previously known and had context, others where I had no reference, I wasn’t. I wish there was more about her feelings and events in her life, not just her trying to remember bits about Jack. It really shined a light on women’s roles and how they have changed since the 60’s. -Danica

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

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Comments:
• This book was a window into a different world. It was a devastating story but I’m glad I read it. – Steph
• I enjoyed this book for the things it made me contemplate although it was hard emotionally to go back to it daily. – Danica
• I was slow to set into it, but I really am glad that I waited it out and got to see how it ended. Ot ultimately left me sad at the outcome and how inevitable the tragedy of life seems. – Chelsea
• It was a difficult book to read at the beginning because of the subject matter. – Sarah
• It was an interesting view into how terrorism affects a non-western culture. Interesting to watch the evolution of a “terrorist.” – Carrie

The Spy by Paulo Coelho

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Comments:
• It was OK. It was a fast read and an interesting look at her life. – Sarah
• I thought this book was interesting, and touched on lots of interesting topics and issues like women’s roles and war, etc. – Steph
• There were parts I was super engaged and parts that I could care less about. I was very interested in her story but I feel like I didn’t really get the full picture of Mata Hari’s life. – Danica
• It was an interesting perspective and an easy read. Felt like parts were well developed and parts were rushed. – Carrie
• I was surprised at her story and vulnerabilities but ultimately I thought she was subject to the efforts to stifle women’s power in a patriarchal society. – Kerry

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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Comments:
• Cute story. A nice reminder that it’s worth it to dig a little deeper to get to know someone. –
• I am not finished. Picked it up again today and read a lot. Plan to finish it. Definitely enjoying it. – Tami
• Sweet feel good story. Love ornery old men! – Carrie
• I was slow to set into it, but I ended up feeling warm and sweet at the ending and enjoyed the writing. – Chelsea
• I enjoyed the story and characters. I am glad I read this book and would recommend it. – Steph
• I didn’t dislike the story but I kept comparing it to Out of Sorts by Aurelie Valognes, I enjoyed the satire and humor in that one much more. If I hadn’t so recently read Out of Sorts, I think I would have come to this fresher and probably would have been more excited about it. The writing is great, the story structure is well done and the characters are well formed and distinct. – Danica

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister

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Comments:
• I couldn’t get through it, so I don’t know if it got better, but I found the author annoyingly opinionated and biased and unorganized. I felt like I kept re-reading the same thing. – Steph
• While the subject matter is very interesting and important to be written about, I found her tone very militant. I feel like the evolution of feminism has been freeing up the ability for women to chose many paths. It’s this ability to chose that is the prize of the all the hard fought battles of our predecessors, allowing many choices instead of one militant counter. The tone felt exclusive instead of inclusive and that really upset me. – Danica
• Very comprehensive, covers history, sociology, all classes and situations. I thought she presented a good description of changing demographics in today’s society. – Kerry
• The book was self indulgent and was clearly not written to forward a feminist agenda or seriously discuss single women. This book, can only appeal to people who think the same way as her. – Sarah
• I enjoyed the overview of history and current events and some of the points. For me, personally I really enjoyed the idea of studying and exploring this concept of women without the shaping of men. – Chelsea

December’s Book Club

15 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 Chi’s Chinese. Thanks ladies for making it another great year!

The Martian by Andy Weir

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Comments:
• Still reading the book, half way through and enjoying it. – Vicki
• I started the book and plan to finish it. I saw the movie and really enjoyed it. – Tami
• I couldn’t get into it. I didn’t really like Mark’s voice. – Steph
• Love it and love the voice on Mark, just the right amount of science, pop culture and heat. – Chelsea
• Enjoyed the book, glossed over some of the science. Very quick read. – Carrie
• I really liked the book. The only part that is a far reach was the ending. The science part of the book is really fun. – Sarah
• I loved this book. My suspension of disbelief was there throughout because of the wins and losses in getting off the planet. I liked the character and his coping mechanisms. It made me think about exploration, isolation and the spirit of humanity in a crisis situation. – Danica

The Boston Girl: A Novel by Anita Diamant

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Comments:
• The book was very easy to read, finished it in 2 days. However, not sure how I felt about it. Didn’t really stay with me. – Carrie
• I enjoyed the story and characters. I especially enjoyed how women lived in the time period. – Kerry
• I enjoyed the time period, as Kerry said. I learned some things about the historical time that it takes place in & I liked the tone that she sets. That being said, not special. – Chelsea
• It was boring and I just did not care. – Sarah
• I really liked the main character and her story and all of the issues that the book touched on like history, religion, women’s rights, challenges and health. I was sad when it ended. – Steph
• With my expectations being really high because I loved The Red Tent so much, I was greatly disappointed. I felt like we were  hitting the highlights of the 20th century, going from one historical event to another without really caring about or engaged in the characters lives. Because of this it felt disingenuous. – Danica

