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December: Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

Same author as Gone Girl, our pick from March (2013).  This book was pretty dark, but it was a nice, suspenseful read!  It’s honestly been so long that I don’t remember the details of our book club discussion, but some minor things aside, I think most of us enjoyed reading this one.

January: On the Road, by Jack Kerouc

It’s a classic, but I never got around to reading it.  I read the first few pages, but it didn’t grab me from the get-go and it was such a busy time that I just never went back to it.  I hope I do some day, I love reading “classic” books just so I can be in the know!

February: Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Back

Again….I failed at reading this one…but I still feel like I should give you guys a complete listing of the books that other people in the Literate Lushes have read ;)  Even though I didn’t finish this book either, I did like what I read, and the discussion at book club was actually quite excellent.

March: And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

Most people have probably already read this book or are at least familiar with it.  I could not put this book down once I started it.  Although I tried at the beginning because it opens with a heart-wrenching story–I almost didn’t want to keep going, but I’m glad I did.  I think the author did a great job with this one, sharing different stories from the perspective of different characters (one chapter is even a letter from one character to another).  The basis of the story is how one act can have repercussions that last a lifetime, and that affect people around the world.  It was sad and uplifting at the same time.

April: Every Day is for the Thief, by Teju Cole

This was my pick.  I heard about it on NPR and it sounded amazing.  I like picking books that expose me to something different or allow me to see/understand a different culture or country: this book takes place in Nigeria, and revolves around the main character returning to visit Nigeria after he’s been living in the U.S. for a while.  The book had promise but it wasn’t written very well: it was almost a little House on Mango Street vignette-esque, and I just am not a fan of short stories, especially when it’s supposed to be one long story.  The author had so many opportunities to grab your attention, but failed every time.  You never got a chance to really get into the book, it seemed like you were always just reading the first couple chapters of the book.  Howeverit did provide for amazing discussion points during book club about democracy, development, poverty, education, access to self-improvement, cultural differences, etc., which I LOVED, so I’m still happy with my pick :)

Next up: If I stay, by Gayle Forman

Don’t forget: if you shop on Amazon for these books or ANYTHING else, please shop through smile.amazon.com and select Haiti Scholarships as your charity of choice!