Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Olive Kitteridge" Discussion

The Between The Lines Book Club discussed Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout at this month's meeting.  Many commented that Olive was not a very likable character but they would recommend the book.  This is a collection of 13 short stories all of which feature Olive in some respect. Some stories directly involve her; in others she is an incidental character.  It is almost like a study of a neighborhood - some neighbors you know in one way, while other people know that person in a completely different light.

This month's moderator, Sue, asked us at the beginning of the discussion to write down a one word description of Olive.  After some discussion, she then asked us what word we used to describe Olive. It was an interesting exercise for two reasons - one, it showed how very different some of us viewed Olive (although most felt she was domineering and rude); two, it gave each of us a chance to make a contribution to the discussion, even those of us who are quieter and tend not to comment much.   

Olive Kitteridge won the Pulitzer Prize For Fiction in 2009 and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. Some commented they were unsure why the book had won such a prestigious award.  The consensus was that it was a unique way of presenting short stories.  Why not check it out for yourself?!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Classics Then and Now Book Club

Marty Miller

Marty Miller just started officiating our newest library book club in October, 2011.  The book selections focus on women authors and the classics.  They meet the first Tuesday of each month from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the library.  They have already had some very stimulating discussions.

It is a relaxed group and new members are always welcome.  One unique aspect of this club is that you can come and go as you please.  You do not have to be committed to attending every meeting.  It is very informal.

Current Selection
The current selection is House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.  Copies are available at the front desk if you would like one.  The next meeting is February 7, 2012 and you are welcome to be a part of the discussion.     

Future selections include:  Ceremony by Leslie Silko, The Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Have you seen the movie War Horse yet?  It is an excellent movie directed by Steven Spielberg.  Comments are always “oh no, it’s too sad” but really, you are missing out if you don’t see it and be sure to see it on the big screen.  The panoramic views of the English countryside are stunning.  You will feel like you are almost there.  Also (note-spoiler alert) there is a happy ending.  So, even though you may shed a few tears the movie is well worth your time. 

There is also a successful stage play of the same name. Winner of 5 Tony Awards® including Best Play! A spectacular hit in London, it is the story of an English boy whose beloved horse is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France during WW I. Years later the boy, now a young man, embarks on an odyssey to bring him home.

The story is based on a children’s novel by British author Michael Morpurgo.  It was first published in the United Kingdom in 1982.  Michael Morpurgo is an English author, poet playwright and librettist best known for his children’s literature. He is known for "magical storytelling" and for recurring themes such as the triumph of an outsider or survival, for characters' relationships with nature, and for vivid settings such as the Cornish coast or World War I.

Hazel Rochman from Booklist says that while parts of the book may be sentimental, it “brings close the fury of the thundering guns, the confusion, and the kindness of enemies who come together in No Man's Land to save the wounded horse”. The horse’s “ability to understand the language wherever he is--England, France, Germany--reinforces the novel's antiwar message, and the terse details speak eloquently about peace”.

Our library does not presently own a copy of this imaginative work but that’s where the Indiana Evergreen system is so helpful.  Ask us to obtain a copy for you or just go to your account at our web site at, and place a copy on hold.  The book will be delivered to our library in just a few short days.  We do have an audio version read by John Keating which is available. Check it out!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reader’s Garden was started in October of 2009 by library staffer, Dina Ferree. They meet the 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm. Our first book selection was Katherine Howe’s debut novel The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. It was well received by the group. Katherine Howe will visit the library on Saturday June 2 at 1:00 pm to discuss her second book The House of Velvet and Glass. The House of Velvet and Glass will be released April 10, 2012.

The library has a book discussion group kit of The Physick Book available to check-out with 8 copies and a study guide with questions.   

Author Katherine Howe

Over the years some of our most lively and memorable discussions included: One Thousand White Women: the Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Poet of Tolstoy Park by Sonny Brewer (which is available in a book discussion group kit).  

On January 24 we will discuss The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.  Nicole is the author of Man Walk’s into a Room, Great House, and the international bestseller The History of Love. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Amazon review:  The History of Love is a hauntingly beautiful novel about two characters whose lives are woven together in such complex ways that even after the last page is turned, the reader is left to wonder what really happened. In the hands of a less gifted writer, unraveling this tangled web could easily give way to complete chaos. However, under Krauss's watchful eye, these twists and turns only strengthen the impact of this enchanting book.

If you would like to join The Reader's Garden book club please contact the library 665-3362x24. We would be happy to have you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

 Welcome to the newest blog at Carnegie Public Library!

Welcome to our new book discussion blog.  We envision this blog to be a forum for discussion about what’s new in books, book clubs, e-readers, and ideas for your book club.  We will also be posting summaries of our own four book club discussions.  We welcome your comments and hope you will have many.

Carnegie Public Library currently has four book clubs with a little bit of a different focus in each group.  A couple of these groups have openings and new members are welcome.   If you are interested in starting your own book discussion group here please contact Dina, our program director.  The library will advertise for new members which is a wonderful way to meet new people.  We will provide the group with all the books needed.  The library is a member of the Indiana Evergreen system which gives us access to over a hundred library collections so obtaining multiple copies of a title is easy. All that is needed to be a member of one of the library’s book discussion groups is a library card in good standing.

Are you a member of a private book club at home or through work? Why buy a book each month for your book club when your library is right here. We encourage you to inquire about our Book Discussion Group Kits available for checkout with your library card.  Multiple copies of the title are included in the kit together with a study guide. 

We hope you will find these postings interesting and helpful and that you visit often!