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Points to Ponder: Damage Control

Points to Ponder

- There are some fairly standard conventions to the mystery/detective novel; which "mystery stereotypes" do you see in this story?

- Balancing family and work is something everyone struggles with. How does the way Joanne handles the challenge coincide/differ from your own or those of your family - past and present?

- Setting can be a great tool for a novelist. Does the author make use of her setting to enhance the plot line? If so, is it effective or over blown?

Damage Control

Damage Control
Author: J. A. Jance
Genre: Mystery/Suspence

On a beautiful sunny day in the Coronado National Monument, an elderly couple's car goes off the side of a mountain and into oblivion. The terrain is so rocky that a helicopter must be flown in to retrieve the bodies, and to make matters worse, a thunderstorm is looming on the horizon. Hours later and miles away, the subsiding rain reveals gruesome evidence: two trash bags containing human remains.

It's just another day in the life of Cochise County sheriff Joanne Brady.

Back at home, Joanna has a newborn baby, a teenage daughter, a writer husband, and a difficult mother to deal with. But in the field, it turns out that she has much more on her hands.

Points to Ponder

- There are some fairly standard conventions to the mystery/detective novel; which "mystery stereotypes" do you see in this story?

- Balancing family and work is something everyone struggles with. How does the way Joanne handles the challenge coincide/differ from your own or those of your family - past and present?

- Setting can be a great tool for a novelist. Does the author make use of her setting to enhance the plot line? If so, is it effective or over blown?
I have to hope that others had an easier time finding this than I did. o.O Hehe. Next month - a more mainstream book, methinks.


Points to Ponder:

- What contrasts do you see between the setting of "Confessions" and "Hardboiled Wonderland"? What similarities exist?

- Does this book play on any fears of the future or fears regarding the speed of technological advancement you might have?

- How does the structure of the books chapters influence the mood and fluidity of the story?
Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Author: Haruki Murakami

The last surviving victim of an experiment that implanted the subjects' heads with electrodes that decipher coded messages is the unnamed narrator of this excellent book by Murakami, one of Japan's best-selling novelists and winner of the prestigious Tanizaki prize. Half the chapters are set in Tokyo, where the narrator negotiates underground worlds populated by INKlings, dodges opponents of both sides of a raging high-tech infowar, and engages in an affair with a beautiful librarian with a gargantuan appetite. In alternating chapters he tries to reunite with his mind and his shadow, from which he has been severed by the grim, dark "replacement" consciousness implanted in him by a dotty neurophysiologist. Both worlds share the unearthly theme of unicorn skulls that moan and glow.

Points to Ponder:

- What contrasts do you see between the setting of "Confessions" and "Hardboiled Wonderland"? What similarities exist?

- Does this book play on any fears of the future or fears regarding the speed of technological advancement you might have?

- How does the structure of the books chapters influence the mood and fluidity of the story?
Remember... discussion is in the comments of this post. Feel free to diverge from the Points below. They are simply a starting point, not an agenda of topics. ;-D



What might surprise you about being transported to a different time/place?

How does romanticizing the past affect us in the here and now?

If you were to be transported to a different time period, which one would you choose?

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Title: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Author: Laurie Viera Rigler

Courtney Stone, a single Los Angeles woman recovering from the double whammy of a broken engagement and a failed friendship, wakes up after a night of self-medicating with her drug of choice, Jane Austen novels, to find herself in 1813 England. She's inhabiting the body of Jane Mansfield, a manor-born Englishwoman who, at 30, has yet to find a husband, confounding her humorless, Miss Bossy-corset stand-in mother. While still haunted by real-life memories, Courtney, as Jane, soon gets swept up in this Austenesque world of decadent meals and grand balls, gentlemen in form-fitting knee breeches and traveling with her friend Mary, whose brother, Charles Edgeworth, appears to have an interest in Jane that Courtney struggles to understand. As her identity starts to meld with Jane's, Courtney rethinks who she wants to be (and to be with) in any time period.

Points to Ponder

What might surprise you about being transported to a different time/place?

How does romanticizing the past affect us in the here and now?

If you were to be transported to a different time period, which one would you choose?

Food for Thought - Book Suggestions

A book club is sustained by two things: interesting people and intriguing books.

The people we have... now we need the books!

Comment here with books you'd like to read. Anything and everything, from sci-fi to historical ficion, to biographies, to non-fiction and everything in between. Keep in mind our 3-week reading window, and try to suggest books that are likely to be found in the library. :-)

Format for suggestions:

Title:
Author:
Genre:

Feel free to fudge a little on genre... some books don't pigeon-hole neatly.

Bookworms of the World Unite!

Welcome to Prism_Books. Please comment here to introduce yourself.

If you happen to like formulaic introductions, you can fill out the following:

Name:
Age:
Location:
Family Status:
Favourite Book Genres:
Favourite Books:
Travel Experience:
A little about your life/personality:

Or you can just make up your own format. :-D

This is How it Works...

1) On the first day of each month, I will post a book title from the list we generate. Included with the title will be a blurb about the book and some "Points to Ponder" to possibly focus our discussion, though we are by no means limited to those themes! If you have read the book before and feel that there are some themes or issues that would be interesting for us to be thinking on while we read, please add them to the comments on the post introducing the book.

2) Seven days before the end of the month, I will re-post the "Points to Ponder". Discussion will take place in the comments of that post and will continue for however long people feel like going with them. I recommend either watching the post (for those people with LJ accounts) or checking back periodically throughout the week to keep conversation going.

3) Rinse and repeat.


Please do the following:

- Introduce yourself on the Bookworms of the World Unite! post. A little about who you are, your reading tastes, and your life experience will allow people who may not know you well (or at all) to have a better understanding of where your posts come from. With luck, this will help to reduce miscommunications. :-)

- Add suggestions to the Food for Thought - Book Suggestions post. Any and all genres, styles, and types are encouraged. Fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, non-fiction, biography, everything and anything. That said, War and Peace would be a bad choice... we only have three weeks to read suggested books in, and most of us have lives that will interfere with reading something of that length and complexity in such a short period of time. Please try and provide titles that are likely to be found in the local libraries if possible.

- If you know any nice, reasonably thoughtful, interesting people that you trust to be respectful participants who would be interested in joining us, please point them this way. The more the merrier, and the more complex the discussions. They do not need to have an LJ account (I am allowing anonymous comments unless/until it becomes an issue), although an LJ account would likely make participating a little easier as anonymous commenters must provide Captcha information each time they post and don't receive email notifications. A free basic account made even just to post here might make life easier... but certainly isn't compulsory.