Home > Family book club

From Diane: "This year I realized that I wanted to share my thoughts, feelings or experience of the book I was reading with someone, but I can't imagine how I would squeeze a book club into my life. I propose a 'virtual' family book club. Here is a book I read this year that I thought you would like. Buy another new book, and if you think I would like it, tell me about it or send it to me. It would be really great to share a story with you."

Let's do this. Let's have a family book club. Send me the names of the books you'd like to contribute to the club, send in your reviews and let me know that the book is, or is not, available for sharing. I'll send an email or you can check in here to pick out a book.

Book title and author

Who has it?
Reviewed by:
Black Hawk Down:
A Story of Modern War
Mark Bowden
Drew has it Drew: Absolutely the scariest book I have ever read. This chronicled in details exactly what happened when a simple military covert operation went horribly bad in Somalia, and what it took to get out of it. Again, the movie is good, but you need to have lived through the book before you attempt the movie.  
Bringing Out the Dead
Joe Connelly
Drew has it Drew: Is this one true? It is his first novel and the main character, Frank is teetering between sane and insane, depressed and haunted. I was quite taken with this one. Definitely read before you rent the movie.  
Chorus of Mushrooms
Hiromi Goto
Sara has it Sara: This was the November book for my book club. It was written by a 2nd generation Japanese Canadian immigrant. One of our book club members is Canadian--her son is "at University" and recommended the book. I was very impressed--for such a young author the writing is loose and confident and she goes into some wild surrealistic magical interludes--a fun read.  
Daughter of Fortune
Isabel Allende
Kay has it
(Diane recommended it)
Diane: I enjoyed this glimpse into what California was "really" like in 1849 and I loved the juxtaposition of cultures; English & Chilean; American & Latina and the overarching "wise" Chinese. No, I'm reading it, but let me know if you want it next and I'll put you on a waiting list.
The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown
There's a copy going around in California - read Diane's comments ... does anyone else have one for borrowing? read reviews by Diane, Drew, Kay, Sara.  
The Journals of
Lewis and Clark
(the Bernard DeVoto edition)
Drew has it Drew: This one is all true. I had wanted to read this for the longest time, and it was very thick, but, very interesting. There is a point where they are travelling through a vast area of prickly pear cactus where it covers everything so thickly that they can't hardly make places to lie down to sleep. Their original boots long gone, they are trying to make it through the area on moccasins made of deer skin, which are no match for the quills. There is an amazing sequence of shooting a bear and then being attacked and chased by it before they can finally kill it.  

Killer Diller
Clyde Edgerton

Kay has it
(Sara recommended it)
Kay: By the same author as Walking Across Egypt, it has some of the same characters, and is every bit as charming and funny. Set in North Carolina - the book cover has this "Edgerton is a master of down-home droll, devising cornpone characters who get in the darndest predicaments, speak in a variety of southern tongues and beguile us with their spunky vitality." That's about right. yes
Life of Pi
Yann Martel
Sara has it Sara: This was the January book for my book club. Very well written and thought provoking. A lot of it would have gone over my head if not for the discussion we had and one of our very well read members with a serious theological bent shed a lot of light on it. A large section of this book chronicles a young man lost at sea for months and months with a tiger on his life boat. It was rough for me to read page after page of starving terrified grieving young man. That said, I still recommend the book.
The Robber Bridegroom
Eudora Welty
Sara has it Sara: We had seen the play version of this book some years back which was laugh out loud funny. The book was very different from the play I thought. Lee Smith (one of my favorite authors) said it was the best book she ever read. So many authors will cite Eudora Welty as one of their biggest influences. It is a folk tale--a yarn--violent and dark and erotic but fun as well. I recommend it.  
Sea Biscuit
Laura Hillenbrand
Drew has it Drew: This book is basically a documentary of the life and times of Sea Biscuit and his owners, trainers and riders, but it is a page-turner, she has really brought the story of their lives and times and the impact that Sea Biscuit had on the country to life, I think I finished this book faster than any other where I haven't been trapped on an airplane for countless hours.
The Secret Life of Bees
sue Monk Kidd
Kay has it Kay: Beth recommended this book to me when she was here for Christie and Chris' wedding. It is a beautifully written story - sad but also uplifting. Maybe it falls into the realm of magical realism? I loved it and recommend it wholeheartedly. let me (K) know if you'd like it, i'll send it out to you.
Skinny Legs and All
Tom Robbins
Drew has it

Drew: Wayne Thresher had recommended this one to us long ago, and, I happened to pick it up right after Da Vinci Code. Strangely, it also involves goddess worship and much more. Intriguing, well written, funny

Kay: It's been years since I read this book, but I can still remember what a pleasure it was to read it. Tom Robbins used to be a favorite author - he has a lot of fun with language.

The Tale of Despereaux
Kate DiCamillo
Drew has it

Drew: This is a book that Rachel read in her library-sponsored book club, and it ultimately won the Newberry award. It was a wonderful story with a quiet, telling-us-the-story voice that makes it read like a bedtime story. She often addresses you as 'reader', and gives us words to go look up in the dictionary (me too). I really liked it. If you are thinking of getting it as a gift, I would aim it at early elementary as a bedtime story, and up to middle school once they are staying up later than you can stay up for their bedtimes. Rachel really liked it too.

Michael Cricton
  Drew:This is one of the books that started this whole family club, the book that Diane and Dave sent me for Christmas. It is a page-turner, exciting but perhaps not really true, sort of time-travel story. Cricton has put forward the idea of parallel universes interacting with each other to facilitate the time travel, using a cage that is kind of vaporized into another universe that is cooperative enough to rematerialize it at the other end. He also discusses the "going back to change the future" concept and says you really can't, as one person is still just one person and can't really turn the tide of events, in the same way that they can't do that in an event today. Interesting concept. Anyway, that isn't why you read it, it is for the adventure of going back into 1357 in France with castles and monasteries and lots and lots of things going wrong and jousting and so on. This makes a great fun read, would be good for an airport / plane trip when you just want to keep on reading.
Tuesday's With Morrie
Mitch Albom
Sara has it

Sara: Mom recommended and lent this book to me. A quick read and very well written, I will admit that it was a 2 hankie for me. Although the take home message is clearly that life is too short not to spent lots of time with the people you love, I took from it that life is possibly too short not to drive a 2 seat convertible sports car.....


Walking Across Egypt
Clyde Edgerton

Kay has it
(Sara recommended it)
Kay: This is a sweet, quirky story - the characters are believably drawn, the situations they find themselves in are strange, and the writing is clever and funny. I highly recommend this. It's available, let me know if you want it and I'll mail it to you.

Wolf Whistle
Lewis Nordan

  Drew: This book is the second book in the "Wake Reads Together" program: http://www.co.wake.nc.us/readstogether/home.htm They did Fahrenheit 451 last year, and this book is quite a bit more complex. It takes you through a fictionalized murder of a young black man in a bleak southern town, that is based on the actual murder of Emmett Till, which happened in the author's hometown when the author was the same age as the victim. It is very well written and takes you right back into the time, the place and the issues. I was very impressed with his writing, and want to read more of his books. I really recommend this one.  
Last updated:
3 April, 2004
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