FIRST PREV (6 of 7) NEXT LAST

PBR Book Club Recommendations


PBR Review: The Weird Sisters is a book about coming home and capturing the feeling of belonging. Donít let the title fool you, it refers to Macbethís witches and not the persona of the main characters; named so because their father was a c More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: A story of relationships between parents and children and between sisters that will make you smile. Each sister starts her journey young , is tested by life, and becomes a better more mature person. As with life, the tables turn and the roles reverse. Parents take care of children, and then children take care of parents. The book explores family dynamics and the nature of fate. Great for book clubs looking for a light read with substance and great character development.

PBR Review: This is a fictionalized account of true events that occurred during the siege of Sarajevo. After witnessing the death of 22 people, killed by mortar shells while waiting on line for bread, a cellist, risks his life to play Albin More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: This book brings to light the atrocities the human race is capable of, provoking thought on the senselessness of war and the capacity of man to kill another human being. Arrow's character will spark the most debate. Her thoughts as she seeks to avenge her fellow townspeople are as conflicte as her actions. For me the hardest concept to grasp was the fact that the story is based on true events. The cellist, although not developed to a great extent in the book, was without a doubt integral to the story, especially if you try to define the mindset necessary to do what he did.

PBR Review: The concept of this book is something the average person does not think about. Itís hard to fathom a world where the brain simply erases the left side of everything. As a result of a brain injury, this is the tragedy that befal More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: Sarah's strength in the face of adversity is certainly the main theme of this book. It's inspirational to read about her struggle to make herself whole after her dramatic change in circumstances. Her husband's support and thoughts are also noteworthy. There are also themes on mother daughters,the cost on relationships and family of today's ultra busy life style and being in the moment and the acceptance that comes with it.

PBR Review: Set in the early 1900ís, this absorbing story is actually a fictionalized account of the immigration experience of Laurie Fabianoís great-grandmother. Fabiano writes with force and passion; she develops not simply characters in More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: The essence of this book and that which will generate the most discussion is the main character, Giovanna as she goes from a whimsical young girl full of puppy love to a formidable woman capable of standing up for what she feels is right. Her marriage of necessity and the actions she takes ,against the Black Hand considered the early Mafia, and a big corporation she feels has wronged a family member are all discussion worthy. The early immigration experience is beautifully portrayed in this book and there are some amazing family and friendship dynamics. This book will surely be enjoyed by books clubs that enjoy historical fiction or woman's fiction

PBR Review: RAINWATER by Sandra Brown is a book that combines a bit of historical fiction and romance to create an excellent story from start to finish. Set in rural Texas during the 1930ís the story revolves around Ella, a single mother who More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: This book combines both romance and historical fiction to provide an excellent outlet for discussion. The characters are as vivid and memorable as the stark countryside where the story takes place. As single mother and proprietor Ella has to make certain compromises in order to be accepted by the community. This along with the wonderful love story will make an enjoyable book club choice.

PBR Review: There is a great sense of place and exceptional character development in this mystery. Set in Mississippi, itís a story of prejudice and social inequity. Although the central theme is the mystery of what happened to two missing More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: This is not only a beautiful story but well written as well. It's poignant and compelling with topics, characters and descriptive detail that beg to be talked about. There are racial issues, moral issues and family and friendship dynamics but the stronger thread is really about the mind set of small towns and the difficulties of overcoming a bad reputation, regardless of it's truth. Many of the characters actions and non action to situations and circumstances will also stay with you.

PBR Review: MISTER PIP by Lloyd Jones was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. It's only about 300 pages long, but it packs a profound message about life. It takes place in the 1990's on a tropical island, which is experiencing a br More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: This book will open many avenues for discussion. While this small island was experiencing a civil war, much of the world was unaware of the brutality that was taking place. It's a very touching well written story about the positive impact one man made on a community experiencing wartime atrocities and the resilience of the human spirit. There are moral, ethical, racial and parent child themes. And most profoundly it shows the positive effects of reading as teacher and pupil bond, curiosity is sparked and a love of reading develops.

PBR Review: This is a book about perceptions, the nature of good and evil and friendship. The writing style is clever; simple in style yet complex in the issues it deals with, elegant in presentation yet haunting in content. Itís told from More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: The book really highlights the profoundness of perception, as two nine year olds, Shmuel a holocaust victim and Bruno an SS officer's son, share their feelings about what the war has taken from them. Naturally, the theme of good versus evil and complex moral issues run strong throughout the book. One thought that has stayed with me is that I felt more fear for Bruno than for Shmuel, yet clearly the latter was in more danger.

