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The All Good Books group met this past week and settled on the titles for book club discussions for the remainder of 2017. Dates and titles follow, all meetings are held at 7 PM in the Community of Christ Church Library (7842 Mission Road, Mission Kansas):

Thursday, July 13, 2017, The Woman in Cabin 10 by

Thursday, August 17, 2017, The Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah (note the date change)

Thursday, September 14, 2017, The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve

Thursday, October 12, 2017, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Thursday, November 9, 2017, The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Because several of the regular members of the All Good Books group cannot meet tonight, we’re postponing tonight’s meeting until Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 7 PM. Sorry for any inconvenience. We’ll discuss “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough on that date.

WrightBrothersThe next meeting of the All Good Books group will be at 7:00 PM on Thursday, May 18, 2017. We’ll discuss The Wright Brothers by David McCullough (suggested by several members).

Please note that this meeting is a week later than normal.

At this meeting we’ll also add books to fill out our 2017 schedule. Come prepared with your suggestions, or better yet, email Jonathan with your suggestions in advance.

The All Good Books group will meet to discuss “Two If By Sea” (by Jacquelyn Mitchard) on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 7 PM at Community of Christ Mission Road Congregation (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS). We’ll meet in the Church Library.

two-if-by-sea-author
You can find additional information on the author at http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-fiction/10598-two-if-by-sea-mitchard (including a summary of the story, a bio of the author, and discussion questions).
You can find the same discussion questions at http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Two-If-by-Sea/Jacquelyn-Mitchard/9781501115585/reading_group_guide but that site also includes an interview with the author. The discussion questions and interview are both available in the back of the print or ebook version of the novel.
 
You can also signup at the www.simonandschuster.com site for their email list and receive a code for a free ebook.
 
Finally, you can see and hear Jacquelyn Mitchard talk about “Two If By Sea” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5q19oUQg30
We look forward to the discussion on Thursday and invite you to bring your suggestions for additional books to add to our reading schedule.

TwoifbySeaThe next meeting of the All Good Books discussion group will be on Thursday, April 13, 2017 (Thomas Jefferson’s birthday) at 7 PM in the community of Christ (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS) Church Library. The group will discuss “Two If By Sea” by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Plan to join us next month.

We hope to add some discussion questions here in the next couple of weeks.

The All Good Books discussion group will meet Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7 PM at the Community of Christ (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS) to discuss The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Come join us.

For those who have not yet read this month’s novel, here’s my personal (hopefully) non-spoiler assessment.

“The Nightingale” drags you vicariously through occupied France during the Second World War. It’s a story of starvation, benevolent occupation, sadistic power, constant fear, rebellion, the best of heroic humanity, the worst of collaboration, young love, mature love, the bonds of family and the disintegration of family. At times one wonders, why am I subjecting myself to the horrors and cruelty of war; yet all that pain is necessary to experience the sometimes bittersweet but truly emotional conclusion. Don’t be a “read the last page first” reader. This story needs to be built page by page to the finale that speaks to how we never really, fully understand the lives of others, with all their pain, triumphs and struggles.

The following are some suggested discussion questions.

  1. How would you describe “The Nightingale” to someone who might consider reading the novel? Would you recommend or not recommend the book?
  2. Do you see a reflection of yourself in any of the novel’s characters? Did you relate to any one character more than the others? Explain why?
  3. Why do you think the two sisters, Vianne and Isabella, react so differently to the Nazi occupation? How would you describe their personalities, concerns and reactions?
  4. Which scene or event in the novel did you find the most memorable (good or bad)? Explain why.
  5. The novel describes a community under harsh conditions; harsh winters, food shortages, fear, uncertainty, military bombardments, dissolution of families and friendships. How do you think you would have functioned and survived (or not) under such conditions? Have you ever experienced any of these types of situations? Describe.
  6. Do parents ever really know their children? Do children ever really know their parents?
  7. Is there a quote or statement in the novel that is a favorite? Or made you stop and consider it’s meaning? How about any of the following? Do they “speak” to you? If so, how?
    1. “In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”
    2. “…grief, like regret, settles into our DNA and remains forever a part of us.”
    3. “He loves a version of me that is incomplete. I always thought it was what I wanted: to be loved and admired. Now I think perhaps I’d like to be known.”
    4. “Why was it so easy for men in the world to do as they wanted and so difficult for women?”
    5. “Tante Isabelle says it’s better to be bold than meek. She says if you jump off a cliff at least you’ll fly before you fall.”
    6. “He was a man who had stumbled into a little bit of power and seized it with both hands.”
    7. If you’re going through hell, keep going. —WINSTON CHURCHILL
    8. “But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.”
    9. “Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war.”
  8. In one portion of the novel, the narrator says, “A stewardess takes one look at me and makes that here’s an old one who needs help face. Living where I do now, in that shoebox filled with the Q-tips that old people become, I’ve come to recognize it. Usually it irks me, makes me straighten my back and push aside the youngster who is sure that I cannot cope in the world on my own, but just now I’m tired and scared and a little help doesn’t seem like a bad thing.” Whether you’re old or young, have you ever felt that way?
  9. Why does the author keep referring to black squares on the walls?
  10. What is the meaning or significance of the apple tree in Vianne’s yard?
  11. Nathaniel and Phillipe come with a request about Daniel near the end of the book. Was it a fair request? Do you understand it? How would you have reacted if you were Daniel’s Maman?
  12. How did you react to the novel’s conclusion? Would you have changed the ending?

nightengaleThe All Good Books discussion group will meet Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7 PM at the Community of Christ (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS to discuss The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Possible discussion questions will be posted soon. Come join us.