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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.

In the Garden of Beasts

By Larson, Erik

This is the first book I read by Larson, and I really enjoyed it. I was caught up in this nonfiction work right from the beginning. I really enjoy learning about WWII history. I didn’t know anything about Ambassador Dodd, and I was really interested in learning about Germany through his eyes. Dodd was an […]

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The House at Riverton

By Kate Morton

An interesting upstairs/downstairs novel set before World War I and after. The storytelling is a little convoluted, but the tension between past and present drives the narrative along well enough. I wish that the main character had been developed a bit more fully – she’s awfully naive throughout most of the narrative, and while she […]

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By James L Rubart

I want sure what to expect from this novel. It has been compared to “The Shack”, which I enjoyed reading but I felt was pretty far out there. This story was more relatable than “The Shack” while still having elements of supernatural which gave the story mystery and suspense. Sometimes the “come to Jesus” themes […]

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Beautiful Ruins

By Jess Walter

Where to start? This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. If that’s not enough to make you consider bumping this book up to your reading list, let me go on. This book beautifully weaves in different generations, people and cultures while making you think about what makes us human and what “matters” […]

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The Goldfinch

By Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt’s brilliant novel, The Goldfinch, is a roller coaster account of Theo Decker’s attempts to restore himself from a series of missteps and mishaps precipitated by the sudden death of his mother in a terrorist attack on the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. His touchstone, and the embodiment of the anxiety sparked from […]

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The Tricking of Freya

By Christina Sunley

A treat, especially if you enjoy Norse mythology. The narrator, Freya, was named for a Norse goddess and has the complicated family to match — she travels to Canada each summer with her mother to visit her grandmother and charismatic aunt Birdie. Her late grandfather was a revered poet of the Icelandic diaspora — he […]

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I Am Not Sidney Poitier

By Percival Everett

Oooh, this book was GOOD. Funny, smart, enjoyable. It follows our hero, a boy whose first name is Not Sidney and last name is Poitier. When his mother dies, he goes to live with Ted Turner and Jane Fonda in Atlanta (hilarious), and we follow him on his gonzo adventures once he comes of age. […]

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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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