Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Club Report

On Tuesday night, the 6+7 Book Club met to discuss Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City, by Kirsten Miller. This book proved very popular with the 14 people in attendance, with a rating of 9.5! Several members have already checked out and read the sequels, and in fact we considered getting the second book, Kiki Strike: The Empress's Tomb, for January's book club choice, but there weren't enough copies available from our vendor, alas.

Therefore, we will be reading The Peculiar, by Stefan Bachmann, in January--an interesting combination of faerie magic, murder mystery, and steampunk, written by a 19-year-old American living in Switzerland.


Other books we considered:

Down the Rabbit Hole,
      by Peter Abrahams
Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi
Ender's Game,
      by Orson Scott Card
The Selection, by Kiera Cass
The Ruins of Gorlan,
      by John Flanagan

Next month's book is The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus #1), by Jonathan Stroud. If you missed book club, PICK UP YOUR BOOK at Central next week (we're waiting for four more to come in, so maybe call Melissa first!).






On Wednesday night, the 8+9 Book Club broke our hearts (mine and Anarda's) by their somewhat indifferent reaction to The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater, which we both loooove. In fact, it's my personal favorite book of Maggie's and possibly one of my favorite teen novels, period.

Out of the 15 in attendance, some liked the story and setting but couldn't connect with the characters, while others liked the characters but felt that not enough happened in the story. Some liked Sean but not Puck, others thought Puck was interesting but Sean was too cold. Some enjoyed the writing, while two members felt it was "disconnected." I advanced my theory, that whether you liked it depended on whether you were a "horse" girl or a "doll" girl (sorry for excluding the guys in this survey), but the club didn't think this was a valid hypothesis. Anyway, the rating was 7.5 out of 10. Tough crowd!

They did enjoy that we (coincidentally) read this book in November, which is when the water horses (capaill uisce) arrive on the beaches of Thisby, and we're hoping Ryan follows through on his promise to make November Cakes. (He did castigate Maggie for including a microwave as one of the tools used to make them, since the Thisby islanders obviously wouldn't have one of those...)

Next month's book is I'll Be There, by Holly Goldberg Sloan (previously reviewed by me here), and Holly will be joining us at BPL for an author event on March 6! We're really excited about that--her new book, Counting by 7s, is getting lots of positive buzz.

For our January book, we selected Break My Heart 1000 Times, by Daniel Waters, which is a combination paranormal/ghost story and murder mystery set in the future after "The Event."

Other books we considered:

Unspoken, by Sarah Rees Brennan
Etiquette & Espionage,
      by Gail Carringer
The Last Dragonslayer,
      by Jasper Fforde
The Shadow Society,
      by Marie Rutkoski
The Raven Boys,
      by Maggie Stiefvater

Next month's meetings are:

6+7 = December 10
8+9 = December 18
10-12 = December 3

Picturing characters from books

6+7 Book Club read Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City, by Kirsten Miller, for our November book. It's about a group of "butt-kicking girl superspies out to save Manhattan" from an evil conspiracy. The description of the main character included pale, ice-blue eyes and distinctive white hair, and every time I looked at the cover of the paperback version, I winced at the photo of the admittedly pretty but decidedly regular blonde girl the publisher / cover designer chose to depict Kiki. To me, the author's description indicated Kiki lacked melanin in her skin and hair, something like model Nastya Zhidkova...


...only of course tougher and less pouty. So I decided to do my own version. Here it is--"Kiki Strike in Central Park," in the snow, wearing her black hoodie, hands on hips, displaying her slightly challenging stare . . .



(You can click on it if you want to see it bigger.)

Here are the two book covers--the hardcover version (left) with the cartoon Kiki obviously more true to the book than the paperback one (right).