November 15, 2016

Southwest Book Club Meets November 22

circlingthesun.jpg

Join the Southwest Book Club to discuss this month's selections, Circling the Sun by Paula McLain and the nonfiction alternative West with the Night by Beryl Markham. Historic fiction set in 1920's Africa; McLain (A Paris Wife) reveals the extraordinary adventures of Beryl Markham, a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit. Attendees may choose to read the alternate nonfiction title West with the Night. Beryl Markham's autobiography of growing up in Africa, training and breeding race horses, flying mail to Sudan, and being the first woman to fly the Atlantic, east to west.

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.

Southwest Branch Library
Tuesday, November 22
7:00 p.m.

If you are unable to attend the meeting and 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. Why do you believe the author chose the title Circling the Sun? Does it bring to mind a particular moment from the novel or an aspect of Beryl's character?

2. At the beginning of the book, Beryl reflects that her father's farm in Njoro was "the one place in the world I'd been made for." Do you feel this is a fitting way to describe Beryl's relationship with Kenya, too? Did she seem more suited-more made for-life there than the others in her circle? Is there a place in your life that you would describe the same way?

3. How would you describe Beryl and Denys's relationship? In what ways are they similar souls? How does their first encounter-outside, under the stars at her coming out party-encapsulate the nature of their connection?

4. After Paddy the lion attacks Beryl, Bishon Singh says, "Perhaps you were never meant for him." Do you think that Beryl truly discovered what she was meant for by the end of the novel?

Discussion questions obtained at litlovers.com

October 21, 2016

Southwest Book Club Meets October 25

water is wide.jpg Join the Southwest Book Club to discuss this month's selection, The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy. Based on the late author's experiences in 1969 when he accepted a teaching position on run-down Daufuskie Island (referred to as Yamacraw Island in the book) off the coast of South Carolina. Most of the island's residents descended from slaves and lived in terrible poverty. Conroy was charged with educating a group of adolescents who could barely read or count and had little-to-no knowledge of the external world.

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.

Southwest Branch Library
Tuesday, October 25
7:00 p.m.

If you are unable to attend the meeting and 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. How might Pat Conroy have handled the conflict with Bennington and Piedmont differently? In what ways was the outcome a foregone conclusion?

2. Conroy uses some unorthodox teaching methods with his students. Are they effective? Why or why not? How would they work today in our educational culture of testing and accountability?

3. Why is it so important to Conroy that the children see and experience the outside world? If you were to design a field trip for them, where would you take them and why?

4. Trace the evolution of Conroy's racial views and attitudes throughout the book. What are key events in that evolution?

Discussion questions obtained from litlovers.com