FanIQ Book Club Review: January-July 2013

A personal review of the FanIQ Book Club monthly selections, January - July 2013

7/28/13 in Locker Room   |   JenX63   |   32761 respect

Wow!, can you believe it's almost August and some folks are antsy for the next great book club selections. Taking a page, actually hijacking an idea from Jess, I reviewed and gave  a synopsis of the books I have read. I have not read all of them so those of you that have should feel free to come on in and put down your own thoughts. These great books were offered up for perusal. Did you like, love, or hate the books selected? 

1. January - Hidden America - Jeanne Marie Laskas (Stoney)
 2. February - The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick (Janet)
 3. March - The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison (Ashlie)
 4. April - A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole (Jen)
 5. May - The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein (Teach)
 6. June - Fool - Christopher Moore (OddFool)
 7. July - The 9th Girl - Tami Hoag (Michael G)

1. I have to be honest, this book was nothing what I thought. It was good in the sense, that although it is just one person's thoughts about several different areas of Americana, it goes to the filling and not the fluff. Laskas could have very well gone to a dog groomer, fast food restaurant, and a beauty salon, but she didn't. I was one of those that thought of stuff on the top but not too much on the inner or bottom rungs. This book opened my eyes a bit and I'm thankful there are folks willing to do the "dirty" work. If you haven't read Hidden America, I strongly suggest you do.

If you have read the book, what are your thoughts...give your own review and sale this book to someone that hasn't read it. 

2. I have not read this book. So, I would like someone that has, to tell me why i should read it. Something a little more thought provoking, than "because it won the vote" please and thank you. It sounds like a romantic comedy and I am not a big fan of those.

Jess: If you've seen the movie, put that out of your mind, because they took quite a few liberties. That being said, Pat's mind is an interesting place to be. While you only get his thoughts, it's superbly written in a way that you can see what's actually going on from an outside perspective as well. You doubt Tiffany's motives and you wonder if she's being honest with him from the beginning. You wonder what the hell happened between him and his wife, and wonder why he would want to continue a relationship once you find out. Being in his mind through the progress of his mental health and yes, seeing the silver linings of any situation, is an emotional trip that I think you will enjoy. (Plus, there's football!) There is a bit of romance, yes, but it's not necessarily in the foreground. Along with his family and friends, his "love interest" inspires growth and healing in a way far beyond "rom-com" depth. Great book.

3. This book made me cry, literally, and and my soul hurt. Yes, sometimes books affect me like that. Maybe that's why I choose horror novels more often than not. Told through the eyes of 9 yr old Claudia and 10 yr old Frieda, this sad tale of wanting what you don't have in order to feel is a tragic lesson. Pauline and Cholly, the constantly battling (literally fisticuffs are thrown) parents, Maureen the mean girl,  Sammie the younger brother of Pecola, and of course our "victim" Pecola. Do you have to go crazy to get what you want? This story seems to make the case for it. A rather drab, and yet, thought provoking book. 

4. I loved this book...in my mind, they were Italian (they are actually Irish) Ignaitus is the main character although his mother plays a big role in this story. It is the misadventures of his life. Miss Trixie, Myra Minkoff, Mr Gonzalez, Mr Clyde, Dorian Greene and a host of others, along with a sub story about the Night of Joy (a bar). Read this book. It was published 11 years AFTER the authors death by suicide. That alone should get you interested. Anyone else read this glorious book? Your thoughts would be welcomed.

5.  Enzo, the dog,  gives you life from his perspective. He is loyal to his master Denny, a semi-pro race car driver. Racing lessons become life lessons. Learning how to deal with the bad stuff that happens in life, your biggest fears, all the while wanting to be human. I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. I mean it has a dog (which I love) and racing (which I also love) but I always hold back just a bit, just in case. I hate being disappointed and I wasn't. This quote, "The zebra. It is not something outside of us. The zebra is something inside of us. Our fears. Our own self-destructive nature. The zebra is the worst part of us when we are face to face with our worst times." alone should make you pick it up and read if you haven't already. Please share your thoughts about this book.....

6. King Lear anyone? If you have read the Bards version, you have to read Moore's version. He has become one of my favorite authors, and that is thanks to all of you that kept putting his books up. The story is told from the Jester's point of view. Lear wants undying devotion, 2 of his daughters oblige, his yongest doesn't and is banished. Pocket (the jester) must do, lord, all kinds of things to get these two back together. it's a great fun book...READ IT

7. I have not been able to get this month's book yet. Waiting list and the fact that it is on audio is making want to go purchase. So....someone, Jess, that has read it might want to jump in here and give us a little review.

Jess: I have read it! I have to go back and tap into my memory, as I have read a couple other books since. Ah yes - well, I'm going to start by saying that Tami Hoag has a way of reaching into my mind, taking hold of my imagination, and running away with it...The 9th Girl was no different. Being nose deep in a book about a serial killer is always a good way to avoid sleep, and add to that a "is there another killer closer to home?" twist, and you're in for a suspense thriller treat. I personally enjoyed it immensely, and I think you will too if you're into detective novels. 

