Posts Tagged ‘book discussion’

Catching Fire: Open Thread

September 2, 2009 @ 6:17 pm | Filed under:

catchingfire Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, the sequel to The Hunger Games.

I don’t care if this book got a zillion volts of buzz. I loved it anyway.


What I thought before reading  The Hunger Games, upon hearing the premise (dystopic society sends lottery-selected teenagers to horrific danger dome where they must battle to the death on compulsory national television): Really? Sounds sick, twisted, so grim, so brutal…and it’s YA? Really??

What I thought after reading The Hunger Games: BRILLIANT. Compelling, sensitive, deeply thought-provoking, not gratuitiously violent—necessarily violent, filled with believable, complex, imperfect characters, and totally, totally relevant.

What I thought after reading Catching Fire: this series is going to turn out to be one of the most important (and again, relevant) of the decade. And I don’t mean YA series: I mean one of the most important book series, period. Because on top of being incredibly gripping, chew-your-nails-off storytelling about characters you will never, ever forget (Haymitch!), these books explore the dangerous possibilities of a government that manipulates the media and erases civil liberties. And the power of reality television to alter people’s actions—and to influence public opinion. And the power of public opinion to alter people’s actions. And the compromises people will make in the name of security. And the paralytic effect of loss of privacy. Suzanne Collins has tackled (is tackling: the story is far from over) some of the thorniest issues we are facing here in the early days of the 21st century.

I’m not going to say anything about the plot of Catching Fire. Better to experience it as it unfolds, page by breath-stealing page.

Read it? Let’s talk in the comments.

Haven’t read it? Do! (Read Hunger Games first.) (And beware— spoilers are inevitable in any discussion of this book. I have been sitting on my fingers for months—thank goodness for Scott and Jane to talk it over with in person.)

The Actor & the Housewife: Open Thread

July 5, 2009 @ 6:21 pm | Filed under:

actorhousewifeI know not many of you have had a chance to read it yet, but I’ve had a couple of requests for discussion of this book, so I’ll go ahead and open a post for it now. Chime in when you can!

Here’s my post about it.

You can read the first chapter at author Shannon Hale’s website.

WARNING: There will very likely be spoilers in the comments below, since it’s difficult to discuss any book without discussing its plot. That’s why I’d rather do most of my book-talking in the comments rather than in a post. These open threads are an attempt at a compromise between my oh-I-just-read-this-and-am-dying-to-talk-about-it urges and my deep abhorrence of plot spoilers. Read on at your own risk.

Guernsey Literary Society Open Thread

June 26, 2009 @ 8:11 am | Filed under:

Why didn’t I think of this before?

guernsey The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows. Have you read it? Let’s discuss!

If you haven’t read it yet, be warned: there may be plot spoilers in the comments below. Hurry up and read it so you can come chat with us here!

All those marvelous personalities. Who was your favorite?