Friday, October 16, 2015

Book Club Report

Sixteen out of the 20 members of the 6+7 Book Club met Tuesday to discuss The Last Dragonslayer, the first book in the Chronicles of Kazam series by Jasper Fforde, better known for his adult series about literary detective Thursday Next. We had some surprising reactions to this book, which were reflected by the ratings: There were two votes for every number from a perfect 10 down to a so-so six, plus two ratings of one, which resulted in an average overall rating of 6.85. Those who were not the two who hated the book felt that the book's worth was unfairly skewed downward, and demanded that we average the vote without those two, which would have given it an 8, but...we're a democracy when it comes to ratings. Most enjoyed specific events and characters in the book but found the lack of exposition slightly confusing. Nobody really connected with the tongue-in-cheek satirical elements that make this series so much fun for adults--we're not sure that Fforde has correctly gauged his audience!

Next month, we will discuss The Apothecary, by Maile Meloy, and the book we selected for December discussion is Stormbreaker (Alex Rider #1), by Anthony Horowitz, as a nice break from all the fantasy.

Other books we considered (alphabetical by author):

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne
The Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot
I'd Tell You I Love You But Then
     I'd Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter
Heist Society, also by Ally Carter
Deep Blue, by Jennifer Donnelly
Towering, and Bewitching, both by Alex Flinn
I Am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson
The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson
Counting by Sevens, by Holly Goldberg Sloan

The next book club meeting is on November 10, and there are copies of The Apothecary at both branches for pick-up.

Members of the 8+9 Book Club were nearly all in attendance Wednesday night (17 out of 19) to talk about Noggin, by John Corey Whaley. We had a spirited discussion about whether you could like a book but hate the protagonist; what a whiny guy that Travis is, considering he's getting a chance at a whole new life; whether the five-year difference in ages between he and his former girlfriend would have mattered if the genders were reversed or it were five years later (i.e., he was 21 and she was 26); whether his new best friend is a caricature or a real boy; whether Travis should have bugged Kyle about coming out of the closet; and more! We ended up rating the book 7.35.

Next month, we will read (or reread) Reckless, by Cornelia Funke, in preparation for her visit on November 19. And for December, we chose Variant, by Robison Wells, a creepy science fiction tale featuring a strange boarding school.

Other books we considered (it's a long list!):

Famous Last Words, by Katie Alender
Don't Look Back, by Jennifer Armentrout
Heist Society, by Ally Carter
Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare
The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle
Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
October Sky, by Homer Hickam
Far, Far Away, by Tom McNeal
Every Soul A Star, by Wendy Mass
The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson
Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey

The next club meeting is on November 4, and there are copies of Reckless at both libraries for pickup.

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