Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff

When I read Susan's, of West of Mars, review of The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff, I just knew my book club needs to read this. And so does yours! Be sure to read what Susan has to say about it here.

You can also read a mother daughter reviews of this book at Ace and Hoser Block. Click here for Dana's review and here for Lauren's.

Published: March 2007
Pages: 400
Series: Another character is explored in The Diplomat's Wife (May 2008)
Author's website:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A promise to Remember by Kathryn Cushman

The review by Melissa at 5 Minutes for Books is quite intriguing. She didn't say it would be a good book club book but I can envision it being a very interesting discussion.

Published: October, 2007
Pages: 320
Discussion Guide: Here

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Friend or Frenemy by Andrea Lavinthal and Jessica Rozler

Interesting non-fiction. We all have friends. We all have folks who we think of friends that are really not our friends - they drag us down and keep us from being the best we can be. These folks are frenemies.

Friend or Frenemy by Andrea Lavinthal and Jessica Rozler would be a good discussion in a book club. Will people actually admit to having a frenemy? Or being one?

See Book Club Girl's take on the book in relation to the women's gymnastic team at the Olympics!

Published: August, 2008
Pages: 256
Author's website:

Montana 1948 by Larry Watson

Montana 1948 sounds like an interesting book based on the review by Trish at Hey Lady Whatcha' Reading? Click on this link to read her review. Then click on this link to read a review from Jessica - another member of the same book club!

Published: September, 1993
Pages: 175
Series: None
Author's website: Larry Watson
FAQ on the book: Here

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

I just read a great review of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. Lisa at Books on the Brain and her book club read and discussed this book. They even got to talk to the author via phone. Here's the link to her thoughts and their discussion.

Published: August, 2007
Pages: 384
Series: None
Website: Loving Frank .

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wife in the North by Judith O'Reilly

The description of this book, Wife in the North by Judith O'Reilly, reminds me of Fifty Acres and a Poodle by Jeanne Marie Laskas which LOLAs read a number of years ago and just loved. There were so many things to discuss about the author's life and choices. And lots of discussion about what we would choose in similar circumstances. And the laughing! (We also read the sequel - The Exact Same Moon: Fifty Acres and a family and enjoyed it just as much!)

Anyway, this look like another good read. It's already a big hit in Great Britain and is now being published here. Thanks to Book Club Girl for the review - click here to see what she has to say and see a trailer for the book.

Published: August, 2008
Pages: 352
Author's website: Wife in the North Country, Her blog

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

This is an amazing book! You don't stop thinking about it for days. It's a great book club book for everyone.

Here's a summary of We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver from Publishers Weekly on Amazon:
A number of fictional attempts have been made to portray what might lead a teenager to kill a number of schoolmates or teachers, Columbine style, but Shriver's is the most triumphantly accomplished by far. A gifted journalist as well as the author of seven novels, she brings to her story a keen understanding of the intricacies of marital and parental relationships as well as a narrative pace that is both compelling and thoughtful.

Eva Khatchadourian is a smart, skeptical New Yorker whose impulsive marriage to Franklin, a much more conventional person, bears fruit, to her surprise and confessed disquiet, in baby Kevin. From the start Eva is ambivalent about him, never sure if she really wanted a child, and he is balefully hostile toward her; only good-old-boy Franklin, hoping for the best, manages to overlook his son's faults as he grows older, a largely silent, cynical, often malevolent child. The later birth of a sister who is his opposite in every way, deeply affectionate and fragile, does nothing to help, and Eva always suspects his role in an accident that befalls little Celia.

The narrative, which leads with quickening and horrifying inevitability to the moment when Kevin massacres seven of his schoolmates and a teacher at his upstate New York high school, is told as a series of letters from Eva to an apparently estranged Franklin, after Kevin has been put in a prison for juvenile offenders. This seems a gimmicky way to tell the story, but is in fact surprisingly effective in its picture of an affectionate couple who are poles apart, and enables Shriver to pull off a huge and crushing shock far into her tale.

It's a harrowing, psychologically astute, sometimes even darkly humorous novel, with a clear-eyed, hard-won ending and a tough-minded sense of the difficult, often painful human enterprise.

Originally LOLAs was going to review this book in January 2008 and so I read it in December. But after a few of us read it, we decided it was not the best holiday read so we pushed the discussion back to our April group.

Since this was before I started blogging, I don't have many comments. But here is what Julie said in her book journal - "Wow - this is quite a novel. I thought it was so well written, but I just couldn't quite give it five stars. I just couldn't bring myself to love this book because it was so gruesome. But well worth the read."

As she said, it's not a light read. But I think it's a must read for all book clubs.

Pages: 416
Series: None
Author's Website: Harper Collins
Discussion Questions: Reading Group Guide

Monday, August 4, 2008

Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage

Click here to go to The Friendly Book Nook and read Amy's review of Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage. Sounds like a fascinating book and one that would be a great discussion afterward.

Published: Hardcover July, 2008
Pages: 352
Series: None
Authors Website: