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The Library at Mount Char
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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > July 2016 -The Library at Mount Char

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message 1: by Sarah (last edited Jul 04, 2016 01:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah | 18222 comments One of the group reads for July is The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. Please discuss the book in this thread.

The discussion leader is Janice.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. have completed the book before or during July 2016.
2. discussed it in this thread. Discussion must be more than "I read the book and I liked it". Discussion requires something more substantial and analytical of what you read, for example, thoughts, opinions, impact it had on you, what was your favourite part, was it what you expected it to be like etc. You may also like to review the book and post a link to the review in this thread.
3. Report that you have read AND discussed the book in the reporting thread (include a brief summary of what you thought of the book).

General Rules:
1. Please mark your spoilers with the spoiler tags along with mentioning what stage of the book you are at so other's don't get a nasty shock. Chapter numbers/titles are generally best as they are the same across all formats and editions.
2. The book may be combined with the Year Long Challenge, Topplers, and Monthly Challenges.

Happy reading!


message 2: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments I started the book yesterday and have listened to an hour or so. It's quite strange, but I was aware of that from the various reviews I've read. I guess, since I nominated the book, that I'll be discussion leader. I think this book will generate some interesting discussion.


Teanka I have also started it yesterday, but I'm only 40 pages in, so about 10%. It is a bit weird, as you say, Janice, but I'm glad that you chose it. Looks intriguing so far, and a lot of people rave about it so I'm curious.


Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments I have this one from the library. Will get to after about 2 more books.


message 5: by Roz (new) - added it

Roz | 3845 comments I'm next on rye waiting list from the library so I should have it soon. Weird is good.


Renee (elenarenee) | 1648 comments I am in. It a holiday weekend. I won't be able to get the book until Tuesday. I can't wait


message 7: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments I'm listening to the audiobook so chapters can be a bit confusing. I've downloaded the Kindle sample so that I have a listing of the table of contents.

I also looked on the web for discussion questions. The only thing I found was a discussion on reddit, and the first freaking comment was a spoiler! I think I've just learned the end of the book. I'm so pissed off. (view spoiler)

On that note, please make sure you hide spoilers behind the spoiler tag. To do that, start your comment with < spoiler >, and end your comment with
< /spoiler > (taking out the spaces)

I'm going to comment on each chapter and generate discussion that way rather than ask canned questions.

Happy reading!


message 8: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Jul 01, 2016 09:38AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments My first comment on this book is that several times I asked myself, "What the &*$% is going on??" The format of the story is that it bounces around between different time frames. I wondered if I was going to be able to continue. Yesterday, I was driving to my wine group and had a light bulb moment. It was starting to make sense.

So persevere through the first few chapters because it does eventually sort itself out. I think it's going to be a wild ride.

Discussion question - Is this a book about books? I know I said that I wouldn't do canned questions, but this is one I came up with on my own, so it's not canned, right? Hehehe. When I nominated this book, I wasn't sure whether it was or not because the book blurb was a bit vague. I've decided that it is. While the library isn't one we're familiar with, it still houses large tomes which they call catalogues. Each child has a tome/catalogue that they are responsible to learn and to embody. I think that this is very much a book about books, even though they are not books that you or I would ever hold in our hands. What do you think?

Chapter 1 - Sunrise. The opening chapter is rather shocking. (view spoiler)


message 9: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Chapter Two - Buddhism for Assholes (view spoiler)

Interlude I: From the East, Thunder - It seems like the interludes go back to "the beginning" when the children were young and learning their catalogues. (view spoiler)

Chapter 3: The Denial That Shreds - (view spoiler)


message 10: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments I'm going to break here. I'm currently reading Chapter 6 and I want to go back and comment on the chapters and interludes between Chapter 3 & 6, but I have a friend picking me up shortly to go to the movie.


message 11: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Back from the movie and I can pick up where I left off.


Interlude II: Uzan-iya - (view spoiler)

Chapter 4: Thunder - Here we meet Irwin. And this is the section that everything came together for me. I was mistaken earlier when I said that I was on Chapter 6. The audiobook is counting the interludes as chapters, so when I look at my bookmark, it says "Chapter 6" and not Chapter 4. The audiobook formatting can be tricky. (view spoiler) And I'm off to finish the chapter - and more. I'll take better notes.


message 12: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Chapter 5: The Luckiest Chicken in the World - There be lions! (view spoiler)

Chapter 6: About a Half a Fuckton of Lying-Ass Lies - That has got to be the wildest chapter title I've ever seen. (view spoiler)

I'm about to start Part Two. I'm intrigued, horrified, fascinated... and yet I just want to be finished.


Cathie (catitude) | 915 comments This was my favourite book of 2015. It's a wild ride that you need to just enjoy. It helps if you can let go of all of your perceptions of reality and just enjoy the story. One of my all-time favourites. Looking forward to the discussion.

Janice, I love your comments, thoughts as you are reading this. It's really interesting to see your reactions. (Love the piece you wrote about Chapter 5, lol!


message 14: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments I saw that you gave it 5 stars, Cathie and wondered if you'd pop in with comments. I think this would make a great movie. Wardrobe would have blast!


message 15: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Chapter 7: Garrison Oaks This was a pretty intense chapter. (view spoiler)

Chapter 8: Cold Home - (view spoiler)

Interlude III: Jack - (view spoiler)

Chapter 9: A Bone That Cannot be Cracked - (view spoiler)

Chapter 10: Asuras - (view spoiler)

I have to laugh because much of my commentary is questions. There are so many questions that one just has to keep reading. And I have friends on their way to pick me up. So I must be quick.

Interlude IV: Sore and in Need of Comfort - OMG! (view spoiler)


message 16: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Chapter 11: Notes on the Subjugation of the Martially Superior Foe: (view spoiler)

Chapter 12: The Library - (view spoiler)

Chapter 13: Sing, Sing, Sing - (view spoiler)

Interlude V: Titan - (view spoiler)

Chapter 14: The Second Moon - (view spoiler)

Epilogue: So, What Ended Up Happening with Erwin? Oops, I've been spelling it wrong all along - one of the downfalls of audiobooks. (view spoiler)

I really enjoyed the book, and I hope others are going to join in on the conversation. There were 10 people who voted for the book. I think that those who enjoyed Neil Gaiman's American Gods will enjoy this book.


Sarah | 18222 comments Ooh! That's interesting Janice that you say anyone who enjoyed American Gods will like this. I loved American Gods! Good to see you liked the book. I see you rated it 4 stars. What took the extra star away?


message 18: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Sarah wrote: "Ooh! That's interesting Janice that you say anyone who enjoyed American Gods will like this. I loved American Gods! Good to see you liked the book. I see you rated it 4 stars. What took the extra s..."

Maybe I should rephrase that - they might like it, rather than they will like it. It's not a book that will appeal to everyone, yet the ratings are quite high for it. For one thing, it's very violent. Think Lord of the Flies on steroids. That may not be an accurate comparison but they both have leaderless children carving their own way.

There were parts that were confusing, and I had trouble envisioning some of the elements which is what kept me from giving it 5 stars.

In my review, I put down Sci-Fi and urban fantasy. I was really confused about what genre to assign it to. The author lists "fantasy, humour, & fiction" on his profile as being his genre. I'd be interested to hear what others consider this book's genre to be.

Will you be reading it this month, Sarah?


message 19: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Sarah, is there a reporting thread for July? I see June's is a sticky thread, but can't find one for July.


Sarah | 18222 comments I wasn't going to although I want to mainly because I can only buy it, not borrow it, and it's expensive. But you have me intrigued so I might treat myself :-)

I'll set up a reporting thread when I get home in a couple hours.


Sarah | 18222 comments Right, purchased it. :-)


Ollie (olliepoppet) | 73 comments This was a wild ride, and I enjoyed every minute of it...so much so that I finished the book in one sitting!

There was a lot to process, and reading back through Janice's spoilers helped a lot with that :). I interpreted a few events differently and missed/caught different things, which I think leads to my one and only complaint about the book:

The pacing was so tight that it led to confusion, a couple of weak spots in the plot, and a lot of loose ends. That said, the story was so gripping and the characters so vivid that I gave it 4 stars despite the problems.

It's hard to point out some of those problem places without having finished the whole thing, so consider these story wide spoilers:

(view spoiler)

I know such a longwinded critique makes it sound like I didn't enjoy the book, but I really did! It was time well spent, I'm glad to have read it, and I'll definitely follow this author's work now.

