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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 Secret History

By Donna Tartt

This is an outstanding read. It’s not, as I sometimes describe literary fiction, about people and feelings. But neither is it about actions. To begin class, the classics professor says, “Are you ready to leave the phenomenal world, to enter into the sublime?” While things most definitely happen in this story, the heart of the […]

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The Spellman Files

By Lisa Lutz

The Spellmans are a family of private detectives who wiretap, tail, photograph and blackmail each other as an alternative to more conventional ways of showing love. I usually like my mysteries to be light and cozy, so right from the start I didn’t appreciate the black humor or the bad language. The novel is supposed […]

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Morning Coffee with James

By Renae Brumbaugh

This is a United Methodist Women reading program book from the category of Spiritual Growth. It was a fast read. Each section began with versus from the book of James, and the author wrote pertinent words of wisdom related to the text. Thoughtful messages even for people who are neither early morning risers or caffeine […]

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Ransom River

By Meg Gardiner

Ransom River A good solid Stand-alone mystery. Heroine comes home feeling defeated. By the end of the book, she’s rediscovered herself and empowered herself. Writing is solid and there are plenty of plot turns. Find in Catalog

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To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

I read “Mockingbird” with the knowledge that I was probably one of the few people older than 40 who had yet to do so. And interestingly, it coincided with everyone’s paying attention to the novel again because of the announcement of the publication of the companion volume “Go Set a Watchman.” I can’t say, though, […]

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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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