Welcome to the KPL Book Club Blogspot

Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading Labor Day by Joyce Maynard for the August book selection. 


With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Henry--lonely, friendless, not too good at sports--spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming about the soft skin and budding bodies of his female classmates.  For company Henry has his long-divorced mother, Adele--a onetime dancer whose summer project was to teach him how to foxtrot; his hamster, Joe; and awkward Saturday-night outings to Friendly's with his estranged father and new stepfamily.  As much as he tries, Henry knows that even with his jokes and his "Husband for a Day" coupon, he still can't make his emotionally fragile mother happy.  Adele has a secret that makes it hard for her to leave their house, and seems to possess an irreparably broken heart. 


But all that changes on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a mysterious bleeding man named Frank approaches Henry and asks for a hand.  Over the next five days, Henry will learn some of life's most valuable lessons:  how to throw a baseball, the secret to perfect piecrust, the breathless pain of jealousy, the power of betrayal, and the importance of putting others--especially those we love--above ourselves.  And the knowledge that real love is worth waiting for. 


As reported by Henry, his mother Adele displays a number of behaviors that could be interpreted as crazy.  How do you explain her son's steadiness and competence?  Do you consider Adele to be a bad mother?


Were you surprised that Adele was willing to bring Frank to her home?  Why do you think she did?


Henry often refers to a "normal family," a "regular family," a "family."  What does the concept of family mean to Henry?  What does the term "normal family" mean to you?


How do you think the events of that Labor Day weekend changed Henry?  How might his life have gone if Frank had not shown up?


Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson for the July selection.


In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history:  the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the south for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.  From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.


With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals:  Ida Mae Gladney, George Swanson Starling, and Robert Pershing Foster.  The Warmth of Other Suns is a superb account of an "unrecognized immigration" within our own land. 


What are the most surprising revelations in the book?


What were the major economic, social, and historical forces that sparked the Great Migration?  Why did blacks leave in such  great numbers from 1915 to 1970?


How did the Great Migration change not only the North but also the South?  How did the South respond to the mass exodus of cheap black labor?


Let us know what you think of The Warmth of Other Suns.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury for the June selection.  Twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding arises on an early June morning in a small bedroom in his grandparents' house.  As Douglas looks out the window, the small town of Green Town, Illinois awakens, and Doug is filled with the joy of being alive.  And so begins the summer of 1928 as reimagined by Ray Bradbury.  Dandelion Wine is a rich, evocative tale of a summer long past and its memories, joys, and frustrations.




Throughout the novel, Douglas and his younger brother, Tom, keep a written record of what they learn and discover during the summer.   Does this accounting reflect what they actually learn?  Why or why not?




What is the significance of the ravine to the story?  In what way does the ravine reflect the untamed or uncivilized side of life?




Douglas falls ill with a fever late in the novel and the doctor is mystified as to his illness.  What causes Doug's illness and how does Jonas, the traveling junk dealer, cure him?




At the end of the novel, Bradbury states that Douglas puts an end to the summer of 1928 when he goes to sleep. However, immediately prior to this statement Douglas reflects that he can go stare at the bottles of Dandelion Wine that are dated for each day of the summer until he recalls the day.  Does the summer of 1928 truly end?  What do you think of Bradbury's evocation of the summer?




Pick up a copy of Dandelion Wine at the library and let us know what you think!




We also have copies of Farewell Summer, the long awaited sequel to Dandelion Wine.






Monday, April 28, 2014

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading Longbourn by Jo Baker for May.  In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage.  Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household.  But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs.  When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants' hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. 

Publishers Weekly says of Longbourn "a must-read for fans of Austen, this literary tribute also stands on its own as a captivating love story."

How would you compare and contrast the love stories between Sarah and James, and Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy?

What did you make of each chapter's introductory quote?  Were there any that you were particularly drawn to?  Why?

Lizzie Bennet is a much-loved heroine.  Has Longbourn changed you view of her at all?  Do you think she acts selfishly in relation to Sarah?

Did you enjoy reading the book?   Why or Why not? 

Let us know what you think!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt for the April selection. 

Two women running away from their marriages collide on a foggy highway, killing one of them.  The survivor, Isabelle, is left to pick up the pieces, not only of her own life, but of the lives of the devastated husband and fragile son that the other woman, April, has left behind. Together, they try to solve the mystery of where April was running to, and why.  As these three lives intersect, the book asks, How well do we really know those we love--and how do we forgive the unforgivable?

The Boston Globe describes  Pictures of You  "as part literary mystery, part domestic drama, and part psychological examination."  This is a novel of loss, redemption, forgiveness, and self-discovery. 

What is the significance of the title?  Would you have given the book a different title?  If yes, what is your title?

What scene was the most pivotal for the book? 

What surprised you the most about the book?

Were there any moments where you disagreed with the choices of any of the characters?  What would you have done differently? 

Did  you think the ending was appropriate?  How would you have liked to have the book end?

Would you recommend this book to a friend?

Let us know what you think of Pictures of You.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading True Crime books for March.  Choose any True Crime book to read.  We have several titles available near the front desk in the library, but there are many other possibilities.  Some authors, like Ann Rule, specialize in writing about true crime.  Others, like James Patterson, are better known for their fiction but also have written about true crimes.  One of the most famous books in this genre is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. 

Let us know what you think about True Crime books.  Do you read them often?  What is your favorite True Crime book?  Why is it your favorite? 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading Roses by Leila Meacham for the February selection.  Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful  timber and cotton industries.  With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love. 

Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been--not just for themselves but for their children, and children's children. 

Percy admits to Mary,  "I want to marry you because I love you.  I've loved you all your life, ever since you smiled at me through your cradle bars.  I've never considered marrying anyone else.  He's taken the concept of love at first sight to a new level--is it really possible to love someone the way he has, for you entire life?

Compounding the horror of Darla's suicide are the pink ribbons she left behind, the memory of which "writhed between (Mary and Percy) like a poisonous snake."  Roses and the colors pink, red, and white all have major significance in the story.  What kind of symbolism do we ascribe to objects and their colors today?  Why do you think that those objects that represent emotions are so important and powerful?

Had Mary and Percy married after all, do you think that their relationship would have worked out in the end?

Should Mary have revealed the necessary fraud she had to undertake to the nephew that she inadvertently insulted?  Should she have warned Rachel of the power of Somerset before cultivating her grand-niece's passion for farming?  What knowledge does the older generation owe its heirs, and when should that knowledge be passed down?

Let us know what you think of Roses!