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.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The May book selection for the Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.  Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human--a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we'll go to claim the lives we dream of. (From the publisher.)

This book explores the nature of identity.  Who is the real Jason?  Is there a real Jason--could a case be made that he is not the Jason with a wife and son who narrates the story?  Out of all the versions of Jason, what makes him...him?

What would your alternate universes look like?  What dreams, in your own life, did you choose not to pursue which, if the events in Dark Matter happened to you, would return as alternate universes?  Ever wish that were possible?  How different a person might you be had you chosen one of those different paths?

In what way is Jason like the Box, the mysterious cube-ish chamber?

There are various universes that Jason inhabits.  Which do you find most disturbing or frightening? 

During his search for "home" what does Jason come to learn about himself, flaws and all?  What does he come to value? 

(Questions by LitLovers.)

Let us know what you think  of  Dark Matter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The book selection for the Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group for April is Idaho by Emily Ruskovich.

 Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband’s memory fading, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to Wade’s first wife, Jenny, and to their daughters. In a story written in exquisite prose and told from multiple perspectives—including Ann, Wade, and Jenny, now in prison—we gradually learn of the mysterious and shocking act that fractured Wade and Jenny's lives, of the love and compassion that brought Ann and Wade together, and of the memories that reverberate through the lives of every character in Idaho.

In a wild emotional and physical landscape, Wade’s past becomes the center of Ann’s imagination, as Ann becomes determined to understand the family she never knew—and to take responsibility for them, reassembling their lives, and her own.

Though at the novel's center is an act of shocking violence, this is also a story about many different kinds of love.  What are these various forms of love?  What role does love play in this novel, and how does love contribute to the feeling you are left with in the end?

When Wade's memory begins to fail, Ann endures humiliation and physical pain because of his actions, which, to someone outside of the relationship, would look like domestic abuse.  In what ways does she cope with these episodes?  How does Ann interpret these acts of violence, and what does this say about her as a character?  Did you feel nervous and uncomfortable about the fine line she is walking between her love and her safety?

What are other examples of sacrifice in this novel?

Female friendship and sisterhood are major themes.  Think about the various relationships between the female characters.  Is female friendship the saving grace of this story?

How do you interpret the act of violence that is at the heart of this story?  Do you feel that Ann's interpretation is correct?  Why do you think the author chose to tell only as much as she did?  Why did she decide not to provide an absolute answer?

Do you sympathize with Jenny, in spite of what she's done?  Why or why not?  If you had to choose only one moment in the story that characterized Jenny, would it be her act of violence, or something else?  How do yo think she understands herself?

Are you surprised by the end of Ann's story?  Jenny's?  Why or why not?