Thursday, July 19, 2012
Haven't enjoyed the company of a good graphic novel before? Well you should.
I've been thinking about comic books this week. I mean, more than usual. I think it might have been my conversation with the Iowa City Public Library's Brian Visser on the Batman graphic novels available at the public library. Or maybe it is a little movie, you may have heard of it, called "The Dark Knight Rises" opening this week that has comic books on the brain. In any case, I wanted to spend this week's book club talking about the graphic novel, sharing some of my favorites and asking you to share some of your favorites with me. Sometimes misunderstood as merely being a book with pictures, or a longer comic book with a hard cover, graphic novels give the authors and artists who work on them the space to be much more than that, often …
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Do you like to talk books? If so, this is the place to be.
We don't experience books the same way we experience movies, music, or video games. Some of us look to books for inspiration and many of us look to the authority of the author to give us some guidance as to how we might better live our lives. And this goes beyond self-help books, but rather the philosophies and often imagined scenarios crafted by the author. That's why Moby Dick's white whale is frequently used as a metaphor for people spending their lives working towards a seemingly unobtainable goal. That's exactly what this week's book club is all about: Which books have you sought out, not just to experience a story, but to learn something about human nature or philosophy? Let us know in the comments.
Friday, May 18, 2012
We're seeking recommendations from you, dear readers, for books that make armchair travel a pleasure.
Welcome, or welcome back, to the Iowa Patch Book Club, where we discuss books and seek your recommendations. This week, we want to know: what books about travel do you recommend? I'm not talking The Lonely Planet, though if there are any guide books you think are great, tell us about those too. I'm thinking of books that describe life in a far away place. Books that make you feel you could taste the mangos, hear the ocean or see the mountains on the horizon. Books that don't just entertain but that teach you something about another culture, about life in another country. Do you know any books like that? Tell us about them in the comments section. You might be interested in: What Are Your Favorite Books About Food? Which Books Spark Your …
Friday, May 11, 2012
Do you like to talk books? If so, this is the place to be.
Books can do something no other medium can in quite the same way: Stimulate our imaginations. With no visual or aural cues to place the setting and the character, we're left on our own devices to create the world a director or musician would otherwise provide. Many take place in realistic settings, with realistic people and realistic situations —so while we may be using our imagination in constructing these worlds, we are still recreating something familiar. But there are books that operate with different laws of physics, different landscapes, alien to the earth we know, combined with living things and situations far flung from anything we've even seen. This week's book club is for the latter. Which books have etched a beautiful, alien …
Monday, April 30, 2012
Pick a book or author (or more than one if you like) who you don't think has gotten the credit they deserve.
It's time for another Iowa Patch Book Club. We've already covered the books you know you should read, but haven't yet. And we've also discussed the books we read again and again even though we should maybe move on to those books we had meant to read before. We also started our club with the books that feature great female protagonists. This week I want us to discuss books or author who, while great, haven't gotten the attention that maybe they deserve from the reading public. This could even include lesser known works from established authors that people should check out. For my author who I want to publicize, I chose science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon. Although well known in some circles, I don't know if a lot of people read …
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
For this week's Iowa Patch Book Club, we ask, do you have any books you re-read?
Welcome to the Eastern Iowa Patch book club, a place to discuss the books you love, the books you can't stand, the books you're reading and those you think everyone else should read too. Really, we're keeping it informal here, and we hope you'll join the discussion. This week I'm talking about comfort books. Like comfort food, for me a comfort book is a book that I know I'll enjoy, that I can pick up without any expectations except to lose track of the world for a little while. As children, my sister and I shared books and constantly re-read our favorites. I still have many of them, the covers falling off, pages coming loose from over-use. Comfort books. It's been a long week. Here in Cedar Falls the ongoing drama of budget cuts at the …
Monday, April 2, 2012
Do you like to talk books? Here's the place to be.
In Eastern Iowa we are lucky to have great literary towns, great book lovers and great writers. So it made perfect sense to me team up with my fellow editors in Cedar Falls and Marion to start a book club where we can discuss books of various types, share what we're reading, and nominate new books to read based on a theme or genre. Why? Because reading makes life better, and more people need to do more of it. Plus there's always more wonderful books to learn about. I want to keep the rules fairly simple, so we can get on to the discussion. One thing this book club will not be is a group where we all read the same book, at least not at first. I am not Oprah, and do not have the cultural cache to make you read Absalom, Absalom! or Anna …
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The Marion Public Library and the Metro Library Network just re-launched Linn Area Reads, a huge book club for everyone in the Linn County area.
Book clubs are often comprised of a small group of friends that all share an interest in reading and a caffine addiction — two things I am guilty of, for the sake of fairness. But what if book clubs were larger than just a group of friends? What if it expanded beyond a social circle to an entire county? This is exactly what the Linn Area Reads program is, according to Marion Public Library Director, Doug Raber. People from around Linn County have just started reading and discussing the book Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms, a book that takes a critical look at the factory farm industry. The program kicked off last Thursday, where patrons of the Marion Public Library, Hiawatha Public Library and the …