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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.

Harvard 1914

By Allegra Jordan

Written by a local author, this first-time novel is set on the Harvard campus during the first year of WWI. It tracks the lives of three classmates — one British, one German, and one American — during that pivotal year. The German and British students return home to fight for their respective countries. The overall […]

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By Jeffrey Eugenides

This novel was extremely interesting and exquisitely well-written. It wasn’t exactly the kind of thing I normally read, but I cannot deny that this novel shows so much imagination, creativity and talent by Eugenides. Find in Catalog

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But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz

By Geoff Dyer

This book is a true TBR stalwart, since I’ve had the first-edition hardcover on my shelf since 1996, and I remember buying it at Marsh Woodwinds in Raleigh. Dyer channels the feel of improvisation in his prose examining the tortured lives of several jazz luminaries of the last century—Pres, Monk, Bud, Ben, Mingus, Chet, and […]

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The Fault in Our Stars

By John Green

Well I devoured the novel in just a few hours. I really loved the wit and banter between Hazel Grace and Augustus. It was cute, charming and heart-breaking. I have no idea if this was an accurate representation of his teenagers with cancer think and process things but it felt honest and believable to me. […]

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By Alice Munro

I need to study this book. It’s so beautiful and so compelling! The writing drew me in so subtly and sweetly that I didn’t see the emotional precipice until I had fallen into it. Each story made the pain of the fall and landing totally worthwhile. I don’t know how Ms. Munro did this, over […]

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High Wizardry

By Diane Duane

I think I like this volume better than the previous two in the series! Ms. Duane stirs spirituality into the story in a sweet, gentle sort of way. Madeline L’Engle did something similar, but with a decided Christian slant. Religion aside, Ms. Duane’s work certain stands next to that of Ms. L’Engle, as a wonderful […]

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Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel

I know that this book has garnered all sorts of acclaim, and I can see its appeal in presenting both the private and public lives of Thomas Cromwell and examining the reign of Henry VIII from a fresh perspective. However, I really struggled with the writing and the vast cast of characters. Find in catalog

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Pale Fire

By Vladimir Nabokov

Another VN treat, though this one, from 1962, takes considerable more brainpower than the engrossing Lolita. Nabokov takes so many risks with his language inventions, even when I do not understand him, I always admire him, and often find myself smiling or smirking. PF has been the subject of many a dissertation and full-length lit […]

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