Thursday, November 10, 2016

November Book Club Reports

All but three of our 6+7 Book Club met Tuesday night to discuss The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, by Trenton Lee Stewart. The book is the prequel to the three Mysterious Benedict Society books, and takes place when the protagonist of those is only nine years old. All but two people were charmed by the book, and even those two gave it respectable reviews, only saying "it's not my kind of book." There was a lot of discussion about the relative intelligence of Nicholas Benedict and the young Sherlock Holmes and who would win if they went head to head to solve a mystery; and also a lot of appreciation of the book's treatment of such themes as bullying, disabilities, and trust in relationships. Most everyone who hadn't already (including me!) expressed the desire to read the other three books now, and the final rating given by the club was 8.5.

Next month's book, Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City, by Kirsten Miller, is an actual mystery (not "a McGuffin," as Anarda called the so-called mystery in this one), also with a couple of sequels to pursue if people enjoy this first one.

For the month of January, we will be reading an old favorite, Flipped, by Wendelin Van Draanen, and we plan to have a short book club meeting so we can also screen the movie on book club night. So please plan to be on time (or early!) on January 10!

Other books we considered:

The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart
Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld
Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
Doll Bones, by Holly Black
Scarlet Stockings, by Charlotte Kandel
Gabby Lost and Found, by Angela Cervantes
Skulduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy
Frozen Charlotte, by Alex Bell
The Sea of Trolls, by Nancy Farmer

Our next meeting will be on December 13.

The 8+9 Book Club was pretty unanimously enthusiastic over The Glass Arrow, by Kristen Simmons. They liked the story, the characters, and all the elements of the dystopia, and most weren't put off by some of its "ickier" moments. Special note was made of the fact that it's about a world in which women have no rights, are valued only for their reproductive and entertainment capacities, and are bought, sold, and traded like commodities. Given their interest, Anarda and I recommended some other books that they might want to read, including Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, by A. S. King, Wither (the Chemical Garden trilogy), by Lauren DeStefano, The Gate to Women's Country, by Sheri S. Tepper, and that classic early dystopian nightmare, The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.

The final rating of the book, by 22 members, was 8.6.

For December, our book is The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson, proposed many times and finally selected, to George's joy. And the choice for January is The Naturals, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Other books we considered, in descending order:

Jackaby, by William Ritter
Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott
The Accident Season, by Moira Fowley-Doyle
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness
Paper Towns, by John Green
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card

Our next meeting will be on December 14.

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