Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nevermore: Prague Cemetery, Lone Wolf, & Making Rounds with Oscar

The Nevermore Book Club had another lively meeting! The first topic of conversation was an article from Newsweek which compared the New York Times Best Seller List of March, 1966 to the list for March, 2012.  It made for an interesting discussion.  A slideshow version of the article can be accessed online here: Newsweek 1966 vs. 2012
Books discussed included The Prague Cemetery  by Umberto Eco.  Eco is best known for The Name of the Rose, a literate mystery set in a monastery.  His new novel continues to mix history, linguistics and mystery as Captain Simonini, an amnesiac with a talent for forgery and hate, is writing down his thoughts in an effort to discover who he is and why he has lost his memory. The book teems with plots, conspiracies, shadowy figures, and more twists and turns than the Paris sewers.
Lone Wolf is the new novel by Jodi Picoult in which two siblings, Cara and Edward, are faced with making end of life choices for their father, Luke. The story switches back and forth from the present to the family's past, when Luke spent a great deal of time researching wolves.  Picoult is known for her ability to take controversial issues and frame them within a very human situation, but our reader was underwhelmed; she didn’t care for the way the story switched back and forth from the human family to the wolves.
Another club member was reading the non-fiction book Making Rounds with Oscar by Dr. David Dosa which deals with some of the same issues addressed in Picoult’s book.  Oscar the cat resides in a nursing home and gained fame for his seeming ability to know when a patient is near death.  It’s been claimed that Oscar is more accurate than the doctors and nurses. Intrigued, Dosa decided to document Oscar’s behavior to see if there was indeed a correlation.  The resulting book is mostly anecdotal evidence, but its real value is the way Dosa brings up questions about quality of life and care issues in a non-threatening, non-confrontational manner.  

 The Nevermore Book Club meets every Tuesday at 11:00 AM in the Frances E. Kegley Conference Room.  Doughnuts are supplied by the Blackbird Bakery!

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