Book Club Recommendations

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.

PBR Review: Relationships can be complicated, especially when it comes to family. Whiskey and Charlie are brothers, identical twins, from the outside you canít tell them apart, but inside each is unique. As Charlie and Whiskey grow, the gap More

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Talking Points: This book will resonate with anyone who has had to deal with family strife. There is plenty of sibling rivalry and complicated relationships woven into this story. Aside from the obvious one between the two brothers, the book deals with adoption and extended family issues. It also opens the door to discussions about families dealing with loved ones in a coma and life support. It is a character driven novel and as Charlie wrestles with his emotions he also gains more self awareness and becomes a better person, It is heartwarming.

PBR Review: Narrated by the sweet young voice of Dixie Dupree, this book captures the small town Alabama life of a dysfunctional family in 1969. Dixieís father drinks, her mother has a hair trigger temper, money is tight, her support system More

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Talking Points: Dixie Dupree, an 11 year old with an idyllic voice and a heart full of passion, narrates this book. But dig a little into her life and you find many forms of child abuse. Why is it that parental love is sometimes not enough to stop or prevent child abuse? There is also a lot of insight into how a child rationalizes what is happening and caregivers often do not have the presence of mind to notice, thus the abuse continues. What role does poverty play in Dixies troubles?

PBR Review: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes is a moving and thought-provoking story. It has two female protagonists who tell their story. Sophie lives in a small French village occupied by the Germans in 1916. Her husband has go More

Talking Points: The story portrays women who are judged by society for the decisions they make. It's emotionally charged and asks many questions that do not have clear answers. This book will provide a lively discussion.

PBR Review: As usual, Jodi Picoult likes to write books about current topics. And in the past several years, the treatment of animals has become a hot one. In this book, she tells the story of the majestic elephants. She demonstrates how t More

Talking Points: This story is an emotional read on several fronts. It's has a complicated mother daughter relationship. It's a love story. And it dwells quite a bit on the topic of grief, providing many opportunities for discussion.

PBR Review: With varying degrees, everyone was touched by the events of the 911 terror attack. I live miles away from ground zero but can still remember the burning sensation in my throat and the eerie silence that descended upon the city as More

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Talking Points: People handle loss differently, but at the same time there is a common thread. Lives can be changed in an instant and feeling normal again is a hard and difficult personal journey. This is a story of 2 fires, with 2 very different causes but the end result is the same on a lot of levels. There is also a thread on fate and the feelings associated with it.

PBR Review: A story of four siblings planning their lives around a trust fund set up by their late father. Everyone is anxiously waiting for the youngest to turn 40 years old so the funds can be paid out. The "Nest" - initially More

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Talking Points: This book emphasizes the popular bumper sticker that says YOUR CHOICES MATTER. It defines how the impact of bad choices can be life long. It is a story of acceptance and reconciliation, living not just with bad choices, but bad choices someone else made that could not be undone. Throughout the story are threads of addiction, gay marriage, excesses of the rich, low self esteem and self absorbed dysfunctional personalities. A fabulous light read, good for travel or the beach but rich in conflict.
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