September 15, 2011

WELCOME BACK DRAGONS!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:31 pm by Gale Carnevale

A big “thank you” to Colleen for putting our new read out there by Steve Berry-

I cannot wait to begin and share thoughts about the book!

Gloria

PS: you may see this under my pen name,Gale Carnevale

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November 10, 2009

A note on Dracula….

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:42 pm by Ms. Davis

So, I followed Summar’s suggestion and investigated Dracula: The Undead by Dacre Stoker. It was on audiobook at my public library, so I’ve been listening to it on my commute. It is awesome! Dacre Stoker is the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker, and has studied his handwritten notes. Already questions that we asked have been answered. For example, I understand why Renfield is so important!

If you have some time, I definitely recommend checking this book out if you enjoyed Dracula!

November 8, 2009

Next Stop: Mudbound – Finally!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:05 pm by Ms. Davis

A great time was had by all at our Friday morning meeting. We really had a lot to talk about – group consensus was that Dracula was more intriguing than we had all anticipated. I think we’re off to a great start!

For our next discussion, we decided to revisit a book we read at the end of last year: Mudbound by Hilary Jordan. We’ll meet before Thanksgiving break and pick a new book to start over break. If you haven’t read this yet – it won’t take you long to read. I couldn’t put it down. I will probably be re-reading it – I loved it so much the first time around!

Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas? Leave a comment!

October 19, 2009

Just checking in…..

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:08 am by Ms. Davis

Have you started? Where are you in the book? I am up to chapter 18. I never realized how much there was to this story!

One thing I find really interesting is the concept of gender roles.  Has anyone else noticed the parallels between Jonathan and Lucy?

What else have you discovered? When should we meet?

October 2, 2009

“Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!”

Posted in Dracula at 1:06 pm by Ms. Davis

Dracula it is! The voting was very close, but Dracula won in the end. Definitely appropriate for the Halloween season! If it’s ok with everyone, we’ll plan on reading Guernsey after this?

For those of you who are worried about the scariness of it, I started listening to it the other day, and it really is not gory (so far, anyway).  Elizabeth Miller, an expert on Dracula, says on the Infinite Summer: Dracula Blog:

“I have a word of advice for the first-time visitor to this unusual novel: leave all your preconceptions and misconceptions outside the castle door. Forget the tacky movies, forget “I vant to suck your blooood” (a line that does not appear in the book), forget the Count on Sesame Street, forget Anne Rice, forget Twilight. And above all, forget Vlad the Impaler!”

So, I encourage you to give the book a try. Just like I tell my students, if you don’t like it, you can always close the book.

And one more thing! Since Dracula is a relatively old novel, it is no longer under copyright. What does that mean for you? If you don’t want to read it in the traditional manner, you could read the book online through Google Books or Project Gutenburg. Also, you can get a free audio version through iTunes – just search for Dracula under podcasts. If you need any help, let me know!   

Can we plan on getting started by next weekend? Leave a comment and let me know!

September 29, 2009

Time to choose!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:24 am by Ms. Davis

Our two choices for our next book will be Dracula or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Here’s are quick links to info about each:

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Dracula:  This link is to another online book club that we can follow along with as we read – if you want.

Vote below! (or send me a quick email to let me know which you prefer!)

August 7, 2009

Start thinking…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:49 am by Ms. Davis

… about books for our faculty book club for this year! I feel totally rotten that we never got to discuss Mudblood. It is one of my favorites!

Have you been reading this summer? Let us know what!

April 14, 2009

Loving Frank: Discussion Questions

Posted in Loving Frank at 6:50 pm by Ms. Davis

Here are some discussion questions from readinggroupguides.com. (I think they are in the back of the book, too.)

1. Do you think that Mamah is right to leave her husband and children in order to pursue her personal growth and the relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright? Is she being selfish to put her own happiness and fulfillment first?

2. Why do you think the author, Nancy Horan, gave her novel the title Loving Frank? Does this title work against the feminist message of the novel? Is there a feminist message?

3. Do you think that a woman today who made the choices that Mamah makes would receive a more sympathetic or understanding hearing from the media and the general public?

4. If Mamah were alive today, would she be satisfied with the progress women have achieved or would she believe there was still a long way to go?

5. In Sonnet 116, Shakespeare writes, “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/Admit impediments. Love is not love/That alters where it alteration finds. ..” How does the relationship of Mamah and Frank bear out the sentiments of Shakespeare’s sonnet? What other famous love matches fill the bill?

6. Is Mamah’s story relevant to the women of today?

7. Is Frank Lloyd Wright an admirable figure in this novel? Would it change your opinion of him to know that he married twice more in his life?

8. What about Edwin Cheney, Mamah’s husband? Did he behave as you might have expected after learning of the affair between his wife and Wright?

9. Edwin’s philosophy of life and love might be summed up in the following words from the novel: “Tell her happiness is just practice. If she acted happy, she would be happy.” Do you agree or disagree with this philosophy?

10. “Carved over Wright’s fireplace in his Oak Park home are the words “Life is Truth.” What do you think these words mean, and do Frank and Mamah live up to them?

11. Why do you think Horan chose to give her novel the epigraph from Goethe, “One lives but once in the world.”?

12. When Mamah confesses her affair to her friend Mattie, Mattie demands, “What about duty? What about honor?” Discuss some of the different meanings that characters in the novel attach to these two words.

13. In analyzing the failure of the women’s movement to make more progress, Mamah says, “Yet women are part of the problem. We plan dinner parties and make flowers out of crepe paper. Too many of us make small lives for ourselves.” Was this a valid criticism at the time, and is it one today?

14. Why does seeing a performance of the opera Mefistofele affect Mamah so strongly?

15. Why is Mamah’s friendship with Else Lasker Schuler important in the book?

16. Ellen Key, the Swedish feminist whose work so profoundly influences Mamah, states at one point, “The very legitimate right of a free love can never be acceptable if it is enjoyed at the expense of maternal love.” Do you agree?

17. Another of Ellen Key’s beliefs was that motherhood should be recompensed by the state. Do you think an idea like this could ever catch on in America? Why or why not?

18. Is there anything that Frank and Mamah could have done differently after their return to America that would have ameliorated the harsh welcome they received from the press? Have things changed very much in that regard today?

19. What part did racism play in Julian Carlton’s crime? Were his actions the product of pure insanity, or was he goaded into violence?

April 8, 2009

Happy Spring Break!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:12 pm by Ms. Davis

How is everyone doing with Loving Frank? I am ready to set up a meeting whenever you want.

If you are done, I have another suggestion: I just read Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. When I say “I have just read…” what I mean is that I have spent the entire night reading this entire novel – 324 pages – in pretty much one sitting. It’s after midnight! I am devastated and floored by this powerful story. If you are looking for something to read, I highly recommend you pick this book up. Be forwarned, though: it is heart-wrenching in so many ways.

Leave a comment and let me know if you would like to meet on Friday the week we get back. 🙂

March 23, 2009

Loving Frank

Posted in Loving Frank at 8:22 pm by Ms. Davis

So? How’s it going? When should we meet again? Leave a comment and let me know. 🙂

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