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Fiction

Book Club Recommendations


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 at 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 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 the modern perspective of today. There are many other constraints placed on Grace because she is a woman and it is also a story of hope and finding oneself.

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: 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: There are a lot of interwoven themes in this book, which combined with the many layers and complexities of human relationships, give the story depth. I really enjoy books about family drama and Emily Giffin nails family dynamics More


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Talking Points: An emotional read covering the topics of friendship, love, forgiveness, guilt, letting go and second chances. Grief can be destructive in nature, and some navigate this better than other; it can create strong bonds between people or tear them apart. The struggles of being in relationships will also make for some good conversation as well as the damaging effects of keeping secrets. The author also presents different kinds of love

PBR Review: Itís almost impossible to convey how immensely fun and clever this book is. Its about two very imperfect people; Don who has what appears to be Asperger syndrome, and Rosie, a bit of a mess herself, and the exact opposite of wha More


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Talking Points: Book clubs will love discussing Don. His personality disorder will get members talking about having empathy for others, what it is like to be different as well as acceptance of oneself and others. Rosie on the other hand is a break the mold type of person and so will generate some discussion about not following the crowd and staying true to oneself. The topic of Aspergers syndrome may also generate some conversation.

PBR Review: There is so much to this big 642 page book, itís hard to know where to begin. On the surface, it is the story of a mother and son. Sam is damaged, and his relationship with his mother is damaged, because without any explanation More


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Talking Points: The Nix is a story that details the inner workings of being human, vulnerable and working to understand and reconcile your past. Front and center is a mother and a son whose relationship is damaged, mostly because she abandoned him at a young age, but other dysfunctions are highlighted in this book too. Samuel is trying to understand and forgive his mother and get his life on track. The author also throws some politics into the mix, which some say is eerily similar to our current political climate. The satirical undertones of this book will also make for lively discussion.

PBR Review: This heartwarming story is a must read for animal lovers and especially for those who have lost a pet. If you liked The Art of Racing in the Rain, then you'll surely find this book enjoyable. The premise of the book is a dog re More


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Talking Points: Book Clubs will enjoy discussing this book because it touches upon many topics related to finding meaning and purpose in life. Dog lovers will love discussing the relationship between humans and animals.

PBR Review: I picked up Katarina Bivald's debut novel because I was looking for a light read. The kind of book that provides an escape. Bam! A few pages in and I'm transported to the small midwestern town of Broken Wheel. It's a feel good More


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Talking Points: This story is about the love of reading and how books can impact people's lives. The cast of characters in this small Iowa town is delightful. What better place to discuss a book about books than a with your Book Club.

PBR Review: We all know life can change in a split second and alter the trajectory of our lives. In the book Faithfull, Alice Hoffman tells the gut wrenching story of Shelby Richmond. She is the driver of the car involved in a terrible accid More


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Talking Points: This book is an emotional story and would spur a lively discussion with your book group. It shows the power of guilt and how that can lead to self punishment. The journey back is a very hard road and involves the love of many people.
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