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Search tags: book-club-books
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review 2016-09-26 23:07
Moloka'i -
Moloka'i - Alan Brennert

This was a book we picked for book club. It has been suggested we read and discuss it for more than a year, and we've finally gotten around to it.

 

I'm not a big reader of Historical Fiction, let alone a reader of Historical Fiction that doesn't revolve around a war. This might even be my first adult experience. (Yes, I've read Little House on the Prairie, don't even front.)

 

I liked this book. It wasn't life changing for me, but I'm semi-glad I read it. Leprosy is not a subject that I've read a lot about. The Hawaiian culture, pre-US, is not a culture I've read a lot about either. This was a nice pick to diversify our reading choices.

 

The story follows Rachel's life. Her whole life, from the time she's a wee one to after her death. There's a lot of historical landmarks that take place in this time period: moving pictures, appliances, WWII, air planes, etc.

 

There were hints of emotion when it came to Rachel, but it was discussed in book club, that Rachel is more like our camera. We're getting the whole picture from her. It was decided among a couple people that the story would have been more interesting and well-rounded if there were multiple narrators and if the time jumped a bit. (This brought on the discussion of how multiple narrators weren't really a "thing" in the 2000s, but it's all the rage in the 2010s.)

 

It's well-written. I appreciate the amount of research the author seemingly put into this book. That being said, we also talked about the author being a white male writing about a Hawaiian female with Leprosy and the effectiveness on this.

 

I do recommend if you like books about people. Just a warning: the copy I had had small margins and little print, so it went a little slower than I wanted. However, I was able to finish this book in under two weeks. (I didn't read it every day.)

 

This book is great for a book discussion book: There are questions in the back of the book to spark conversation. There's also a ton to talk about without being prompted. Lots of themes, characters, and viewpoints that could ignite interesting banter.

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review 2015-09-25 07:47
history through story
New York - Edward Rutherfurd
A showcase of New York history from 1664 to the present day, told through the stories of several New York based (mostly old money Anglo and Dutch) families.   I initially found it very frustrating because the narrative would switch to a new character/generation just as something interesting seemed to happen.  There isn't a plot in the traditional sense, and once I accepted the tempo, I started to enjoy it more.  Don't feel bad if you completely forget character names because they come and go.
 
Linking the people and stories together was a wampum belt, initially given to Dirk van Dyck by his Native American daughter Pale Feather.    The belt gets passed down though the generations and sometimes crosses family lines and becomes the symbolic thread weaving everyone together.  It was an interesting device, but I found it slightly ironic that the meaning of the belt quickly got lost, all the while one of the later characters laments  that 'kids these days don't really know the history of New York".  
 
 
 
This was a book club read, suggested by a member who recently visited  New York who realized that she didn't know much about the city and was interested in learning.  This is the perfect book for that.   It was super long, but easy to read and does a good job of hitting on many of the important  eras and events in the history of New York.   It sadly ends on September 11, 2001, which coincidentally the same day I finished the book, 14 years on.
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review 2015-08-01 07:53
A Swedish Forrest Gump story
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonasson, Jonas (2012) Paperback - Jonas Jonasson

Kind of funny, but the joke got old after a while.  I wonder of the movie is better.

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review 2015-07-21 07:30
it is with great relief that that I throw this onto the DNF pile
No Stopping Train - Les Plesko

Apparently this author (RIP) didn't think plot was terribly important.  His writing was lovely and sometimes evocative, but nothing happened.  I stuck with it for about 200 pages, and was curious enough to go discuss it at book club.  Apparently it wasn't just me and I gladly dropped the unfinished book into the return bin on my way out of the library. 

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review 2013-08-19 00:00
Her Books Presents: Book Club Picks
Her Books Presents: Book Club Picks - St... Her Books Presents: Book Club Picks - Steena Holmes, Rachel Thompson, Christine Nolfi, Elena Aitken, Bette Lee Crosby, Patricia Sands, Karla Darcy, Kathleen Valentine Where did the story take place? Our book club has read quite a few of the stories offered as a sample in this book. I am picking my favourite which is Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson.
Why do you like this story? It's a book that has you digging through your soul. You want to feel sympathy for her but as writes in fluid prose, all you feel for her is admiration that she is able to share so much of her life with the world.
What other books has this author written? Rachel Thompson has written A Walk in the Snark and Mancode Exposed which we are still reading and laughing out loud with at our weekly book club meetings.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author.
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