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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.

Isabel’s Bed

By Elinor Lipman

Harriet Mahoney is 42, an aspiring novellist and looking for a way to escape New York and the end of a long-term relationship. She applies for a position ghost-writing Isabel Krug’s scandalous life story. I enjoyed the flamboyance of Isabel, watching Harriet develop some gumption, and the relationships among all the characters. The ending had […]

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A Reporter’s Life

By Walter Cronkite

The most fascinating chapter in the book (10) is Cronkite’s comparison of the presidents. “Making comparative rankings of Presidents is an unnecessary exercise fraught with contention but otherwise relatively harmless.” He discussed the presidents since Hoover. In reviewing his career, he outlines the frequent switching of jobs before he landed at CBS television news. His […]

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The Rose Garden

By Susanna Kearsley

It’s hard not to love a good time travel novel. While not life changing or even significantly different than several other of her novels, The Rose Garden was an enjoyable read. And there were even parts that pleasantly surprised me. Find in Catalog

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I’ll Give You The Sun

By Jandy Nelson

This was my favorite book I have read this year. This wonderful example of Young Adult Fiction, like many in this genre, does an amazing job at cutting to quick about what’s most important in life. Told from the perspective of fraternal twins, the boy when they are age 13 and the girl from when […]

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Big Little Lies

By Liane Moriarty

I love this book so much, I cannot adequately express it. I think I need at least two copies of this book – one to read, and one to press into other people’s hands. Such real, imperfect, delicious beauty! So delicate, intricate, deep, and accessible! Just read it – then you’ll understand how amazing it […]

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Mrs. Dalloway

By Virginia Woolf

I’ve been thinking about this book, on and off, since I finished listening to it. It didn’t so much end as just stopped… but I may be mistaken about that. It seems so transparent, like clear topical water, but has surprising depth once you step in. Definitely, definitely need to read/listen to this one again. […]

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Deep In The Green

By Anne Raver

This was a collection of essays by New York Times gardening columnist Anne Raver on topics ranging from pesticide use to pets, romance, food, family relationships, and aging. Some of the essays were fun, “The Poop on Crickets” and “Digging Clams and Other Things” for example, while others didn’t interest me as much, as is […]

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Strange Glory

By Charles Marsh

I knew I had to read this book after hearing the author speak at Quail Ridge 18 months ago. This is Charles Marsh’s (professor at UVA) second book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Marsh’s writing is smooth and fluid. Despite the research and footnotes, it reads like a NYT bestseller rather than an academic work. The author […]

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By Hans Keller

In this prime example of Keller’s writing and argument, he attacks music criticism, along with the other “phoney professions” of the broadcaster, musicologist, politician, conductor, teacher, and editor. One of the strengths of Keller’s arguments is that he himself practiced most of these professions during his life. Keller’s writing is brilliant, humorous at times, and […]

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