By December 6, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Destined for discussion

The recently revived Kansas City Star FYI book club met to discuss Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. This fascinating slice of little known American presidential history will enthrall any book club. Put it on the list for next year’s potential reads.

At the recent discussion readers were impressed with Millard’s ability to weave her extensive research into a suspenseful story line with colorful, multi-layered characters and a suspenseful plot (even though we all know how it ends).

Readers began the discussion by talking about Millard’s writing talents. They segued into the historical elements of the book and spent time examining the science and medicine of the time and how well Millard presented both within the context of the times. They also liked discussing the way Millard developed the characters. None were painted as obvious villains. Readers appreciated Millard’s dedication to presenting the historical figures in the most realistic light possible.

Other topics for discussion include the comparisons between today’s political climate and that of 1880s America and the two characters of Roscoe Conkling and Charles Guiteau.

The attendees offered readalikes citing authors Erik Larson and David McCullough. One reader also brought a graphic literature version of Garfield’s assassination, The Fatal Bullet: The Assassination of President James A. Garfield by Rick Geary. Another related title presented was The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century by Scott Miller.

A good subject for February and President’s Day.

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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