Tuesday, March 28, 2017

April 2017: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Image result for the wonder by emma donoghueMeeting Date: Thursday, April 6th at Shelagh's house; meeting @ 7:30 with plans to start discussion by 8pm.

Discussion Questions coming soon...

Menu Ideas coming soon...

Reminder: next month we'll be choosing books for the next 1/2 year; 
don't forget to look over the choices!

Options for July-December books

Here's our master list moved forward.. please do add your additional suggestions/suggestions for books to take off the list in the comments below!

July - Travels to Remember... a travelogue from anywhere around the world

  1. From Heaven Lake by Vikram Seth
  2. Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach
  3. Are We Nearly There Yet? by Ben Hatch
  4. Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams 
  5. Here's an amazing list of travelogue options! 
  6. other suggestions?
August - Library Kit
- see HPL book club kits on the side bar for options

September - Reading the Classics 
  1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
  2. The Invisible Man by HG Wells
  3. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  4. here's a great (but short) list of classics... have you read all these?
  5. other suggestions?

October - Mystery Night 
  1. good old Agatha Christie
  2. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  3. Jane and the Canterbury Tale by Stephanie Barron
  4. The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman
  5. mysteries for thinking women list from Oprah
  6. any other suggestions?
November - Muckraking Madness 
  1. American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales
  2. Welcome to Shirley by Kelly McMasters (a memoir about growing up in a town polluted by nuclear waste and chemical spills)
  3. The Saturday Night Special by Robert Sherril
  4. here's a helpful list of best muckraking books ; and other list of muckrakers
  5.  other suggestions?
December - Get Cooking 
  1. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
  2. Sous Chef by Michael Gibney. 
  3. My Paris Kitchen Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz
  4. A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson
  5. The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson
  6. other suggestions? We looking for good food with a bit of a "story" to it :-)

Please pop into the comments (or the post itself) and add any suggestions that you may have.  

If you are unable to make the May meeting, please add a comment with your preferences here so we can take them into account.  Thanks!

Friday, February 24, 2017

March 2017: The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

March Book Meeting
March 9th 2017
7:30 pm with discussion starting at 8pm
Melissa's House

Discussion Questions:

1. Did you enjoy the book? why or why not?

2. Does a particular smell remind you of a certain place? a certain time? or person? Do we often connect smells and memories?

3. Alyce compares the Tongass rain forest along the coast where she and her father fish to the skinny black spruce forest that defines her home in Fairbanks. She says, "Same state, two climates, each as different as my parents; and like my parents, there's a part of me in both" (page 52). As you think about the adults in your life, what elements of them do you see in yourself? How did they become a part of your identity? Do you welcome these traits?

4. When talking to the older woman who sees Sam jump overboard from the ferry, Hank describes the scene as follows: "I am inches from her face. She says nothing and I grab her by the shoulders, gently shaking her into focus. It's like holding onto a cobweb" (page 67). Think a bit more about this simile. Why do you think the author chooses this image to describe the woman? What alternate comparison might you make?

5. What is the significance of the red strip of fabric that Dumpling wears in her hair? Where did it come from? Why does she wear it? Where does it go? Why might the author have chosen to use this particular symbol as a thread that runs through the novel?

6. Consider how Selma and Dora might work as oppositional characters in the story. How would you describe Selma's outlook on the world? How about Dora's? Do their perspectives shift over the course of the novel? Which of these two characters do you think might be the better friend for you?

7. The novel is inhabited by characters with secrets who live in a community that expects members to keep their private business private. Select one character who is silenced as a result of this expectation. How is he or she affected by the insular nature of this place? How does this norm affect the larger community, particularly given the fact that many know the truth anyway?

8. When Ruth tells her grandmother that she named the baby after her in hopes of having a sort of "do-over," her grandmother claims, "I don't deserve that"(page 222). Do you agree? Why or why not? Do you agree with Ruth's decision?

9.Characters in this novel regularly define themselves and others by their socio-economic
status—by the kind of boots they can afford, the kinds of homes in which they live,
the foods they serve at the dinner table, etc. How does money (or a lack thereof ) play
a role in the development of the characters in the novel and influence the strengths
they possess and the struggles they face? Does money matter?

10.Think about the organizational structure of the novel. Why might the author have
decided that our introduction to the story should begin with a prologue written from
Ruth’s point of view (rather than that of a different character)? Why might the author
have presented the seasonal sections (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter) in the order
she does? What connections can you draw, or what disconnects can you see, between
how you conceive of each season and the events that take place within it?

11. Would you recommend this book? Why or why not?
Alaskan appetizer
Fish dish
Tuna Casserole
Chicken dumplings
Dessert: Apple Pie
              Blueberry Pie
              Canned Peaches (with ice-cream if desired:)
Melissa will provide you with drinks!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 2017: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Image result for the wright brothers david
Meeting Details: Friday, Feb 17th at Marion's Place.  

Discussion QUESTIONS:
  1. Did you like the book?  Why or why not?
  2. What are the differences—and similarities—between the two brothers? 
  3. What goes into making genius like the Wright brothers, aside from sheer intelligence? Consider traits such as perseverance, focus, and energy. What else? What about the role of imagination? 
  4. In his book, David McCullough reveals that when Wilbur Wright was in France, he spent a fair amount of time at the Louvre and that he was deeply moved by the great Gothic works he saw. What is the importance that the author ascribes to that interest—and why? What does it suggest about the importance of the liberal arts even in the fields of science and technology?
  5. Why were the Wright brothers dismissed in the United States but taken seriously in France? What was the difference in culture and/or politics that generated interest on the part of the French but not the Americans?
  6. Wilbur and Orville displayed few emotions. Do you think this hampered the author in his attempt to characterize the two men, to portray them as rich, fully-developed human beings? How does McCullough bring them to life—does he, or doesn't he? Do the two men come across as heroic? Why or why not?
  7. Why was the story of the Wright brothers' achievement so unlikely? Talk about the hardships, knowledge deficits, and other obstacles they had to overcome in order to get their invention off the ground, so to speak? 
  8. What struck you most in the story of the the Wright brothers? What surprised you or impressed you? How much did you know (or understand) before you read McCullough's book...and what did you come away having learned?
  9. In 1908, when the Wrights finally showed their plane to the press, one reporter wrote: "this spectacle of men flying was so startling, so bewildering to the senses...that we all stood like so many marble men." Imagine yourself in that situation: how might you have reacted? Can you think of a future technological advancement that might astonish you the same way?
  10. Were the brothers compensated fairly for their invention? As someone replied to Wilbur, "I am afraid, my friend, that your usually sound judgment has been warped by the desire for great wealth." What is your assessment of that remark—fair or unfair?
  11. Would you recommend it to someone else?

MENU Ideas:

BACON!!!! Since this is a primary ingredient that the Wright brothers missed on their first excursion to Kitty Hawk; try something creative with Bacon 


Something French

Something Signature Ohio. 

I will take care of Coffee and Drinks and...undecided...