The River Wife by Joan Agee – Another meeting I was not present for and didn’t have the chance to read the book.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - Another juvenile classic widely read by both kids and adults. Harry Potter is one of those series you either love or loathe and of course the group was divided (but mostly for) into these categories.
Animal Farm by George Orwell & Lord of the Flies – Two books you’d typically find in your high school curriculum. Most were either for one or the other. For me, Lord of the Flies was the more enjoyable of the two though I could appreciate the symbolize in Animal Farm. Since both books dealt with society gone bad, it was easy to discuss both in one meeting.
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult – Since this author is fairly popular, the group decided to read one of her books. At one point, I had a bunch of books but after awhile, I found the author a bit fomulaic.
Anna Karenina by Tolstoy – I honestly couldn’t finish it but it started out ok.
Turn of the Screw by Henry James – I can’t say enough about this classic. The story has been with me since 1995 and I just find it fascinating. Admittedly the text can be convoluted and certainly there are character flaws, but the ambiguity of the story is what draws in most people, including myself.
The Time-Traveler’s Wife by Niffenegger’s – Wonderful book on time travel that doesn’t have so many rules causing the reader to become confused. The time travel element is really just a sub-plot to real heart of the novel which is the love story between the two protoganists who are constantly fighting time travel to be together. I don’t think there was a member who attended this book meeting that hated the book and is this is one we’ll have to see once it comes ot theaters.
Them by Joyce Carol Oates – It was hard to find something enjoyable about this book. I couldn’t really relate to the characters and the plot seemed to just drag on and on.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde – This book had an interesting premise but didn’t live up to what it could have been. It was almost like it couldn’t decide on what it wanted to be…a detective novel, a time travel story, etc.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – Most members of our group enjoyed this one. I really enjoyed the descriptions of circus life and was able to feel for Jacob, the protagonist. And though the ending was a bit unrealistic, I was glad he got a happy ending.
Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – We read this one for our Halloween theme. It was particularly scary and I finished the book with a few more questions than answers. On the whole it wasn’t a bad novel, but I find Bradbury’s short stories more appealing. Most of the group members enjoyed the internal conflict of the father as opposed to the adolescent boys.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – This is another book you either adore or loathe. What killed it for me was finding out this “novel” is really a novelization of a television show. I couldn’t really get into the head of any of the characters and it was just way too predictable for me.