Friday, July 21, 2017

"My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper explores the moral, practical and emotional complications of putting one human being in pain or in danger for the well being of another. Discuss the different kinds of ethical problems that Anna, as the "designer baby," presents in this story? Did your view change as the story progressed? Why or why not? Has this novel changed any of your opinions about other conflicts in bioethics like stem cell research or genetically manipulated offspring?

For more information about the author, check out:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"You Know When the Men Are Gone" by Siobhan Fallon

Many of the stories in this book are about the relationships between men and women.  How would these stories change if the protagonists were flipped? If, say, "Inside the Break" was told from Manny's point of view instead of Kailani's? Or if "Leave" followed Trish instead of Nick?

For more information about the author, Siobhan Fallon, check out:

For information about her first novel "Confusion of Languages" (release date: June 27, 2017), check out:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Defending Jacob" by William Landay

How much of a factor did Jacob's age play into your sympathies for him or lack thereof? If Jacob were 17, would you view him differently? What about if he was nine?

For further information about the author, check out:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey's book, issued in 1962, is nearly 50 years old. Are the thematic concerns of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest still relevant today, do they speak to the 21st century...or are they outdated?

For more information about Ken Kesey, check out:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd

Who is the queen bee in this story?

For further information about the author, check out:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"The Keeper of Lost Causes" by Jussi Adler-Olsen

"The Keeper of Lost Causes" is the first book in the Department Q series by Jussi Adler-Olsen.   In an interview, Adler-Olsen was asked the following:

A. I hate power abuse and injustice and in every one of my novels, I tell a version of power abuse and show ways in which you can break it. I am convinced that my readers do not just want to be entertained – of course, they also want that – but they also want to learn something and take something with them, which invites reflection. One reason why I chose to write criminal thrillers is that I thereby can touch upon every subject. Evil is a useful tool and when you describe the contrast between good and evil, you can send a message.

Is the author successful in doing this in "The Keeper of Lost Causes"?  Is there good and evil in many of the characters of the book, including the antagonist?

For more information about the author:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

"Labor Day" by Joyce Maynard

The novel is set at a time during which a number of transitions are taking place in the lives of the main characters. What transition if Henry going through? Adele? Frank? How is that feeling of transition echoed in the time period in which the story is framed (the end of summer and the beginning of the school year)?

For more information about the author, check out:

For interviews with the author about Labor Day:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica

After reading "The Good Girl", who do you feel was the true victim, or victims, and the true conspirator?  Have your opinions changed since beginning the novel, and if so, how?

For more information about the author, check out:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Faith" by Jennifer Haigh

How do you define faith? What does faith mean to each of the characters, especially the siblings - Art, Sheila and Mike?  Is this a good title for the novel?

For further information about Jennifer Haigh, check out:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Being There" by Jerzy Kosinski

"Being There" by Jerzy Kosinski was written in 1970 - a time with more limited television access and no social media (as we have today).  Is this book still relevant to our times, especially with people -- and the media -- transferring their own interpretations and opinions on public figures and politicians?

For information about Jerzy Kosinski, check out:

For interpretations of the book: