Book Club

Last updated March 2012 – check out my reading list on Goodreads

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
4 of 5 stars
That it took me 2 years to finish this classic “get your sh*t together” book says nothing about the quality if the book which is truly top notch. It does unfortunately say a lot about my procrastinating personality but there is now hope …
Paris
5 of 5 stars
I loved this book! I bought it to enhance a trip to Paris and it certainly did the job. Every street and neighbourhood came alive for me while reading this story.
The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City
2 of 5 stars
Great tips if you are visiting Paris but the narrator on the audio book tended towards whining which I found a bit off putting.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On
3 of 5 stars

I’m not sure how useful this book was. There are many regurgitated facts in this book and if you have ever read anything about Apple, a good portion of this book will be a repeat for you.Did you know that only a small percent of all c…

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
4 of 5 stars
Do you know any introverts? I bet you do. Problem is that they are trying hard to hide that very fact from you, and for that, they are probably exhausted. Our society’s focus on gregarious, outgoing behavior is so hysterical that being q…
My Dear I Wanted to Tell You
3 of 5 stars
This was a lovely story set during World War I. I loved the plots twists and the characters were very likeable, or at the very least identifiable.
Weird Sisters
2 of 5 stars
It was a bit slow going with lots of telling and little showing. The message at the end was surprisingly “Repent all ye sinners”.
The Sun Also Rises
3 of 5 stars
Someone tipped me off about this travel blogger, my understanding is that he used to work for TimeOut Paris but was promoted to a gig for GoSpain.com. The story starts with a blow by blow of his daily life in Paris. He reviews a few rest…
Beautiful Ruins
4 of 5 stars
I wasn’t familiar with Jess Walter but the recommendation from NY Times bestseller list enticed me but it was the cover featuring, what to me looked like Riomaggiore on the Ligurian coast in Italy that had me hooked. For one book, you ge…
The Feminine Mystique
5 of 5 stars
Not sure if I know what to say about this one. Even though the book just had its 50-year anniversary I felt like these problems were just as relevant today. Just look at the epidemic of housewives using crystal meth and the anxiety to ov…
The Dinner
4 of 5 stars
The Dinner is a story about the dark side of love, marriage and families. It takes the concept of unconditional love to the extreme and makes you wish there was no such thing. It’s not that the story is so unusual, if you watched Desper…
Half Empty
4 of 5 stars
Essays seem to be well suited to my ADD tendencies, I don’t know why I have avoided them for so long. I think when Lene Dunham’s character Hanne on Girls gave her parents a few sheets torn out from her notebook with her “Essays” scrawled…
1Q84
3 of 5 stars
This was my first Murakami novel and geesh was I tired of listening to this blabberdy blabbing when I was finished. About an hour into the audio book, I doubled the speed of narration and sometimes tripled it during Tengo’s story. That…
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
3 of 5 stars
This little book will give you insight into the exceptional showman qualities of the late Steve Jobs. If you would like to jazz up some of your work presentations, you will find plenty of tips on what to work on here. The tips are simpl…
Doktor Proktors prompepulver
3 of 5 stars
I have been a little down since I wasn’t going to make my goal of 50 books this year so a dear friend of mine who just happens to be 8 years old recommended that I read something that went a little faster. This book was only 224 page wit…
The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel
4 of 5 stars

Sherlock Holmes has always been my favorite detective. I first read The Hound of the Baskervilles when I was living in London, which made the London fog ever so much more exciting for me during my stay.So I was pretty excited to see t…

