The Woman Next Door

“The Woman Next Door” by Yewande Omotoso (South Africa) Review “The Woman Next Door” by Yewande Omotoso (South Africa) is set in modern-day Cape Town and is about the strained relationship between two elderly neighbours, one black and one white. Readers found this an easy story to get into, and to some extent it was a light relief compared to the other three. They liked … Continue reading The Woman Next Door

What I Know For Sure

“What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey Review The lessons in this book are divided into 8 themes: Joy, Resilience, Connection, Gratitude, Possibility, Awe, Clarity, and Power. Members of the reading group appreciated how Oprah shared some of her most intimate and challenging stories in this collection. They loved the fact that books have had such a deep impact on her life and that … Continue reading What I Know For Sure

The Discreet Hero

“The Discreet Hero” by Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) Review Once confusion with the alternating narratives in the novel had passed, readers became very involved with both stories. They found them compelling, and liked the combination of intrigue and entertainment that are played out by a rich cast of characters. They didn’t particularly warm to the two protagonists but felt that they grabbed their sympathy, while … Continue reading The Discreet Hero

The Power of Positive

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive” by Jack Canfield, et al Review There are 101 true stories in this book divided into 11 sections, each one dealing with a different power: from Attitude to Dreaming and Gratitude, from Challenging Yourself to Watching Others. Members of the reading group liked the fact that each story was short, so they could dip into it … Continue reading The Power of Positive

The Yacoubian Building

“The Yacoubian Building” by Alaa Al Aswany (Egypt) Review Readers loved this book! They warmed to the different characters who they described as vivid and well developed. They liked how each one evolved throughout the story as either their situation improved or deteriorated. They also liked the contrasts between the secular and religious lifestyles of the characters. Readers loved the setting of the building with … Continue reading The Yacoubian Building

The Joy Luck Club

“The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan (United States) Review For a couple of readers it was the second time they had read this book and they remembered liking it more the first time around. Everyone agreed that it was an enjoyable read but they said that the alternating stories from the eight protagonists caused them confusion: they had difficulty remembering who was who as … Continue reading The Joy Luck Club

By Night the Mountain Burns

“By Night the Mountain Burns” by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (Equatorial Guinea) Review There were mixed feelings about this book as some readers struggled with the stream-of-consciousness style of writing. Those who enjoyed it loved the flow of the story describing it as lyrical and dreamlike. They said it felt like listening to a friend telling them about their childhood and they could relate to it. … Continue reading By Night the Mountain Burns