Book Club Recommendations

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

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?

PBR Review: I listened to this book on Audio, and I wanted to discuss it with someone after the first chapter. Daisy, a beautiful young woman, is given the news her cancer is back, and she only has a few months to live. Her quest is to find More

Talking Points: Because the story is about a young woman facing cancer, it's an emotional read and shines a light on the many tentacles illnesses have, which are all worthy of discussion. It also forces you to examine how you would react if dealt the same hand. There's a lot to talk about in this book.

PBR Review: I listened to Whistling Past The Grave Yard by Susan Crandall on audio during a long car ride and found it to be a thoroughly entertaining book. It's a beautiful coming of age story set in Mississippi during the 1960’s. The prot More

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Talking Points: The story takes place in the 1960's, which was a turbulent time for America. Racism and class are a major thread throughout the book as well as family relationships and the dynamics, which occur within a broken family. It's told through the voice of a child, which adds an interesting spin to the book.

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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Talking Points: This book will create a dynamic discussion on several topics. It presents the reader with several personal questions to ponder. Do I know my partners as well as I think? Can I survive the betrayal? What price will I pay to save my family? The characters are well developed, therefore making them worthy of examination.

PBR Review: This debut novel by Jenny Wingfield is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time. It’s beautifully descriptive and pulls you to the Deep South on the Moses family farm during the 1950’s. A sprawling Arkansas homestead i More

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Talking Points: Good books with well developed characters always provide a multitude of discussions points. There are many complex characters of various ages and moral compasses in this story. It's a heartfelt story with some volatile issues which should provide a lively discussion group.

PBR Review: Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple is a fresh, funny, and original book I listened to on audio. It centers on Bernadette, a kooky wife and mother, who at one time was an accomplished architect. She’s now an agoraphobic who More

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Talking Points: There's much to discuss with this book. It touches upon many of the universal struggles everyone experiences at one time or another in life. The challenges of marriage, work, community, raising a family, and the mother daughter bond are a few examples of topics in this heartfelt book. How we handle them and get through to the other side is another.

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.
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