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, February 4, 2015

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher is the book selection for February for the Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group.  Set in London and Cornwall from World War II to present, The Shell Seekers tells the story of the Keeling family, and of the passions and heartbreak that have held them together for three generations.  The family centers around Penelope, and it is her love, courage, and sense of values that determine the course of all their lives.  Deftly shifting back and forth in time, each chapter centers on one of the principal players in the family's history. The unifying thread is an oil painting entitled "The Shell Seekers," done by Penelope's father.  It is this painting that symbolizes to Penelope the ties between the generations.  But it is the fate of this painting that just may tear the family apart.

How would you describe Penelope Keeling as a character?  What traits would you ascribe to her?

What makes Noel and Nancy so unlikable?  Does Pilcher develop them fully as emotionally complex characters or as shallow, one-dimensional characters?

What about Olivia?  Is she too good to be true?

How does the prospect of an inheritance affect family dynamics, both in this story and in life?  Is Pilcher's account of Penelope's family realistic?

Why does Penelope want to keep The Shell Seekers?  What does it mean to her?  Were you held in suspense wondering how Penelope would eventually dispense with the painting?  Were you satisfied with the outcome?

Let us know what you think of The Shell Seekers.
The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group read The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson for the January selection.  A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it's not too late to start over. 

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop.  The only problem is that he is still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100.  A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested.  So he decides to escape.  He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant.

Many readers have spoken about the humor and optimism of Allan Karlsson.  How do these characteristics weave through the novel?  What parts do you find particularly funny...and what makes them funny?

What do you consider justice for Allan Karlsson?

The One Hundred Year Old Man is a novel with the topic of aging at its core.  What are society's expectations of how the elderly should act?  Does society do a good job in terms of how we treat our older population?

Let us know what you think!