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.

Friday, December 5, 2008

During December the members of the Kilbourn Public Library book club are reading a selection of holiday stories. Each member chose a different book and will tell other members about it at the December meeting. Do you have a favorite holiday book? Let us know what it is and why you like it. Happy Holidays!
In November the Library Book Club read A Widow For One Year by John Irving. A Widow for One Year offers a view of the life of Ruth Cole during three different periods of her life. Beginning at age 4, the author gives us insight into Ruth's bittersweet life and the life choices she makes. This multi-generational tale is a must read.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

For October the library book club is reading a book from an author Publisher's Weekly calls a "master story teller and a daring writer" who gives his readers bright hope in a dark world. Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz is a suspense filled, humorous story that follows the life of Jimmy Tock. Jimmy's grandfather died the day Jimmy was born and in his grandfather's last lucid minutes he predicted five future dates that would be difficult for Jimmy. The novel pits good against evil and exemplifies the power of love and family.

Tell us what you thought of the book. Did you enjoy the book? Why? Why not? How about the plot--did it pull you in or did you feel you had to force yourself to read the book? Did the actions of the characters seem plausible? Did the book end the way you expected?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Library Book Club selection for September is So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger. This is the story of outlaw Glendon Hale's quest to right his past, as seen through the eyes of his unlikely companion Monte Becket. In 1915 Minnesota, novelist Monte Becket has lost his sense of purpose. His only success long behind him, Monte lives simply with his wife and son. But when he befriends outlaw Glendon Hale, a new world of opportunity and experience presents itself. Glendon has spent years in obscurity, but the guilt he harbors for abandoning his wife, Blue, over two decades ago, has lured him from hiding.

As the modern age marches swiftly forward, Glendon aims to travel back to his past to seek Blue's forgiveness. Beguiled and inspired, Monte soon finds himself leaving behind his own family to embark for the unruly West with his fugitive guide. As they desperately flee from the relentless Charles Siringo, an ex-Pinkerton who's been hunting Glendon for years, Monte falls ever furthur from his family and the law, to be tempered by a fiery adventure from which he may never get home.

What did you think about Monte's decision to leave his family to go with Glendon? Why do you think he felt the need to do this? Who was your favorite character in this story and why? Let us know what you think!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Club has chosen Keeping the House by Ellen Baker as the selection for July. Keeping the House is the story of a frustrated young housewife in 1950, Dolly Magnuson, who thinks there must be more to life than ironing her husband's shirts and planning his next meal. She ends up getting tangled up in mystery, romance, and scandal of an abandoned, and reputedly cursed, Victorian house when she breaks into it intending to fix it up--thinking that living in such a place couldn't help but make her life more spectacular.

In Dolly's life and the lives of the characters in this novel, the Mickelson house is personified as a character in the book. Why do you think Dolly was initially drawn to the house and intrigued by its history?

Throughout the novel, several quotes from past magazines appear (particularly from Ladies' Home Journal in the 1950s), giving advice to housewives. Find a few of these quotes and let us know how you think these tips illustrate the change or evolution of the 20th Century housewife. Do you think any of the tips are valid or helpful today?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The book club selection for June is Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. Loving Frank tells the story of Mamah Borthwick Cheney's affair with Frank Lloyd Wright and her struggles to mesh her own independence and intelligence with traditional roles of wife and mother. In this ambitious debut novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly as Horan draws on years of research to weave little-known facts into a compelling narrative. Horan's Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her creative calling in the world.

Do you think that Mamah is right to leave her husband and children in order to pursue her personal growth and the relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright? Is she being selfish to put her own happiness and fulfillment first? Is Mamah's story relevant to the women of today? Is Frank Lloyd Wright an admirable figure in this novel? Would it change your opinion of him to know that he married twice more in his life? Let us know what you think!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Our Book Club selection for May is Lottery by Patricia Wood. Lottery is an incredible novel about characters that come to life and live forever in your heart. This book offers a glimpse of the world as seen through the eyes of Perry L. Crandall, a man with limited cognitive abilities but boundless generosity of spirit. The Washington Post says this is "A wonderful first novel..vivid and funny and poignant and joyful."

At several points in the novel, various characters use the word "retarded." How do you feel about this word and other words we use to describe the mentally and physically challenged? Keith and Cherry, Perry's closest friends, have both lived traumatic lives. Why do these characters form such a close bond with Perry? Which character are you most drawn to and why? Read Lottery this month and let us know your thoughts on this book.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April's Book Club selection is Passing For Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding Myself by Frances Kuffel.

This month the book club is entering into the real world of nonfiction with this intimate and darkly comic memoir of a woman who does a 180 with her body. This book chronicles how and why the author began the successful process of losing 188 pounds. Publisher's Weekly describes the book as far more than inspirational reading, and credits Kuffel with "an eye for detail, a knack for dialogue and a remarkable sense of humor in the face of adversity."

Which do you think is the "real" Frances Kuffel, the fat or the thin one? Do you think there are aspects of obesity she was grateful for after she lost the weight? Frances writes that "finishing is not success." Does she find success in the course of the book? Beyond finishing a project, how do you define success? Let us know what you think!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

We are March-ing into a new month with a new book for the book club. This month's read is Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.

For those of you who have read other books by Jodi Picoult you know her novels highlight topics that are hard to read about but her writing style makes the books hard to put down. She explores current issues in a straight forward manner that makes us think about and look at an issue from different angles. Nineteen Minutes is a novel about a school shooting and the forces that surround it. It is also an exploration into family dynamics and relationships, friendship and young love, peer pressures and alliances, suspicion and judgement. Read it this month and let us know what you think.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

February's book club selection is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.

This is an unforgettable novel of two Chinese women whose friendship and love sustains them through their lives. Here is your chance to "discuss" the book with other readers. Tell us what you think of Lily, the narrator. Is she the heroine or the villian? What did you think about the detailed and emotionally wrenching writing about foot binding? Were Lily and Snow Flower the weak and worthless women that their culture tells them they are? Would you recommend the book to others? Share your thoughts about this book by posting a message here.