Link to the group: http://www.zombiepodcast.com/forum/group.php?groupid=43
PLEASE CHOOSE TWO BOOKS FROM THE LIST ABOVE
All right, because I'm annoyed at the idea of someone arbitrarily determining what book I should read, I'm going to give us choices. I've put together a list of 6 novels to choose from and we'll do it like this:
The book with the most votes will be the first month's (June) book, the book with the second most votes will be the second choice. During the June reading session we'll start compiling the next list of books to choose from. The reason we're not going to start the book reading in May is to allow time for a few more people to find the group, get their butts in gear and either hit a local bookstore or whatever. You're more than welcome to choose the audiobook version of the books to 'read' if you don't have enough time in the day to sit down for two hours and immerse yourself into a novel. We'll keep the books to a maximum page count of 500 (so chances are we won't be reading Pillars of the Eart or War and Peace), and see how things go.
If you do opt to 'read' the audiobook versions of the novels, please ensure that you're listening to an unabridged recording so you don't feel lost during discussions. So let's get to the choices for this year. If you've read the book chosen, please feel free to either re-read it or read something else (not on the list) while others catch up with you. Please feel free to recommend books for the list as well!
The idea here is to expand your library and discover new writers and genres that you may never have exposed yourself to otherwise. If you're only into one genre and you're annoyed that it isn't being represented, please recommend a novel or two for consideration. Like I said before, I'm not a fan of someone telling me what I should be reading, which is why I'm not simply giving us a list of books to read, but letting us all have a say in the materials. I've picked these books at random, based on their scores on Goodreads.com as well as Amazon.com and Heather's Picks at Chapters.indigo.ca. Most of these titles do not fall within my usual genre, but I'm excited at the prospect of expanding my horizons through the club.
And Another Thing…
by Eoin Colfer
*Best Selling Author of The Artemis Fowl Series
Synopsis:Arthur Dent's accidental association with that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, has not been entirely without incident.
Arthur has traveled the length, breadth, and depth of known, and unknown, space. He has stumbled forward and backward through time. He has been blown up, reassembled, cruelly imprisoned, horribly released, and colorfully insulted more than is strictly necessary. And of course Arthur Dent has comprehensively failed to grasp the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.
Arthur has finally made it home to Earth, but that does not mean he has escaped his fate.
Arthur's chances of getting his hands on a decent cuppa have evaporated rapidly, along with all the world's oceans. For no sooner has he touched down on the planet Earth than he finds out that it is about to be blown up . . . again.
And Another Thing . . . is the rather unexpected, but very welcome, sixth installment of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It features a pantheon of unemployed gods, everyone's favorite renegade Galactic President, a lovestruck green alien, an irritating computer, and at least one very large slab of cheese.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
by Dave Eggers
*#1 National Bestseller
*Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Synopsis:The literary sensation of the year, a book that redefines both family and narrative for the twenty-first century. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. Here is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together.
Genre: Supernatural Fiction/Literature
The Book of Illumination: A Novel from the Ghost Files
by Mary Ann Winkowski and Maureen Foley
Synopsis:Genre: Fiction/LiteratureThe criminal underworld meets the spiritual otherworld in this thrilling debut collaboration between the inspiration for television's The Ghost Whisperer and an award-winning writer/director.
Anza O'Malley is in most ways a typical single mom. She lives a happy, busy life with her five-year-old son in Cambridge, Massachusetts, juggling the joys and challenges of life as a doting parent and a freelance bookbinder. But there is more to Anza than meets the "ungifted" eye: she can see and speak with ghosts.
Although she's been solving cold cases for the police for years, Anza has been hoping to focus her energies on her son and her bookbinding career. But when an exquisite and priceless illuminated manuscript is stolen from the Boston Athenaeum, and when its desecration spurs the appearance of some very unhappy spirits, Anza can neither look nor walk away. With an unlikely trio of ghosts by her side–a charming butler and two medieval monks–Anza leads us on an urgent journey through Boston's winding, cobbled streets to uncover a trail of deceit, danger, and ghoulish intrigue.
The Dovekeepers: A Novel
by Alice Hoffman
*New York Times Bestseller
Synopsis:The Dovekeepers is Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing novel, a tour de force of research and imagination. Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.
Little Bee: A Novel
by Chris Cleave
*#1 New York Times Bestseller
Synopsis:We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir
by Jeannette Walls
*New York Times Bestseller
Synopsis:--ADDENDUM--Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.
There are two write in votes: Yarri for The Book of Illumination and 7oodisdead for Little Bee.
I've chosen a short book to get us rolling through May.
Decided that we really need to dive in with something related to the subject matter that brought us here. And so...
Breather's A Zombie's Lament
by S.G. Browne
It isn't necessary for you to begin the book on May 1st, but it is necessary for you to have finished it by Thursday, May 31. Happy reading and I hope we all enjoy it!For fans of Max Brooks’s The Zombie Survival Guide and zombie aficionados everywhere, a hilarious debut novel about life (and love) after death.
Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car-crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere.
Darkly funny, surprisingly touching, and gory enough to satisfy even the most discerning reader, Breathers is a romantic zombie comedy (rom-zom-com, for short) that will leave you laughing, squirming, and clamoring for more.
--ADDENDUM April 23, 2012--
Because group discussions do not allow for posts over 3000 words...
While this is a rough guide for discussion questions (as pulled from various sources), it is not a definitive instruction manual. I would encourage members to throw their own questions into the mix. It’s always good to feel as though you’re not only included in the conversation, but also that you’ve got a say in the direction. Everyone likes a turn to steer the boat. Let’s have a look at some of the questions.
Fiction Discussion Questions
- Which character do you like the most and why? The least and why?
- What passage from the book stood out to you?
- Are there situations and/or characters you can identify with, if so how?
- Did you learn something you didn’t know before?
- Do you feel as if your views on a subject have changed by reading this text?
- Have you had a life changing revelation from reading this text?
- What major emotion did the story evoke in you as a reader?
- At what point in the book did you decide if you liked it or not? What helped make this decision?
- Name your favourite thing overall about the book. Your least favourite?
- If you could change something about the book what would it be and why?
- Describe what you liked or disliked about the writer’s style?
Non-Fiction Discussion Questions
- Did you admire or detest this person? Why? (Biography or Autobiography)
- What life lesson can be learned from this event or story? (General Nonfiction)
- Did the book read like a story, a newspaper article, a report, something else? Give examples. (General Nonfiction)
- What one new fact did you learn from reading this book? (General Nonfiction)
- What was the motivation for the writing of this book? (General but great for Bio or Auto Bio)
- Did you feel this book truly belonged in the nonfiction genre? (Memoir)
- Was the point of the book to share an opinion, explain a topic, tell about a personal journey, or something else? Did the author do it well? (General Nonfiction)
- What part of this book inspired you in some way? Explain. (Motivational, Self Help)
- Will you read other books by this author? Why or why not? (General Nonfiction)
- Did this book change your life in a positive or negative way? Explain (General Nonfiction)
Please, feel free to add to the list of questions! Discussions should be limited—much the same as the chatbox is limited—to avoid spoilers for members who haven’t finished reading each month’s book. You’re not required to answer each and every question on the list, but you are certainly encouraged to do so.