Adult Summer Reading Club Book Reviews


Week One:

Here are this week’s reviews from the members of the Adult Summer Reading Club:

ImageDaddy’s Gone a Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark

A family owned antique business and museum is blown to bits in the middle of the night.  Two bodies are found in the rubble – the owner’s daughter and a disgruntled employee.  The daughter is in a comma and the retired employee is dead.  Was the explosion set by them?????  Also found on the site is the remains of a girl who has been missing for 28 years…Too many characters in this story…

Rating: 4

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Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

This was the most beautifully written story I have read in a long time.  A blend of history and fiction.  A coming of age story told by a 16-year-old girl named Griet in 17th century Delft, Holland.  It begins in 1664, when Griet must take a job as a maid to help support the family after her father becomes blind.  Her master is the real artist Vermeer.

Rating: 5+

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Home to Woefield by Susan Juby

I was initially entertained by this book which follows Prudence, a young eco-friendly Brooklynite, inheriting a neglected and about to be foreclosed farm from her uncle in Canada.  Misadventures ensue as Prudence becomes surrounded by a bunch of misfits and tries to save the farm.  Skip this read if you are easily offended by a lot of swearing.  Rating: 3

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I’m a Stranger Here Myself  by Bill Bryson

Bryson returns to America after living in Britain for twenty years, and discusses his likes and dislikes of America and compares it to Britain.  Hilariously.

Rating: 5

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The Johnstown Flood  by David McCullough

This book describes the events of May 31, 1889 when the dam above Johnstown, PA broke and approximately 2,200 people were killed.  I first learned about this disaster from a cable TV program years ago, and wanted to learn more about it.  This book is very well-written and interesting.  I though the subject would be morose and depressing but the author puts in a great deal of historical detail that it was actually an enjoyable read.

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Joyland by Stephen King

This book is the latest by one of my favorite authors.  The story is from the point-of-view of a 21-year-old man in the year 1973 when he was working the summer in an amusement park.  There is very little supernatural elements, but it is a nice, touching story.  I cried at the sad ending!

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Odd Hours  by Dean Koontz

I have really enjoyed reading the “Odd Thomas” series of books by Dean Koontz.  This book is just as riveting, fast-paced, and witty as the others.  In Odd Hours, the main character, Odd (that’s his first name) saves the U.S. from a nuclear terrorist attack.  A lot happens in this book, but a lot of supernatural things are left vague and unexplained.  Otherwise, I would have given the book a rating of 5.

ImagePicnic, Lightning  by Billy Collins

A collection of poetry by one of my favorite poets: Billy Collins.  Thoroughly enjoyed “Snow”, “Moon”, “Victoria’s Secret”, and “Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes”.

Rating: 5

ImageUnder the Dome  by Stephen King

Stephen King does it again.  He gives you a story (1000 pages!) that you wish was twice as long.  Rating: 4

ImageUnknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook

The inside story and behind the scenes look of Joy Division (an English band in the ‘70s) from the viewpoint of the bass player.  I enjoyed hearing how the band formed and developed their sound, as well as reading about all of the off stage hijinks.  This probably would have been a better audiobook since it reads like a conversation.  Rating: 4

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Adult Winter Reading Club Book Reviews: Week Three



Here are this week’s reviews from the members of the Adult Winter Reading Club:

Finding Home by Amy O’Neill

This was a love story following Avery Scott and how she fell in love with Damien Focelli when she moved to San Diego, CA.  Although the plot was predictable, I found I could not stop reading this book.  The author did a good job with descriptions and dialogue.

Rating: 3 out of 5

A Lucky Child  by Thomas Buergenthal

The author recounts his experience as a six year old boy who survived a Nazi kidnapping.  Told mostly through his memoirs as a child, you can’t help to appreciate why he calls this book A Lucky Child.

Rating: 5 out of 5

The Probability of Miracles  by Wendy Wunder

This was a bittersweet read since the main character, Campbell Scott, is very likable, even if she is “hope resistant.”  After all, Cam is a teen cancer patient, who has spent many years in & out of hospitals, and is now slowly dying.  Cam, along with her mother and sister, move from Florida to a small Maine town, hoping for a miracle cure.  I loved Cam’s misadventures working through her Flamingo List, the friends she finds along the way, and especially her gradual attitude change.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Tick Tock by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

A rash of horrific copycat crimes are being committed by a deadly mastermind.  This book has it all – Irish cop and family, romance and grisly murders right up to the last page.

This book is the follow up to Step on a Crack.

Rating: 4 out 5

Adult Winter Reading Club


Adult Winter Reading Club Book Reviews

Week Two:

Here are this week’s reviews from the members of the Adult Winter Reading Club:

clubNo Greater Sacrifice by John C. Stipa

This is a book continuing the Indiana Jones/Robert Langdon vein of adventure.  Archeologist Renee d’Arcadia and Professor David Arturo are summoned to the reading of a will in Rennes-le-Chateau, France.  They are soon unraveling clues to a 100 year old mystery, racing around Europe, and dodging killers.  At times I felt a bit lost with the leaps of logic that took place to advance the story, but overall this was a very entertaining read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Book CoverOutrage by Arnaldur Indridason

I love this series of mysteries!  This is the sixth book in the Dectective Erlendur series, and even though his colleague Elinborg solves this murder, it’s still a fascinating story.

Rating: 5 out of 5

The Retribution  by Val McDermid

This is part of a British mystery series featuring detective Carol Jordan and profiler Tony Hill.  This story has an interesting twist from the usual murder mystery in that there are two serial killers to chase down this time.  I was not familiar with the previous books in this series, but that did not detract from the thrills of this book. Rating: 3 out of 5

Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster

This is the story about Mr. Blank, an old man clueless as to his identity and location.  He’s just as lost as to why he is being helped with his daily routine.  As you are reading it, you continue to wonder if any of this mystery can have any logical explanation.

Rating: 3 out of 5