John Dies in the End by David Wong

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

Comments:
• It was fun and wacky. Moved quickly and a fun, light read. – Sarah
• I liked it and hope to finish it one day. It was refreshingly different and funny. – Steph
• I enjoyed this book, as campy as it was. Totally engaging and kept me reading until the end. – Brandi
• I loved the humor. I loved the plot. I did not appreciate the ending. John didn’t die at the end – or at all for that matter. – Melissa
• Just a bunch of gratuitous gore. Stuck it out for just over a hundred pages, then decided my time was too valuable for this book. – Marlo
• I don’t know if I actually “liked” the book, but I loved the writing style, I wouldn’t put it down. A true “page turner.” – Carrie
• I really loved the prologue to this book, however I didn’t feel like it kept up the pace I expected after reading the beginning. There were parts that I loved and parts that I could have done without but overall I found it pretty funny. – Danica

Conclusion: Most liked it, we spent some time on talking about it and had a great time recalling some of the funnier parts.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

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

Comments:
• I enjoyed reading this story because I had always wondered what the original text was like. On the other hand, I didn’t love the book. It rambled (as well as it should have, being a dream), so it was difficult to follow. – Melissa
• I enjoyed it because it reminded me of my childhood. But, at the same time, it was too confusing. – Dina
• I have always wanted to read this, and enjoyed the memories. However, nothing was page turning. – Carrie
• I like the first book although I couldn’t stop reading it in the voice of Disney’s Alice. By the second book, I was worn out by the surreal plot points. – Danica
• I really like the book – Alice was so cute! She cracked me up! – Steph
• I love these books. They are so whimsical and fun. – Sarah

Conclusion: We didn’t talk much about the book. Everyone was very chatty about everything else… beside the book.

Reading Group Guide

The Lace Reader by Bunonia Barry

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

Comments:
• I’m sorry I suggested it! I thought the writing was awful and the story wasn’t much better. – Steph
• It was OK. The storyline went by quickly. It was a little predictable but fun. – Sarah
• It was enjoyable, but not memorable. It was not a surprise ending. – Brandi
• It was a fun, easy read. – Vicki
• Started to read, easy – will finish it later. – Tami
• The first half was interesting, but the 2nd half was unbelievable and dragged. – Melissa
• I found parts of it interesting, but parts of it were slow. – Dina
• If you’re going to work in multiple voices, make them different. The story was OK, but predictable. – Carrie
• It was OK. Interesting attempt at a surprise plot twist! – Kerry
• The author couldn’t decide which genre she wanted to write in which made it bland and nowhere. None of the characters were interesting, all sounded the same. With all this combined, this book was just boring. – Danica

Conclusion: We didn’t talk much about the book, but there were definitely mixed feelings from hate to disinterest to a few liking it.

Reading Group Guide

The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence

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

Comments:
• Wow! This was a tough one. I was drawn to the idea that it was so controvertial, but it let me down! The amount of story develoment was nil. The descriptiveness was nauseating. Blah. -Brandi
• This book was so bad. There was no variation in the different character’s voices. I hated this book. – Sarah
• It was not an easy read. I didn’t even make it through the 1st chapter. – Melissa
• Ditto – Carrie
• I made it a third through and just couldn’t stand the bickering. I truly hated all the characters and their sour demeanors. – Danica

Conclusion: Negative, negative, negative…

December’s Book Club

This year we decided to forgo discussing a book during our Annual December/Birthday/Holiday Book Club. As usual we exchanged gifts (paperback books, Secret Santa style) and picked our next round of classics (viewable here at the bottom of the page). We also took our annual birthday photo, 9 years and counting!!!

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

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

Comments:
• The whole premise felt contrived and forced. I immediately forgot the book after reading it. It was not memorable. – Sarah
• Very easy read. Made me think outside of myself. – Vicki
• I loved the idea of the story and it was food for thought. Even though it was short, it was intense. – Kerry
• Although it was a fast read, I hated all the characters in this story, except for the child. I would have been much more satisfied if we were to have continued to follow the refugees and their stories in England – their part in the book was the only section that I thoroughly enjoyed. I also felt duped by the hype on the back of the book. – Danica
• The book hyped some big twist, but I didn’t think there was one. I enjoyed the story, though. – Melissa
• I enjoyed how the author revealed bits of the back story and layered the moral elements of the characters. I also appreciated that there wasn’t a neat happy ending, but the sad ending that would be the likely outcome. – Marlo
• I liked the way the book was written, but found it very depressing. I couldn’t find the benefit of the depression – I wouldn’t recommend it. – Steph
• It was a fast read, but very intense. It was depressing, but I couldn’t put it down. – Brandi

Conclusion: Mixed reviews across the board, but it did spark some intense debate about the characters and the marketing ploy used to sell the book.