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Comments:
• I have loved this book since the 1st time I read it and the 4th time was great. – Chelsea
• I liked this book more than I thought I would. It was action packed and really fun. – Sarah
• I loved this book and can’t stop talking about it to anyone who loves 80’s or nerd culture. – Danica
• I liked this book. I found the characters relatable and the book fast paced. Loved all the 80’s references. Sometimes the tech was a little hard to follow. – Carrie

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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Comments:
• I didn’t like it as much as I did after reading it the first time. The first and last third of the book was really slow, but the middle was great. – Sarah
• I liked everything about this book! It was beautifully written and the story and characters were so compelling and thoughtful. I think it will lead to a great book club conversation about women, society, life, etc. – Steph
• I agree with both Steph & Sarah. I didn’t like it as much as I did the first time when I was 13. Bt the middle part was so compelling as a 21st century adult woman, it’s a little surreal – Chelsea
• I somehow never read this and completely don’t remember the movie, even though I know I’ve seen it. The story was fresh for me and I liked it. The religious restraint and societal constriction on women was not unknown to me but still surprising and unnerving nontheless. – Danica

Out of Sorts by Aurelie Valognes

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Comments:
• I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. It is a really cute grumpy old man story and was funny. – Sarah
• I enjoyed this book. It was sweet and kept my interest – a little unbelievable – but still OK with me. – Steph
• Fast and easy read. Feel good story. Predictable but fun. – Carrie
• I found some of the characters interesting but didn’t love the overall story. – Shannon
• Very fast enjoyable read. I found the characters fun. – Vicki
• Very fast. Finished it. Woohoo! Enjoyed it! – Tami
• This book held my interest and I thought it was very cute and fun. I found myself telling people it was so French and cute which intrigued them. – Danica

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

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Comments:
• This is it? That was what this all built up to? I was so disappointed. – Danica
• I didn’t like anything about this book. I think the contradictions were meant to be clever or funny  but I didn’t find them so. – Steph
• I usually like odd books like this, but I found that I just did not care. None of the characters were relatable. – Sarah
• Really hard to get into and follow. First half was slow and boring. I finally got interested toward the end, but overall not impressed. – Carrie
• I agree with Carrie, the first half just plodded along and I didn’t think the payoff was worth it. I think it is probably more successful as a podcast. – Chelsea

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

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Comments:
• I read this in high school and was so excited to re-read it. It did not disappoint! – Carrie
• It was a very interesting book. Well written, through at times a bit too detailed. – Kerry
• I read this book every few years. It is always really good and interesting. I wish the author would do an update based on the most recent outbreaks. – Sarah
• I though this was so very interesting. I learned a lot – glad to have read this. – Steph
• I loved this and found it infinitely interesting, especially in light of the latest outbreak in the last few years. It made me think about a much larger picture of our viral past and our overpopulated future. – Danica

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

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Comments:
• Most of the story I just didn’t care. It could have been way shorter. – Sarah
• I enjoyed the story. By the end of the Fates story I was interested to read the Furies. – Kerry
• I was indifferent to most of it and just wanted to make it through to the end. The prose getting real tricky and then going in and out really bothered me. The main idea that stuck with me was that of a creative partnership and what lengths you will go to for your partner to be successful. – Danica
• I only read half and couldn’t understand why it was so one-sided. Then, I got to the Mathilde part – but by that time I didn’t care! – Steph
• I agree with the previous statements. In the beginning I just didn’t care. Then I didn’t like them and I didn’t care. But I was drawn in enough to finish. – Carrie
• Some shining moments with language and imagery, I really enjoyed the plays. Not a lot to like in the characters. – Chelsea

Time and Chance by Alan Brennert

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Comments:
• The start was a little slow and the end was abrupt, but I really enjoyed the middle. – Sarah
• I liked the book, interesting concept and easy to read. Thought the author managed the 2 story lines well. However, I didn’t really like or relate to the characters. – Carrie
• An interesting take on the Freaky Friday paradigm. I liked the concept and some of the execution but I enjoyed his other books way more. – Danica
• I was surprised that the book really ended growing on me; especially the characters. I thought the writing was really compelling. – Chelsea
• It kept me interested enough to read to the end, but I like Brenner’s other books better by far. – Kerry

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