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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 17,805
11/9/19 8:47 A

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The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein.
Excellent memoir about growing up in England in the early 1900’s and the dynamics between Jewish and Christian neighbors and how some sought to tear down that wall.
5 stars

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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,166
11/2/19 7:39 A

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The Grand Tour (Cecelia and Kate #2) by Patricia C. Wrede, Caroline Stevermer 3 stars

I adored the first book. I love how it was written in the form of letters between the two cousins, but the story itself was fully engaging.

This was different. First, the story is being told not through letters, but as journal entries by the cousins. Letter writing between the cousins wouldn't work this time because they are traveling together on their wedding tour.

I don't think that is the only reason for it not grabbing me the way the first book did. This felt like it was plodding along sometimes. It was still a fun book, but I didn't feel like the characters were living up to the way they were imagined in this book. They lacked the dimension they had previously.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 17,805
10/26/19 10:47 P

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
3 stars

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,210
10/26/19 8:43 A

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North of Normal
By Cea Sunrise Persons
3 star
I reread this for our Book Club IRL. It was interesting, but I can't say I enjoyed it any more the second time around than I did the first...

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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NGAGNEE's Photo NGAGNEE Posts: 101
10/25/19 1:30 P

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I listened to 2 audiobooks this month while working mostly.
White Cat and Red Glove by Holly Black
Both around a 3 or 4
I really enjoyed them. They are YA novels but the world and the plot in both of these were interesting. I am working on the last book in the trilogy right now. I'm going to say usual 1st and last book of the trilogy will be the best.

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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,166
10/25/19 5:27 A

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The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani 2 stars

While the writing was decent, I do feel like something might have been lost in translation. It was an intriguing, though horrific start, sometimes I was feeling adrift in such a short novel. There was enough strong writing that leads me to believe it's a translation issue. The author shares the inner thoughts of the characters to some extent, but that wasn't enough for me. We know how the story will end because of how it starts. We never get a reason why, but then that is often what happens in the real world. You can suppose. You can make some guesses, but you never really know why some people snap in the ways they do.


~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,166
10/21/19 8:00 P

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My Enemy's Tears: The Witch of Northampton by Karen Vorbeck Williams 5 stars

Very well researched local history. She filled in the documentation with an engaging story that felt believable. Surprised at just how much I liked this. I was expecting something dryer.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,210
10/20/19 11:56 P

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Man's Search For Meaning
By Victor Frankl
4 stars
Find your why, and all else falls into place.
This book has two parts: a first person account of existence and survival in the Nazi Concentration camps of WW2, and then a brief description of logotherapy, which is a psychotherapy which has the subject look to their future, rather than plumbing the depths of their past.
Seek not pleasure, but purpose, and all else falls into place.
Whether you agree with him entirely or not, his point is still relevant today.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 17,805
10/20/19 8:23 A

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The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
4 stars



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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 17,805
10/19/19 7:25 A

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The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
4 stars

Historical fiction based on the women divers at Jeju Island Korea. Interesting, but too graphically violent in some parts. Made for a good book club discussion.

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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,166
10/14/19 6:42 P

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt 3 stars

All my cool friend who read this gave it a much higher review than I feel I can give. I loathed everyone in the book - either a caricature or just too smart and cool for me to understand. The description of the book made me think I was getting something different. Charismatic professor? Not so much. To me it was more like misplaced idol worship for someone who didn't give off any great vibe. I would have loved for the professor to have somehow orchestrated the way the dominos fell, but I got nothing like that.

On a side note, I was also listening to the audio book at the beginning. I needed a book in the car and the book I planned on listening to wasn't available yet. Donna Tartt should NOT be doing the audio on this. Ya can't do what was supposed to be a Boston accent that was supposed to sound almost English and then do what she did to it. They all freaking sounded the same except for Bun - who was supposed to have been the Boston sounding accent. And so didn't. Ugh

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,166
10/14/19 4:31 P

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Still I Miss You by Inês Pedrosa

At least it was free. The premise was great but the execution (or maybe the translation) was awful. I don’t quit books but I seriously considered quitting this one.