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7/29/13   |   Jess   |   34836 respect

I need to come back in and share my thoughts on the other books - Confederacy of Dunces is the only one I haven't finished. I'll do that when I get another moment. 

Has anyone else read any of the rest of these?

7/29/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61883 respect

Jess wrote:
Ash - since you're a genius with this stuff...do you know where the polls for book club for 
May 2012
July 2012
October 2012 

are, or maybe who did those months? Those are the only polls I can't find.

I didn't do one in May. And maybe not July. I think there was an October one but it may be lost in the system.

7/29/13   |   Jess   |   34836 respect

Ash - since you're a genius with this stuff...do you know where the polls for book club for 
May 2012
July 2012
October 2012 

are, or maybe who did those months? Those are the only polls I can't find.

7/29/13   |   Jess   |   34836 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
Hmm.. I'm gonna need my memory jogged then, but I'm sure it was a good idea. I never understand your abbr. I'm the sugar and kool aid?

That works!


(it's actually just "it's okay, in Nellie-ese)

7/29/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61883 respect

Jess wrote:
Aww...you actually told me I should, when I said i was gonna.

Also...I don't like all genres either! But I read 'em all - or at least try - just because they're voted in :p  (that's why I said we should rename the FanIQ Book Club to "What Should We Make Jess Read This Month?") 

Itsak...I get it. 

Hmm.. I'm gonna need my memory jogged then, but I'm sure it was a good idea. I never understand your abbr. I'm the sugar and kool aid?

7/29/13   |   Jess   |   34836 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
I don't remember what you told me but don't do it....least til I recall. It's been over 2 years, and I think I only outright refused to read 3 in that time (probably still read another option), I can't help it I have no love for certain genres. It'd be like asking you to root for a certain team or watch Airplane (bleh). The others have been downloaded and I'm just a "bit" behind. ... I think :)

Yeah, I'll probably dl SLP next month. Been 6 months so may be time for another reject option month, too.

Aww...you actually told me I should, when I said i was gonna.

Also...I don't like all genres either! But I read 'em all - or at least try - just because they're voted in :p  (that's why I said we should rename the FanIQ Book Club to "What Should We Make Jess Read This Month?") 

Itsak...I get it. 

7/29/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61883 respect

Jess wrote:
I think you would like SLP too.

I had such a difficult time getting in to Confederacy of Dunces that I haven't gotten very far and I'm not quite sure I will finish it. Maybe someday if I'm bored and I don't have anything else to read (hah! I couldn't even type that last part with a straight face.)  It will probably sit with the Dragon Tattoo girl book as the only 2 I haven't finished from Book Club for a very long time.

I'm serious about doing what I told you I was gonna do, since you only read these if you feel like it anyway.

I don't remember what you told me but don't do it....least til I recall. It's been over 2 years, and I think I only outright refused to read 3 in that time (probably still read another option), I can't help it I have no love for certain genres. It'd be like asking you to root for a certain team or watch Airplane (bleh). The others have been downloaded and I'm just a "bit" behind. ... I think :)

Yeah, I'll probably dl SLP next month. Been 6 months so may be time for another reject option month, too.

7/29/13   |   Jess   |   34836 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
Aww!

So, I didn't read the first 2, not a fan of such really, but I may get to Hidden America soon. Janet seems to think I will like SLP, so maybe. I loved The Bluest Eye and I didn't even cry this time. Confederacy was boring me so much in the beginning, I haven't finished and I have no clue where I even am. Idk if I will try to finish or not. The Art of Racing I didn't get to, I think I read Me Talk Pretty One Day instead. Great. Fool was great, but it is Christopher Moore, so it was kind of a given. I haven't even dl this months, I'm reading the runner up, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I'm almost done, and it's quite enjoyable.

I think you would like SLP too.

I had such a difficult time getting in to Confederacy of Dunces that I haven't gotten very far and I'm not quite sure I will finish it. Maybe someday if I'm bored and I don't have anything else to read (hah! I couldn't even type that last part with a straight face.)  It will probably sit with the Dragon Tattoo girl book as the only 2 I haven't finished from Book Club for a very long time.

I'm serious about doing what I told you I was gonna do, since you only read these if you feel like it anyway.

7/29/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61883 respect

Aww!

So, I didn't read the first 2, not a fan of such really, but I may get to Hidden America soon. Janet seems to think I will like SLP, so maybe. I loved The Bluest Eye and I didn't even cry this time. Confederacy was boring me so much in the beginning, I haven't finished and I have no clue where I even am. Idk if I will try to finish or not. The Art of Racing I didn't get to, I think I read Me Talk Pretty One Day instead. Great. Fool was great, but it is Christopher Moore, so it was kind of a given. I haven't even dl this months, I'm reading the runner up, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I'm almost done, and it's quite enjoyable.