Snow Child – Characters

Thankfully (well at least for me) there aren’t very many characters in the novel.

mistery-character[1]I don’t normally focus on a favorite character in my posts, but I did have one and will share it with you if you share yours with me.  I don’t think it’s fair to, even though you do come here to hear my musings and opinions ( no?), force my opinions on you as you read.  I do hope that you come away with your own opinions!

Although as I write this it does make me wonder about authors.  Let’s start today’s discussion about authors and their characters.

Do you ever feel manipulated by an authors rendering of a character – forcing you to like or dislike them?  Can an author avoid hoisting their opinion of a character on the reader?  Does the act of creating a character force the author to try to feel a certain way about a character?  Does it necessarily follow that in order to create a story he/she must persuade you to like, dislike, sympathize with, etc.characters to create a plausible narrative?

Now back to The Snow Child.  Was there a character that spoke to you above all others?  Did you have a favorite?  There were characters that we met but didn’t find out much about and others that were more well rounded regarding their history.  In the end I felt we learned the most about Mable.  Do you agree?  Was there a character you wanted to see more of?  One that you could have done without?

I have led in person discussions about The Snow Child and a few members mentioned Faina and the mystery surrounding her appearance and her ability to remain alone in the cold Alaska woods even as a child.  We do find out a little about her father – possibly Russian (coincidence that the novel is based on a Russian folk tale), died because of or aided by alcohol consumption, and her mother likely died during childbirth.  Did you want more?  Would that have added to or detracted from the narrative? Even though this novel truly needed the reader to suspend disbelief a few readers had difficulty accepting the possibility that Faina could have managed on her own.  Did you face the same issue?  Would you prefer more reality based fiction or are you up to the challenge of the fairy tale?  I was a big fairy tale reader as a child.  Do we lose the ability to lose reality as we grow up?

I’d love to hear from you!

Lean In – Controversy?

Just a gentle reminder to come in a pick up your copy so you can get started reading Lean In. If there isn’t a copy available ask a Reference Librarian to get one for you.

Now back to my regularly scheduled post!

staff-fighting-3-bw-web[1]I thought you might want to read some of the bantering back and forth that has been occurring since the publication of Lean In.

An attack on Sheryl Sandberg and her Lean In manifesto from the New York Times? A Titan’s How-To On Breaking the Glass Ceiling by Jodi Kantor. “Ms. Sandberg “does what too many successful women before her have done: blaming other women for not trying hard enough,” wrote Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, a consultant who works with companies to improve their gender balance, after watching a video of Ms. Sandberg speaking on the topic at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. “Every resistant man on the planet will be able to quote her” saying that women simply must become more ambitious, Ms. Cox continued. (Ms. Sandberg writes that she focuses on internal barriers because the external ones get more attention.)”

The response from The New Yorker on March 4, 2013  “Maybe You Should Read the Book: The sheryl Sandberg Backlash” by Anna Holmes. “Kantor’s piece, which detailed Sandberg’s plans in a tone of subtle disdain, was notable less for what it did say than what it didn’t.”

I would like you to think about the concept of these articles before you begin (or right now if you’ve already begun the book.)

Thoughts from the PepsiCo CEO:

Can women have it all?  

Come on now you know you have an opinion.


A Quick Thought and Then Back to the Book!

bulldog wearing eyeglasses sleeping over a good novelHave you ever begun a book that received great reviews and been befuddled as to why?

Was it the book?

Was it you?

I was just conversing with a couple of colleagues and we were talking about books (shocking I know).  Two of us are reading the same novel and loving it and the other librarian began the book and decided she just wasn’t in the mood for this type of book and stopped reading. Similarly, I was reading a book that received glowing reviews in the blogosphere and I got about half way through and wasn’t engaged so I stopped reading.

I think that in both instances it wasn’t the book that failed to engage the reader it was the reader that failed to engage with the book.

Burial Rites was not the book I bagged.  I actually love it, I just thought I'd share my picture with you.

Burial Rites was not the book I bagged. I actually love it, I just thought I’d share my picture with you.

What do you think?

Additionally, if you have ever bagged a book because it just wasn’t the right time did you

ever give it a second chance?

Most of what makes a book ‘good’ is that we are reading it at the right moment for

us.” (Alain de Botton)

A Question for You.

book questionMy last post was an answer to a question posed about how I go about choosing the books for our discussion.  Now I have a question for all of you.  What would you like to see as a future selection?

I am open to all types of books: novels, mystery, non-fiction, biography.  I have even read some really terrific young adult books that would make for a good discussion.

I’ll be announcing our next selection within a few days, but I would love to hear from all of you regarding our future books. Have you read a “wow” book that you want to discuss?  Please share. It needn’t be a newer book – actually an older book would make it easier to accumulate enough copies for everyone.