Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Book Group

Being an adult librarian I don't have a ton of opportunities to interact with or create programming for teens. I do however have opportunity to do a little for the adults. My second Book Discussion for adults took place tonight. Last month, we did My Sister's Keeper and had a grand total of one person show up. And that was one of my ever supportive co-workers (go Pat!). Tonight, however, I'm please to announce that in addition to myself and Pat (again on her own time!), there were three patrons in attendance for the Year of Wonders book discussion! Which, I know isn't spectacular success, but gosh, I'm awful happy about it, especially since no one showed up last time. It was also interesting to note that two of the participants wouldn't have normally picked up the novel had it not been for the posters placed about the library! That's pretty cool!

Haven't read this quick historical novel, you say? Let me tell you about it! Over the course of one year (1665-1666) we see through the eyes of Anna, a young widow, who is thrown into a leading role as a care giver when her small village is struck by the Bubonic Plague and decides to go into quarantine rather than allowing the disease to spread to the neighboring countryside. An altruistic ideal, of course, but what happens when more and more people fall ill and die? Who is left to go on caring for the sick and keeping the healthy from harm? What happens when fear gets the better of people with no escape?

It really was fantastic. I will admit to having a predilection for diseases, though. I find them fascinating. The book group enjoyed it as well. The one thing that made us all raise our eyebrows was the ending. As one participant noted: "It was like a completely different book. Like the beginning of another story. The feel and even the colors were different." She's definitely right, it was a marked transition, but I wondered that no matter what for Anna, after all that she had witnessed, after how much she had grown, life never would return to ordinary. At least not for her. Why not highlight the change by making it drastic? There's an argument for each. Again, it was fantastic.

Also, I am still looking for empathy, commiseration and advice regarding the previous post about bullying, so, please, let me know what you think, or tell me about a similar situation in your library/workplace.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blogs.

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