Happy New Year, readers! 2015 is here, with all it’s promise of fun things to come and hope of dramatic taming of our muffin tops. Godspeed.
While the future is full of unknowns, I can take certain comfort in knowing I love my books. I will continue to love my books, and I am incredibly grateful to Carrie from Normal Level of Crazy and all of you for hanging out with me so we can share them together through our virtual book club.
I’ve read so many wonderful books lately, and Carrie and I are already buzzing about what our picks for this next year will be be. I can’t wait to chat them up with you!
This month we are digging into Leaving Time by Jodi Piccoult and then getting excited for our February book. Please share your thoughts and then make sure to leave a comment below to win a copy of the next book!
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult was one of my favorite books I read in the past year. Picoult is an talented author, riveting her audience with carefully crafted stories. She artfully switches between narrators and points in time. While in some novels this works to confuse plot progression, Picoult manages this variation in such a way that adds incredible depth and intrigue to her tales. Her books captivate me.
Leaving Time, however, took this captivation one step further by introducing me to a world in which I would never otherwise have ventured, that of elephant research and preservation. What? I know, before I picked up the book, I might not have thought I would be so drawn in by such a topic either, but trust me–you will be fascinated.
It is the power of books to carry me to unfamiliar territories that is one of my favorite things about reading. While a fictional book, Leaving Time is based on Picoult’s dedicated research, and I left this novel with a strong appreciation of elephants and their behavior. It’s so cool that Picoult noted this too–at the end of the book, she mentioned her hope that readers would walk away with a greater interest in elephant culture. She did a wonderful job achieving this hope.
The spiritual world of mediums and psychics was also integral to the book. Again, while Leaving Time is a fictional novel, I gained a much greater understanding of the practices and beliefs of this culture. If you’ve read this book, what did you think about Picoult’s use of the psychic realm to craft her story line? Did you learn anything?
While I loved the book, I was slightly disappointed with the ending. Not to give it away, but Carrie and I discussed the conclusion at length. She summarized it best when she said “It felt very Sixth Sense“, which it very much did. After such an intensely developed plot, it seemed as though the book resolved very quickly, neatly, and easily. Does anyone else feel this way about the ending?
I am also confused about why Gideon responded as he did on the day of the murder. Virgil explains it to Serenity as Gideon’s only logical choice to avoid blame for the crime, but really, why was he sobbing so hard for his mother-in-law? Why did he not try harder to find Alice? Was this explained well and I missed it?
A final discussion question: how much do you think oversight and error by the police does play a role in resolution of crimes? How often do you think crimes aren’t properly investigated or punished because something was overlooked? Is this common?
Please share your thoughts and your own questions, readers! We want to hear what you have to say and thanks for digging into this book with us.
Also, if anyone wants to join me in stalking pretty elephant-themed jewelry after gaining a new fascination with these creatures, you know I’m game
Finally, grab a copy of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and get ready to chat about it with us the first Friday in February. I loved this sweet book, a funny, warm, quirky read and can’t wait to see the forthcoming movie version.
And we are giving away a copy to one of our readers! As long as you live in the continental U.S. and are 18 years or older, leave a comment on this blog post by 1/9/15 at 5:30am letting us know you’d like free copy of The Rosie Project, and you’ll be entered into the random drawing.
Also, if you’ve already read The Rosie Project, make sure to check out the sequel, The Rosie Effect, released this week. I’m chomping at the bit to get my hands on it!
Read below for The Rosie Project description on Amazon and make sure to let us know if you’d like to win the free copy!
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013: Full of heart and humor, Simsion’s debut novel about a fussy, socially-challenged man’s search for the perfect wife is smart, breezy, quirky, and fun. Sure, it’s the precise equivalent of a well-crafted romantic comedy. (In fact, the book was clearly written with the big-screen in mind, and the film rights have already been sold). But you’d have to be a pretty cynical reader not to fall for Don Tillman, a handsome genetics professor who has crafted a pathologically micromanaged life for himself but can’t seem to score a second date. After launching his Wife Project, which includes a hilarious questionnaire intended to weed out imperfect candidates–smokers, makeup wearers, vegans (“incredibly annoying”)–Don meets Rosie, a stunning, maddeningly disorganized bartender/student who’s looking for her biological father. The reader knows just where the story is headed: Rosie’s so wrong for Don, she’s perfect. That’s not giving anything away. Half the fun of the book is watching pent-up, Asperger’s-afflicted Don break free, thanks to Rosie, from his precisely controlled, annoyingly sensible, and largely humorless lifestyle. By the final third, you’re cheering for Don to shatter all his rules. And you’re casting the film. –Neal Thompson
First image credit: Image ID:32915135, copyright:Syda_Productions