Book Club Recommendations

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

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 can’t 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. Dixie’s 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: Jodi Picoult sends a powerful message with her latest book Small Great Things. As usual, she writes about a current topic and challenges you to re-examine your beliefs. With well-developed characters and an excellent plot she s More

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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.

PBR Review: Ordinary Grace is fabulous a book, one I didn’t want to end. I think it was the beautifully developed characters, so believable and real that grabbed me. Or maybe it was the 1960’s setting vividly depicted and perfectly capture More

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Talking Points: The themes running through this book touch upon the everyday emotions of love loss and forgiveness. Franks father is a preacher so morality and faith in God play big in this book. But Kreuger goes deeper and also writes about the more volatile emotions of prejudice, insecurity loss of innocence and evil.

PBR Review: THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR by Helen Simonson is one the best book I've listened to in a while! I agree with the Washington Post when it says, " It's your cure to Downton Abby Withdrawl." I couldn't stop listening to t More

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Talking Points: Several threads run through this love story, which will provide excellent topics for lively discussions. The suffragette movement along with social class and family honor are active components of the story and will give your Book Club a lot to debate!

PBR Review: Ove is a “don’t judge a book by its cover kind of man.” When you first meet – he is different - the self-appointed mayor of the neighborhood who performs a series of daily tasks that annoy. He notices everything. He barks at th More

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Talking Points: Ove doesn't just show us how to be nonjudgmental, but also what the true meaning of family and friendship is. Other themes that run through this book are love, coping with loss and obtaining balance in life. What is it that turns quirky habits into endearing qualities or vise versa?
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