Friday, May 6, 2016

May 10-12 Book Club Report

Fourteen members (and two librarians) of the 10-12 Book Club came together last Tuesday night to discuss The Just City, by Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Jo Walton. We had no idea what to expect in terms of reactions to this book, because it's different from anything we have ever read. It's about an artificially constructed societal experiment based on Plato's Republic...with robots. Sorry, that's a bit deceptive as a description, but I couldn't resist! All of the people in the book are either masters or students in the Just City, and the robots have been brought there by the goddess Athene to do all the set-up work and the heavy lifting to get the city started, until the students have grown up enough to take over some of their duties. Intrigued yet? The club was, and some of them remain so.

More than half of the club enjoyed the book, although everyone had issues with the extremely uncomfortable personal interactions between partners artificially matched with one another by lot, and some also disliked the narrative tone of the writing, which feels documentary in attitude, rather than based in the action of the moment. Several members plan to read the sequel (The Philosopher Kings), and a few of us already have, and are looking forward to the third book (Necessity), which releases July 12. (Notice that I know the exact date!) The book received a rating of 7.3 out of 10, with scores ranging from tens down to fives.

All members of the club received a copy of Kill the Messenger, by Tami Hoag, to read over the summer, and most of us will gather again as a club next fall, since we had only three graduating seniors this year. Technically, Cameron has already graduated and has been attending classes at Glendale Community College, but his age let him remain in club one more year; Britton is getting her GED and going to study Dutch in the Netherlands; and Arsh has been accepted at UC Berkeley, and plans to get a jump on college by moving up there this summer. We will miss all of you so much!

We hope to see everyone from book club at Book Cafe this summer!

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