Book Club Recommendations

PBR Review: I'll start this review by admitting I'm a huge fan of Liane Moriarty. Once I pick up one of her books, I have a hard time putting it down. Her writing is superb, and her character development is exceptional, which makes her one More

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PBR Review: Life in a small town can be oppressive and constricting – it’s residents wary and unwelcoming of strangers, change and dissimilar thoughts. This is the backdrop for “The Wingshooters”. The story centers on a young biracial Japa More

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Talking Points: The subject matter in this book is deep. The story is laced with hatred, racial tension and issues of bullying, child abuse, violence ,class and gender roles. Charlie, in particular is an interesting character. He has a strong attachment to his biracial granddaughter but is also bigoted and resistant to change, demonstrating the fine line between love and hate and showing that strength of the bonds of blood?

PBR Review: “The Chaperone” will touch many nerves and entertain from start to finish. The book follows Cora as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. It shows how the past shapes the future and the young challenge and push it forwar More

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Talking Points: The book explores the social mores of the 1920s and the life of a typical woman during this period and touches on topics such as the Ku Klux Klan, homosexuality, societies attitude towards orphans, prohibition and some now defunct conventions of the time. It also examines the women's movement and it's interesting to note that the back story is about Louise Brooks, a real person.

PBR Review: This is a book about decisions that haunt and love that consumes. Tom Sherbourne, a lighthouse keeper on a remote island in Australia, makes a decision not to report an unusual event – a boat that washes ashore with a dead man an More

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Talking Points: Some decisions are impossible to reverse and equally impossible to live with, such as deciding to keep a baby that is not yours. Is all fair in love and war? In reality, probably not. But, this is a story, which will provoke thought about the moral limits a person will transgress for the sake of love. Emotions will also run high on the fate of the baby girl and the people who love her.

PBR Review: The society this book depicts is one without freedom, one that is controlled by extremists- the ultra conservative type with zero tolerance for pleasure. Although far-fetched, it does provoke thought as it portrays the human con More

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Talking Points: Because this book deals with repression on so many levels it will provoke lots of discussion. Although overall it's not realistic, fragments ring true. I think it would be interesting to contrast some of the restrictive customs of the Islamic cultures to the situations in this book. The book also provokes thought on feminist issues, the fallout of nuclear war and the human condition, what people are capable of doing. Some think the book is the ideal male world gone askew, it would be interesting to toss this topic around.

PBR Review: In the last installment of this trilogy, the intensity and chemistry, both stay strong. Once again, although there sex and more sex, the strength of this book lies in the underlying theme of unconditional love and the strong rel More

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Talking Points: As with the other two books in this trilogy this one is about love, forgiveness, trust, compromise and how the past haunts and shapes the future. It's also about setting boundaries and learning to trust. E. L. James continues to draw the reader in with her strong character development and excellent plotting. This is not a stand alone book and the books must be read in order.

PBR Review: There is something intimate and at the same time grand about this novel - very appropriate for a book based on the Vietnam War which was like no previous war fought. Marlantes does not hold back in showing the unrelenting horror More

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Talking Points: War is more than just combat. It's politics and raw human emotion. It's every man for himself and the ultimate bonds of brotherhood. It's frustrating, horrifying, exhilarating and fraught with tension. This book portrays all this and more.

PBR Review: This is a moving love story set in Burma written in a lyrical understated style. It’s about a young women’s journey to discover the reason her father unexpectedly disappeared from her life. While the main theme is a love story More

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Talking Points: This book explores the meaning of true love between a man and a woman. Is there such a thing and can it endure years of separation? It also explores the love between a parent and child, issues of abandonment, trust and forgiveness. Recommend for book clubs that enjoy a more literary read.

PBR Review: This is book 1 in a trilogy billed as “mommy porn” and “Twilight” for grown-ups, and it's hot right now. It’s topping the NY Times e-book best seller list, making news headlines in print and TV and movie rights have already been More

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Talking Points: This is a book that will spark conversion like no other, on many levels, for many reasons and it's not just about the sex. It's a fresh witty look about courtship and compromise, written in a delightful style. It's about how the past shapes our present and how one person challenges another in a relationship. The characters are endearing and unpredictable making it a fun enchanting read. Recommend for book clubs that enjoy a good romance novel and perhaps are willing to explore new avenues, the sex is after all, right out there in this book.

PBR Review: This is an amazing first novel, an epic tale of love, friendship, family and hardship. Andras Levi, Hungarian and Jewish wins a scholarship to study architecture in Paris. The year is 1937 - social views and laws are on the p More

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Talking Points: The characters and the sense of time and place are beautifully drawn, literally transporting you back to this time period. It's poignant and beautiful and as with most Holocaust subjects, heartbreaking. More than other books I've read on this subject, this book demonstrates the impact on ordinary working people. It also shows how the reality and truth of the war for Hungarians set in gradually, causing alarm but not necessarily fear. The changes in life style and living conditions were initially not all consuming either giving a false sense of security, or perhaps showing the nature of mankind to cast aside what seems illogical. This is also a wonderful love story and one that demonstrates the warmth and strength of strong family bonds. Recommend for book clubs that enjoy a more literary read.

PBR Review: This is a compelling coming of age story told from the perspective of a young girl. As the novel opens, Blessing is twelve years old and living in a modern Nigerian apartment. When her parents divorce, she moves to the Niger De More

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Talking Points: Set in Nigeria, a culturally rich book that addresses some sensitive political and social issues, such as the impact of the big oil companies on the area and the pollution of the air and surrounding waters. It's also a study in family and women's issues with strong emphasis on the love that bonds people together. The topic of genital mutilation is examined as well as the importance of education and the draw of young boys to gang life.

PBR Review: Shrouded in mystery and laced with magic, this is a book that makes the imagination come alive. It’s about a very special, very sophisticated circus that suddenly appears in town and creates the ambience of New Years Eve just as More

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Talking Points: This is an unusual book that takes the reader on a journey to a magical fantasy world. The author does this through outstanding descriptions, an exceptionally creative imagination and a beautiful writing style. The main character is the circus and the most compelling aspect of this book is the strong sense of time and place the author creates; the characters although well developed, are almost secondary. There is plenty of conflict in this story and many relationship and trust issues to discuss. It's also a book that most will most either love or hate.
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