Thursday, July 28, 2011

Raven Report for July 26, 2011

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind lingers on, and not just in the movies! It was the topic of a lively discussion at this week’s Nevermore Book Club.  The question was, “Why is Scarlett such an icon?” The answers were varied, but included the idea that in some ways she could be considered a feminist because she “acted like a man” and went after the things she wanted.  The question of how race was handled in the novel was also discussed.

All Things Shining:  Reading the Western Classics by Hubert Dreyfus wonders about the best way to find the sacred in a secular world is. As religion becomes less an element of our society, can Great Literature answer our search for meaning in our lives?

Next up was Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich.  The question there was, has Stephanie “jumped the shark”?  Has the series lost its spunk? Opinions differed, with a plug for Evanovich’s  Wicked Appetites, which is a sister series to the Plum saga, as being funnier than the current Stephanie novel.

Quinn by Iris Johansen is the second book of a three book trilogy which is supposed to clear up one of the long-running mysteries of the Eve Duncan series.  Eve is a forensic artist with the uncanny ability to sculpt a victim’s likeness from skeletal remains.  Her passion for her work is due in part to her young daughter’s disappearance years ago.  The first book was entitled Eve; the last book, out in November, will be Bonnie.

Sixkill  is the new Spencer book, the last one completed by Robert B. Parker before his untimely demise.  Perhaps fittingly, a new character is introduced, Zebulon Sixkill, whom other characters keep comparing to Spencer and who seems destined to continue in the books.  In some ways it seems to be a passing of the torch, which is a propos, given that Ace Atkins had been hired by Parker’s estate to continue the Spencer series.

Daniel Silva was named as a writer to watch.  His Gabriel Allon thrillers are fast paced, topical and very well written.  Silva himself is a former journalist and knows the places about which he writers.  The first in the series is The Kill Artist.  His most recent is Portrait of a Spy.

Last but not least, the discussion turned to George R.R. Martin, a long time author whose books have gained new fans after the premiere of a  TV program based on his “Game of Thrones” series.  Martin has just released the next book in the series, A Dance With Dragons.  Martin is also known for his Wild Cards series as well as some wonderful stand alone books such as the space adventure Tuf Voyaging, the vampre tale  Fevre Dream (and yes, it is Fevre and not Fever) , and Armageddon Rag, a murder mystery with fantasy and rock and roll elements.

As you can see, the Nevermore Book Club ranges far and wide!  If you’d like to join us, just be at the Frances Kegley Conference Room on a Tuesday at 11 am.  Coffee is provided and the doughnuts are from the fabulous Blackbird Bakery!

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