Library Moments: August 2013 Online Book Club

Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Hello, I’m Sherrill Sherwood from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.

Anyone can participate in Haliburton County Public Library’s Online Book Club, by choosing to read one or more of four books selected each month. The August theme is suspense. The titles chosen include non-fiction, young adult, a romantic thriller, and a murder mystery. Here to talk about the four titles are Bessie Sullivan and Amanda Wilk.

Under An Afghan SkyBessie Sullivan, County Librarian: The first book I read for this month’s online book club was Under an Afghan Sky by Mellissa Fung.  Fung is a CBC reporter who was kidnapped in Afghanistan while on assignment there.  Thankfully you know that she comes out of the experience alive or she wouldn’t have been able to write the book.  Mellissa spends 28 days in a tiny dirt hole underground in very close proximity to her captors.  What is truly compelling about the book is that as the reader you get a very clear sense of the fear, dirt, stench, and discomfort of the situation.  What is also fascinating is the relationship that Mellissa forms with her captors.  Really no more than children, the kidnappers are bumbling and disorganized and even through all her fear and discomfort she clearly has compassion for people living in a very difficult political climate feeling forced into desperate acts.

Amanda Wilk, Public Services Librarian: I read the young adult novel The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

The main character in the book is Todd, a boy on the cusp of adulthood, who is living on a planet thatThe Knife of Never Letting Go has been colonized by humans and renamed the New World.

A great deal has happened on the New World before the novel’s start. When humans arrived they were met with fierce opposition from the planet’s inhabitants, the Spackle. A violent war ensued, in which the Spackle released a virus, which killed every woman living on the planet. This virus also made it so that the thoughts of all the remaining men and animals could be heard aloud, at all times, by everyone.

On his birthday, Todd will take part in an induction ceremony during which he will become a man and a true part of his village. But when he makes a surprising discovery, he realizes that everything he ever thought he knew has been nothing but lies.

Written in first person from Todd’s perspective, The Knife of Never Letting Go is structured as if we were hearing his thoughts, and as a result is filled with spelling and grammatical errors. I didn’t find these errors to be distracting, and actually felt that they helped draw me into the grittiness of the story. The characters were all well written, however, I did feel that the novel’s villain was a bit too super human to be believable. This is a book I really enjoyed, and I in particular loved the parallels that could be easily drawn between the New World and our own.

Bangels fallessie: The second book I read was Angels Fall by Nora Roberts.  Reese Gilmore is a Chef in Boston and witnesses a horrific multi person shooting in her restaurant.  Understandably traumatized, she sells everything and begins to wander throughout the United States.  She arrives in a small town in Wyoming very low on resources and takes a job as a cook in a diner.  Just when Reese thinks there might be some stability coming back into her life, strange things start to happen making her question whether she will ever fully recover from the shooting or feel safe again.  What I enjoyed about this book was all the quirky characters that always make up a small town.  As a reader I really wanted things to work out for Reese as she had found such a warm welcome and of course a smoking hot love interest.

Amanda: I’ve also read The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver. The first in a series, it begins the story of thebonecollector_2Lincoln Rhyme, a brilliant criminologist whose injury has left him confined to a wheelchair that has made him become physically and emotionally shattered, and Amelia Sachs a police detective who becomes Rhyme eyes and ears on the scenes of crimes that have shaken the city of New York. I greatly enjoy Jeffrey Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series, and think it makes for great escapist reading.

However, I have recently read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes about another quadriplegic individual, and attended a number of events focused around the topic of the right to die, and they have left me wishing I had re-read The Bone Collector to see whether my opinion on the novel has changed.

Sherrill: To join the Online Book Club, visit our website at www.haliburtonlibrary.ca and follow the readers’ advisory link. That’s it for this week’s edition of Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.

* Originally aired on 100.9 Canoe FM from August 26th-September 2nd

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