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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.

The Warmth of Other Stories: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

I’ve read a good number of books about race in America, but none have so masterfully woven historical context with personal narratives as Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns. You cannot help but deeply care for the three individuals whose lives she traces over the decades. Her exposé of the death by a thousand […]

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The Nonexistent Knight

By Italo Calvino

This novela is something of a fairy tale told by a nun that parodies medieval knighthood. Calvino is one of the great Italian storytellers/fabulists (Umberto Eco is another). The story seems unbelievable, but draws you in to the point where you suspend your disbelief and have to keep reading to find out what happens. And […]

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The Spiritual Activist: Practices to Transform Your Life, Your Work, and Your World

By Claudia Horwitz

Horwitz, a Durham resident, social activist, and yoga teacher (at least at the time of publication, 2002), offers ways to incorporate spiritual practice into your life as a foundation for sustaining commitment to social activism. Each chapter contains suggested activities, questions for reflection, resources, and stories from a variety of socially conscious people from a […]

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The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

By Reif Larsen

This is the kind of book that would be absolutely intolerable if it were written about an adult. The fact that it is written about a child makes it slightly more palatable, even though I have to admit that the titular character is not particularly realistic. The illustrations are innovative and the format of the […]

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Stay Awake

By Dan Chaon

A book of intense, sometimes dark short stories. There were a few spooky stories, but most of these don’t use supernatural means to scare you. . .it’s more the dark side of people. Chaon is a good writer, and there are images from these stories that will stay with me, like the roadside shrines and […]

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“The Bug Funeral

By Sarah R Shaber

Campy and fun. Loved the references to Raleigh’s locale. And, history about orphans. Simon has broken up with girlfriend — preoccupied with attraction to latest client — Helen Williams who is afraid that she was a murderer in a previous life. Simon is professor at a “liberal arts college in Raleigh, NC forensic historian*, having […]

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Exiled: Voices of the Southern Baptist Convention Holy War

By Carl L. Kell, editor

This compilation of essays by (formerly) Southern Baptist ministers and lay leaders during the fundamentalist takeover of 1979-1995 chronicles the personal experiences of the authors during the years of the takeover. The authors also discuss their feelings associated with being exiled from the church with which they strongly identified and to which they had devoted […]

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A Praying Life

By Paul E Miller

This was a wonderful book. I’ve been so discouraged in my prayer life over the last two years. Miller defines what it means to live a praying life, why it’s desirable, and then gives practical advice on how to do it. I am so happy I read this book. Not in library catalog.

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