Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

three_cups_cover1 Loved It
3 Liked It
2 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• Couldn’t get pat the 1st 3 chapters. I don’t have time to try to get into a book. Writing style was too journalistic for me. – Carrie
•The story could have been shorter. I just did not care. It also had too many details about hiking. – Sarah
• I thought the story was very inspiring although it was also very overt it its call for donations. It also felt very biased but it was nice to get some perspective on fundamentalism and poverty in that area. – danica
• I enjoyed this book and what it’s about – caring about what happen to people halfway around the world. – Kerry
• This was a very inspiring story. It was great to read about what a big difference one individual could make, without even starting with financial resources. It was also nice to get another perspective of the rise of extremist Islam. I was definitely ready to be finished at the end, but enjoyed the story immensely and recommended the book several times. – Marlo

Conclusion: Those of us who liked it had a lot to say. We didn’t have an immensely engaging conversation but some of us did carry it over after the club broke off into socializing. One thing that did come up was that this was the hot book of the moment – some of us couldn’t understand why it is spreading like wildfire.

Reading Group Guide

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like_Water_for_Chocolate_(Book_Cover)3 Loved It
5 Liked It
Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I really liked how the story is told through food. It is really different and a good story. – Sarah
• Watching the love story unfold was really great. Beautiful and sad. – Melissa
• I enjoyed (and actually finished) this easy read. I wish we would have learned more about Pedro, I didn’t feel his character was worthy of her love. – Brandi
• So far, so good – I hope it has a happy ending! (I’m in July). – Steph
• I found this one to be very thought provoking, despite being an easy read. There were several themes that tie together such as cold or temperature. This is the type of traditional style voices I enjoy, similar to the tone used by Sandra Cisneros in the House on Mango Street (but turn of the century.) There was a nice evolution of characters and depth of plot line. – Marlo
• I really enjoyed it. Did not finish it, but will tomorrow. It is a great love story. – Tami
• I really liked the unique writing style. The story was fun and very creative. I read it overnight. – Carrie
• I had read this when I was a teenager and fondly remembered it. Reading it again, I enjoyed it just as much. – Danica

Conclusion: Liked by all, we had a great conversation about it. A definite recommendation to other book clubs!

Reading Group Guide

Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs

128757Loved It
3 Liked It
1 Neutral
2 Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• Finally I read a book. I heard it was an easy read. It was. I enjoyed the book. Figuring out the mystery was fun. A great book to read when you have a new baby at home. – Tami
• It was pretty good. Nothing deep or totally amazing. – Sarah
• While I was very excited because it was of a different genre than what we usually read, it completely was a bust. I did make it through the whole story but the writing style made me crazy and for a fun romp, there were just too many stories going on at the same time. I much prefer a legal thriller by John Grisham. – danica
• I felt like I was reading a really good episode of CSI. – Melissa
• I didn’t like it at all – the story wasn’t that good – the writing was bad. The characters were 2D and unbelievable – I am so surprised that some (most) people liked it! – Steph
• It was a quick read. Didn’t need to really think about it while you’re reading. It was an interesting story. – Carrie

Conclusion: While some liked it, we didn’t really have much to talk about with this one.

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

439442 Loved It
4 Liked It
1 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I loved this book. You really identified with the characters quickly. – Sarah
• I wanted to finish, but ran out of time. I liked it so much for so many reasons. The brevity of the chapters – change of voice was great. The stories and perspective were really good – different than I’ve ever heard before… – Steph
• I found the book intriguing… especially with the surprise twists. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m looking forward to the ending. – Rachelle
• I enjoyed this book. I think the story of the author is so interesting. – Kerry
• This has been one of my most favorite books in a long time. I read it cover to cover, all the end notes, addendums etc. This is another look at WWII from a perspective often forgotten, the occupied. Sure, when WWII comes up, you think about the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the atomic bombs in Japan, D-Day, but this is about reacting to, coping and living with an occupying force. I loved it and am still thinking about it a week and a half later. – danica
• I’m loving it so far. Will absolutely finish it! – Brandi
• Despite not wanting to keep picking this up, I did finish it. However, I do find myself thinking about certain situations – specifically the exodus from Paris. I didn’t care for the majority of the characters, but it was interesting to contemplate the reality of enemy occupation. – Marlo

Conclusion: Although we had a lot of other things to occupy us this book club, we did have a REALLY good discussion about this book. It brought up WWII family stories, what we would do today if something like that were to happen here. We even talked about fleeing natural disasters. It made for a great book club.

Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes

Mother-of-Pearl-original-coverLoved It
2 Liked It
2 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I liked the author’s voice, but I thought there were too many characters. I didn’t know enough about any one to relate to. – Kerry
• I had a difficult time connecting to this story. I felt that the symbolism (double meaning of the title) was weak. – Melissa
• I enjoyed this book, although I was really ready to be done by the end. The different character voices were interesting but I felt that Valuable was rather annoying rather than someone who inspired any sympathy. – Marlo
• The main storyline is pretty good, but the author takes too long to get to the point. – Sarah
• I started, got 50 pages in and just was not feeling it. – Danica

Conclusion: Most of our members didn’t finish the book because most had problems getting attached to the characters.

Reading Group Guide

All the four new babies made it to book club this month. They were oh so cute!
IMG_1292

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

the-poisonwood-bible3 Loved It
4 Liked It
Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I really liked 2/3 of the book. I thought the last part could have been condensed much more as a “Where are they Now” type of thing. I found the part where they were in the village the most interesting and I really didn’t need much else past the escape. – danica
• It was a good story that I really liked. – Sarah
• At first it was difficult to get into the many different chapters/characters, but overall I enjoyed it. – Melissa
• I really enjoyed the concept and story. I thought it dragged in the end and jumped around too much in time periods. Overall, I did like the book. – Carrie
• Although I’m a slacker and haven’t finished, I am truly enjoying this book. Each character is so interesting, evoking a differrent emotion or reaction. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. – Marlo
• This is one of my favorite books. I read it years ago and was glad to have the opportunity to read it again. I love the characters and themes of this story. – Kerry
• One of my very favorite books! – Steph

Conclusion: This one was well-liked overall and the discussion, once we actually got to it, was really interesting in a very good way. Everyone was engaged in the conversation which doesn’t always happen!

Reading Group Guide

Another Book Club Baby

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Yet another one of our members gave birth today! Little Luke Jordan arrived at 12:49am weighing 7lbs 15oz, 22 inches long. One more baby to go now with our four pregnant members.

Bob Dylan: Intimate Insights by Kathleen Mackay

51kUHB1SK7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Loved It
Liked It
1 Neutral
2 Disliked It
1 Hated It

Comments:
• Wasn’t able to finish it… didn’t feel it gave any insight and the descriptions were too flowery with regards to the other artists. It felt like she was kissing the artist’s rears as a thank you for doing the interview. – Brandi
• This book was OK. I liked the overall theme of Dylan’s contribution to music, but the chapters and interviews were inconsistent in their contributions. – Kerry
• The book was fun to read. I didn’t especially care for the style of writing, but the memories of childhood it conjured was pleasant – of course, I just dated myself. – Stacey
• Didn’t finish this one – my time is too valuable. The writing seemed completely unfocused with an occasional tidbit of Dylan. – Marlo
• I was really excited about this book because I am a big Dylan fan. Boy, was I disappointed. I kept thinking I should just stop reading but once I made it halfway, I just kept going. She made Dylan’s autobiography sound really interesting when she quoted it, I wish I had read that instead. – danica

Conclusion: This one landed with quite a thud! If we hadn’t won our copies, I think the group would be rallying for a refund.

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