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PBR Book Club Recommendations


PBR Review: This is an entertaining story that takes place in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement. Initially I did not like the deep southern dialect of the two maids, but once I accepted this, I was drawn into the book and was abl More


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Talking Points: An excellent book club choice that stirs up emotions and leaves the reader wanting more. It takes place during the height of the civil rights era and has provocative characters that feel authentic. Book clubs will enjoy discussing the three very remarkable, very different women who tell this story and the interactions between the black maids and their white employers. The dynamics of this time period with its social injustices will also stimulate lots of lively discussion. This is a book that stays with you long after you have finished it.

PBR Review: I thought the beginning of this book was a little weak and at times slow. However, once the story takes hold, it is a nicely written touching book that evokes a lot of emotion. It’s told from the perspectives of each of the main More


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Talking Points: Book clubs will find many excellent discussion points in this book. The story revolves around a child with selective mutism which will spark conversation on this topic as well as other childhood issues. Family dynamics and motherhood are also strong threads as well as the effects of alcoholism on parenting and a family. There is also a theme about the difficulties women face when dealing with abuse that makes for great discussion. This book will appeal to book clubs that enjoy a light read with emotional impact.

PBR Review: Philippa Gregory’s characters are complex and immensely engaging. The story is thought provoking, multi layered and brimming with unending intrigue and suspense; fueled by the greedy, ambitious, scheming and dangerously vacillati More


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Talking Points: The inner circle of King Henry VIII was in a perpetual state of turmoil, due largely to the King's impulsive and whimsical nature. This not only makes for an entertaining read but fosters lively discussion. There are also plenty of women's issues to discuss as many threads running through this novel show how they were abused and manipulated as part of a power play. Additionally, issues of social injustices and greed will spark conversation. This book will appeal to book clubs that enjoy historical fiction or a light captivating story.

PBR Review: I found this book slightly hard to get into, initially it felt like it was going to lack depth and fall into the “too light” chick lit category. But it wasn’t long before I was glad I persevered. Not only was this book delightfu More


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Talking Points: This book takes place during the late 60's and early 70's when the women's movement was just beginning and civil rights were a part of everyday conversation. Book clubs will enjoy discussing both these issues and also the change in social mores from then to present day. The strong bonds that develop between the "Wednesday Sisters" will also spark conversation on the meaning and importance of friendship. This book will appeal to book clubs that enjoy a light but emotionally engaging story.

PBR Review: This is an extremely compelling novel, written in a sensitive and compassionate style that allows you to feel what it is like to be diagnosed and live with Alzheimers disease. Prior to reading this when Alzheimers was mentioned More


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Talking Points: This book is so touching and the voice of Alice so real, when finished you can't stop thinking and talking about it. As the cloud of Alzheimer's descends upon Alice, the simple clear writing style of Lisa Genova allows the reader to feel the full haunting impact of this disease. Any book club that enjoys beautifully written emotionally charged books will enjoy this one.

PBR Review: This is a fascinating look at life in the late 1600’s during the small pox epidemic and the Salem Witch trials. Kathleen Kent beautifully relates the details of every day life in this harsh period of our history. She skillfully More


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Talking Points: This book, set during the Salem Witch trials, will spark conversation on many levels. There is a beautiful mother daughter theme that will generate conversation on unconditional love. The powerlessness of the family and friends of an accused witch and the unthinkable living conditions in prison will also be great discussion points. The manner in which the trials are carried out, the clear injustice to the victims and the religious zeal underlying this period of our history will also generate lots of emotion and discussion. This book will appeal to book clubs that enjoy well written captivating stories or historical fiction.

PBR Review: This is an elegant, calm read that will most likely never appear on any bestseller lists. There is no emotional roller coaster or highs and lows, only excellent poetic writing and a simple, elegant story with real characters. It More


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Talking Points: Charming and heartwarming, this is a story that will prompt discussion on the meaning of friendship, unconditional love, living in the moment, the meaning of family and the curious problem of only having eighty minutes of short term memory. Book clubs that enjoy beautifully written character driven stories will enjoy this one.

PBR Review: This is what I call a quiet book. The writing is open and clear but subtle, it does not overpower, allowing you to take in and get caught up in every detail. The prosaic style creates powerful emotions as you follow the lead ch More


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Talking Points: The main character, Ellis is flawed and very conflicted but also a character that's easy to relate to and identify with; book clubs should enjoy discussing her choices and actions. The differences between life in Brooklyn and Ireland in the 50's and the opportunities available to young women are both fascinating aspects of this book which should generate conversation. Book clubs should also enjoy discussing the emotional impact of starting a completely new life;the changes that take place and the type of person capable of doing this and perhaps contrasting these traits with those of Ellis. This book will have appeal to book clubs that enjoy a more literary read and character driven novels.

