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Happy Holidays!

Reader’s Advisory would like to wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday season.

The Library will be closed on Christmas Eve, Saturday December 24th, and Christmas Day, Sunday December 25th, as well as New Year’s Eve, Saturday December 31st, and New Year’s Day, Sunday January 1st.

We will be taking a short break from blogging over the holidays, but please join us again in the New Year!

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Book Club

The After Party – Morning Book Break and Books and Bagels – Dec. 2016

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Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break Book Discussions on In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder And Its Consequences by Truman Capote

Rating: In Books and Bagels, the book received ratings between 3.75 and 5.0. The average rating was 4.33.

In Morning Book Break, this book received a variety of scores between 1.0 and 4.5.  The average rating was 3.27.

Review: The nonfiction novel was selected as part of a two-month combination study, along with the historical fiction novel, The Swans of Fifth Avenue.  Following our group discussion, the members were asked to respond by giving their usual critique and also, respond to the following:

  • Did you find reading The Swans of Fifth Avenue prior to reading In Cold Blood profitable?
  • If members had previously read In Cold Blood, they were asked to compare and contrast their previous reading with this current reading.

Most members relayed that Truman Capote was indeed, a truly gifted writer.  Most members would not have selected this nonfiction true crime book, but they were happy that it was a book club selection. The discussion, as always, was dynamic, insightful, and elevated the individual reading of the book.

Discussion Highlights—both groups

  • Several members read In Cold Blood as teenagers and remember being quite frightened; however, rereading the books as adults, they found the text enlightening, interesting, and disturbing. Members felt over the course of their lifetimes, they have been desensitized to the portrayal of crimes. After all, today’s media constantly televises murder, terror, and violence.
  • Most members found Capote’s writing to be superb, but found the read to be very slow going. Reading all the details at times was cumbersome and boring.

Discussion Highlights—Books and Bagels

  • Most members found last month’s read, The Swans of Fifth Avenue to be a disappointing read, but found the information gleaned about Capote to be very useful in understanding Capote’s characterization of Perry Smith. Some members did not like the characterization of Truman Capote in The Swans of Fifth Avenue, but the information was useful.
  • There was much discussion about Dick and Perry’s senseless crime. Members searched for reasons the crime was committed. In Cold Blood was a psychological investigation into the minds of these cold-blooded killers. Truman Capote amazingly achieved sympathy and compassion for these murderers.
  • One member read the book straight though and found the story compelling and the writing masterful.
  • Several members believe that In Cold Blood was an excellent springboard leading to a discussion about capital punishment.
  • One member had read In Cold Blood in Esquire magazine in its original publication format, four installments. She commented that when she read it the first time, she did not realize the significance of the work.

Discussion Highlights—Morning Book Break

  • Several members thought In Cold Blood was disturbing, but were thrilled it was chosen as a book discussion read. They thought the work was ground-breaking for 1965.  The back and forth sections between the Clutters and the murders was innovative.
  • Several members were reminded of the Palatine Brown’s Chicken murders and the Richard Speck murders.
  • Overall, the group was not sympathetic to the killers.
  • Many members found the book moved too slowly, but all agreed Truman crafted well-developed characters and the readers felt transported to Holcomb, Kansas circa 1959.
  • Many members felt the book dragged, but thought reading the combination of the two books to be an excellent choice. This combination aided in the understanding of the author, his writing, and his exploration into Perry Smith’s character.
  • Several members have recommended The Swans of Fifth Avenue to their friends.
  • There was a fair amount of discussion surrounding the terminology: literary non-fiction, creative nonfiction, nonfiction novel, true crime book, violent fiction novel (as related to In Cold Blood).

Resources:

http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/14-non-fiction/476-in-cold-blood-capote?start=3


Parts 2-4 are also available on YouTube.

Films Available for Check-Out:

Read-a-Likes:

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Make Mine

Make Mine… a Gentle Read

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Those who are drawn to gentle reads are often looking for a good story with wholesome characters.  Relationships and character development are the important factors and the pace is usually slower.  These stories are not devoid of problems to solve or difficult situations to face, but the response is upbeat and constructive. Characters can be colorful, but generally maintain positive values.

If you think you would enjoy these vintage-feeling but eminently readable tales, the following authors tend to write in this genre:

Mitch Albom
Lynn Austin
Maeve Binchy
Olive Ann Burns
Elizabeth Cadell
Jennifer Chiaverini
Sandra Dallas
Barbara Delinsky
Harriet Doerr
Clyde Edgerton
Richard Paul Evans
Fannie Flagg
Benedict and Nancy Freedman
Ernest J. Gaines
Elizabeth Gaskell
Kaye Gibbons
Philip Gulley
Garrison Keillor
Sue Monk Kidd
Lorna Landvik
Alexander McCall Smith
Debbie Macomber
Annette Mahon
Charles Martin
Joan Medlicott
Rosamund Pilcher
James Michael Pratt
Jeanne Ray
Miss Read
Ann B. Ross
Rebeca Seitz
Nicholas Sparks
Mary Stewart
Adriana Trigiani
Nancy Turner
Rebecca Wells
Eudora Welty
P.G. Wodehouse
Make Mine

Make Mine…Romance

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The romance novel, in its familiar form, is a celebration of falling in love.  Generally the lovers will encounter obstacles along the way, but in the end, the problems have been solved, the struggles overcome, and there is a happy and satisfying ending.  There are many subgenres to romance, including contemporary, historical, and romantic suspense.  No matter what kind of love you like to read about, there is an author or novel out there for your tastes.

If you enjoy stories of people falling in love, the following authors tend to write in the romance genre:

Victoria Alexander
Mary Balogh
Jo Beverley
Robyn Carr
Loretta Chase
Marion Chesney
Jennifer Crusie
Janet Dailey
Suzanne Enoch
Anne Gracie
Irene Hannon
Robin Lee Hatcher
Dee Henderson
Georgette Heyer
Eloisa James
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Sophie Kinsella
Mindy Klasky
Lisa Kleypas
Jayne Ann Krentz
Stephanie Laurens
Johanna Lindsey
Debbie Macomber
Susan Mallery
Linda Lael Miller
Victoria Christopher Murray
Tracie Peterson
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Mary Jo Putney
Amanda Quick
Julia Quinn
Francis Ray
Sheila Roberts
LaVyrle Spencer
Danielle Steel
Kathleen Woodiwiss