PBR Review: This is a powerful read and not just because itís an incredible rag to riches story. Jeannette Wallís clean, straightforward writing style allows the reader to experience her life as if embroiled in the middle of it. More amazi More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: The talking points are endless in a book like this. The main one is how did Jeannette Walls overcome this shabby beginning to her life. Not all children subjected to this type and intensity of neglect are able to rise above it and succeed. Those with children will be stupefied at how parents could put their own needs above that of their children. There are also the issues of alcoholism and why no one stepped in to help these kids. Despite the extreme dysfunction, I could also feel the love and unity present in this family, perhaps this was the saving grace. It's also inspiring, and evokes the need to reach out and help those less fortunate.

PBR Review: This was an astonishing book about an amazing man named Louis Zamperini who was an American Olympic runner striving to break the record for the four minute mile during the 1940ís. The war breaks out, the Olympics are canceled and More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: Some books just stay with you and you want to talk about them. This is one of them. Louis Zemperinis story of survival is an amazing account of what happened during his captivity as a Japanese POW. His life as an Olympic runner before entering the armed services is just as intriguing as how he became a POW. The story is filled with people and experiences which will provide a lively, emotional and informative discussion.

PBR Review: This is one of those rare books that synchronizes characters, plot, and pacing to perfection. The story centers on Jody Linder, who at age three tragically loses both her parents in one night. One is murdered, the other goes mi More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: Family drama is nicely done in this story. The strong close knit family at the center of this book has many strengths but also a few weaknesses; the kind that come with power. Nancy Pickard plants many suspicions in your mind about the convicted murderer but additionally touches on morality issues and the justice system. Her beautiful descriptions and deep character development also serve to transport the reader to small town america.

PBR Review: I picked up Room by Emma Donoghue because there is a lot of buzz about it lately and the book has recently been shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. Although itís easy to read, the premise is intense and was inspired by the Jo More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: I can't seem to stop thinking about the discipline and strength it took the young mother to provide a nurturing environment for her 5 year old. She gives new meaning to the concept of sole provider. I also found it interesting that Jack was happy living in one room because he knew nothing else. In contrast his mother was not happy. Discussions about the Stockholm syndrome and woman who are powerless are also a natural extension of any group discussion about this book and there is mush debate about using the voice of a 5 year old to narrate the story.

PBR Review: If nothing else this book will pique your interest because Truth or legend, the story is intriguing. Itís the tale of a young woman who craved knowledge but was denied this opportunity because only religious people were educated More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: An interesting take on the timeless topic of living in a culture ruled by men and religion. Sadly there continues to exist many cultures where women are abused and the behavior sanctioned by the church. Joan's ability to overcome immense odds and become Pope in the 9th century will inspire females of all ages. Her drive to acquire knowledge is also noteworthy as is reflecting and debating the logic of a female actually becoming pope without anyone's knowledge. Reading about the Medieval period is also educational and an interesting conversation topic.

PBR Review: The setting for this debut novel is Northern Ireland in the early 1900ís. The story spans 20 years and covers WWI and Irelandís struggle for independence from British rule. This backdrop of war and internal strife shows how famil More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: This is a beautifully written novel that shows how life's forces can help shape a person. The journey of the young female protagonist has many turns,each changing her slightly and bringing her closer to her true self.It's a nice blend of family drama, wartime struggles and romance. The author presents rich historical details of Ireland during the early 1900's as the country struggles for independence. WW1 also takes its toll on the country and the characters. Many complex family issues are also presented in this book.

PBR Review: The story is narrated in alternating chapters by two distinct characters; Belle, a black slave and Lavinia a white indentured servant, whose perspectives on situations are as different as they are. Although they share the same ch More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: Contrasting the differences in opportunities and treatment afforded a white indentured servant and a black slave will provide lot of great discussion. Additionally, this sad period in our history that condoned slavery and failed to recognize an entire group of people as human beings, will also spark conversation. The book highlights the complexity of human nature and provides a nice mix of flawed characters with questionable motives and actions. The meaning of family is also strongly portrayed in this book, which is always a good conversation starter.

PBR Review: If youíre a fan of historical fiction you are going to love this book. The characters and the situations the author presents truly give you a slice of life during the Civil War era. The novel centers on Mary Sutter and her quest More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: The main character is a strong and inspiring woman who wants to be a surgeon. It's set during the Civil War when this option was only available to men. Her journey in pursuit of this goal is hard and demanding; a very compelling read. The opportunities not available to women at this time and the disastrous effects of war are also thought provoking topics covered in this book. It's well researched and includes many facts about the life style of this era and events of the Civil War. The story line also lends itself to discussions on the topics of love, grief and family dynamics. Recommended for book clubs that appreciate historical fiction, stories about strong females or like reading about the civil war.

PBR Review: This is the second book in the cousinís war trilogy. The story is told from the perspective of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII and grandmother of Henry VIII. This is a period in Englandís History that is marked with More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: This book truly captures the life style and emotional strife of royalty during the mid to late 1400's. The events depicted show the turncoat nature of people and the need to question the loyalty of everyone. It's fascinating and thought provoking to read about the conflicting values of Margaret Beaufort who is extremely devout, considers herself favored by God and yet is self serving and ruthless. Other interesting threads are the role of woman, the meaning of family and marriage and the sacrifices necessary to snare (and keep) the throne. Recommended for book clubs that enjoy historical fiction or enjoy books featuring strong woman.

