November 25, 2014

Photo Gallery: Tai Chi at Southwest

Amid the beautiful Southwest Library landscape, Al Aki, instructor taught participants the basics of Tai Chi walking. Program was held on Saturday, November 8. #weekofthefamily

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November 24, 2014

Photo Gallery: Charles Dickens Visits the Southwest Book Club

On October 21, several people attending the Southwest Book Club took opportunity to question Mr. Dickens* about his life and books following a reading from his masterpiece novel, A Tale of Two Cities.
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*Actor Jay Becker from Mad Cow Theatre played Dickens.

dickens_visits_southwest book club_4.JPG To learn more about Mad Cow Theatre, go to http://www.madcowtheatre.com. For more information on What the Dickens celebration, visit: http://www.whatthedickensorlando.com #whatthedickens #Dickens

November 15, 2014

Southwest Book Club Meets November 18

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Join the Southwest Book Club this month to discuss current bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Over the years, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the underworld of art.

Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend. The book club meets monthly at the Southwest Branch Library. No registration needed. For more information, please call 407.835.7323 or email southwest@ocls.info.

Tuesday, November 18
7:00 p.m.
Southwest Library Meeting Room

Discussion Questions
If you are unable to attend the meeting or you would like to join our discussion, you can share your thoughts or respond to the discussion questions below. Simply click "Comments" located at the bottom of this post. Join the discussion!

1. Donna Tartt has said the Goldfinch painting was the "guiding spirit" of the book. How so--what do you think she meant? What--or what all--does the painting represent in the novel?

2. Tartt has said that "reading's no good unless it's fun."
"The one quality I look for in books (and it's very hard to find), but I love that childhood quality of gleeful, greedy reading, can't-get-enough-of-it, what's-happening-to-these-people, the breathless kind of turning of the pages. That's what I want in a book." In other words, a good book should propel readers from page to page, in part because they care about the characters. Has Tartt accomplished that in The Goldfinch? Did you find yourself rapidly turning the pages to find out what happens to the characters? Does the story engage you? And do you care about the characters? If so, which ones?

3. Tartt asks us to consider whether or not our world is orderly, whether events follow a pattern (which could indicate an underlying meaning), or whether everything that happens is simply random--like the explosion that killed Theo's mother. What does Theo's father believe...and what does Theo believe? Do Theo's views change by the end of the story?

4. The book also ponders beauty and art. Why is art so important to the human soul? What are its consolations...and what are its dangers? In what ways can we allow ourselves to be trapped by art or beauty? And HOW does this relate to the Goldfinch, the painting at the heart of this story-- a painting of a bird chained to its perch and a painting that Theo clings to for 14 years.

5. If you were to cut portions of the book, where would you make those cuts?

Questions obtained from litlovers.com