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, May 28, 2019

The book selection for June for the Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai.  The Great Believers is a novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris.  The story follows art director, Yale Tishman's career as it flourishes while around him the AIDS epidemic grows.

Yale's group of friends is very close.  In a sense, they are his "chosen family."  How is this explored in the book?  How does each character relate to their family, biological and chosen?  Do you have a "chosen family," and if so, what brings you all together?

Chicago is such a powerful presence in this novel that it is almost a character in itself.  Have you ever been to or lived in a place that exerted a strong influence on you?

How has the culture changed regarding LGBTQ voices and stories since the 1980s?

Fiona has suffered many losses in her life.  How do you think that affected her as a mother?  What are the ways in which trauma and loss are passed down through generations?

Do you empathize more with Fiona or Claire?

Do you see any parallels between the state of healthcare during the 1980s and now?

Is the creation of artwork always a collaborative effort?  How do you feel about the relationship between artist and muse?

What has been you knowledge of--or experience with, if any--AIDS or those affected by the disease?  Has reading this novel changed any ideas you have previously had about the subject?

Let us know what you think of The Great Believers!