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
1 of 5 stars
Cheryl Strayed spontaneously decides to hike the Pacific Coast Trail alone after spotting a guidebook at the register of the local REI. Poorly prepared for such a trip she ends up hitchhiking large portions along the edge of the trail be…
How To Be A Woman
4 of 5 stars
After reading this book, I can proudly say that I am a Strident Feminist. Caitlin Moran takes the term feminist back from the man haters and makes feminism sound a bit sexy. She disapproves of Brazilians (not the people from South Ameri…
The Paris Wife
3 of 5 stars
I thought this was a very moving tale of the life and death of a marriage. The story holds its own and when you add the historical significance of the characters it becomes even more potent. Hadley Richardson dreamed of a“marriage could …
The Imperfectionists
4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed these tales of quirky expats trying to survive in the big bad world. Freeloading headline scouts, reclusive heirs, hardnosed editors, out-of-touch widows and bitter-bottled-up lonely hearts make up some of my favorite character…
Tinkers
4 of 5 stars
This was a sad and striking tale filled with elegant prose. After reading the review from fellow Goodreads member, Scott Axson containing this well turned description: ““Tinkers” is a deeply philosophical dialectic couched in the very si…
Spy the Lie: Three Former CIA Officers Reveal Their Secrets to Uncloaking Deception
3 of 5 stars

This book will explain which clusters of behaviors you should look for when detecting deceit. It gives plenty of real examples as well as transcripts of public figures caught in sticky situations.You would not believe how common these…

Gone Girl
4 of 5 stars
«“Guess what Jeff found in his cabin for me,” Grete says, “another book by the Martian Chronicle guy.” “Ray Bradburrow”, Jeff says. Bradbury, I think. “Yeah, right, Something Wicked This Way Comes,” Grete says, “It’s good”. She chirps th…
The Buddha in the Attic
4 of 5 stars
This short story has an unusual narration which takes a while to adjust to. A tale of many expats putting their own culture and traditions aside to adapt to living in California. It tells the story of Japanese picture brides leaving thei…
Amsterdam
3 of 5 stars
Little story of great sadness. Four men, all deeply but differently in love with Molly Lane loose her to a debilitating illness. Her painful death makes her husband make a calculated decision that will lead to the destruction of the othe…
Wine for Dummies
3 of 5 stars
This is a brief introduction to wine for people who normally drink beer, from what glass to use to how to describe flavors this book will help you fake knowledge about wine. Made for the American market for American wine drinkers with on…
Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
3 of 5 stars

Several reviewers mentioned that because of her use of stream of consciousness narrative that it cannot be a book. Wikipedia has a different take on that:“Narrative technique….To represent the mind at work, a writer may incorporate …

The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World
3 of 5 stars
Jay Bahadur is a ballsy kid fresh from college that wants to break into journalism and what a better way to do it than obtain interviews from some of the most notorious criminals in the world. With a few connections and naiveté of youth …
The Alchemist
1 of 5 stars
I am not really sure why I read this book I was so fed up after reading Brida by the same author. I guess I just got carried away and because EVERYBODY loves this book, I thought I must have missed something meaningful in the last book….
Rick Steves' Snapshot Italy's Cinque Terre
4 of 5 stars
I actually didn’t think I would like this book because on our trip to Cinque Terre we overheard some of the most annoying people quoting Rick Steves. I was actually thinking about sending him a very angry letter. Starting with “Why are y…
A Short History of Florence
1 of 5 stars
It is only due to my ignorance that A Short History of Florence didn’t engage me as it should. I picked up this copy after we had toured the Accademia Gallery hoping to become better informed about the city and its people. The book brief…
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
2 of 5 stars
It struck me that the target audience for this book are people in middle to upper management, since they are the ones most often outlining new company strategies and setting up district offices. I couldn’t stop thinking: How did they ge…
Catching Fire
3 of 5 stars
Yeah, I liked it. As intriguing as the first one but it seems more like it was written as a screenplay than the last. Very much looking forward to the movie and the next book it waiting for me here. Light summer fun, perfect sunbathing l…
Steve Jobs
4 of 5 stars
I don’t read a lot of biographies but felt that the authorized biography of one of the most influential people in Silicon Valley would make an interesting jaunt down computer histories memory lane. I was not disappointed. Appropriately, …
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
4 of 5 stars
This book may give you, what Oskar Schell calls, heavy boots and make you wish you had a birdseed shirt. A deeply sad and moving story about muddling through after losing your most important thing, it follows Thomas and Oskar Schell, gra…
The Flea Markets of France
3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed taking a trip around France with Sandy Price and Emily Laxer. The book was well organized by regions and the pictures gave a good impression of what types of goods you can expect to find. Having stumbled across several of these…
Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend
4 of 5 stars
This book was used as reference material for parts of Rachel Bertsche MWF seeking BFF and where Rachel’s book is one woman’s story about establishing friends, Irene S. Levin’s book is a psychologist’s thoughtful look at 1500 women’s stor…
Drink, Play, F@#k: One Man's Search for Anything Across Ireland, Vegas, and Thailand
1 of 5 stars
The author is a so called humorist but I couldn’t see anything funny about this sad tale about Bob a rejected jerk who continues his career into jerkhood by drinking his way around Dublin, compulsive gambling in Las Vegas and leering in …
MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend
4 of 5 stars

