Archive for August, 2008

Mediterranean Noir, Part 1

Mediterranean Noir, Part 1

Not everyone cries easily over fiction. I do. All it takes is a little too much caffeine in my system and a sad parting (like the sergeant saying goodbye to his beloved mule at the end of The Mule) or an unexpected moment of coming together (the bus stop blessing at the end of Gilead) […]

Posted in: Book Groups
What’s Up with the Breaking Dawn Haters?
By August 29, 2008 3 Comments Read More →

What’s Up with the Breaking Dawn Haters?

  For those of you familiar with Stephenie Meyer’s popular teen vampire series that starts with Twilight, you know they are not high-brow literature.  And that’s exactly why teens and adults love them. Set in Forks, Washington, the series centers around high school girl Bella Swan and the vampire of her eye, the dashing and chivalrous Edward […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
Children’s Books for Adults
By August 28, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Children’s Books for Adults

What was England like during and after World War II for children?  What must it have been like to come-of-age during a time of rationing and bombing?  Anyone who has seen John Boorman’s film “Hope and Glory” realizes the power a child’s-eye view can provide in our understanding of a particular place and time. I happen to love […]

Now That I Think of It, He Was Rather Well Groomed
By August 27, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Now That I Think of It, He Was Rather Well Groomed

Sir Salman Rushdie has received an apology from Ronald Evans, author of On Her Majesty’s Service (“Rushdie Shoots Down Book’s False Claims,” by Mary Jordan, Washington Post). (It’s not immediately evident whether the nickname “Scruffy” was one of Evan’s 11 falsehoods.) Said Rushdie: “Instead of going for the megabucks, you simply go to court for […]

Video That Makes You Want to Read
By August 27, 2008 2 Comments Read More →

Video That Makes You Want to Read

There are a lot of crap book trailers out there, but this one works really well. Yes, I may be partial because it’s set in Chicago, but no, I don’t know the author, even though I’ve just discovered that I’ll be reading with him at the Book Cellar on Wednesday, September 17. I had mixed […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
So Much Money, He Can Swim in It
By August 27, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

So Much Money, He Can Swim in It

I know it looks as though I’ve taken the week off, but I haven’t. We’re having some esoteric technical problem (although really, aren’t they all?) where, even though users outside the building can see Likely Stories and Book Group Buzz, much of the time we can’t access them at all. And while I could post […]

Posted in: Book News
Useful Questions, Part Three

Useful Questions, Part Three

Here’s my last post in a series of useful questions to improve the quality of your group’s discussion of any book. Question 1: How did the setting of the book contribute to its impact? When to use it: When the conversation needs more depth; when this aspect of the book is not getting enough attention […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Using Book Discussions For Staff Development
By August 27, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Using Book Discussions For Staff Development

Recently I was pleased to learn that the Villa Park (IL) Public Library, where I served as the administrator for over 20 years before retiring in 1999, held a Staff Development Day that featured book discussions.  The library has been offering book discussions for the public for many years and currently has three groups meeting […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
What Makes a Great Story Collection?

What Makes a Great Story Collection?

“I don’t like short stories.” How often have I heard that in our book club and in the bookstore? Reading addicts often want to be entrenched in a long narrative, caught up in the rushing current of a strong plot, immersed in the heady waters of suspense and surprise, returning again and again to the […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
Occupied by Memoirs

Occupied by Memoirs

One of my favorite subgenres in narrative nonfiction is occupational memoirs. I’ve read some good ones in the past couple of years and I’m trying to figure out how to work them into a series for my book group. I want to provide my group with a list of books and a list of topics […]

Posted in: Book Groups