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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,629
6/28/19 4:48 P

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The Devourers
By Indra Das
5 stars
This was our Book Club pick for June.
I don't know if I can write a review of this book. I have never read anything quite like it, and I find it hard to understand why I enjoyed it so much. "Enjoyed" might not be the right word. I felt this book; I felt it with every kind of feeling I know. It was terrifying, satisfying, compelling, brutal, and beautiful far beyond my expectations. But be warned: this is not a book for everyone. As a matter of fact, I would never have anticipated that it would be a book for me. And yet, I have no doubt that this is one that will live on within me for quite some time, much like the prey in this book live on in their "Devourers".

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/27/19 7:54 A

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Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh #1) by A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard (Illustrations) 4 stars

My mom used to read these to me often. These stories, Dr. Seuss, Aospop's Fables, and Grimm's Fairy Tales were all part of my daily dose of book exposure. It's been decades since I last read them, and yet, I felt like a kid again remembering how I felt being read to. Oddly enough, I think it holds up well because it's all about the world a child imagines when playing.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,629
6/25/19 11:56 P

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The Porcupine Year
By Louise Erdrich
5 stars
This is a junior novel.
I just can't say enough good about this series. Each volume is as good or better than the one before. The Birchbark House series presents an absolutely delightful account of a young aboriginal girl's life. It is not sugar coated, but expresses an appreciation for nature and community, and a joy in the simple pleasures of a challenging and fragile way of life.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/24/19 12:05 P

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The Border Legion by Zane Grey 3 stars

I read this book as part of the 2019 Pop Sugar reading challenge - the prompt was a book that makes me nostalgic. The copy I read belonged to my grandfather. It's a very old book and he and I are likely the only two who read this copy. Can I fairly review this? Nope.

The book was published more than 100 years ago. Things have changed. I'm not familiar enough with life out there, then or now for that matter. I can't tell how likely any of it would be, but I can tell you the woman was strong enough to survive using the tools she had available to her. My grandfather always did admire strength in a woman. Do I think the happily ever after was true to life? Nope. But then again, I don't feel it in most books when that happens.

Given what I've said so far, why did I only give 3 stars? Well, I'm not a fan of this type of book. I think the idea that a woman can win over the good in a man, is not accurate. I think the heroes in the book were pretty juvenile in how they both acted. But see, this was the book I randomly chose from my grandfather's collection after he died. It was a little like going back in time and reading along with him.



~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/24/19 5:26 A

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Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford 3 stars

I love the title and the story is good, but the telling of it just doesn't work for me. It felt flat and a story that is as rich in history as this one, shouldn't feel that way. I had so much trouble pushing through this. It probably doesn't help that I read another one of his earlier this year and they are told in the same formula. This is really only a 2 star book for me, but I gave an extra star because I think it is a decent enough way to introduce the history of the time and place to an audience.

~ Cheryl

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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/21/19 11:26 A

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith 4 stars

This may actually be a 5 star book for me, but I'm dealing with crazy hormones and I'm afraid to give it that extra star in case I'm just being emotional.

I really, really, enjoyed this book. I can't think of a single issue I had with it. Crap. Maybe I need to give it 5 stars. I don't know. Maybe I'll read it again and decide when my body regulates. Anyway...

Never read the book. Never saw a movie of the story. I only picked it because it was a classic and it fit one of the prompts in the reading challenge this year. I am so glad I read it. I've never dreamed of living in Brooklyn before, but I can imagine if I had read this in my teens, I probably would have.



~ Cheryl

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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/21/19 11:15 A

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Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story by Andrea Warren 3 stars

A quick book that would serve as a good introduction to the history of orphan trains.



~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 18,425
6/21/19 8:56 A

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Shelter by Harlan Coben

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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,629
6/20/19 10:05 P

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A Long Walk To Water
By Linda Sue Park
5 stars
*** This is a junior novel, but can certainly be read and appreciated by older readers.
This book is partly based on the true story of Salva Dut, a boy separated from his family by the civil war in Sudan in the 1980s. A greater portion of the narrative follows his trials and travels as he survives, but never thrives, in different refugee camps until he finally makes his way to the United States in 1996. A parallel, and fictional story takes place also in Sudan, but in 2008-09, in the story of Nya and how the severe shortage of water defines her life and the lives of her family and fellow villagers. Their stories intersect in 2009, and the result is truly affecting and inspiring.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,629
6/19/19 4:11 P

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Nine Perfect Strangers
By Liane Moriarty
3 stars
The characters Liane Moriarty created in this book are tedious. I would not want to be confined with them for 10 days of self improvement, no matter how impressive the surroundings. I honestly don't know why I stuck with it, considering how I had to prod myself to pick it up. It took me a good two weeks to work my way through it. However, about a third of the way through I became invested enough that I wanted to know the outcome for them all, so I decided to skim-read the rest of the book. In two days the deed was accomplished and I found the ending quite satisfying, all things considered. I wouldn't recommend the book, but I wouldn't completely trash it either. For some readers, it may have been a delightfully clever read.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/19/19 5:04 A

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button And Other Stories (Audio CD) by F. Scott Fitzgerald 3 stars

I like the way the author writes, but these stories were kind of hit and miss. Some were 2, some were 4, some were 3.


