Paige Dickerson's Blog

Book club

Posted in Books by voteforjaneausten on April 16, 2009

Yay! I love book club, and now it is my turn to pick!!!!! Such a responsibility, but since I have been thinking about this since I joined six months ago, I already had an idea of what I wanted to pick. So here they are along with my take on the books — and spoiler free… I PROMISE!!
It is so hard to pick and I wish we could read all of these because I would LOVE to hear what everyone at book club thinks about each one.
For a summary click on the title of each book. I’m just including why I picked them!

This book is what I think of when I imagine modern great literature. Winning the Pulitzer in 2005, Gilead is literary and beautiful. Although the plot doesn’t move forward quickly — it is more of a contemplation than a story — one becomes attached to the characters so that the changes and revelations of each are just as surprising and entertaining as plot revelations in other books.

Plain Truth
By the author of acclaimed My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult (pronounced Pee-ko) I was skeptical when I picked up this book but I was hooked almost immediately. I think Jodi uses the perfect blend of commercial and literary. Though I guessed the ending at one point, she did a great job of making me second guess every single one of my assumptions. Who can resist a court thriller (a la Law and Order) blended with a study of the Amish?

Broken for You

This book — set in Seattle, YAY! — a hint of the supernatural and a little about how people relate to each other. Add a touch of redemption and anyone who knows me well knows this is the recipe for a book that I will love! I loved the idea of a kind of “hermit” woman who invites people into her home at the end of her life and it didn’t disappoint. I was also happy to find an author whose writing I enjoyed. I haven’t picked up her newest book, but I am looking forward to it!

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
A retelling of the Cinderella fairytale from the perspective of her step sister, Maguire has a decidedly darker tone than even the Grimm’s telling. If his Wicked — a retelling of the Wizard of Oz — was a study on what goodness and wickedness really are then Confessions is a study on the place of women in the world, family relations and he can’t resist pondering wickedness again. A few surprise twists and some ambiguity that I’m still not sure what the real truth of the matter was in some cases just add to the “real life” feeling of this book.

Peace Like a River

This book was recommended to me by a former co-worker who I didn’t like at all. I was semi-determined to hate it but I just couldn’t. I think the other review said it is the father who haunts you in the end and I think that is very true. I think Enger shows us the father’s torment and the injustice of the situation so clearly that one can’t help but feel just as torn as the father. The writing is beautiful and the plot enticing but it is the character development that I think really shines in this book.

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