Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lost password

It doesn't seem like it has been since November that I posted to this blog, but it has. I have to confess - I couldn't remember the password and kept thinking that it would come to me. Well, after over three months, I finally decided I should just reset it so I could post again.

Over the last three months, the Books for Lunch group have read and discussed some great books. Most recently, they discussed Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. (I have to say they because I wasn't in attendance. I couldn't get to work due to snow drifts so I missed the discussion that day.) The James Kennedy Public Library also showed the movie Into the Wild for their March Book Flicks (movies based on books) selection. If you are interested in reading, listening or viewing this title, it is available to check out at the library.

The April Books for Lunch selection is Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali . In this memoir, Ali recounts her life story, discussing her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West. Copies of the book are now available to check out at the library. Infidel will be discussed at the April 7 gathering. Everyone is welcome to join us! We meet at 12:00 noon and the discussion (and visiting) usually last about one hour. We'd love to see some new faces and here some new opinions!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Review of "The Speed of Dark" by Elizabeth Moon

On Monday, December 3, the Books for Lunch group will be discussing Elizabeth Moon's novel "The Speed of Dark." I read this novel a few years ago and, when the Books for Lunch group said they wanted to try something that was an easy read but had a little more depth, this title came to mind.

Elizabeth Moon is known for writing science fiction novels. This novel is technically science fiction as it is set in the future. It is much more than your typical science fiction fare, however. It is the early 21st-century in America and the business world is even more ruthless. Lou Arrendale is well compensated for his remarkable pattern-recognition skills, enjoys his job and expects never to lose it. But he has a new boss, a man who thinks Lou and the others in his building are a liability. Lou and his coworkers are autistic. And the new boss is going to fire Lou and all his coworkers--unless they agree to undergo an experimental new procedure to "cure" them. This novel insightfully explores the nature of “normality,” identity, choice, responsibility, free will, illness and health, and good and evil. Join us on Monday, December 3 at 12:00 noon as we talk about this powerful and moving novel.

"The Speed of Dark" was also selected as the 2004 United We Read selection for the Kansas City Libraries. Find out more at http://http//

A reading group guide for this book can be found at http://http// There is also a guide for "The Speed of Dark" on NoveList, which can be accessed through the library website.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Books discussed on November 19, 2007

The information book sharing meeting for November of "Books for Lunch" took place on November 19. Those present enjoyed cookies, coffee and hot cider as they talked about what they had been reading. Here is a synopsis of that discussion:
"Speed of Dark" by Elizabeth Moon is the Books for Lunch title to be discussed on December 3.

Charlaine Harris' books are good. I especially like the ones with the girl who can read graves and the cozy mysteries set in Shakespeare (town).

Jim Butcher's books are all good. The mysteries featuring wizard / detective Harry Dresden especially. I tried watching the Sci-Fi television series, the Dresden Files, which is based on these books, but I didn't like them very much. They don't follow the books enough and it bothered me that Bob (who is a spirit living in a skull) had a "ghostly" form on the series. Butcher's fantasy novels are also great. My son is on his fifth or sixth reading of the "Furies of Calderon" and can't wait for the new title to come out. This is what he wants for Christmas.

"The Children of Men" by P.D. James was very interesting and much better than the film. (Children of Men was a Book Flicks film this fall.) The book makes a lot more sense than the movie.

I am waiting for the newest "Woman's Murder Club" book by James Patterson - "Sixth Target." This series is the basis for the new television mystery series "Woman's Murder Club." Patterson has another new title also - "Double Cross."

If you are a knitter, Sally Melville's books on knitting are great. They combine knitting ideas and patterns with meditations.

Other good authors recommended: Bill Geist, Janet Evanovich, Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio by Jeffrey Kluger

This nonfiction title was discussed at the November gathering of the "Books for Lunch" group. Jeffrey Kluger did a wonderful job of telling this story about a terrible disease and the search for a cure. This book is nonfiction, but reads like a novel with a lot of action and dialog. Some members of the group said they hesitated to pick it up because they thought it would be dry or boring. Instead, they felt it was a good mix of facts and statistics and was well written. "The Splendid Solution" was the 2007 All Iowa Reads selection. For more information on this book or other All Iowa Reads titles, go to