If you have not checked out the blog of the same name, do so as a supplement to the book.It started with “But on a Sunday morning when I want to grab an omelet over girl talk, I’m at a loss. My Chicago friends are the let’s-get-dinner…

Neither Here Nor There
3 of 5 stars
Neither here nor there by Bill Bryson is not exactly a new book but many of the destinations in Bill Bryson’s book are places that have come to feel like home to me and I was curious what he had to say about them. Not having read anythin…
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
3 of 5 stars
A lovely little story about how love can sneak up on you and make you do things you might otherwise not.
The Tiger's Wife
4 of 5 stars

The Tiger’s Wife is a beautifully woven story by Téa Obreht.Natalia, a young doctor, narrates the story of her grandfather’s life as she tries to unravel the mystery around his death. Filled with superstition, myth and fairy tales she…

The Sense of an Ending
3 of 5 stars
This is a sad little story about a sad little man. Tony has not experience much in his sad little life so he is doomed to rehash every little detail until the truth becomes secondary. I suppose we all repaint ourselves as heroes and hero…
Fifty Shades of Grey
2 of 5 stars
As the Queen of bandwagon hopping, I had to get my hands on the book that sold out of Minneapolis bookstores. Minnesotans have incredibly good taste and I want to be up to speed on pop culture for my next visit home. Since it is between …
You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself
3 of 5 stars
If you enjoy the Freakonomics books you may find this book a bit redundant. The book was funny at times but I can’t for the life of me remember the answer to why people have too many friends on Facebook, so maybe it was not holding my at…
Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy
4 of 5 stars

I love that former President Bill Clinton took the time to write this book. He addresses partisan issues in a surprisingly bipartisan fashion. I think I even heard him listing the positive qualities of the tea party. Egads!The charts …

The Hunger Games
4 of 5 stars

This was a very exciting “big mac” of a story. I enjoyed this book as much as Twilight. Which is making me more than a little nervous about all the anti-aging creams I am using, maybe somehow they are affecting my taste in literature….

Mr. Rosenblum's List: or Friendly Guidance For The Aspiring Englishman
3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this charming story of Jack and Sadie, a Jewish couple having fled Germany, trying to integrate and assimilate into British society. This story has an unusual combination of a sad undertone and an optimistic glazed coating. The…
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
2 of 5 stars
Of the memoirs I have read recently this was, thankfully, the shortest. Mindy Kaling is a nerdy version of Kelly Kapoor, if you don’t like Kelly you probably won’t like this book. You also may not like this book if you really like The Of…
Sarah's Key
3 of 5 stars

I was not aware of the round-up at the Vél d’Hiv in France but had read Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky which also told of the heartless actions of the French against their own countryman.Sarah’s Key tells the story of Sarah a ten…

Hunting and Gathering
3 of 5 stars
Cute story, very Amelie inspired. I was distracted by the poor grammar and frustrated by the laziness of the author, who alluded to some potentially interesting dialog and story lines but never followed them.

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One response to “Book Club

  1. Pingback: 20 days until 30 days of literary abandon! NaNoWriMo | Wife – in captivity·

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