~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,210
10/14/19 1:41 P

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Red At the Bone
By Jaqueline Woodson
3.5 stars
A timeless story of love, family, desire, and identity. It is well-written, and it is beautifully concise - spare in words but rich in nuance. Each chapter/character adds another layer to our understanding of the story.
And yet, for some reason the format did not work for me. It just felt too disjointed, and I often felt adrift, not sure who was who and where they fit into the narrative...

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,210
10/13/19 12:08 A

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21 Lessons for the 21st Century
By Yuval Noah Harari
4 stars
An interesting book that focuses in snapshot fashion on many of today's problems - everything from artificial intelligence to immigration to finding meaning in ones life, to religion, politics, disinformation, you name it! He dissects them all, if only briefly.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,166
10/7/19 6:57 P

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Between Two Queens by Kate Emerson - 3 stars

I picked this one up at a library book sale. I believe it was "fill a bag for $3" day. I didn't have much hope for it to be honest, but in the end, it wasn't bad. There were some real people of course, but a lot of it was totally imagined and the author makes no bones about doing that. It was entertaining and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the fact that she used excerpts from actual letters.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 17,805
10/6/19 7:49 A

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A Better Man by Louise Penny
4 stars
Centered more on the crime than the people of Three Pines. The author’s note at the end was touching.

Important:
READ THESE BOOKS IN ORDER. THIS IS NUMBER 15.

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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,021
10/4/19 8:53 P

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Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (5*)
This children's book tells the story of Nathan Bowditch, a self-educated mathematician and navigator who revolutionized navigation with his formulas and tables. His life was filled with bad luck and trouble but no obstacle or hardship could prevent his genius from finding expression.
This is a lovely children's book, written the way people who cared about youngsters used to write them--strong characters, much excitement, fairly accurate historical portrayal, and life lessons about perseverance, overcoming hardship and loss, and dealing honestly and ethically with people.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,210
10/4/19 9:29 A

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The Astonishing Color of After
By Emily X.R. Pan
4 stars
This is a beautiful book about depression and suicide. It is both incredibly sad and honestly promising. It is filled with symbolism (which I love, but often don't pick up on) and magic realism (which I usually don't like, but it really works here). The (unreliable) narrator navigates the confusing world of pre-adulthood while coming to terms with her mother's suicide and troubled past.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,021
10/3/19 11:12 A

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Plain Again (Plain Fame #3) by Sarah Price (2*)
This series about a rock star and Amish girl has soured, badly. The author seems to have suddenly changed her mind about writing a trilogy and decided to stretch the third volume out to three books. Does she have the material to do that and keep the stories fresh and interesting--no. Most of this book is essentially a repeat of Book 2--go to concerts, interviews, after parties, award shows, then do it again, wash, rinse, repeat until the couple finally have a bit of a story, and a far from good one, in about the last 75 pages. This book was repetitive and boring, and I think this is a good place to quit this series gone stale.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,210
10/2/19 3:00 P

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Moon of the Crusted Snow
By Waubgeshig Rice
4 stars
An interesting addition to the apocalyptic genre, with an aboriginal point of view, being set on a reserve in northern Ontario.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,166
10/2/19 5:18 A

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Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky 4 stars

I would have loved to read the rest of the story. The fact that this was a rough draft is amazing in and of itself, but the conditions under which she wrote it, make it that much more stunning. I can only imagine the thin line she felt balanced on trying to give the reader a feel for the time she was living, but also trying not to poke the bear. The letters and notes added to the story. Had I not known what happened to her or what her plan had been had she survived, I wouldn't have given it as high a rating, but even she knew it wasn't done. She hadn't even gotten to the halfway point in the rough draft. She was still trying to figure out ways to connect the characters when she was taken into custody.


~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,166
10/1/19 3:13 A

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This is where we can keep track of the books we read this month and rate them. This is similar to the “what are you reading” thread, but we will include only those books we finish reading in the month. If you start a book the previous month but finish in the current month, it counts for the current month. Please list the title, author, and your rating. You can also add a short review if you’d like.

Let’s use a 5-star rating system:

1 star * Hated it~Not worth your time
2 stars ** OK~There were some redeeming qualities
3 stars *** Liked it~Enjoyable read
4 stars **** Really liked it~Definitely worth reading
5 stars ***** Loved it~Great read and would recommend to others

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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