Top Menu

To Be Read Challenge Book Reviews

This page contains an archive of book reviews submitted by participants of the To Be Read Challenge.

The Great Santini

By Pat Conroy

A great book about a mostly horrible man. I loved the entire family that Bull Meechum fought with and beat on, particularly Ben and Mary Anne. The writing was beautiful, and you could really get the different moods: the beauty of the SC coastal lowlands, the tightness and craziness of the Marine Corps, the craziness […]

Continue Reading 0

Going to Bend

By Diane Hammond

I loved this book, most all of the characters, and the weaving of their stories and encounters. It’s a book that I would love to read a sequel of, to check in on the characters. I find it interesting that the title of the book, is just the tiniest bit of the story, and you […]

Continue Reading 0


By Colum McCann

This is a wonderful book, the writing so beautiful (as always from this author), yet the connection between the generations in this story is so tenuous. It seems light, like a feather, yet strong as generations are. I love the different places this book takes place, both in Canada, in NY, and in N. Ireland […]

Continue Reading 0


By Charles J Shields

This is a book that I kept from my mother’s estate. I wish I knew if she had read it and, if so, what she thought. The subtitle is “A Portrait of Harper Lee,” but it’s less a portrait than a painting with a detailed background and the main subject sketched in. The author admits […]

Continue Reading 0


By Ann Patchett

This is the fourth book I’ve read by Ann Patchett and although it is good, it is not her best work. The author herself describes it as Joe Kennedy meets the Brothers Karamazov. Bernard Doyle is former mayor of Boston, a widower, and proud of his Irish heritage. He loves politics and hopes that one […]

Continue Reading 0

Lost Horizon

By John Milton

This was a fabulous book and quite different from what I imagined. While Shangri-La seemed so wonderful, there was also a bit of the Stepford Wife syndrome when dealing with the humans there. I loved reading all of this, included learning that the modern term “slacker” is not so modern. The twist at the very […]

Continue Reading 0

Bill Bryson’s African Diary

By Bill Bryson

This is a tiny book! Only 49 pages, I was surprised at this, but any longer and it would have been depressing about the poverty in Africa, specifically Kenya. It is designed to show what the organization CARE does to help people help themselves. So much of our planet is in poverty and it amazes […]

Continue Reading 0

The Sun Also Rises

By Ernest Hemingway

This is the first Ernest Hemingway book I’ve ever read, but it was probably not a good first choice. I enjoyed his writing style, but the topic of just endless partying by obviously wealthy people wasn’t the best introduction to Mr. Hemingway. I did like the characters and enjoyed the descriptions of the travels, and […]

Continue Reading 0

The Things They Carried

By Tim O'Brien

This book reads like a blend of novel, memoir and short story collection. Each chapter stands alone and features a different soldier in an Army platoon in Vietnam. As the wife of a Vietnam veteran, I look for books that will help me understand my husband’s experience in that controversial war. He doesn’t have words […]

Continue Reading 0

Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell

By Crickett Rumley

Rumley had me laughing with her humorous characters and situations. While the book was relatively predictable, it made for a great summer read: quick and entertaining. As someone from the South, her generalizations about pageant life made me chuckle and her characters reminded me of folks from my own life. Would definitely recommend it, but […]

Continue Reading 0