Random tangent: anyone else convinced that Barry O'Shea is Cthulhu? Or find themselves reminded of Fallout 4's opening scene by Carolyn's childhood memory of Adoption Day?


Cathie (catitude) | 915 comments Sarah wrote: "Right, purchased it. :-)"

Yay! :-)


Cathie (catitude) | 915 comments Brittany wrote:.."anyone else... find themselves reminded of Fallout 4's opening scene by Carolyn's childhood memory of Adoption Day?

I thought I was the only one that thought of that!


Cathie (catitude) | 915 comments Brittany wrote:.."anyone else... find themselves reminded of Fallout 4's opening scene by Carolyn's childhood memory of Adoption Day?

I thought I was the only one that thought of that!


message 26: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Brittany wrote: "This was a wild ride, and I enjoyed every minute of it...so much so that I finished the book in one sitting!

There was a lot to process, and reading back through Janice's spoilers helped a lot wi..."


I do agree with you about some of the loose ends. I think (view spoiler)

If Hawkins writes a sequel, will you read it? I'm thinking a sequel could (view spoiler)


Cathie (catitude) | 915 comments I love how so many have referred to this as a wild ride. I said the same thing! It's funny but I thought everything got wrapped up nicely. It amazing how we can all read the same book and have different opinions and different feelings about it :-).

My review from last year is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Janice, you did a smash up job of summarizing every chapter and I loved going along on your read and seeing your reactions!

I loved Steve's interactions with Naga!
(view spoiler)

I would totally be fangirl all over this again if it were made into a movie!


message 28: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Cathie wrote: "I would totally be fangirl all over this again if it were made into a movie!."

Any ideas of who you'd like to play the various characters?


Sarah | 18222 comments I am starting this book this evening. I will take it away with me on holiday on Saturday so I won't be able to post frequently my thoughts but I'll take a notepad and pen with me ;-) But I've got a couple days before then so I hope to get stuck in to it. I am very intrigued.


message 30: by Fee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fee | 232 comments Huh, what a strange book. I also started to read it yesterday and after two chapters, I have no clue what this story is about or what drives the characters. But i do like that the author leaves the reader in the dark. One can experience the story without expectations. These first chapters were kind of an unexpected and unusual reading experience.


message 31: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Fee wrote: "Huh, what a strange book. I also started to read it yesterday and after two chapters, I have no clue what this story is about or what drives the characters. But i do like that the author leaves the..."

Stick with it, Fee. At some point things start to connect. You'll have to post your first "aha" moment.


Teanka This book's biggest strength is its originality. It is indeed a 'wild ride'. My problem was that it was also excessively violent, and I don't think it was necessary to such extent. Because of that I didn't enjoy the story as much as I could have. (view spoiler)

I enjoyed the humour, both situational and the dialogues. I also liked the premise of 12 children being given different fields of expertise to study. (view spoiler)

All in all, I'm glad that I read it, but I probably wouldn't read the sequel, if there is going to be one, that is.


message 33: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments The book was very violent which may be a problem for many people. I don't mind dark and this was rather shocking (view spoiler)

Did you have a favourite character(s)? Who?


Teanka In the beginning, I liked Carolyn but she has lost my sympathy throughout the story. Therefore, I think I liked the secondary characters best, especially Dresden, and Naga too. I also thought Mrs. McGillicutty was very nice, the poor woman :). I enjoyed the scenes with Erwin best, though, so this probably means that he was my favourite character.

I usually don't mind dark, I've read quite a lot of 'grimdark' fantasy, for example.(view spoiler).


Sarah | 18222 comments You know what? I like the WTF, confusing start to this book. I think I'm going to like it.

I'm glad you brought up the "is this a book about books" question Janice. I'm very early in but these catalogues seem like a collection of books to me. l also feel that each of the librarians could be a book in themselves, each with a different life, focus and story to tell.

It's a shame you stumbled on a spoiler Janice. Do you think it impacted on your enjoyment of the book?

I read your chapter 1 spoiler but I don't think I've quite finished that chapter yet. Are each chapters also split in to smaller parts? number by romantic numerals?


