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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.

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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Anathem

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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Lolita

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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Prodigal Summer

By Barbara Kingsolver

I loved this book! In 2002 I attempted to read the book and never got past Chapter One. I am a huge fan of Kingsolver’s other works – The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna – so I really wanted to give Prodigal Summer another try. I’m not sure what changed, […]

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The Piano Teacher

By Janice Lee

Set in Hong Kong during 1953 with flashbacks to WWII, the novel tracks the experience of European ex-pats in an exotic setting. The business day runs from 10 am-4 pm with a 2 hour lunch. However, when the Japanese invade and occupy the island, many of the Europeans find themselves interned. Chinese and Eurasians on […]

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