"Book #1 (Aug 07). General consensus was the book failed miserably as a satire and nearly failed as a reading experience! As our inaugural book, it was hilarious to have chosen a bad one, and some of us still refer to it today, all these months later. :)"
"#3(A) (Oct 07). A HUGE turnout for this book, yet nearly all of us agreed that the TV show is better. We felt parts of the book rambled and that too much of it was spent inside Dexter's head, whereas more supporting characters were able to be fleshed out (haha) much more on the TV show."
"#3(B) (Oct 07). For various reasons, most said this was pretty bad. I thought it was chilling, fatalistic, and even though the premise was silly at first (a killer plant? Really?), it was a believable, spooky read. Most were turned off by the premise, the gore, and the ending."
"#5 (Jan & Feb 08). We needed two meetings to discuss this popular choice, although we were split about 50-50 in terms of like and dislike. Some of us enjoyed its escapist aspects and humorous writing style; others were turned off by what we felt was her overprivileged lifestyle and cherry-picking of "fashionable" Eastern religions."
"#6 (Mar 08). Few of us made it through the book, having been overwhelmed by the flowery language and slow pacing. Those who did make it enjoyed it tremendously, but while many voted for it, few showed, probably turned off after the first 20 or so pages."
"#7 (Apr 08). High marks for this one all around. We felt it was an insightful and thorough look into the mind of an autistic boy, and the subject was handled carefully and with utmost respect, and even humor. A great read."
"#9 (Jun 08). Generally positive reviews. Some had trouble with the Victorian-style language, but enjoyed the intricacy of the mystery combined with factual historical details. A twisty, engrossing read, but one that requires your undivided attention."
"#10 (Jul 08). Much praise for this book, although some of us felt certain plot points were unnecessary or completely off-base. We had a great discussion about the book's concepts of heaven(s), fate, vengeance, and family dynamics."
"#11 (Aug 08). We were split 60-40 in terms of those who were underwhelmed and those who were overjoyed. Some of us were expecting the humor to pack more of a wallop based on Sedaris's considerable hype, while others felt the humor was just right."
"#12 (Sep 08). Greatly enjoyed by the majority of us. Some thought it was a little too outlandish and twisty; others were worried they'd missed details because of a lack of thorough nursery rhyme knowledge (but were reassured by others that it was unnecessary). Many loved the quirky details and sly British wit."
"#13 (Oct 08). Not a light read, but the small group of troopers who read it were impressed by its philosophical journey and interesting characters. We had a great, long discussion on the wealth of this book's ideas: consumerism, myth, religion, death, fate, redemption, the hero's journey. A deep novel for thoughtful, dedicated readers."
"#14 (Nov 08). A light, easy read. We enjoyed its freshness, humor, and dedication to being realistic about today's teens. Some were surprised by the maturity or were a little taken aback at the sexuality in a YA book. Those who saw the movie as well were disappointed that it didn't follow the book more closely, the hands-down opinion being "the book was so much better"."
"#15 (Dec 08). Enjoyed by all, although some felt the book's details were sketchy and the plotting too slow. It was interesting trying to identify all the "miracles" that occur (I think we found 12 or so). An easy read, though unfulfilling for some."
"#16 (Jan 09). Not enjoyed by all! Many found the main character too pathetic and the payoff at the end not great enough to redeem him. Some felt he didn't take the satire far enough; others enjoyed his writing style and occasional insights into human nature."
"#23 (Aug 09). The critical adoration is well deserved. Most of us devoured this book and found ourselves disappointed when we reached the end and, lo and behold, there was no more to consume. A tough yet lovely read."
"#24 (Sep 09). A hard book, not in readability but in subject; some might find their stomachs turned. A hands-down page-turner of a read, this definitely makes you want to read the sequels--if you can handle it."
"#27 (Dec 09). It is what it says it is: One loooong rant. A bit more direction in plot might have made it tolerable, but for most of us, the camaraderie we might've felt with the narrator wears off after so much whining."
"#29 (Feb 10). Well, it was a *different* choice for our group, being an erotic thriller, for lack of a better term. Some members enjoyed it for what it was. I found it silly, overwrought, full of metaphors being beaten into your head as you read, and with a terribly unlikable protagonist. Not my cup of tea."
"#30 (Mar 10). One of my top five favorite books of all time. I am so glad I read this. Not everyone in our group liked it quite as much, but I found it an exciting, deep, extraordinarily well written literary mystery, with exceptional character development. I love this book."
"#31 (Apr 10). Not at all what I expected--in a good way. Patchett transitions beautifully between characters, all of whom are so wonderfully developed. I expected political intrigue, and instead got some lovely interpersonal dynamics. It is a surprise of a read, quite enjoyable."
"#32 (May 10). A classic--what more can be said? Twisty, fun, silly, nonsensical, full of childlike quirks and wonder. It's a pleasure to read as an adult unfettered by school assignments or requirements."
"#33 (Jun 10). ::sigh:: This was a weak time in the club. We caved in to some hype, and what it bought us was this misogynistic, lowbrow, terribly written piece of tripe that had only one or two laugh-out-loud moments. The rest is cringe-worthy. Read at your own peril."
"#35 (Aug 10). At times light and easy and at others surprisingly touching, not to mention laugh-out-loud funny. Though the situations occasionally strain credulity, and the "choose-what's-next" function inevitably spoils you in such a manner that you end up wishing for even more options, it's a delightful read, and one you can make as brief or as fully-wrought as you want."
"#36 (Sep 10). An intriguing read that debunks commonly held myths and explains things in such a way that even those allergic to economics can still stomach the material. Endlessly debatable; this makes a great companion piece to any of Malcolm Gladwell's books, but especially Blink."
"#37 (Oct 10). Unexpectedly affecting. Whether due to marketing, the jacket artwork, or the premise, I expected a lightweight, forgettable romance. It is ever so much more, and being taken by surprise by the emotion of it made it that much more wonderful to read."
"#38 (Dec 10). A good turnout for this one, most likely due to its very controversial ideas. The authors' research flies in the face of hundreds of years of prevailing notions, and they do a credible, believable job of refuting others' research. Enlightening, to say the least."
"#39 (Jan 11). A delicious follow-up to In the Woods (#30), although one need not read that to enjoy this tremendously. Some might find a few things too far-fetched here, but French's writing is dense, lovely prose, adding a welcome layer of energy and emotion to what can sometimes be a cold genre."