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Book Review—On the Road

By Jack Kerouac. Audible version narrated by Will Patton (2007). 11 hours, 8 minutes. Originally published in New York by Viking Press, 1957. A Review by D. Margaret Hoffman If I had read this book when I was nineteen, I’d have loved it—the quest for freedom, the shirking off of rules, the youthful exuberance. But

Book Review—Cloud Cuckoo Land (Part One)

by Anthony Doerr. New York: Scribner, 2021. 626pp. A Review by D. Margaret Hoffman Because this book is so long, I wrote about it in sections. Worried that I’d forget current impressions by the time I reached the end, I recorded some of them as I went along. This review, then, reflects my reading and

Book Review—Cloud Cuckoo Land (Part Two)

by Anthony Doerr. New York: Scribner, 2021. 692 pp. A Review by D. Margaret Hoffman I’m nearly three hundred pages in—almost half way. The stories seem to have multiplied but really it’s just some time-hopping and the addition of a peripheral character or two. Connections are emerging as Konstance, the girl of the future hurtling

Book Review—Cloud Cuckoo Land (Part Three)

by Anthony Doerr. New York: Scribners, 2021. 626pp, A Review by D. Margaret Hoffman So. I got busy. Life intervened and I left off reading for over a month. I thought sure this book was done-for. I didn’t think that I’d be able to remember nearly enough to pick up where I left off. Not

Book Club Discussion Notes—General Questions

Welcome to Book Club! Thank you for using the Saving Our Lives books with your group! I hope that exploring these essays will generate ideas, inspire laughs and encourage camaraderie in your group. I hope, mostly, that my stories remind you of your own life stories, reassure you of their importance and motivate you to

Book Club Discussion Notes—Digging In

Welcome to Book Club! Thank you for choosing one of the volumes of the Saving Our Lives series for your group. Here are some suggestions for questions and activities that will help you to make the most these books. There are twenty-six essays in Volume One, thirty-two essays in Volume Two and thirty-six essays in

Book Review–French Braid

by Anne Tyler. New York: Knopf, 2022. 244 pp. A Review by D. Margaret Hoffman We are conditioned, as readers of fiction and watchers of movies, to crave the BIG moments—the life-altering apexes, the in-your-face conflicts, the neat resolutions that come after the shocking climaxes. That’s not what we get from Anne Tyler. French Braid

Book Review–Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs

By Jennifer Finney Boylan New York: Celadon Books, 2020. 249pp. A Review by D. Margaret Hoffman I attended a virtual talk given by Dr. Boylan at a Mark Twain House Writers’ Weekend. I ordered her book as a result, expecting to like it. I never expected to love it—which, as it turns out, I do.

Book Review–Taste: My Life Through Food

By Stanley Tucci New York: Simon and Schuster (Gallery Books), 2021. 291 pp. Reviewed by D. Margaret Hoffman I am a big fan of Stanley Tucci, so when I had the chance to buy a signed first edition of his memoir, I jumped at it. I am naturally suspect of celebrity memoirs, though, because a