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PBR Book Club Recommendations


PBR Review: I loved this book for several reasons. To start with, Eliza Hamilton was a strong woman, and strong, inspirational women get me every time. I also love reading about the role women played in different eras and the contentment the More


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Talking Points: Eliza was a strong woman who was very much in love with her husband. This and the fact that she was a product of her times will make for great discussion. Alexander Hamilton was also a formidable man, and this story gives an intimate look at him as a husband, father and man. Some of the other Founding Fathers of America are also discussion worthy. Most will not be able to resist a comparisons to our current leadership. I know I couldn't.

PBR Review: One of the things I like most about this book is that, although a fictionalized account of a true person, it feels real. Itís also inspiring to read about a young woman ahead of her time. Sixteen year- ld Eliza Lucas is incredib More


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Talking Points: Eliza is a young woman who defies convention and perseveres to attain her goal, which is no small feat in the 1700s. The story touches on a lot of social issues of the South in this time period, like racial inequality, treatment of slaves and the rights of women. Contrasting the differences and similarities between then and now will certainly make for lively discussion, as the choices and actions of Eliza.

PBR Review: This is a beautiful story, but it should come with a warning. It is disturbing and covers some uncomfortable controversial topics.It is the story of two people; both abused as children. Wavyís father is a drug dealer, and her mot More


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Talking Points: This book covers some uncomfortable topics, they are polarizing and will generate much discussion and passion, but may also not be for everyone. This is the story of two people, who were neglected as children, Wavy the daughter of meth dealer and Kellen who was also abused and neglected. As you can imagine, it explores issues of abuse, neglect, addiction, trust and different kinds of love.

PBR Review: I was a big fan of this this authorís THE KITCHEN HOUSE, so when I read Glory Over Everything picks up where that story left off, I was thrilled and couldnít wait to read it. Glory Over Everything is a story that follows James Py More


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Talking Points: It is sad but also telling that a black man, fair skinned enough to live as a white man, struggles with who he is and is conflicted on what path to take as he continues to hide the secret of his parentage. This book will bring to light the issues of racism that continue to exist in our country and explores some tough questions about racial attitudes and prejudices.

PBR Review: I read Jim Fergusís first book, One Thousand White Woman. I loved it and knew the sequel was a must read. I finished this wonderful page-turner in two sittings. Donít worry too much if you havenít read the first book; you will t More


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PBR Review: What a gem this book is. Right from the start, I found it entertaining and original. Itís a story of love and betrayal with a unique, intriguing plot. There are three main characters. Amber is young, greedy, and jealous. She al More


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Talking Points: There is a lot of deception and unbelievable conniving in this book. And some of the characters are guilty of bad behavior and bad decisions. It looks in some detail at the extravagant lifestyle of the rich. And there are a few personality disorders that defiantly are discussion worthy. Marriage, raising children, trust and friendship are also issues in this book.

PBR Review: This is an intense story about Lilli, a young unwed mother in the late 1800s. Times were challenging for her, fiercely challenging; as she had so few options open to her. Lilli ended up in the Philadelphia Haven for Women and I More


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Talking Points: The main topic is that of an unwed mother; a powerful story of a mother and her child and the overwhelming burden society places on young girls in this condition. There is also much to discuss about the role of women and the class differences that existed. Without support from family, friends or society, daily life is all consuming for Lilly.

PBR Review: I read ďThe Boy in the Striped PajamasĒ by this author and loved it, this surprised me because itís a YA book. I bought this one, ĒThe Heartís Invisible FuriesĒ because I was curious to read an adult book by John Boyne, but als More


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Talking Points: Cyril was a gay man living in a time when he was forced to hide his true identity or face jail or even death. His teenage mother gave birth to him out of wedlock, which was reason enough for her family to publicly shame her and her church and community to run her out of town, penniless. A quirky couple adopted Cyril. They provided financially for him but continuously told him he was not a real Avery. Thus his childhood lacked the love and nurturing most children receive. The book is epic, following the lives of Cyril and his mother, and tackles many controversial topics and examines some critical issues from 1949 to present.