Cherie (crobins0) | 20685 comments I got home last night after going without internet and GR for 6 days and started reading this thread. I bought this book on sale over a year ago and had forgotten that I had started reading it to get a feel for what it was going to be about. As soon as I saw some of the comments though, it all came back to me about how strange it was. I need to finish a library book that I started before I left and then I will be catching up!


message 37: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Teanka wrote: "In the beginning, I liked Carolyn but she has lost my sympathy throughout the story. Therefore, I think I liked the secondary characters best, especially Dresden, and Naga too. I also thought Mrs. ..."

I loved the lions as well, and I loved (view spoiler)

Re: Caroline - (view spoiler)


message 38: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Sarah wrote: "You know what? I like the WTF, confusing start to this book. I think I'm going to like it.

I'm glad you brought up the "is this a book about books" question Janice. I'm very early in but these ca..."


I rather like that idea of each child being a book in a series. Anne Rice did that with her vampire chronicles. She started off with a couple of books that included most of the vampires and then she did books that focused on each individual vampire.

I didn't really understand the spoiler. I just knew that it was significant and I kind of watched for it. I think it lessened the impact of the event. :(

Each chapter has a title. There are numbered sub-sections in several of the chapters. I was listening to the audiobook and downloaded a Kindle sample so that I could keep track of the chapters for discussion purposes. In the Kindle version, the sub-sections weren't itemized.


message 39: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Cherie wrote: "I got home last night after going without internet and GR for 6 days and started reading this thread. I bought this book on sale over a year ago and had forgotten that I had started reading it to g..."

We missed you Cherie. It seemed a little quiet around here while you were away. Hehehe!


Sarah | 18222 comments I've worked out that numbering in the chapters now. Thanks Janice.

chapter 1 (view spoiler)


Teanka Janice wrote: "In my review, I put down Sci-Fi and urban fantasy. I was really confused about what genre to assign it to. The author lists "fantasy, humour, & fiction" on his profile as being his genre. I'd be interested to hear what others consider this book's genre to be.."

As for the genre, Janice, I classified it as fantasy and horror. To me it's not sf since it's not scientific, so hopefully no chance of all that happening to us, haha.


message 42: by Debra (last edited Jul 08, 2016 12:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments The following spoilers are for the first 2 chapters. Sorry about omitting that!

(view spoiler)

(view spoiler)

(view spoiler)

(view spoiler)

Janice: Initially this doesn't seem like a book about books, but I think it will be become more apparent as we go along that it is. It's about the library and the knowledge each of the children is gaining from it. And probably a LOT more than that.


Sarah | 18222 comments What chapters do your spoilers refer to Debra? I wouldn't want a nasty surprise. Could you edit please to include chapter numbers. Thank you :-)


message 44: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Sarah wrote: "I've worked out that numbering in the chapters now. Thanks Janice...."

Any chapter starting "Interlude" is the back story. It goes back to the early years as librarians.

"Father" is what they call the man who owns the library and adopts them all. (safe not to put it in a spoiler as it's in the book blurb.)


message 45: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Teanka wrote: "As for the genre, Janice, I classified it as fantasy and horror. To me it's not sf since it's not scientific, so hopefully no chance of all that happening to us, haha. "

There were scientific aspects to it - some of the technology and principles that the librarians used were scientific. I took the definition of "Science fiction is largely based on writing entertainingly and rationally about alternate possibilities in settings that are contrary to known reality." on which to base my decision.

Fantasy is a sub-genre of science fiction. I tagged it as "urban fantasy" because my fantasy shelf is more epic or high fantasy and I wanted to differentiate it. I've come to the conclusion that most of us use our own connotations of genre - even publishers get confused. So I want my shelves to reflect my own connotations so that they make sense to me. That's why I didn't shelve it as horror, though I can see why people would.


message 46: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 51416 comments Debra's spoiler #1 is from Chapter 1.
I think the next 2 are from Chapters 2, possibly 3.
The last spoiler is a response to Sarah.


Cherie (crobins0) | 20685 comments Janice wrote: "We missed you Cherie. It seemed a little quiet around here while you were away. Hehehe! ..."

Thanks, Janice. ^-^

I am really anxious to get to this book!


Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments Sarah wrote: "What chapters do your spoilers refer to Debra? I wouldn't want a nasty surprise. Could you edit please to include chapter numbers. Thank you :-)"

I'll do that when I get home... I think only first 3 or so chapters. Sorry about that!


Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments Fixed my post. First 2 chapters.


Sarah | 18222 comments Thanks Debra :-)


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