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.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

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

Comments:
• I really enjoyed this book. I was expecting not to like it, but was pleasantly surprised. – Sarah
• I love this book! One of my favorites of the books I’ve read recently. Such a unique story. – Kerry
• I couldn’t get into it… – Steph
• I have begun and am enjoying it. I will finish it one day. – Tami
• I really enjoyed this book. Very intriguing and a fast read. – Carrie
• This book took me awhile to get into. Once I did, though, I really enjoyed it. The medical knowledge was very interesting. -Melissa
• I love this one. The character development was really interesting and the cultural setting, was even more fascinating. Even though it was long, I read it super fast. – Danica

Conclusion: We mostly really liked it. We spoke about it a little but the group was really quiet and mellow. I think on a different night, it could have been really lively.

Reading Group Guide

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

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

Comments:
• A good story about empathy and friendship. – Kerry
• A classic for good reason. I really enjoyed re-reading it. – Melissa
• I am loving reading this with my kids. It’s so fun watching them get excited about such a classic story. – Carrie
• Love this story. Always have, always will. – Tami
• I remember loving this story as a child, but it really did not last the test of time. – Sarah
• I must have read it as a child, my sister did, so I must have too but I did not remember it. I enjoyed it and can see how it is a classic children’s book. – Danica

Conclusion: A fun classic to read and discuss, we even parlayed it into a discussion about The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

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

Comments:
• It was way too long. I now understand the reason for abridged versions of books. – Sarah
• You could really tell that Hugo was paid by the word. The books meanders way too much, sometimes for a hundred of dense pages at a time. In the end, I did not finish it because I got sick of skimming. – Danica

Conclusion: Lofty goals, we tried to slog through this but in the end, few actually got past 100 pages.

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

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

Comments:
• Some parts were food. A lot of needless violence that was not part of the vampire thing. It was a quick read. – Sarah
• I enjoyed some parts, others I found boring. I was happy that I read it although it left no lasting impression. – Danica
• I like it but didn’t get very far. – Steph
• I like the half that I read. – Melissa

Conclusion: Few read it, but those who did were not angry about it. We had a short discussion but it didn’t go very far.

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

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

Comments:
• Really good book. Great story and great character development. – Sarah
• I wouldn’t say I “disliked” it. I didn’t like it, though. I felt it rambled. – Melissa
• I thought it was interesting – It was a bit all over the place with the characters. I would like to see the musical. – Kerry
• I liked it. Thought the story was interesting and I liked the writing style. – Steph
• I liked the structure of the story in that it breezed from one character to another. Until the end, you couldn’t tell how all their stories were going to come together. Some of the character’s stories I really enjoyed, others I didn’t care for. – Danica

Conclusion: Not many read it, but those who did, enjoyed it.

The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell

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

Comments:
• It just was not a good book. – Sarah
• Interesting idea but I had some difficulty with the characters. – Shannon
• I didn’t like the writing style and wasn’t crazy about the story. – Steph
• I enjoyed the first half. Then it became too political and too boring. I would not recommend it. – Carrie
• I made it half way through. I liked certain interweaved stories but not enough to continue on with it. I also really disliked the main character. – Danica

Conclusion: Generally not received well.

Reading Group Guide

December’s Book Club

We made it to 10 years!!! For that, 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!

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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

Comments:
• I really enjoyed this book. I thought the writing was beautiful! – Steph
• This was a great story! I really loved the twists. – Melissa
• It took a little bit to get into, but once I did, I loved it! The writing was beautiful, the story and twists were unpredictable. – Carrie
• I loved this one. The characters both present and in recollection were so well written. Once it gets going, it is certainly a ride. – Danica

Conclusion: Those of us who read it had a great discussion, unfortunately, most of the club didn’t end up reading this one.

Reading Group Guide

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