Author Archives: mjain46

Minutes from the March 14, 2016 Meeting

Click HERE to view the minutes on Literary Graphic Novels. Thanks Stefanie for taking them and thanks Robin Brenner for coming to the meeting!

Minutes from January 25th meeting

Great conversation at the Medway Public Library about International Literary Fiction!

Our Benchmark was “The 100 Year Old Man Who Went out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson.

Our observations about International Literary Fiction in general:

  • Patrons like to see a worldview other than their own
  • Sometimes has a different tone and perspective than US based literature
  • Voice, Plot, Pacing can be very different and intriguing
  • Good Translation can make or break the book
  • There might be a distinct difference between European literature and other nationalities
  • Allows one to be an “armchair” traveler
  • For fiction readers, is great way to learn about another culture

Our observations about “The 100 Year Old Man Who Went out the Window and Disappeared”:

  • Funny and Funky
  • More Plot, less characterization
  • Writing can be both charming and jarring – maybe a function of the translation
  • Can be likened to Forrest Gump but very different from the innocence of that book
  • Lighter, less intense than most Scandinavian books
  • Place is important, plot is based on place
  • Can be likened to an “Indiana Jones” type of adventure
  • Definitely a “road trip” book – both through place and history
  • Fast paced
  • Would definitely recommend to men, senior citizens, book groups, etc.
  • Well constructed, good translation (we think!)
  • Always surprising

 

Minutes from the November 9th, 2015 Meeting

Click HERE to view Louise’s awesome and comprehensive notes from our last meeting!

Minutes from the March 9, 2015 Meeting

Another great discussion on March 3rd at the Bacon Free Library about Suspense/Thrillers.

Our Benchmark was “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn. Our observations about Suspense/Thrillers in general:

  • Pacing is very different from other genres
  • Nothing is what it seems
  • Main character is not usually in danger
  • “Page Turners”
  • Question is often “Why was it done” vs. “Who dun it”
  • Difference between psychological suspense vs. true thriller seems to be in the pacing
  • Suspense = character driven, Thriller = plot driven

Our observations about “Dark Places”:

  • Psychologically damaged characters
  • Not particularly likeable or sympathetic characters
  • This book hooked readers immediately
  • There were different perspectives, 1st person in the present and 3rd person flashbacks, which was confusing for some
  • Story was “unrelentingly bleak”
  • Discussion on why patrons would read these types of stories regularly or exclusively:
    • To experience something horrific without it happening to you
    • To try to understand the psychology of the characters
    • Hope that characters will learn and grow

Minutes from January 12th Meeting

Thank you, Margaret Perkins, for hosting our Jan. 12th meeting at the Medway Public Library! We had 14 attendees and a lively discussion. If you have not done so, please introduce yourself and submit your 2nd title.

“Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death” by M.C. Beaton
Cozy Mystery Genre

  • General Characteristics: Not very scary, often filled with “tropes” and person who is murdered is usually “jerky” – Laura B.
  • Sentence Structure is sharp, shorter, easy to read and fun – Stefanie
  • Wit is gentle humor – Louise
  • We agreed that the characterizations are the most important aspect of a cozy mystery with setting a close second. Plot can be a bit see-through.
  • We also agreed that there is a certain comfort in reading cozy mystery series in that we enjoy seeing where the characters go. If they do not grow, we might abandon a series

Our observations about Agatha Raisin:

  • She was an outsider and was fiesty
  • There was little dialect in the story so easier to read
  • Town played as a character. Most of us enjoyed the descriptions as they created a strong sense of place. Town was insular
  • Agatha herself was viewed as annoying, amusing, lonely. Some of us really liked her but most didn’t warm up to her. There was a question of if she grew in later books. Mary, who’s read most of the series, stated that Agatha did not change over the course of the series very much.
  • We enjoyed some of the secondary characters, esp. Roy, and some of the humor – old couple, ladies group

Minutes from Nov. 10th Meeting

15 attendees
Meet every two months, sites for January and May set. Second Monday of the month. Meena, Louise, Laura and Stefanie will co-lead moving forward.
Police procedural:
Harry Bosch: His being in the Vietnam war was trope, seemed a little forced to make the plot move. Many people didn’t get him. Seems a throwback to noir detective. Thoughts of being one-dimensional. Past issues fed piecemeal and hard to keep up with.
Use of art in the book interesting. Identification with paintings.
Eleanor: was she dumb or let Harry take the lead on purpose. She had another agenda, but seen as not as skilled.
Pacing seems slower than contemporary PP, yet compared to other genres (Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction) it moved fast.
Second Title (Go to Genres/Police Procedurals for full summary and analysis):
John Scalzi LOCK IN
Janet Hubbard CHAMPAGNE: THE FAREWELL
Leslie Glass BURNING TIME
Ian Rankin NAUGHTS AND CROSSES
Louise Penny THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY
Leighton Gage BLOOD OF THE WICKED
Deborah Crombie NO MARK UPON HER
Joseph Wambaugh THE ONION FIELD
Donna Leon BY ITS COVER
Robert Parker NIGHT PASSAGE
Tami Hoag THE NINTH VICTIM
Louise Penny STILL LIFE
Submitted by Kristi Chadwick

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death TV Show!

Hey all,

I just discovered that our January book, “Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death” by MC Beaton is going to be a TV show on Sky 1 around Christmas time! I’m going to try to read the book before watching, but I’m making no promises 🙂

Read all about it here!

Agatha-Raisin-Release-16x9-1