PBR Review: This is an excellent book for anyone who loves a good story about father-daughter relationships. Sally Cabot Gunning gives many heartwarming details about the intense and complex bond between Martha and her father, Thomas Jeffers More


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Talking Points: This book takes a look at the challenges of making a living in the South and being female in the late 1770s. The Jefferson family was conflicted on the concept of slavery. They disliked the idea but needed slaves to run their farms, so they tried to compensate by treating their slaves like workers. Martha was a strong, intelligent woman, but was limited by the customs of the time and her difficult marriage.

PBR Review: Whenever I read stories about women with incredible inner strength, it awakens something within me. I question why women must struggle so much in a manís world. To some extent, this is still true today. But, in Jennieís case, he More


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Talking Points: This story has many talking points; overcoming tragedy and personal challenges, acceptance of what we cannot change, and acceptance of others. It is not a love story, but it is a story about love. It also tackles some tough issues of the 1870s. It examines the role of women and what divorce was like in 1870. Alcoholism and abusive relations are looked at as well as the effect this and divorce had on children back then. The author also explores the struggles of being a woman, divorced and raising a child.

PBR Review: This story has a unique and compelling plot, and amazingly, as soon as you start reading, you are hooked. It's clear that Walker did a massive amount of research on narcissistic personality disorder, which has always piqued my More


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Talking Points: The main talking point of this book will be the many ramifications of narcissism; the damage a narcissist mother can wreak on her children and marriage. The power struggle between the various characters and the lies and secrets held and told are also discussion worthy, as are the actions and decisions of some of the characters.

PBR Review: A young suburban couple decides their marriage needs a boost. There is nothing alarmingly wrong with their relationship, it just feels like itís dipping into the doldrums and getting a bit stagnant. It doesnít need a major over More


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Talking Points: Aside from the main topic of 'is monogamy best in a marriage', which will be a hot topic, this book also explores the issues of transgender shaming, dealing with an autistic child, and relationships. It also touches on the meaning of love and examines the concept 'is the grass always greener on the other side'?

PBR Review: A story so compelling, youíll share it with everyone you know. Without a doubt, the writing style is beautiful and draws you in. However, the heart of this book revolves around the depth of the characters and the complexities of More


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Talking Points: A remarkable story that takes an intense look at relationships between a mother and her children and also what it means to be a mother. The story examines parenthood, class, race and inter racial adoption. There are complex family dynamics with a focus on not passing judgment too quickly, and it is also an insightful look at middle class values.
Talking Points: A remarkable story that takes an intense look at relationships between a mother and her children and also what it means to be a mother. The story examines parenthood, class, race and inter racial adoption. There are complex family dynamics with a focus on not passing judgment too quickly, and it is also an insightful look at middle class values.

PBR Review: The unique premise, the ingenious hiding places a talented architect can make for Jews to take refuge and the convincing transformation of Lucien are three things that will linger long after you turn the last page. As the book More


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Talking Points: This book explores many moral issues. War creates, fear create circumstances that cause people to act out of character. War also tests loyalties and beings into existence an environment of choices; risks are taken, or not. Nothing is sacred; war brings out the best and the worst in people.

PBR Review: I loved this book. It felt like I was reading the intimate diary of a Hollywood star, glimpsing thoughts and reading about dreams that are meant to be secret. Evelyn, an aging star, decides at age 79, that she wants to tell her More


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Talking Points: This is an entertaining, uplifting book, members will want to share how good it made them feel. It also addresses issues of intimacy and trust and shows human nature its best and worst. Of course, everyone loves a bit of gossip and this is all about Hollywood, gossip central. If your book club enjoys a light but engaging read, go for this one.

PBR Review: There are no guarantees in life, or are there? Is there something that can guarantee a long happy marriage? The founder of The Pact, an exclusive, by invite only secret club, thinks there is. Alice and Jake, just before their More


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Talking Points: This book explores love trust and marriage showing the vulnerability and insecurities people suffer and how fear can change a perspective create doubt or be a catalyst for bad decisions. Marriage is hard work and requires commitment. There is some violence and the storyline does require suspension of belief.

