Monday, April 30, 2012

Off The Shelf




This week's guest blogger is Book Chat member, Deborah Rickard

The last Wednesday of almost every month, the Book Chat Group meets at 1 pm in the Lawson Room, for about an hour. This year, as the newsletter indicates, we are reading a variety of classics. For April, we have just finished The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbech. Almost everyone knows about this book, but some of the group members had never read this classic and/or have never seen the movie version (which reportedly closely follows the story line of the book).

Part of our group discussion centered around questions from a study guide as well as similarities of life styles in the ‘30s and now. Again today, jobs are scarce, homes are lost and people are displaced. College students starting off often are facing huge student loans and no employment or low wages in their chosen field. Hence, they struggle just as the displaced people in Steinbech’s book.

We also briefly looked at a map of the USA to get a sense of the geography of where the journey took place. Many of the places mentioned in the book were easily found on the map.

Most of the group enjoyed this book and Steinbeck’s style of writing. The first one hundred pages are descriptive and may be slow reading for some people. Steinbeck has devoted several pages to a chapter to describe such things as a turtle moving along or how terrible the climate was during the drought.

In addition to the group discussion, each month we spend a little time discussing other books that we are currently reading. The members are willing to share comments of so many different authors of both fiction and non-fiction. This sharing is such an enjoyable part of our meeting.

We check out the next book selection after the Book Chat, so there is ample opportunity to read it through leisurely, or in a rush if the month flies by! The next book is Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. Yes, he wrote The Pillars of the Earth (also a TV miniseries), but this book is a different genre.

If you can, join us next time for a lively discussion and a cup of tea. Stop in and ask for the Book Chat selection for May at the library desk. Even if you can’t read every page, you are welcome to join us! Hope to see you in May!