The Healing by Jonathan Odell

122665950 Loved It
2 Liked It
1 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

• I liked the different angles of the story. It was a unique story set on a plantation. – Kerry
• I liked parts of this story. It was entertaining and quick. – Sarah
• I enjoyed this especially in concert with just having watched “12 Years a Slave” and was also able to relate it to My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass. – Danica

December’s Book Club

13 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 Royal Delhi Palace. Thanks ladies for making it another great year!

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

cover150x2501 Loved It
5 Liked It
1 Neutral
1 Disliked It
0 Hated It

• I enjoyed reading about the different characters and their stories. – Kerry
• I couldn’t stop reading it because I wanted to know what happened, but I didn’t really like the characters and, in the end, I didn’t really like the story. – Steph
• I don’t finish many books, but I got pulled into this one. I was very interested, and really enjoyed reading about how the character were all connected. – Tami
• I didn’t like any of the characters nor did I care for their stories. Yes they were flawed but I found them very annoying. The best part was the prologue which had me thinking a few days later. – Danica
• I enjoyed reading about the three women and their lives. Lots of characters. – Vicki
• Fast read. Liked the Tess storyline but not so much the others. I have mixed feelings about the ending. – Sarah
• Fast read, engaging storyline. Liked how it all got intertwined. Didn’t love all the individual endings or wrap up. – Carrie
• I liked reading the book and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough not sure I liked the ending. Poor Cecilia. – Nikki

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

51pATEiEJnL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1 Loved It
4 Liked It
2 Neutral
1 Disliked It
0 Hated It

• Interesting story idea but the characters were very similar and the end seemed a bit sudden. – Shannon
• I liked this book. I almost felt like a nosy neighbor. The stories were interesting/frustrating/depressing. I only wish we could have had a chapter of Maribel’s point of view. – Steph
• I thought it interesting to read this book right after Orphan Train as they both touch upon the immigrant experience during different periods in history. Other than that, I had trouble with the characters feeling flat. – Danica
• I started it, but like others, I did not have time to finish. I am really enjoying it. – Tami
• This was a really interesting and engaging read. I truly cared about the characters and was so sad at the outcome. However, I do appreciate the author giving us a sad ending, rather than taking the easier route of “all is well.” – Marlo
• I think the extra characters detracted from the story. I liked that it took place in Delaware, for a different perspective than the big-city. – Kerry
• I liked this book, but don’t think it needed all the extra short chapters. Relatable characters and an easy read. – Carrie

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

158181072 Loved It
5 Liked It
1 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

• I really enjoyed the book. Well written and a good story. The characters were good, but I wish Molly was more developed. – Steph
• I loved the historical parts of this book, particularly Vivian’s story. I could have done without the modern story and it felt like merely a vehicle to get to the historical one. – Danica
• The story was interesting from a historical perspective but it ended very abruptly. I felt it did not have an ending and could have used an epilogue. – Sarah
• I especially enjoyed Vivian’s story, fascinating to learn about the trains. The book was an easy read and enjoyable. – Steph
• I found myself completely immersed and drawn to this story. This was the first I learned that orphaned children were sent to the Midwest and given away like stray kittens. It is so sad to think of some of these experiences. Yet, I really enjoyed the story, moving back and forth in time. – Marlo
• I really learned a lot from this historical fiction story. It was a fun, interesting story. – Vicki
• The story kept me interested. – Kerry

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

51LjBCjcWuL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_2 Loved It
5 Liked It
2 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

• The subject matter was fascinating and entirely new to me (I never knew what happened after the Little Rock 9), but I had a hard time with the writing level. It was indeed written for children and not one of those books where it can work on many levels. I kept getting annoyed by it and then remembering for whom it was written. – Danica
• Although this book initially felt  predictable and overdone, as I made my way through I enjoyed the layers that were built in. Fun and thoughtful read. – Marlo
• This was a fast, easy, but enjoyable read. – Carrie
• I really like the characters attitudes, it makes me feel like I’m in the book. – Olivia
• I really liked the story and the characters. Good read and makes you consider many layers of life. – Steph
• It was definitely written for pre-teens. Some of the story seemed really unbelievable. I also had to keep reminding myself that it is written for young adults in order to lower my expectations. – Sarah

Conclusion: Super fun book club led by on one our member’s 10 year old daughter.