PBR Review: I think what resonates most with me about this book is the witty distinct style of each character. When I first noticed the book was in letter form I was hesitant to buy it; feeling this format may hinder the flow of the story, More


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Talking Points: This book is written in letter style. Book clubs should enjoy discussing the effectiveness of this style and what it adds or takes from the story. The basic plot is the aftermath of war and the toll it takes on people and in a larger sense a town, which will also generate lots of interesting discussion. The strength of this book lies in the amazing characters which are fully developed and unique. Book clubs will enjoy discussing the different aspects of what makes them so real and why they stay with you long after the end of the story. This book will appeal to Book clubs that enjoy well written character driven plots.

PBR Review: Based on a true story THE ZOO KEEPERS WIFE is a heartrending account of a Polish couple Antonia and Jan Zabinski, who saved hundreds of Jews and other victims from capture by the Nazis. The book reveals a stark look at life in Po More


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PBR Review: A wonderfully written Inspector Sejer mystery centered in a small Norwegian village filled with suspense and intrigue. It’s not your typical mystery. Rather than tracking down clues and eliminating suspects the heart of the book More


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Talking Points: Although a great mystery it's also a study in the fragility of being human. Several threads and characters of this book will provoke thought and stimulate conversation. Book clubs will enjoy discussing the complexity of small town life and it's impact on a murder investigation. Gunder is a beautifully drawn character,but also one whose actions can be questioned on many levels with different interpretations likely. The same can be said for several relationships in the story. This is the fourth book in this series but it does very well as a standalone novel. It's very nicely written with great character development.

PBR Review: The fragility of life became crystal clear, after reading this book. I could not stop thinking about it. What would I do? Could I have done the same thing? How would I feel or cope? I’m not sure. It will leave you pondering your More


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Talking Points: Book clubs will enjoy discussing the many complex social issues and injustices of a corrupt government. The book also beautifully explores relationships, love and loss and has characters, Little Bee and Sarah in particular, whose actions and motivations will promote discussion. Little Bee has strong survival instincts for example, but does this necessarily justify questionable behavior? Various threads will also lead to conversation about valuing and appreciating one's life and the trials of immigration. This story will appeal to book clubs that enjoy a well written character driven novel.

PBR Review: I stayed up late a few nights reading this beautifully written book; it was hard to put down. The story is intense and Goolrick’s writing style is powerful; a dynamic combination that will seriously hook you. His descriptions o More


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Talking Points: The intense writing style is what makes this book stand out and will also stimulate conversation for book clubs. The characters are all well developed and terribly flawed. Their actions consistently anger, confuse and surprise; all of which flow together for some healthy discussion. The basic needs of human beings and the measures one takes to satisfy them, as well as the desperation that accompanies loneliness and grief are also threads that will stimulate conversation. In general, readers seem to either love or hate this book, maybe due to the dark undertone or some of the circumstances and actions which defy logic. It will appeal to book clubs that enjoy well written character driven stories.

PBR Review: At 500 pages it certainly is a long book, but worth every second, earning five stars rating from this reader! CUTTING FOR STONE is a sweeping family saga which draws you in and transports you to a small missionary hospital in Eth More


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Talking Points: Because this story is so engrossing, you will want to discuss it for hours. It touches upon topics, which will evoke strong emotions and provide lively and passionate conversations. The storyline visits many scenarios such as love, family dynamics, political upheavals, and cultural traditions, which unchain a series of events worth pondering.

PBR Review: I loved this feel good original book. Garth Stein not only entertained me, but gave me a new found appreciation for my dog. Nonanimal lovers don’t be put off, it’s not an animal story. It's about life, love and relationships. The More


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Talking Points: This book is original and entertaining. Although told from the perspective of a dog,it's really about love, loss,family and life's lessons; all great topics for discussions. What makes it exceptional is the writing style, which allows the reader to experience the emotions. Be prepared to laugh and cry with this one. This book will appeal to book clubs that enjoy a light but emotionally engaging story.

PBR Review: Although this book is labeled Young Reader, it is packed with enough personality and thought provoking substance to make its appeal much broader. Initially the young adult label put me off, but it was recommended with such enthus More


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Talking Points: The narrator of this book is death and his perspective on war and the day to day lives of the characters is unique and a great discussion topic. The voice the author chooses for him will also spark conversation; it's impartial and devoid of emotion causing different perspectives on the same topic to emerge. There are several other threads that will also generate discussion such as abandonment, the atrocities of war, and the power and allure of the written word. This book will appeal to book clubs that enjoy well written captivating stories.

PBR Review: I loved this book so much I stayed in on a Saturday night to finish reading it. Get ready for a lot of soul searching as you read this heart wrenching story of a mothers love and the agony of holocaust. As an interesting twist th More


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Talking Points: Aside from the atrocities of war, the interesting discussion point that will surface after reading this book is that it's told from the perspective of German citizens and depicts their struggles, the guilt they harbored and the compromises they made for survival. The actions of the main character will cause the reader to wonder what they would do under similar circumstances and also generate conversation on the devastating impact of war for survivors and the risks involved in aiding the Jewish. Book clubs whose members have children will especially relate to and want to discuss certain threads of this book. This book will appeal to book clubs that enjoy a well written story with emotional impact.
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