Jennifer D Jennifer's Comments (member since Mar 23, 2011)

Jennifer's comments from the CBC Books group.

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40089 i would like to thank everyone who participated this month. i was so happy to finally read this novel, and i enjoyed it a lot.
40089 hi everyone!

in a bit of last minute-ness, i have been invited away for a week, so i am heading north tomorrow, and will not be able to be available for the end of this month's read and discussion.

i apologize for that, and for not being terribly with it this month. there is a lot going on, personally, that has kept me from being able to engage more regularly to keep things going here with this wonderful novel.

but i would like to leave you with the discussion guide for the novel, prepared by random house.

please feel free to pick and choose the questions that most interest you - i think there is a lot of neat topics to chat about. (the questions are based on this edition: Come, Thou Tortoise - as some have page #s noted.)

you can also totally ask your own questions, or pose your own discussion topics if there are things from the book that have caught your attention and you would like to talk about here in the group. that is always welcomed!! :)

(if you are not quite finished the read, there may be spoilers in the following questions.

Reader's Guide

1. In a video interview with Jessica Grant (found here:, she states that although Audrey fancies herself a detective of sorts, “There are some questions in the book that she not only fails to answer, but that she fails to even ask.” What do you think some of these might be, and how would you answer them?

2. Walter described his work in genetics to Audrey by comparing mouse and tortoise heartbeats to her own (p. 274). Discuss how his work as a biogerontologist has affected Audrey.

3. Discuss the matter of Wedge’s age. What do you think is really going on? Consider the Forced Swimming Test. What is it meant to prove, and is there a human equivalent?

4. What do you think about Verlaine’s assertion that teaching a child that death is “evitable” is a form of cruelty (p. 275)?

5. Discuss Chuck and his struggles. What do you think is the cause of Winnifred’s sinking feeling as Cliff departs with her (p. 359)? How does Chuck’s story fit with the main narrative?

6. Discuss the presence of planes and airports in the novel. What do you think of Audrey’s idea that flight is a skill hidden in our genes?

7. What are your thoughts about Thoby’s arm? And why do you think he leaves when he does?

8. Were you surprised by the change in Audrey’s relationship with Toff near the end of the book? What is your opinion of him?

9. Discuss Audrey and Judd’s relationship. In what way is it different from the relationship she had with Cliff?

10. In some ways, the ending of the novel feels like a beginning. What do you think lies ahead for Audrey?

11. Discuss Winnifred’s recollection of an encounter with a red butterfly in the desert (p. 340). What revelation does she have, and how does it fit with the themes of the novel?
Jul 26, 2014 06:49AM

40089 it must really be a jennifer thing!! :)

i really hope it will work for you too, catherine.
Jul 25, 2014 06:27PM

40089 Jen wrote: "Catherine, have you read In the Skin of a Lion? I was also 'meh' about The English Patient, but absolutely loved the former. I guess that means he's inconsistent for me, too."

i was just about to ask the same question!! :)
this is a great book, and it's always the one ondaatje i recommend.
Jul 25, 2014 11:56AM

40089 jen, you are bilingual? (i have always thought you are...but i don't think i ever asked. heh!)
Jul 25, 2014 08:53AM

40089 Catherine wrote: " on to finish Anil's Ghost. I'm about halfway through AG and like the book but I wouldn't say I'm in love with it."

catherine, have you read much of michael ondaatje? i have found him to be really inconsistent - i love some of his stuff, and then really don't love others.
Jul 25, 2014 06:32AM

40089 i am on a run of nonfiction right now.

i just finished reading Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World, by Matthew Goodman - and it was great!! enjoyed it a lot and had fun as an armchair traveller with these great women as they made their ways around the world.

and i have just begun reading Saint-Exupéry, by Stacy Schiff. saint-exupéry is the author of The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince), a book i have not read in a long time, but loved. so far, it is really interesting and saint-exupéry is quite a character. i meant to read this biography last year, when i was reading Studio Saint-Ex, by Ania Szado...but i just didn't quite get to it. i am glad i made time for it now.
Jul 25, 2014 04:58AM

40089 hi everyone! i hope you have had a good week, and you have found a chance to enjoy some reading!

which book(s) do you have on the go today?
40089 new discussion points:

* Audrey has many original perspectives on life’s minutia (corkscrews, doorknobs, Christmas lights, swans, planes, taxicabs, to name a few).
* Has one been a particular favourite for you so far? Why?
40089 hi all! i have now opened the thread here for you.

please let us know if you are planning to participate in this read. we had great turn out in the vote, so i am expecting a good number of you reading along and discussing with glenn!!

Jul 19, 2014 04:45PM

40089 Wanda wrote: "Summer reading is simply bliss!"

wanda, do you read differently in the summer? or is it just that you are enjoying the weather and are maybe outside while reading? :)
40089 new discussion point

part 3 - the plane in the basement: pages 174 - 263 - july 15th - 21st

okay...awww. what did you make of the plane in the basement??
Jul 18, 2014 03:36PM

40089 hi everyone!! thanks for sharing your reads today -- there are always so many interesting books being read!!

on the go at the moment, i have two books - one fiction (Theft: A Love Story, by Peter Carey), and one non-fiction Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World, by Matthew Goodman). i am mostly focused on goodman's book (because i really don't 'multi book' very well), and it's great, so far. he is doing a great job of giving historical context, along with the adventures of travel. perfect summer read!! i just started carey's novel last night. i think i like it, so far. it's edgy, i guess is the word. i haven't read many of his books, but i tend to really like australian writers.
40089 nice, glenn!! i just received a hammock, so will be lounging in it fairly soon. (privacy fence being built first before hammock will be hung. post holes are dug, and i can't wait to be able to lounge in it with a good book!!)
40089 thanks, carla! :)
40089 caliegh - just to show you a bit better re: spoilers:
you can find it in the 'some html is ok' spot on the top-right of each comment box.

to use it in a comment, it looks like this (minus spaces in brackets):

< spoiler > put whatever it is you want to hide between the brackets < / spoiler >

so in practice, it looks like this:

(view spoiler)
40089 yes -- i have asked, in the initial thread and with reminders since, that the spoiler function be used, so that's no problem at all.

i still would like a gauge, though, for where peopler at. that would be helpful. thanks!! :)
40089 thanks, caleigh! i always read through fairly quickly too. i am not good at spreading out my reading, once i have started a book. and i only read one book at a time usually. most of the time, with the group reads, it's fine...but with this book, i am finding it hard to talk about pieces of the story, without talking about the whole.
40089 that's great!! thanks, jane!! :)
40089 how is everyone doing with the read?
could you just let me know where you are in the book?

i am finding it tricky to just talk about pieces of the story, as all my questions and thoughts seem to involve the whole work. to me it feels as though this is reading quickly for many of us taking part - so i am wondering about opening up the discussion to include the entire novel, later this week.


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