Michele's Book Club - List 1
The Pursuit of a Good Book
I have always been an avid reader. I have gone through stages in my life were my taste has fluctuated from gothic romances, science fiction, horror, to the classics. I know some will not agree with my assessment of some of these books but we all have different taste when it comes to what makes a good novel. I jump around when I read, like after I read “The Road” I had to read something that was not depressing. Some of what I have read this past year where on the National Best Sellers List and I wonder why? The list does have some excellent choices according to my taste, while others are just “good”. I hope this list helps someone discover a new novel they have not read or discover a new author to add to there must read writers.
Here is my book list.
The Constant Gardener
John Le Carre
This was my last book of 2009 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have never been disappointed by a John Le Carre novel and of course this one delivers. This novel is a love story that leads a grieving husband to find out the truth. It takes us from Africa, to Canada and other stops along the way as Justin Quayle finds the truth behind his wife’s brutal murder.
The Jane Austen Book Club
Karen Joy Fowler
This was a fun read and enjoyed the movie which is slightly different. Five women and one man meet to discuss the novels by Jane Austen but each them has a bit of Austen in their lives. This book for me lacked depth but then I am not always inclined to read books that have a lot of depth. This was a fun, witty book that is a good read after reading a book like “The Road”
This book follows a man and his son as they travel through the post-apocalyptic countryside. This book is written in a simple way which lends itself to the content of this book. Reading this you feel the cold, bleakness, the ash and the gray skies that follow these two on their journey to find a safe place. This is a bleak novel but holds us to the very end as we are captivated by the struggles of these two.
The Other Boleyn Girl
This is a great piece of historical fiction. This book has it all with sisterly rivalry, Henry VIII and court life at that time. I will say that many of the facts are wrong or slightly askew to make a good story. This is a fast read and one book you won’t put down.
The Pillars of the Earth
I have read this book twice and found it even more fascinating the second time around. This is a complex novel with characters that one will not forget. Reading this book I felt like I was there in 12th century England enduring the triumphs and tragedies of the characters. I will say that it is not an easy book to get into and Follett has a tendency to be long winded but it is a great book that one should not miss.
This is a story of secrets, love, compassion and the horrors of one’s past. The Reader starts off in Post WWII in Germany. A 15 year old Michael has an affair with a woman twice his age by the name of Hanna. Michael never learns much about her before she disappears from his life and he never expects to see her again. Years later Michael sits in on a trial and realizes one of the defendants is Hanna.
The Red Queens Daughter
This book was a nice read that blended British history, fantasy, magic and romance. The story is about Mary Seymour the daughter of former Queen Katherine Parr and her fourth husband Thomas Seymour. Orphaned after her mother’s death Mary would one day end up in the court of Elizabeth I. Many historians believe the real Mary died at birth but this story takes her life as if she had lived.
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This novel is set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with a rich background of characters and settings. This story is of rejection, love and obsession that lead the reader through the lives of the characters as if you are with them every step. For the romantic’s at heart the last chapter will be well worth the journey this book takes you one.
The Rule of Four
Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomasin
There were things I liked about this book but part of me thought it lacked something that I cannot put my finger on. This is the first novel for these two and with that in mind it is a good first book. It takes place at Princeton and the mystery around a very rare, beautifully decorated book the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. This book really exist which for me, made it much more fascinating.
The Lost Symbol,
Dan Brown delivers yet again in this novel and is a page turner. It takes place in Washington DC and keeps you in suspense as Robert Langdon tries to solve murder and the mysteries that surround him. I will be honest in saying, that this book is not as good as his earlier novels.
R. A. Salvatore
Occasionally I pick up and read a “Star Wars” novel and this book is the first in the “New Jedi Order”. The struggle to make the galaxy safe is further put to the test when an enemy seeks to destroy all that has been gained. This is a good book if you are into continuing the Star Wars story. There is a death of a major character that upset me for days.
This book is one my daughter had asked me to read. It is the one I talked about the most after I read it. It follows the life of the three witches in the Wizard of Oz. This is a dark tale and nothing like those of us that knows the movie. When you are done you will realize the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) was misunderstood and her life was a sad one.
The Broken Window
If you ever seen the movie “The Bone Collector” it is based on a Deaver book. In this book we follow the two characters Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs as they track a very cunning individual. Lincoln’s cousin sits in jail for a murder, as the killer is on the loose. This story has many twists and turns that will keep you reading till the last page.