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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.

White Noise

By Don DeLillo

This is one that has been on my shelf forever. If how I got through grade school without reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a mystery, getting out of an American lit graduate program without having read “White Noise” is similarly unlikely. For most of the novel I was feeling fairly ambivalent about it. The […]

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Sculpting In Time

By Andrei Tarkovsky

Tarkovsky is considered one of the finest Soviet filmmakers, and if this book is a good indicator of his brilliance, then he is one of the best Russian-born writers too. Such an uncompromising thinker! I have seen just one of his seven films so far, but several cinephile firends had told me to look for […]

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin

By Harriet Beecher Stowe

I am glad I read this, as I met other characters often referred to that I did not know came from this book. The heavy weight of religion was a bit boring to slog through at times, as was the sickly sweet perfection of the Evangeline character. However, I can see that this book must […]

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The Way Of Kings

By Brandon Sanderson

Life is much too short to keep reading a book I don’t enjoy. After getting 2/3 though, I quit. I did read a detailed plot summary, which confirmed my decision. I’m sure there are folks who will love this, and I will still read Mr. Sanderson’s work – just not this series. Find in Catalog

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Many Waters

By Madeleine L'Engle

I found myself tossed out of the story from time to time. “Seriously?” I’d think to myself, “She wouldn’t… this could go so very badly.” Ms. L’Engle drew me back into the story each time; the risks paid off lovingly, with aching beauty. Find in Catalog

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The Dirty Secrets Club

By The Dirty Little Secrets

A cover quote from Stephen King promises “The next suspense superstar.’ Opening with a sadomasochist scene occurring during an earthquake sets the tone for a suspenseful book. Violence, danger, blood and gore and plot twists follow. The first of the Jo Beckett, forensic psychiatrist, series keeps the reader engaged. The shock of the crimes masqueraded […]

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By Neal Stephenson

I have a poly-cosmos of thoughts about this book. Through much of it, it felt the author was far to impressed with his own cleverness. At the end, though, I could see how the cleverness actually did work in the context of the narrative, but that didn’t fully wash away my annoyance. Much of the […]

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The Patron Saint of Liars

By Ann Patchett

After reading “Bel Canto” for an earlier TBR challenge, I wanted to go back and read some of Patchett’s earlier books. This novel begins in the 1960s at a home for unwed mothers — St. Elizabeth’s — run by a group of nuns. Rose, a pregnant, devout Catholic, travels to the Kentucky refuge from California, […]

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By Vladimir Nabokov

Almost as interesting to me as the book’s themes and Nabokov’s dazzling technique is the mystery of how I avoided it for several decades. I mean, it didn’t need any help in the allure department. But now that I am in full reverence mode for VN—reading his letters, poems, anything by and about the master—I […]

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