PBR Review: Southern fiction at its best; beautifully developed characters, lyrical descriptions and a story with meaning and moral lessons to ponder. Ora Lee is strong willed, and itís a good thing because she must stand up for what she bel More


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Talking Points: This is a story about racism in the 1970s South. It is also about friendships that step outside the boundaries of color and the true meaning of family, it is not just about those who share the same parents or bloodlines. The author addresses prejudice, revenge and bravery as well as many moral issues. Excellent book club pick.

PBR Review: I have to start by saying this is a great story that brings real events to life and will compel you to learn more about this period in history. As I read, my passion for truth and justice started coming to life; I couldn't belie More


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Talking Points: More than other books of war this story shows the human cost of war and to some extent, the thought process behind decisions to put soldiers in harms way. There is much attention given to PTSD. And if your book club enjoys discussing the transformation of character and the whys of evil, this is a book worth exploring.

PBR Review: There are many great things about this book. Itís a feel good story, and I loved the clean, fresh writing style. The characters are believable, and the author seamlessly weaves layers of intrigue into the story. There are three More


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Talking Points: This is a book about the horrors of World War II. There is much bravery presented in this book; the war brides, the men fighting, the resistance fighters. It also makes you realize how hard it is to give up everything you know, take a chance and make a new life for yourself, in a strange country.

PBR Review: Ten year old Joan has HSAM, a condition which allows her to remember every day in her life exactly as it happened. She can recall every detail of every conversation, and everything that happened, right down to the day of the wee More


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Talking Points: This story explores friendship, being true to yourself and understanding that you will not fit in with everyone, but this is ok. It will make you realize how important memory is and what it feels like to not be remembered. The author really goes into grieving and healing.

PBR Review: This is a story of survival. In the immediate sense, Grace saves herself and her children from a fire that courses through her small seacoast town in Maine. On another level, her husband Gene, goes missing after being called to More


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Talking Points: Grace is brave and strong, and uses all her resources to survive during and after the fire. Her marriage is terrible and since it is the mid 40s, attitudes on sex are far from todays modern perspective. There also are many other constraints placed on Grace because she is a woman. It is also a story of hope and finding oneself.

PBR Review: Eleanor is unique or maybe I should say odd or damaged, but her story is moving. She loves routine. She also loves crossword puzzles, pizza and vodka. As a child her mother constantly told her she was ugly and she also suffere More


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Talking Points: Eleanors journey sheds light on mental illness, depression, survivor guilt and how judgmental people can be. It also highlights emotional abuse, physical abuse and child neglect. Society would be all the better to remember some scars are not visible and kindness works wonders. It may also be interesting to debate where Eleanor is on the Autism spectrum, if at all.

PBR Review: Ginny Moonís character redefines what it means to be brave. After suffering a lot of physical and emotional abuse, Social Services finally deems her druggie mother unfit and Ginny is placed in foster care. However, some things j More


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Talking Points: This author does a fantastic job of giving the reader insight into the world of an Autistic child as well as the patience and understanding necessary by anyone who is a part of this childs life. The book also deals with birth parents and adoptive parents. I thought the relationship between Ginny and her forever mom is especially discussion worthy. Other topics include: special needs children at home and school, abusive mothers and social services.

PBR Review: A must read for historical fiction enthusiasts. This amazing story showcases the harshness and the opposing joy and happiness of tradition. When I read about cruel, senseless, customs such as those depicted in this story, I caní More


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Talking Points: The story is about change, and the struggle to move forward and accept modern ways. There is also a beautiful and strong mother daughter bond as well as threads of betrayal, greed and fighting internal demons. One part of the book focuses on giving up a baby for adoption and the impact this has on both sides of the adoption. The story also shows the harshness of irrational customs and the difficulty minority cultures face.

PBR Review: Two strong women, sisters with very different personalities and different approaches to survival during war. Although there were some parts of the book that were not plausable; the story is one that is easy to read and emotionall More


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Talking Points: Books clubs may enjoy discussing how war brings out the best and the worst of people; this story has examples of both. It may also be intersting to contrast the different Nazis presented in this book, specifically why one is kind while others are not. Of course there will be those who won't be able to comprehend the torture and the conventration campswhich will make for sad but enlightening conversation. And as with most stories of war, human endurance, the will to survive and how war changes a person. It may also be interesting to try to imagine how you personally would react in the same situation, do you think you could be as brave? If given an order would you be able to take another person's life?
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