~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/19/19 4:54 A

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The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova 3 stars

This was disappointing. I loved the story but for me, there was something in the telling that made it not work. I can't put my finger on what it is. The flashbacks didn't seem placed correctly? I have no issue with a story told in the way it was for other books, so I don't understand why it felt wrong in this one. I think the flashbacks in interspersed were needed, but sometimes the timing just felt off.

There was something in the modern day part that didn't work for me as well though. I should have been sucked in, reading page after page, unwilling to put it down because that is what this kind of story does to me. Instead, I found my mind wondering and needing to go back and re-read a paragraph here and there. I guess it just didn't feel polished? I don't know. I didn't hate it and I'm glad I read it, but I just couldn't get into it the way I would have expected.


~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 18,425
6/16/19 10:28 A

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Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 18,425
6/16/19 10:27 A

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I read it. Gave it a 3 on Goodreads.

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PA039631's Photo PA039631 Posts: 119
6/14/19 10:56 P

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I had the same problem when I read it.

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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/14/19 3:13 P

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A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking 4 stars

My biggest problem with this book is that I got lost frequently. I don't blame the book for that. The fault lies with the reader. I followed along better with the concepts and theories I was familiar with but had to read and re-read other parts and still not quite grasp what I was being told. I may try again in the future.


~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/11/19 10:06 A

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The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley 2 stars

I picked up my copy of this book at a library book sale, probably 6 or 7 years ago. The plan was to read this with/to my youngest who would have been 5-6. We started and he grew bored fairly quickly. We put it aside and he never wanted to try it again.

This year, I added it to my reading challenge, figuring I should read it and either keep it for some future generation, or be done with it and donate it. It will be donated.

It started out reasonably good I thought and then it just dragged and rambled on. I can understand why a 5-ish year old would grow bored. But I kept reading, hoping that when it was concluded, I'd feel something good about it. I didn't. At least I read it and I can pass it along.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/11/19 3:44 A

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Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, #1) by Elizabeth Peters 4 stars


I put books on my to-read list and I'm not sure why. Did I read an article that had it on a list? Did friend suggest it? I don't know, but this book had been on my to-read list for more than a year.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. I figured out damn near all the mystery early on, but still, I enjoyed the banter so much that I didn't care that I seemed to grasp the clues faster than Peabody did.

I probably won't read more in the series though. I like the way it was left and I have so many books to read that I'd hate to end up not liking these people further down the line.

This is what I guess would now be called a "cozy mystery".

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,629
6/10/19 9:36 A

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Notes From the Dog
By Gary Paulsen
3 stars


~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,629
6/10/19 9:35 A

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Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
By Ruth Emmie Lang
4.5 stars
Like the story's protagonist, Weylyn Grey, this book is not magical in itself, it is the reader that makes it so.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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SANS2SASSY1's Photo SANS2SASSY1 Posts: 434
6/9/19 5:27 P

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A Toast to Murder by Allyson K. Abbott
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SANS2SASSY1's Photo SANS2SASSY1 Posts: 434
6/9/19 5:26 P

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Shots in the Dark by Allyson K. Abbott
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6/9/19 5:21 P

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In the Drink by Allyson K. Abbott
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Edited by: SANS2SASSY1 at: 6/9/2019 (17:24)
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6/9/19 5:19 P

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Murder with a Twist by Allyson K. Abbott
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6/9/19 5:15 P

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Murder on the Rocks by Allyson K. Abbott
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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,379
6/9/19 11:46 A

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The Thief by Megan Whelan Turner (4*)
A thief is taken out of jail by the King of the first kingdom to steal a hidden artifact in the third kingdom to use to pressure the Queen of the second kingdom to marry him. This was a better than average quest fantasy with some very unusual twists, with the added bonus of staying short and to the point without dragging it out to epic lengths.

Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 6/9/2019 (11:58)
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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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 18,425
6/9/19 6:28 A

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The Storied Life of A. J. Friky
5 stars
Especially for people who love books. emoticon

Edited by: CHIPPEE at: 6/9/2019 (06:28)
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ITSALLGOOD6's Photo ITSALLGOOD6 Posts: 962
6/6/19 7:34 P

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Lanny
Max Porter
5 stars

Brilliant. Creative. Hopeful. True. I went from giggling to gasping...practically holding my breath. Is this a morality tale, an allegory, a fable, a fairy tale? The characters were so authentic. I knew them. And I know them. The author is keenly masterful at penning powerful stories in tiny little books. I read Grief is a Thing with Feathers in 2016 and was stunned with its beauty. Porter has done it again. Knocked my socks off. He raises the bar in fiction writing...challenging other authors to step up.

