Welcome Vanessa Shir

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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
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Comments:
• 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

Comments:
• 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

Comments:
• 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

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

On the occasion of our 8th birthday as a book club, we took our annual picture!

willows2 Loved It
1 Liked It
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Comments:
• The book is fast and so whimsical. – Sarah
• I thought it was funny and sweet and a pleasure to read. – Steph
• I really loved the Toad character and his craziness. The writing style was fun and lyrical, a pleasure to read. – Danica

Conclusion: While most didn’t read the book, those of us who did, loved it.

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

511UzjnQVKL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Loved It
3 Liked It
1 Neutral
1 Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• It was too obvious and of course each girl in the group was perfect. – Sarah
• It took me awhile to get into this book. It took me awhile to decipher between the characters. Overall, I enjoyed the friendship that developed between them over the years. – Melissa
• I had a really hard time getting into the story, keeping everyone’s names straight and just liking the characters. In the end, some of the history woven into the story was interesting but overall it was just OK. – Danica
• I enjoyed the story. I liked reading about how different things were for women such a short time ago! It is interesting to take a look back at the lives of women on whose we stand. – Kerry
• I enjoyed this book. It was obvious at times, but it was a very good-hearted story with interesting insight into five very different women at a time so different from today. – Carrie

Conclusion: Liked but not loved, the most interesting part of our conversation had to do with the woman’s history in this story and how far we’ve come because of the hard work done by that generation which happens to be our mother’s.

Reading Group Guide

Welcome Eliana Leah

ozair baby

Eliana Leah was born on November 6th at 7.0 lbs, 19 1/2 in. long. Mom and baby are doing great – mom even emailed some further details to us from her Blackberry, two days after the birth!

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

huck-finnLoved It
2 Liked It
2 Neutral
2 Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I was really excited to start his book, I’ve never read Mark Twain. I could not get into it. I kept picking it back up thinking it’s got to get better. Finally, I gave up and only made it halfway. – Carrie
• I enjoyed the writing style and the insight into that time period and life. – Melissa
• Although I didn’t finish the book in time, I am enjoying it. Mark Twain had a wonderful way of building characters that reflect the time period. He also makes it sound like a fabulous lifestyle to just float along indefinitely on a raft. – Marlo
• I had a hard time concentrating on this story. There were parts were I was completely engaged and others where I was just bored. – Danica
• The story was OK, the author was really good about keeping the dialect of the characters. – Sarah

Conclusion: A definite mixed bag but still an important read in understanding that period of time.

Reading Group Guide

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosney

Sarah's-Key-book3 Loved It
5 Liked It
1 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• Was a very sad story, although I felt Julia’s reaction to Sarah’s story was extreme and felt very fake. – Sarah
• The story of Sarah’s little brother will continue to haunt me, despite being very fictitious. Before reading this book, I was completely unaware of the French roundup. So although I’m gla to now be aware of such a significant event, I though this book could have ended much sooner. The storyline of Julia seeking out Sarah’s son didn’t resonate with me at all. – Marlo
• I really enjoyed reading this book. I did not know about the French roundup, so this gave me information that I was interested in. I thought the stories blended together. – Tami
• I thought this was an interesting story. Though a bit contrived, the feelings and emotions were well portrayed. – Kerry
• The emotional component to this book was a bit overwhelming at first. However, I really enjoyed the characters, the history and the writing style. – Melissa
• While reading this book, I also saw Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. Some of the themes run together and some run apart, but I found it very interesting to compare and contrast the two. – Danica
• I spent a large portion of this book crying, but I still loved it. It took a very small part of history from a big moment in time and gave a very individual look into the impact on her life. – Mari
• I liked it but I thought the end – romantic question – was weird and I’m not sure I’d recommend it. But overall – it was OK. – Steph
• It was a quick read, and I found it intriguing. Sad… and hard to read at times. It kind of left a big gap in Sarah’s life, and I would have liked to have had more of her story and less of Julia’s. – Brandi
• This book was such a fast read. Easy to get connected to the characters. Very sad at times. I liked the idea of a fictional story about the war, it was a very interesting spin. – Carrie

Conclusion: All the members read this one!!! A feat in itself. We also had a lot to say, good and bad about it…

Reading Group Guide

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To_Kill_a_Mockingbird8 Loved It
Liked It
Neutral
1 Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I hated it as a child and I dislike it now. I just did not care. – Sarah
• Although I must have read it back in high school, I had no recollection of the story. This time, I loved it. The children were so fun to follow and I loved the varied characters and various aspects of human nature that were presented. – Marlo
• I read it as a student, yet enjoyed it again. This is why it’s called a “classic.” The message is as relevant today as it was when written. – Brandi
• This is a book I had read as a teenager and loved. I actually remember this one much more fondly than I felt for it the second time around. I guess I can chalk it up already knowing the story and not getting that fresh perspective. Still good after all these years but not as amazing as I remembered. – Danica
• I loved this book. The voice of the story and all the characters were so easy to get attached to. I never read it in high school, but expect I will read it again. – Carrie
• This is now one of my top 5 favorite books. – Melissa
• That you Tami for bringing this book to us. I read it in Jr. High and now have a renewed appreciation! – Kerry
• Loved it – so much of the classic literary stuff one loves to read – great character development, plot and climax – loved it! – Mari
• I loved this book in high school. I loved it now. Though I did not read it this time (I listened to it as I drove) I got hooked with Scout, Jem and Atticus and really enjoyed getting caught up in the loves, again. -Tami

Conclusion: Almost all of the group loved this book and were anxious to discuss it.

Reading Group Guide

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still_Alice_(Genova_novel)3 Loved It
2 Liked It
1 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I absolutely loved this book. It has changed my professional practice. I love that it is told in first person. I have told everyone I know about this book. – Carrie
• I liked this book for its different point of view. As a person with short-term memory problems, this book SKERRED me! – Kerry
• I enjoyed this book. It was a wonderful insight into the life of a person dealing with Alzheimer’s. – Melissa
• Loved this book. It was a fast read. I really enjoyed the insight of the person telling the story. Definitely recommend it to others. – Tami
• This book was so resonant of my days working with Alzheimer’s patients. It just inspired such empathy and compassion for people stricken by the disease, and the families that have to pick up the pieces. I loved the first hand narrative and understanding that the future is so blurry. – Marlo
• To its credit, it was not long enough to dislike but long enough to connect and like. – Sarah
• I appreciated getting and Alzheimer’s perspective; really getting a look at what the patients go through. I didn’t love it because it is not my cup of tea. But I appreciated this perspective. – Mari

Conclusion: We had a long, in depth discussion related to this book. Even those that didn’t read it could contribute and those that usually don’t read, finished and enjoyed it. Definitely a conversation starter.

Reading Group Guide

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

FreakonomicsLoved It
4 Liked It
Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I didn’t get far, but did enjoy what I read. There were some interesting ideas and correlations presented. – Marlo
• It was good. He had really unique ways of looking at the world. – Sarah
• Very interesting. The sociological perspective made economics much easier for me to grasp. – Kerry
• I really enjoyed this sociological study but was disappointed at how short it felt. I thought I was only halfway through when I indeed was at the end. – Danica

Conclusion: We spoke very briefly but those who did read it, enjoyed it.

Reading Group Guide

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