PBR Review: This book is a wonderful blend of mystery, courtroom drama and historical fiction. Itís based on the true story of Dr. Harvey Burdellís grisly murder in 1857. I enjoyed it immensely from start to finish. Horan takes a very cleve More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: The setting for this book is Manhattan in 1857. There's lots of detail about everyday life and also the legal system of this era. The book highlights the difficulties of being a widow and the limited choices available for women as well as some very interesting social and courting customs. There are threads covering the political corruption present and the slave trade. One particularly interesting point highlighted was the prominent role newspapers played in the legal process. Recommended for book clubs that enjoy mysteries, suspense novels,or historical fiction.

PBR Review: Almost from the start I was drawn into this book in a very compelling way. I liked that the story is told from the perspective of a father as so often this genre of book is carried by a female voice. You also know straight awa More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: There are some great discussion points in this book; all centered on the boundaries of friendship and family relationships. Anyone with children, but especially those with young adult children, will relate and find much to talk about as it deals heavily with some very sensitive family issues that will certainly trigger the emotions. A great book for clubs that enjoy a light but emotional read on family and friendships.

PBR Review: This is a touching book that explores the hardships and sacrifices a person faces in adapting to a new culture. The primary focus of the book is the determination and inner strength necessary for immigrants to survive and integr More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: An interesting story with strong believable characters that battle both seen and unseen demons. The mental and physical stamina necessary to integrate into a foreign country will create lots of talking points. There is also a subplot on living in the slums and working in sweat shops. This life style although not a choice creates humiliation and the fear of exposure fosters isolation. The same can be said for the language barriers and the prejudices faced by immigrants. The book strongly demonstrates a deep loving bond between Kimberly and her mother. How important a role this was will be another interesting discussion point. The storyline has broad appeal and is perfect for mother and daughter to read together. Great for book clubs that enjoy character driven novels and appreciate a beautiful writing style.

PBR Review: This is an engaging coming of age story set in the pre revolutionary war period, a time in our countryís history marked by turmoil and conflict. Sally Gunning weaves some great period detail as she sheds light on what life was l More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: The focus of this book revolves around a young women coming of age in the Colonial Period. Shes quite progressive for this era and contrasting the differences to todays progressive young woman will generate lots of conversation for book clubs. There are also interesting and insightful threads on long term happiness in a marriage,love and integrity.This would make a great selection for book clubs that enjoy historical fiction, discussing womens issues and prefer a quite deep read.

PBR Review: Lisa Grunwald treats the reader to an engrossing story about a home economics program based on a college campus in the 1940's. Female students are assigned to a real home, also known as the practice house, for six weeks, to learn More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: The limitations, restrictions and expectations of women in the forties are highlighted in this book. It is based on an actual Home Economics program initiated at Cornell University using orphaned children.

PBR Review: This is a very unique tale made more intriguing because it is based on a true court case. Book clubs in particular should enjoy this book, thereís lots of thought provoking legal and moral discussion points. Henry, thinking his w More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: The relationship that developes between the two wives is the thread that will generate the most discussion in this book, both in its own right, taking place in the 1800's and contrasting the same circumstances happening today. Book clubs will also enjoy discussing the actions of Henry which are disturbing and inconsistent. Another discussion topic; do circumstances beyond a person's control change what's right or wrong? This book will appeal to book clubs that enjoy well written character driven stories.

PBR Review: A heartwarming story that is thought provoking and engrossing. A perfect blend of the culture of India, and the trials of adoptions and inter cultural marriage. The beautiful writing style is inviting and beautifully weaves t More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: A beautifully written book that will stay in your thoughts for a long time. It's the story of two mothers and ultimately what it means to be a family. It also explores the issues of cross culture adoption and customs in India, especially where it concerns the birth of a daughter and the rights of females. Recommended for book clubs that enjoy family drama and reading about other cultures.

PBR Review: In 1942 the French Police rounded up their own Jewish citizens for the Naziís to be placed in the a French arena named the Velodrome d Hiver and then transported to the death camps. When twelve year old Sarah receives a knock on More


Buy From Amazon.com
Talking Points: Like most books depicting the events of the Holocaust, this book will provoke thought and conversation about the duplicity of human nature and the horrors one human being is capable of inflicting on another. It also highlights a little known event in history which book clubs may enjoy learning and talking about. It will have appeal to book clubs that enjoy a light but captivating story.
Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter
FIRST PREV (6 of 7) NEXT LAST
PBR book reviews and Reading guides for book clubs
Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Pintrest Follow us on InstaGram
Free bookmarks
10 Books I Can't Stop Recommending