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Betty D. (bettyatlanta) - Reviews

1 to 10 of 10
Blue Diary
Blue Diary
Author: Alice Hoffman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 113
Review Date: 2/7/2009
Helpful Score: 1


My book club read this as one of our monthly selections and we all enjoyed it. More importantly, the book prompted some lively discussions. I recommend it.


The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
Author: J. D. Salinger
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 1959
Review Date: 9/17/2009
Helpful Score: 1


So, you're wondering whether this classic is worth reading. I think the answer is yes. When J.D. Salinger wrote Catcher in the Rye, readers were unaccustomed to hearing a character's internal monologue. Salinger lets us hear what Holden Caulfield, a teenager who smokes and drinks into yet another prep school expulsion. Salinger never strays from this edgy, stylistic choice, nor does he attempt to elicit sympathy for his character, but I think most readers will feel sympathy for Holden nonetheless. Your 10th grade English teacher was right to assign this book. Everyone should read at least the first few chapters to experience Salinger's incredible talent.


Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
Review Date: 9/24/2009


"Only Nixon could go to China," and only a black man could say what Bill Cosby did. This book begins with the controversial speech Bill Cosby gave to a room full of African Americans gathered together to celebrate those who worked hard and sacrificed much to give blacks equal opportunities in America. Juan Williams (happily, a commentator on NPR and less happily and more recently, a token black face on Fox News) writes about Cosby's speech, the fallout from this speech, and the difficult questions that it raised. As no white commentator could do, Williams challenges the failure of those who would continue to call blacks victims (thus rendering them powerless and unable to pull themselves out of poverty), takes old-guard black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to task, claiming both are more interested in perpetuating their fiefdoms than in advancing the cause of African Americans, and states that middle class black Americans (think of the Huxtables on "The Cosby Show") have more in common with white middle class families than they do with lower class blacks. I recommend reading this book to anyone, but I would especially recommend reading it as a part of a group so that the book can be the genesis for some complex questions about race and racism in America. In the 1960's, my Atlanta parents participated in an inter-racial dialogue group designed to have blacks and whites socialize together in an effort to dispel racism; wouldn't it be great if we had those today? Sadly, 40 years later, we still need them!


The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3423
Review Date: 2/8/2009


Jeannette Walls writes vividly and beautifully about growing up with crazy parents. I highly recommend this book.


Loving Frank
Loving Frank
Author: Nancy Horan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 580
Review Date: 6/9/2010


Loving Frank is a fictional account of a historical affair between Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW)and one of his client's wives. Those expecting to learn more about FLW's art will be disappointed, but the book is not disappointing. The book focuses on the woman with whom FLW has an affair; why she chose to leave her husband and children, how she justified her long absence from her children's lives and how her choices affected others, including her sister. The book also puts you squarely in the times, where husbands and wives could divorce their spouses only with their consent and where aldutery was most definitely not socially acceptable. "Loving Frank" was a good read and made for good discussions at our book group.


Me Talk Pretty One Day
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Author: David Sedaris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 1916
Review Date: 8/13/2009
Helpful Score: 1


David Sedaris is a funny, funny man, but if you are squeamish or prudish, you might find this book a little distasteful. My advice: get it, read it in private, and laugh your head off. Sedaris writes short essays that are perfect pre-bedtime humor. His stories often revolve around his colorful family and are laugh-out-loud funny. Finally, if you ever get a chance to hear David Sedaris read any of his work (typically on NPR), by all means make the effort. His delivery makes the stories even better.


Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
Review Date: 1/2/2010
Helpful Score: 3


Dr. Paul Farmer is an amazing man. In this well-written book by a Harvard journalist, we read the readable story of "Dr. Paul." While a student at Harvard Medical School, Farmer opened a clinic for the poor in Haiti. He endures what many of us would find to be horrible conditions to provide great medical care to those who can pay nothing. Farmer also shows how one man can take on the WHO to treat those with Multi-Drug Resistant TB. Fair Warning: reading this book will make you feel you do too little for others.


Nature Girl (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Nature Girl (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Carl Hiaasen, Jane Curtin (Narrator)
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 49
Review Date: 2/6/2009
Helpful Score: 4


This book lends itself to a fun audio presentation. I especially love when one of the bad guys repeatedly says, "Jackpot!" Perfect for a car ride. Both my husband and I enjoyed it. Hiaasen always has whacky characters and bizarre plot lines - this book is no exception. Enjoy.


The Reader
The Reader
Author: Bernhard Schlink, Carol Brown Janeway (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 1260
Review Date: 11/27/2009


If you are looking for a great book club selection, this is it. "The Reader" provided a rollicking discussion for everyone in our book club. It was wonderful to hear what others thought about the characters and what they thought motivated the characters' actions. This book is a quick read which is another plus for busy book club members; no one need show up having not read the book. :-)


The Stone Diaries
The Stone Diaries
Author: Carol Shields
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 305
Review Date: 2/6/2009
Helpful Score: 2


This is an awesome book. Read it and enjoy.


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