New Providence Memorial Library's Online Reading Group discussion

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Libraries Rock 2018 > Libraries Rock - Week 2

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message 1: by New Providence (last edited Jul 02, 2018 10:11AM) (new)

New Providence (npml) | 302 comments Mod
Is there a book that you’d like to recommend that doesn’t have a straightforward title? What is it referring to?

Personally, I enjoyed reading “Beginner’s Greek” by James Collins (which is sometimes described as an Austen-like comedy of manners, and sometimes as “male” chick lit). Holly and Peter, strangers seated next to each other during a cross-country flight, bond over a discussion of The Magic Mountain, which Holly is reading, and it’s love at first sight. But Peter soon loses Holly’s phone number and any way of finding her.
Beginner's Greek by James Collins
Much later in the book, at a dinner party in New York, Peter recites the poem that the title refers to, Beginner’s Greek by James Merrill.

In his review of Beginner’s Greek for the New York Times, James Kaplan explains: [The] “poem speaks of the necessity of putting aside analysis, of leaping into passion. In his “Beginner’s Greek,” James Collins lays down a similar challenge: one’s willingness to suspend disbelief, tested frequently throughout the novel, depends on the daring of one’s own romantic nature, the courage to accept the possibility of happiness. Believe just a little bit, and he’s got you.”

So – this book is not for cynics. People seem to either love it or hate it, but I loved it.

If you comment by the evening of Sunday, July 8, you will be entered in the drawing on Monday, July 9, for a gift certificate donated by Prestige Diner, one of NPML's Adult Summer Reading Sponsors.


message 2: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn | 143 comments Most of my more current book titles were 'spot on' with what they were about: "The Song of Achilles" and "The Paris Architect" come to mind. However, I did read "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah and I had no clue what that was about until I read a short description - living in remote part of Alaska. I enjoyed it but that could have been because I spent a week in Alaska and enjoyed talking to people who lived 'off the grid'. It was a bit slow at parts but that was during the long, slow, cold winter.


message 3: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn | 143 comments Oh...just thought of another book - that really IMHO has two meanings:
"Alternate Side" by Ana Quindlen.
Alternate side parking in Manhattan OR...it could be alternate views.


And..."Every Note Played" by Lisa Genova (very good!) A novel about a man living with ALS.


message 4: by Sangeeta (new)

Sangeeta | 156 comments Earlier this year i listened to Louise Erdrich's latest novel: "Future Home of the Living God."

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

Here’s (a shortened) Goodreads summary: “The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Twenty-six-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is four months pregnant. Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. … Society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity. There are rumors of martial law, of confinement of pregnant women, a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe. A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology.”
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(Me now): the Title of the book is revealed very early in the story, on a huge billboard on an abandoned and depleted lot that the protagonist sees as she is moving through this changing world. But its meaning doesn’t become clear until gradually throughout, as devastating events start to occur.

The irony of the title, that we see later, is that this looming forsaken, damaged world was viewed by some of the characters as a coming utopia. And this segment, by promoting those ideals, were hastening its arrival. But there could be a dual (opposite) meaning to the title, which there was still time for. There is hope at the end of the novel, so the future home of the living god could be the community that they (the “good” side) still could create through garnering positive forces and rebelling against the system being established.


message 5: by Judy (new)

Judy | 28 comments I would have to say "The Headmaster's Wife" is a title that could fall into this category. For the first half of the book, I didn't understand why it had that title, then "WHOA" now I see!!! Don't want to spoiler alert this for anyone that hasn't read it.


message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol Hance (bijou324) | 11 comments Judy, There are several books with that title. Who is the author of the one you are referring to?

Thanks, Carol


message 7: by New Providence (new)

New Providence (npml) | 302 comments Mod
How did you like the Song of Achilles? I just started it and so far so good...


message 8: by New Providence (new)

New Providence (npml) | 302 comments Mod
I just finished Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress mostly b/c of the title....when you read the book it makes perfect sense and is descriptive but I've been shelving it for years and couldn't fathom how that all came together..


message 9: by Judy (new)

Judy | 28 comments Carole, The author of The Headmaster's Wife" is Thomas Christopher Greene.


message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol Hance (bijou324) | 11 comments Judy wrote: "Carole, The author of The Headmaster's Wife" is Thomas Christopher Greene."

Thank you Judy


message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol Hance (bijou324) | 11 comments Thank you Judy.


message 12: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn | 143 comments New Providence wrote: "How did you like the Song of Achilles? I just started it and so far so good..."

I liked it very much. Narrator was very good too. Enjoyed it. Am now listening to "Circe" and while only just started it, I like it too.


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