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.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The book selection for September for the Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is Except for His Wings by Michael Dodd.  Michael lives in Madison, Wisconsin but grew up in Texas.  Michael is a past employee and volunteer at the Kilbourn Public Library.  We are excited to be reading his newest book.

Corny Shane is a recovering alcoholic trying to rebuild his shattered life in the Texas Hill Country after his wife abandoned him and their children.  One day his eleven-year-old daughter comes home with a story about a boy with wings who appeared in the town park.  Except for His Wings  is the story of the turmoil his appearance creates in the small town of Blakesfield, a story of uncertainty and confusion, of old wounds and new fears, of sorrow and of hope. 

How did you experience this book?  Were you engaged immediately or did it take you a while to "get into it"? 

Describe the main characters.  Do the main characters change or mature by the end of the book?  What do they learn about themselves?

What main ideas and themes does the author explore?

Where there any passages that strike you as insightful, even profound?

Is the ending satisfying?  If so, why?  If not, why not....and how would you change it?

If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask?

Let us know what you think of Except for His Wings.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Kilbourn Public Library's Book Club selection for August is the novel The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows.  This novel is set in 1938 and follows the story of Layla Beck, who is cut off from her allowance and demanded by her father, a US Senator, to find a job with the Federal Writers' Project, a New Deal jobs program.  Within days, Layla finds herself far out of her comfort zone when she is assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia. 

The author evokes the charm and eccentricity of a small town in this story filled with extraordinary characters.  The novel brings to life an inquisitive young girl, her beloved aunt, and the alluring visitor who changes the course of their destiny forever.

Early in the novel, Willa resolves to acquire the virtues of "ferocity and devotion."  Do you concur that these are, actually, virtues?  Which of the characters in The Truth According to Us possesses them?  Do you know anyone who does?

The Truth According to Us is set in a small town where everyone seems to know everyone else.  Have you ever lived in a situation like that?  Would you find living in Macedonia appealing or stifling?  With our multiple forms of instantaneous communication, it could be said that the entire world has become a small town.  Do you agree?  Do you think we live in a more or less anonymous world now?

At one point, Willa's Uncle Emmett advises her "Don't ask questions if you're not going to like the answers."  He clarifies that she should ask herself whether the answer could endanger something that's precious to her, and if so, refrain from asking.  Willa ignores his advice entirely, but would it have been better--for her and everyone else--if she had taken it?  Have you ever regretted your own curiosity?

Of all the characters in The Truth According to Us, with whom do you most identify and why?

The Truth According to Us is broken up into multiple different perspectives, blending young and old voices with epistolary fragments and flashbacks.   How do these varied viewpoints contribute to characterization and development in the story?  How do they deepen our connection to these characters?

Let us know what you think of The Truth According to Us.