Reading Group Guide

The Inferno by Dante

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

Comments:
• It was alright. Very quick read. Lots of references that I had to look up. – Sarah
• I tried really hard and made it halfway through. I felt like so much was going over my head that I was completely lost. – Danica

Conclusion: Most of us couldn’t get past the prose and references. Very few of us read more than a few pages.

Reading Group Guide

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Loved It
5 Liked It
Neutral
1 Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I feel like tha author used every cliche she could think of, then built a story around that. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed this one. – Melissa
• A very quick read that I got very into. The ending was a little too neatly tied up but I still really enjoyed it. – Danica
• The was a really fast read, I could not put it down. – Carrie
• I like it – it was a good story. – Steph
• Great story – a bit over the top sometimes. I was bummed that the author wasn’t black. – Suthi

Conclusion: We mostly liked this one, discussed it for awhile with enthusiasm and then moved on.

Reading Group Guide

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

300px-The_Count_of_Monte_Cristo_(cover)6 Loved It
1 Liked It
Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I was so sad when the book ended. Just loved it!
• I was trying to finish on time, because I was enjoying it so much, but I couldn’t bring myself to rush. I still finished it! It was wordy at times, but well worth it. – Brandi
• When I saw how long it was I was afraid I wouldn’t finish in the amount of time I had to read it. I did finish it and I really enjoyed it. Glad I read it.
• I didn’t finish it. It dragged, then picked up for me. Ultimately it never grabbed me. – Kerry
• This book ranks as one of my top favorites. It was so good – to plot revenge for 20 years! – Melissa
• I have wanted to read this book for years and it definitely lived up to my expectations. – Carrie
• This book is so good. The story is amazing and I would only suggest reading the full version of the book. – Sarah
• Although I had problems keeping up with all the names and although I got lost a few times, I loved this book. I enjoyed the refrences, symbolism and character studies throughout. – Danica

Conclusion: Another classic down, another success. For being such a long book, a lot of the members actually committed and finished and enjoyed.

Reading Group Guide

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

lacuna_cover-200-2f0868f473ab5ae602f3de7f8715d0a4bf52db0f-s300-c853 Loved It
2 Liked It
2 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I always enjoy a good historical fictions story. Kingsolver is a wonderful author. – Melissa
• I was engrossed in the story and particularly enjoyed reading about the politics of the time. – Kerry
• The first half of the book was alright, the second half, once the main character is back in the United States, mired in a McCarthy scandal, the story picked up markedly for me. – Danica
• I didn’t finish it. – Suthi :(
• Kept me invested, though a bit slow in the middle. The McCarthyism was very interesting, I enjoyed the historical fiction.
• It was OK. Parts of the middle and end were not needed and made it feel more like the book was dragging. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed this book. The beginning dragged a little bit for me, but I was fascinated by the second half. I have always been intrigued by the McCarthy witch hunts and I loved to see it in this perspective. – Carrie

Conclusion: For the most part, we enjoyed this tale although “The Mexican Forest Gump” did come up in our discussion. We spoke for a little bit but did not have a particularly long conversation about it.

Reading Group Guide

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

41J4AH47MVLLoved It
3 Liked It
5 Neutral
Disliked It
Hated It

Comments:
• I read it and thought it was interesting but a little too slow and I didn’t get attached to any characters. – Steph
• It was a good one to read, as I had read it in high school. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t leave a resounding impression. – Brandi
• The story did not make a strong impression on me. I did not feel that the character development was strong. – Vicki
• I enjoyed it while I was reading it, wanting to know how it was going to resolve. Once I have finished it though, I haven’t thought much about it. – Danica
• This was a book I read to get through the book. It was alright. I’m looking forward to the discussion. – Melissa
• I don’t normally like war books but this book was really short and I loved the writing style. I could not put it down. – Sarah
• After I was done with this book I thought, “What was the point of that?” I didn’t dislike it, but I don’t really have a strong opinion of it. – Carrie

Conclusion: While we didn’t love… or hate this book, we discussed that our experiment with reading a “classic” every other month is definitely something that has been successful and that we really love enough to do it for another year!

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