Finding the Dragon Lady: The Mystery of Vietnam’s Madame Nhu by Monique Brinson Demery

51FyxhuxApL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_0 Loved It
3 Liked It
1 Neutral
1 Disliked It
0 Hated It

• The book was more focused on the time period than it was about Madame Nhu. I also thought she was supposed to be more evil but that didn’t really come through. – Sarah
• I thought the book was so very interesting, I learned so much. She was a very complicated person. I plan on finishing it. – Steph
• I was really looking forward to reading this book, but I had a hard time getting into it. At about a third of the way, it’s starting to grab my interest. – Kerry
• This was very interesting learning about the time period, but didn’t feel it was really about Madame Nhu or the interview with her. I did enjoy learning about the pre-war period though. – Carrie
• I was interested in learning about this time period but found all the same info in this book in the Wikipedia article about Madame Nhu and felt it didn’t gain any deeper understanding of her character or motives. – Shannon
• I learned a lot about Vietnamese history and the situation that set up the Vietnam war but I didn’t feel like I learned very much about Madame Nhu. I think I would have been much more satisfied if the title didn’t have her in it. – Danica

Conclusion: We definitely liked the added history knowledge that we gained from this, just don’t expect a huge revelation about Madame Nhu.

The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit

51iQT2TJ5LL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_0 Loved It
0 Liked It
5 Neutral
3 Disliked It
0 Hated It

• I could not get into the writing style. It was trying to give too many perspectives that made it feel like it was not saying anything. At least it was short. – Sarah
• Not sure if I like the writing style. I did not feel attached to any characters mentioned, very vague. – Vicki
• It was an easy read. It is a period in history I don’t know much about – and I still don’t. – Melissa
• It used a writing style that I didn’t like and so it seemed like a non-start about totally ordinary non-characters. – Shannon
• Easy to read, but no one to connect to. Don’t feel like I know anymore about them than I did before. – Carrie
• It was a quick read, but I thought it could have been written so much better. The amount of info I got about the wives could have been done in a magazine article. I would have liked to get to know individual wives better. – Kerry
• I really disliked the writing style! I missed character development. – Steph
• It was very hard to get past the writing style. I felt like I got a good picture of the environment and general feeling of the women but because there was absolutely zero character development, it was hard to care. – Danica

Conclusion: The consensus was that because of the writing style, there was a massively missed opportunity for some good historical fiction. To call this a novel is a bit of a stretch.

My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass

Unknown2 Loved It
1 Liked It
1 Neutral
0 Disliked It
0 Hated It

• I really liked the book and was very impressed with the writing style. I was amazed that someone from his humble beginnings could be so articulate. It does not happen so much like that nowadays. It did get a little repetitive at the end. – Sarah
• I loved this book and feel that this should be required reading for everyone living in this country. It was heart breaking, triumphant and thought provoking, he is an American hero. I wish that his actual escape story was documented and added as an addendum but I am not sure that it was ever told. Skipping the foreword and some of the speeches at the end make this a better read. – Danica
• I enjoyed parts of this book. I did not like the writing style, thought it could have developed differently. Opening and ending was repetitive and dry. Though very interested by the biography. – Carrie
• This book made a tremendous impact on me when I read it in college, and I found it equally enjoyable this time around. Douglass is an amazing writer, especially given his start in life. I particularly love a first person account of history, and there aren’t too many of those from former slaves. – Marlo

Conclusion: Although most didn’t get through it, we all could participate in the discussion which was great and lasted quite a bit.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19  Scroll to top