Friday, April 25, 2014

The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde

My rating:  4.6

This raw witty novel starts off about Theresa's neighbor James who has a huge crush on her.  Theresa is smitten with her jerk boyfriend Randy.  This is the story of actions, consequences and coming to terms with what happens.  It is a light easy read that had me laughing out loud at several points while deftly dealing with heavy topics of guilt, remorse and healing.  This won't be the last book that I read by this author.  For such a dark topic, this was a thoroughly enjoyable little read.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Rating: 4.8

I enjoyed this book a lot. Not only was it interesting to hear about the lifestyle in 1920’s Paris and to learn about Hemingway and the circle of artists in 1920’s Paris (Picaso, Joyce, Fitzgerald, etc.) but the attitudes were so different back then. I think the author did a wonderful job of making the characters, even the unsympathetic ones, come to life. Some of it wasn't easy to read as Hemingway did not treat his wives well but the author did a fabulous job in bringing this to life.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

My rating:  4.2

This book was in need of an editor.  It also was excellent writing so I didn't mind that it was gratuitously long.  The other fault was the characters did not mature.  I have heard this called a 'coming of age' story.  When at the beginning of the book the boy who is 13 years old has not changed or matured when he is in his 20s at the end of the book, it is hard to agree with it being a coming of age story.

While the above is true, I enjoyed this book.  I don't know that it is a recommend and I definitely do not think it should have won the Pulitzer but, it was still an enjoyable read.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini

My rating:  4.4

This work of historical fiction tells the story Lizzy Van Lew and her efforts to help the Union during the Civil War.  While there were times when the details of the war were a bit cumbersome, overall this book had a good pace and gave me a much greater understanding of the sacrifices both black and white made during those times to help the North succeed.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

How to Start a Book Club

I highly encourage you to join a book club.  If you can't find one you like, start your own!

Before you start your club, decide on things like:

  • a name
  • the type of books you want to read (mysteries, fiction, non-fiction?)
  • how you want to run your club
  • how many members
  • where do you want to have it

The hardest part is advertising.  I have had good luck with putting up flyers at Starbucks, advertising in the local paper. is ok but you have to realize that meetup is meant as a 'drop in' event so I haven't had as good of luck when I want permanent members.