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On Beauty
I think On Beauty is brilliant. I loved the extra layer of meaning that my reading of E.M. Forster's Howards End provided -- but I don't think it's ne ...more
Jul 2009
Jul 17, 2009
Zeitoun is a moving and eye-opening journalistic account of a much-loved and respected Syrian-born small business owner and resident of New Orleans in ...more
Aug 2009
Aug 05, 2009
Skylight Confessions
I could not engage with this book. I found it trite and superficial. I hung in through the end, though, hoping it would redeem itself. It is the first ...more
Feb 2010
Mar 12, 2010
Rooftops of Tehran
This is a beautiful novel, with sensitively drawn characters in a volatile and violent period of Iran, from 1973 to 1974 during the reign of the Shah ...more
Aug 2009
Aug 05, 2009
Cane River
Cane River is a wonderful novel, which I highly recommend. I learned a lot about the slave/plantation/small farmer experience of Creole Louisiana. Esp ...more
Nov 2008
Oct 01, 2008
When the Elephants Dance
This is a wonderful book. We read this captivating novel in the Mostly Literary Fiction group in April 2009, with a follow-up Q&A with the author ...more
Nov 2008
Sep 30, 2008
Women of the Silk
Women of the Silk, Gail Tsukiyama's first novel, is well worth its strong reputation. We had the great pleasure of hosting the author at the Hayward P ...more
Feb 10, 2009
Jan 24, 2009
The Little Book
My family started listening to this audio book on our car ride to and from Bear Valley in late December. We only got to the 4th disc, but it was enoug ...more
Jan 25, 2009
Jan 14, 2009
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
When I first heard about Dreams from My Father, I didn't realize that Barack Obama wrote it in 1995, long before he was a presidential candidate. We a ...more
May 2009
May 12, 2009
Howards End
I have been wanting to read Zadie Smith's On Beauty for a while, but thought I should read Howards End first - because I know Smith's 2005 novel was i ...more
Jan 2009
May 04, 2009
The Stone Diaries
This Pulitzer Prize-winning book was suggested for the Mostly Literary Fiction book group that I lead at the Hayward Public Library, and we read it fo ...more
Mar 2009
Mar 17, 2009
Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout is a talented writer and deserved to be honored for this astute novel-within-stories. Strout creates the complicated character of Oli ...more
Jan 2009
Nov 10, 2009
I selected Gilead for the Mostly Literary Fiction Book Group's July 2009 selection. This is a seemingly straightforward narration in the form of a let ...more
Mar 2009
Apr 14, 2009
Red River
This is Lalita Tademy's second novel, based on her father's side of her family tree. This gut-wrenching novel focuses on what has been referred to as ...more
Jan 2009
Feb 09, 2009
Two Caravans
I am happy to identify myself as a new fan of Marina Lewycka and her wonderful novel Strawberry Fields (published under the title Two Caravans in Engl ...more
Mar 2010
Mar 20, 2010
A Room with a View
I liked this novel, but not as much as Howards End. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could. What I liked was the witty dialogue - Forster's dialogue really ...more
Jan 2009
May 13, 2009
Little Bee
I listened to the audio version of Little Bee, which I found extremely engaging and haunting. This is a book that begs to be discussed, so I have sele ...more
Feb 2010
Mar 21, 2010
French Milk
I stumbled onto this charming book while searching for potential reading about Paris, my delightful vacation destination this summer. The title refers ...more
Jun 2009
Jul 17, 2009
The White Tiger
I'm a little stumped about how to review this book. I found it very interesting and provocative, but I often felt uncomfortable that the characters we ...more
Sep 2009
Oct 01, 2009
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
This was another Paris vacation-inspired read (though I'd been wanting to read it for a while). A sweet and tender story with quirky characters I fell ...more
Jun 2009
Jul 17, 2009
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
It's a challenge to rate this book, just as it was a challenge to read it. Did I "like" it? Not really - it presents a somber and unsettling view of t ...more
Jan 2009
Nov 10, 2009
The Monsters Of Templeton
This book got a lot of positive reviews, and has been highlighted as great for book group discussions. There was a lot I liked about this book, but it ...more
Dec 2008
Jan 13, 2009
What is the What
I listened to the audio version of this amazing autobiographical novel. The narrator, Dion Graham, is really talented - his delivery of Valentino Acha ...more
Jan 2009
Aug 18, 2009
Sarah's Key
This book has such a strong and compelling story that I forgive its narrative faults or characters I found annoying.

The historical plot is absorbing:
Mar 2010
Mar 12, 2010
Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories
I attended a wonderful performance by Word for Word, a San Francisco-based professional acting troupe that narrated/acted out three of Tobias Wolff's ...more
Mar 31, 2009
Mar 10, 2009
Old Filth (Old Filth, #1)
I loved this book -- will write a more detailed review soon. I'll look forward to reading Gardam's follow-up companion novel, The Man in the Wooden Ha ...more
May 18, 2010
May 12, 2010
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Some books you love for the story, some books you love for the writing. I was especially delighted by Tiffany Baker's lively, energetic, and inspired ...more
Oct 2009
Mar 09, 2010
To Kill a Mockingbird
Of course this is one of the best books ever written -- a story that stays with you for life. I saw the film as a child, before reading the book, and ...more
Jan 1975
Jan 09, 2009
Johnny Got His Gun
I was very moved by the classic antiwar novel Johnny Got His Gun when I read it in high school, many years ago. I recall this now after stumbling onto ...more
not set
Sep 02, 2009
The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1)
My daughter read this for her 8th grade class, and I felt inspired to read it so we could talk about it together (what a treat!). It's a really sweet ...more
Jan 2009
Jan 13, 2009
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