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August 13, 2012

Southwest Book Club Meets August 21

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Join the Southwest Book Club to discuss the book, Unbroken: A World War ll Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand on Tuesday, August 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Hillenbrand, bestselling author of Seabiscuit tells the gripping true story of a U.S. airman who survived when his bomber crashed into the sea during World War II, spent forty-seven days adrift in the ocean before being rescued by the Japanese Navy, and was held as a prisoner until the end of the war.

Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend. The book club meets monthly at the Southwest Branch Library.

For more information, please call 407.835.7323 or email southwest (at) ocls.info.

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. Laura Hillenbrand gives us a moving story, one that brings to life the suffering and courage of not just one man but thousands, whose stories are untold. What is it about Hillenbrand's writing that saves her book from becoming mired in bathos and melodrama?

2. What do you admire most about Zamperini? What enables him to survive the plane crash and POW ordeal? Does he possess special strengths--personal or physical? Did his training in track, for instance, make a difference in his resilience?

3. Why, after World War II, did the medical profession fail to acknowledge Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? After all, this was the mid-20th century, and psychiatry was a fairly established discipline. Plus, the horrors of World War I were only one generation behind. What took so long?

4. Unbroken is a classic inspirational story, but it lies somewhat on the surface, offering little in the way of psychological depth. Do you wish there were more introspection in Zamperini's account? Or do you feel this story is rich enough as it is?

5. Readers and critics alike have described Unbroken as gripping, almost impossible to put down. Was that your experience as well? How do you account for the page-turning quality given the grim subject material? Also, would your reading experience have been different if you didn't know that Zamperini survived? (Or didn't you know the outcome?)

Discussion questions obtained at http://www.litlovers.com