Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10-12 Book Club Report

We had a lively discussion about Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass (and yes, about many other topics too!) at 10-12 Book Club Tuesday night. Fourteen of us offered our opinions, and the consensus seemed to be that while we liked the protagonist, we would have liked a little more action and a little less bragging; that we felt the abrupt changes of direction regarding her love life were a bit distracting and that the mix of assassin with Cinderella was somewhat incongruous; and that some of us were disappointed with the conclusion but liked the book enough to read the sequel. We rated the book 7.25 out of 10.

Next month's book (for discussion on November 5) is Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Here is a summary from our catalog:

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them. 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Here is a list of the books we considered for December:

Obernewtyn, by Isobelle Carmody (post-apocalyptic paranormal agrarian society with mindreaders)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, by Michelle Hodkin (paranormal romance with amnesia and unexplained deaths)
Because I Said So, by Ken Jennings (nonfiction fun facts)
Monument 14, by Emmy Laybourne (disasters weathered by hiding in a superstore)
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan (global conspiracy, code-breaking, romance in a bookstore)
Break My Heart 1,000 Times, by Daniel Waters (ghosts and murder)

Although there was some interest in all of these titles, the winner for December is Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, an Alex award-winner. (The Alex awards are given to 10 books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. It's an award given by the American Library Association.)

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