Friday Morning Bookclub

January 5, 2014

The Results Are In! The Friday Morning Bookclub’s Favorite Book For 2013 Is Once We Were Brothers….Or Is It?

When listening to the news I am always skeptical of the results of polls. I am a skeptic at heart and after all, no one ever called me and asked me my opinion. But voting on your favorite book…what could be more simple? So the results of our recent poll are in and the winner is Once We Were Brothers by Ronald Balson. So why did it only receive 3.9 omelets while other books received over 4 omelets on earlier polls? Regardless of the numbers, our top three books were all amazing  and all three are on my personal list of top books for 2013 as well. Check them out.

brothersOnce We Were Brothers grabs you from the start. Elliot Rosenzweig is a wealthy, well-respected philanthropist.  When Ben Solomon, a retired Polish immigrant, puts a gun to  Elliot Rosenzweig’s head and accuses him  of being the former SS office Otto Piatek, Ben is quickly knocked to the ground and arrested. After all Rosenzweig is a concentration camp survivor himself and has the numbers tattoo on his arm to prove it. Ben Solomon is not about to back down and hires a young attorney to help him bring Elliot Rosenzweig to justice. Bit by bit we hear Ben’s story and how Elliot Rosenzweig (Otto Piatek) and Ben Solomon once were brothers. You will not be able to put this book down. I know that I couldn’t! Rated 3.8 omelets.


Me befor you A close second goes to Me Before You. This book, which I was hesitant to read at first (another depressing book?) ended up being one of my favorites, and not just for the year! Will Trynor was living life to its fullest. He had it all, a beautiful girl friend, a thriving career, a motor cycle and the resources to do whatever he wanted to do. But that was all before the accident which left him wheel chair bound and contemplating ending his life. Louisa Clarke lived at home with her parents, had a steady boyfriend and had just lost her job and with it the salary her parents depended on to pay their monthly expenses. She needed a job, so when the opportunity arose to work as a care taker to Will she had no choice but to accept. What follows is a beautiful story which will have you laughing out loud at times and crying at others. Rated 4.7 omelets.


husband The Husband’s Secret involves three different women and a secret which had the potential to change all of their lives forever. Cecilia Fitzpatrick considered herself a “typical suburban mom.” She was a planner and always organized. Other moms had no idea how she did it all, but it was easy for Cecilia. But when she finds the old yellowed envelope addressed to her in her husbands handwriting, to be only opened upon his death she is torn. She knows that she shouldn’t open it, but does so anyway. This thoroughly entertaining book left us all wondering…..would we open the envelope? Rated 4.12 omelets.



Fourth place: And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini 3.86 omelets

Fifth place: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Sixth place: American Dervish by Ayad Aktar 4.2 omelets

Seventh place: The Dinner by Herman Koch 3 omelets

Eight place: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner 3.5 omelets

What was your favorite book for 2013?


January 21, 2013

The Friday Morning Bookclub Gives Once We Were Brothers 3.9 Omelets

Filed under: Once We Were Brothers,Polls,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 9:50 am
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Amazon readers gave Once We Were Brothers 4.6 stars

Goodreads readers gave Once We Were Brothers 4.4 stars

Once We Were Bothers was an excellent book club selection. Most agreed that while perhaps not an eloquently written book, it was a fascinating story and a real page turn. As one of our readers described it….Once We Were Brothers is suspenseful, emotional and informative. Well worth the read!

January 16, 2013

Once We Were Brothers: A Review By Barbara


In the book “Once We Were Brothers”, Ben Solomon, a retired Polish immigrant, accuses Elliot Rosenzweig, a wealthy Chicago philanthropist, of being a former SS office, Otto Piatek.  Ben and Otto were raised in the same house, but ended up on different sides of the Nazi occupation.  Ben pursues his accusations with the help of a young attorney, Catherine Lockhart.

Discussion of the book was lively.  Some loved the book while others liked it, but thought it was not exceptionally well written.  Aspects of the book were thought to be unbelievable, particularly Catherine quitting her job to devote her time to Ben’s cause.  Although the book interwove the story of Ben’s pursuit of Otto, with Catherine’s developing relationship with the investigator, Liam, there was not much discussion of the latter aspect of the book.

One interesting part of the discussion focused on Otto’s character as he became more ingrained in the SS. Although Otto may have initially moved more toward the Nazis because he was encouraged to do so by Ben’s father in order to be in a better position to help Ben’s family, some felt that there was no excuse for his involvement with the Nazis at any level.   There was also discussion of whether his philanthropy as Elliot Rosenzweig was partly out of guilt, or whether it was totally out of ego and wanting recognition.  Some questioned why he would become such a public figure without fear of being recognized.

Overall, there was agreement that the book  raised a lot of food for thought, and was certainly well worth reading.

January 14, 2013

Rate The Book: Once We Were Brothers By Ronald Balson….Time To Vote!

Help us rate this month’s book. All comments and votes are welcomed and appreciated!

January 9, 2013

This Month’s Book: Once We Were Brothers……………In Three Words

brothersThis Month’s Book Once Were Brothers is a…..Historical Legal Thriller

Here is what some of our readers have to say:

Suspenseful, emotional, informative

Betrayal, loyalty, justice

Deep, sad, excellent

Happiness, Horror , Hope

Family secrets, destructive

How would you describe Once We Were Brothers…….In three words?

December 20, 2012

This Month’s Book: Once We Were Brothers By Ronald Balson

Filed under: Once We Were Brothers — susanbright @ 8:08 pm
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brothersBen Solomon was convinced that Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader was actually Otto Piatek, a former Nazi SS officer.  According to Solomon when Otto was abandoned as a child he came to live with the Soloman family. They were like brother and then he betrayed their family in the worst way.  Soloman was determined to bring Elliot Rosensweig AKA Otto Piatek to justice and hired Catherine Lockhart to take his case.

Once We Were Brothers is the compelling tale of two boys and a family that struggles to survive in war-torn Poland. It is also the story of a young lawyer who must face not only a powerful adversary, but her own self-doubts. Two lives, two worlds and sixty years all on course to collide in a fast-paced legal thriller.

Please join us in reading Once We Were Brothers!

Once We Were Brothers – a novel by Ronald H. Balson

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