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To Be Read Challenge Book Reviews

This page contains an archive of book reviews submitted by participants of the To Be Read Challenge.


By Nick Harkaway

If you are looking for a book that immerses you in a different world, this may appeal to you. It’s set in present day London, but imagines a slightly different past — one where a secret society of John Ruskin acolytes have long been helping the English government in spycraft. The protagonist of the novel […]

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French Women Don’t Get Fat

By Mireille Guiliano

This was a fun and inspirational book. Ms. Guiliano came to the US as an exchange student from France and quickly put on 25 pounds. Losing the weight after returning home, she realized there was a cultural difference in the way the French approached food and drink. The French eat so many of the so-called […]

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Precious Blood

By Jane Haddam

This was a good mystery, but it took place within a Catholic church, and there were many references to beliefs and rituals in the Catholic church that I did not understand. I like the main character, Gregor Demarkian, a retired FBI agent, and look forward to reading the next in the series. Not in catalog

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Act of Darkness

By Jane Haddam

This was a good mystery—the third in the Gregor Demarkian series. It is reminiscent of Agatha Christie with the big house full of people and the use of poison. I was kept in suspense to the end. Jane Haddam’s mysteries are well written with good character development. I look forward to reading more in this […]

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Bertie Plays the Blues

By Alexander McCall Smith

I consider Alexander McCall Smith to be the equivalent of comfort food for the reader. He is so funny and writes so well, and I love all his characters—even the annoying ones! This book is from his 44 Scotland Street series, which follows all the folks who live in the different flats at 44 Scotland […]

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Sarah’s Key

By Tatiana de Rosnay

I appreciate this author’s desire to write a novel about an historical event that is still kept under wraps in France. The “Sarah” part of the story was chilling and haunting. I found myself thinking “remember, this actually happened”. I was filled with hope that little Michel would’ve been miraculously saved from the cupboard so […]

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Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall exalts historical fiction to triumphant heights. The novel chronicles the reign of Henry the Eighth during the tumultuous years that put Anne Boleyn on the throne. The story is told through the character of Thomas Cromwell, a commoner who rises to prominence as a close adviser to Cardinal Wolsey and Henry […]

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Gilead and Home

By Marilynne Robinson

I listened to both these books, “Gilead” and then “Home” as audiobooks. Ms. Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize for “Gilead” in 2005. I heard interviews about these books, and they sounded compelling, which is why I wanted to read them. I found them both slow and plodding, and my mind would wander while I listened […]

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Slip of the Knife

By Denise Mina

This is the third and final installment of the Paddy Meehan series set in Glasgow …Paddy is a journalist whose career we have read about for the past ten years in this trilogy. Paddy’s old friend Terry, a war correspondent, is executed and Paddy gets involved in the investigation. We are suspecting it involves the […]

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Destoyer Angel

By Nevada Barr

In the seventeenth Anna Pigeon mystery, Anna’ friends are abducted while on a camping vacation and it is Anna who must rescue them in the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. She faces four kidnappers inexperienced in the wilderness and she calls upon her vast skills as a Ranger for the US Park Services to track […]

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