Monday, September 11, 2017

September Book is Wonder by R.J. Palacio


Over 6 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller WONDER and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. 

The book that inspired the Choose Kind movement.

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. 

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

July Book is The Expanse Between by Greendale Resident Lee Krecklow

Lee L. Krecklow is the author of the novel "The Expanse Between" (2017, Winter Goose Publishing). He won the 2016 storySouth Million Writers Award for his story "The Son of Summer and Eli." His other shorts have recently appeared in Eclectica, Oxford Magazine, Gravel, Midwestern Gothic, and Storychord. Before turning his attention to literature, he earned a bachelor's degree in film studies, and produced and directed two short films.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The June book is The Boys in the Boat

It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.

Our special Village guest is Jennarose Murdaugh, the daughter of Joe Rantz. She will be facilitating the book discussion. 

Thursday, June 29th at 10am in the Community Meeting Room. Registration is required. Please call the library at 414-423-2136.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Discussion Questions

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

Best-selling guide and companion book to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.
Which one of Marie Kondo’s tips do you think would be most helpful for you?
 Did you get rid of stuff after reading the books?
Which tip did you think was the most ridiculous?

Is there anything particularly difficult for you to get rid of?

Do you hold onto things because you feel guilty?

What do you think of her idea of an item ‘sparking joy’?

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy are bestselling books. Why do you think people are resonating so much with these titles?

 Do you think having less clutter can bring you happiness? Is there comfort in clutter?

Why do you think you have clutter?

 Did you notice any cultural differences between Japan and the USA in the books?

 Why do you think THESE books on de-cluttering is such a success over others?

Were these books life-changing for you?

May Greendale Community Reads

May books are The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and its companion book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up both written by Marie Kondo. 
Participants do not need to read both books.

Meetup is May 25th at 6:00pm.            
Registration is required.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Discussion Questions for Daisy Miller


Discussion Questions
1. Henry James is as much an international writer as an American. Shortly before his death he became a British citizen in protest of America's unwillingness to come to the defense of Britain and France in the early years of World War I. He spent much of his adult life abroad, observing Europeans, Americans in Europe, and what he called "Europeanized Americans," those who had lived for so long in Europe that they had taken on many—although not all—European traits and values. Many of Henry James's novels and stories depict these three types of characters in interplay. How does James explore the American-versus-European theme in Daisy Miller? What are some of the ways that the Millers differ from Winterbourne, his aunt, and Mrs. Walker?

2. Henry James was always interested in children and young adults, and Daisy Miller is one of his most successful creations. She is more vibrant than sophisticated, "a child of nature and of freedom," as James describes her. Some have argued that her plain name (the unpretentious flower, the common profession) symbolizes her simplicity. Do you agree with this? Why does Daisy Miller make a full-blooded protagonist? Is Daisy Miller an innocent, unaffected young woman? Are there hints of her self-awareness? Does she demonstrate a desire to manipulate others?

3. In discussing the origins of the novella in his Preface to the New York Edition, Henry James tells of hearing the story of an innocent but eager American girl who has recently visited Italy and "picked up" a Roman of vague identity. What in this secondhand anecdote do you think appealed to James, inspiring him to, as he put it, "dramatise, dramatise!" Does James do more than dramatize? Does he moralize?

4. James describes Winterbourne, an American who resides in Geneva, as having "an old attachment for the little capital of Calvinism." When James introduces him, Winterbourne is in a hotel lobby in Vevey while he waits for his aunt, who is upstairs. Essentially, however, he is waiting for something else. How would you describe Winterbourne and why do you think he is susceptible to Daisy's charms? Is he an honest man? How does his surname fit into James's scheme of identifying characters?

5. Does James present Giovanelli as a complicated, fully imagined character, or is Giovanelli merely the proverbial mysterious stranger? Does James explore Giovanelli's subtleties with as much insight as he applies to Daisy and Winterbourne? What attracts Daisy to Giovanelli? Is this attraction plausible? Why at the end of the novel does he say, "If she had lived I should have got nothing. She never would have married me."

6. What do you make of Daisy's fate? Why do you think James set the novel's tragic event in the Colosseum?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April Book is Daisy Miller by Henry James

Daisy Miller is a novella by Henry James that first appeared in Cornhill Magazine in June–July 1878, and in book form the following year.[1] It portrays the courtship of the beautiful American girl Daisy Miller by Winterbourne, a sophisticated compatriot of hers. His pursuit of her is hampered by her own flirtatiousness, which is frowned upon by the other expatriates when they meet in Switzerland and Italy.

Henry James, OM (15 April 1843 – 28 February 1916) was an American-born British writer. He is regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr. and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.

He is best known for a number of novels showing Americans encountering Europe and Europeans. His method of writing from a character's point of view allowed him to explore issues related to consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators brought a new depth to narrative fiction.

James contributed significantly to literary criticism, particularly in his insistence that writers be allowed the greatest possible freedom in presenting their view of the world. James claimed that a text must first and foremost be realistic and contain a representation of life that is recognizable to its readers. Good novels, to James, show life in action and are, most importantly, interesting.

In addition to his voluminous works of fiction he published articles and books of travel, biography, autobiography, and criticism, and wrote plays. James alternated between America and Europe for the first twenty years of his life; eventually he settled in England, becoming a British subject in 1915, one year before his death. James was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911, 1912, and 1916.