ITSALLGOOD6's Photo ITSALLGOOD6 Posts: 962
6/6/19 4:45 P

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New Roads and Old River
Richard Sexton, Randy Harelson, Brian Costello
4 stars

Beautiful photographs plus well-written info on the history and culture of Pointe Coupee Parish (an area one hour north of my new home in my new state - Louisiana). Day tripped this area last Saturday and did stop in at the Parish Museum to be enchanted with the docent's polished tour. Now that I've read the book, I'll be making a return trip to see what I missed the first time. Even without having read the book, I did feel a bit of something ethereal and captivating in the air! Now I understand more fully what I was experiencing and that Point Coupee is indeed a special place.

ITSALLGOOD6's Photo ITSALLGOOD6 Posts: 962
6/6/19 4:31 P

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Julian is a Mermaid
Jessica Love
5 stars

Enchanting. Gorgeous illustrations. It's what love is really all about. I found this in the children's picture book section of the library but it's also for adults:) Besides...who doesn't love mermaids and long for an abuela like Julian's?!

LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,379
6/6/19 2:08 P

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A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (4*)
I'm reviewing the series as one long book. It wasn't to my taste, but I certainly can admire the creativity, humor, author's meditations, and internal consistency. I can see why kids would love this series, although some of the humor is erudite and would go over their heads. A lot of unpleasant events and consequences could have been prevented if the adults weren't arrogant dolts too involved with their own agendas to consider kids' viewpoints to be of importance, and, of course, the adults just don't listen to kids and keep rebuking them for interrupting while interrupting the kids' attempts to communicate things of vital urgency, to everyone's peril. There is much here that is dark and morbid that some parents might not consider desirable for kiddie lit, and the author doesn't hesitate to kill off characters, especially the good guys.

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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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/4/19 8:12 P

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey 4 stars

This marks the 3rd time I've read this. I didn't need to read it a third time. I'm keeping my 4 stars. I love that it is told from the perspective it is. But 3 times was enough and I'm finding that there are books that I can be all set with. I'll be donate my copy.

~ Cheryl

Co Leader of A Book Club team


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ITSALLGOOD6's Photo ITSALLGOOD6 Posts: 962
6/4/19 6:09 P

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The Liar's Child
Carla Buckley
4 stars

Secrets, trauma, complex relationships, and liars abound in this tale, along with some charmingly endearing moments. I couldn't put it down. Author is a skilled storyteller, laying out ever so richly flawed characters - with four of them voicing chapters. I gasped when I read "...(the doctor) pressed the stethoscope against Cassie's ribs, trying to find the heart Cassie knew wasn't there". The author's use of brief snippets between some of the chapters was clever as I read on to discover their connection to the story. I was expecting a fast, easy, run-of-the-mill, no brainer mystery....instead I got a finely crafted beautiful tale.

JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,629
6/3/19 9:28 A

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The Rules of Magic
By Alice Hoffman
3.5 stars rounded up to 4. A book about magic, and love, and loss. Not my usual fare, but I enjoyed it.

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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ITSALLGOOD6's Photo ITSALLGOOD6 Posts: 962
6/2/19 3:12 P

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The Martian Chronicles
Ray Bradbury
3 stars

Seems like these stories could have been easily set on Earth as they were on Mars. They are less about Mars (and Earth) and more about human behavior. First few stories captured my interest...then they began to run together in my head...until Usher II. The references to Poe's writing was fascinating...made for a clever tale. Enjoyed most -And the Moon be Still as Bright, The Last ones, and The Martian. The Luggage Store contained a fascinating sentence...penned in late 1940s: It's a funny thing....we came to get away...politics, atom bomb, war, pressure groups, prejudice, laws....". 70 years later and somethings things haven't changed at all. Well written. Note: this was a selection for one of the book discussion groups I belong at local library.

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6/2/19 11:49 A

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Death Wins a Goldfish
Brian Rea

Oh so clever. Made me laugh out loud. Have long appreciated Rea's illustrations for NYT Modern Love essays. This might be my all time favorite graphic novel. Was a sweet interlude of sorts between the bigger books currently stacked in the middle of the dining table:)

JOANNEJI's Photo JOANNEJI Posts: 5,629
6/2/19 9:55 A

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The Game of Silence
By Louise Erdrich
6 stars
A junior novel, Book 2 in the Birchbark House series.
The indigenous equivalent of Little House on the Prairie.
Deserving of much more appreciation than they have received.
Share it with a young person that you love!

~ Joanne

Location: Stettler, Alberta, Canada


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PA039631's Photo PA039631 Posts: 119
6/1/19 11:43 A

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"All the Beautiful Girls"
Elizabeth J Church
Rating 4

I really enjoyed this book about life and Las Vegas Show Girls.

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CDCSMITH2013's Photo CDCSMITH2013 Posts: 2,230
6/1/19 8:23 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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