The Paperback Book Club: February 2015 meetup

Are you a bibliophile who enjoys intense book discussions? If you live in Kuala Lumpur or Selangor, check out The Paperback Book Club.

The book chosen for December is ‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J.K. Rowling. A summary of the story is written below:

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J.K. Rowling

Here are details of the next book discussion:

Date:  28th of February 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 3 – 5 pm
Location: Nook Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
Who is invited? Any readers aged 18 years and older
What will be discussed? Themes, characters, plot, style, takeaway points from the book, etc.

RSVP at the website or Facebook page if you are keen to join the discussion.

For latest news on the meetups, check out their official website and Facebook page.

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Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of SS Readers Corner. This post contains spoilers so kindly skim it to avoid too much information.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week there is a specific bookish topic, which will be discussed and shared among bloggers. Today’s topic excites me because my friends & I initiated a book club for a youth organisation close to our hearts. We have wonderful discussion on a particular book every month. I always look forward to our book discussion.

My choice of Ten Books I’d Love to Read with My Book Club are…

‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion

Cover by Simon & Schuster; published in 2013

I noticed this novel a couple of months ago when Sony Pictures bought the rights to adapt the novel. My interest piqued when Bill Gates posted about the book on his Facebook. I got a copy at a book sale and am looking forward to reading it next year.

Possible topics of discussion:

  • Is there any difference of writing styles between male and female romance author?
  • Can true love be found using a formula? What about matchmaking websites?
  • Don Tillman’s peculiarity

 

 

‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Cover by Scholastic; published in 2011

I enjoy reading novels with dystopia theme and ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy is one of my favourites. I believe the books need to be discussed individually. ‘Mockingjay’ is my favourite book because of its darker themes. Therefore I would love to hear other people’s views on:

  • Reality tv shows – compare them to ‘The Hunger Games’
  • Propaganda & tokenism – Katniss as a “symbol” to unite other districts
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after winning the Hunger Games – I’d love to read more about Haymitch’s point of view

 

‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell

Cover by Penguin; published in 2008

 

George Orwell’s books are popular for book club discussions and some consider this as a children’s book. So why not use this book to lure more members to come to a book discussion?

Possible topics of discussion:

  • Propaganda against communism / Russia
  • If George Orwell had used human characters instead of animals, would the novel still be influential?
  • How do young readers comprehend the political aspects of the novel? (I’m intrigued that this novel is marketed as a children’s book)

 

 

‘My Sister’s Keeper’ by Jodi Picoult

Cover by Washington Square Press; published in 2005

This novel provokes a lot of after-thoughts, such as:

  • The novel is told from many different viewpoints. What do you think if it was written in just single (Anna’s) or double viewpoints (Anna’s & Sarah’s)?
  • What do you think of designer baby? In this case, a baby was conceived to save an older sibling.
  • What do you think of the parenting style?

 

 

 

Cover by Harper Perennial, published in 2006

 

‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver

I was emotionally exhausted when I finished reading this book. Nevertheless, I would love to spend 1-2 hours talking about this book. Questions that still linger in my mind:

  • Did Kevin respect and love Eva at all?
  • Who do you blame for Kevin’s atrocious behaviour? Himself or the parents?
  • Contrast the parenting styles of Franklin and those of Eva.

 

 

‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green

Cover by Speak; published in 2006

I have only read ‘Looking for Alaska’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. I really enjoyed the former than the latter even though ‘Looking for Alaska’ is a much older work and less popular work (this might change once the movie goes into production). I like how human existence is dealt in this book. Some questions I would ask in a book discussion are:

  • John Green divided the story into two parts: ‘before’ and ‘after’. What do you think of this structure of storytelling?
  • What happened the night Alaska died? Did she kill herself or was it an accident?
  • What is the most important question human beings must answer? Choose your question wisely, and then examine how Islam, Buddhism and Christianity attempt to answer it.

 

‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote

Cover by Penguin; published in 2012

I watched ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ a couple of years ago when I was in a ‘Hepburn’ phase. After watching the movie, I assumed he wrote fluff pieces. Whoa, I was so wrong. This book was compelling – I couldn’t believe that ‘In Cold Blood’ is a true crime! There are many questions that I’d like to explore:

  • What kind of men were Richard Hickock and Perry Smith? Compare and contrast their backgrounds.
  • Do you think Mr Capote give a just/unbiased representation of Richard Hickock and Perry Smith?
  • If the murder victims weren’t as white, prosperous, or well-liked as the Clutter family, do you think this book would be well-received and adapted into a movie?

 

‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ by Neil Gaiman

Cover by Headline Publishing Group; published in 2014

 

I have only read one of the author’s work – ‘Neverwhere’. I enjoyed the depictions of London but I dislike Richard Mayhew and the pacing of the story. Nevertheless, I am keen to give Mr Gaiman another go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness 

Cover by Candlewick Press; published in 2013

 

This is another book in my ‘to-be-read’ list. I have never read Patrick Ness’s work before but I purchased this novel after reading about its book-to-movie adaptation. I’d like to recommend this book to my reading group because of (1) the adaptation and (2) the genre – we don’t have a horror book in our list!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Cover by Harcourt, Inc. Published in 2000

 

My former housemate gave me a Spanish copy of ‘The Little Prince’ as a parting gift (hablo un poco español :)). I was curious about the book so I searched for it via Google. The book seems to be a favourite choice amongst book lovers. By adding this book to my book club’s reading list, I hope more members will attend the monthly discussions.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Are you part of a book club/reading group? What questions should I ask during a discussion? I would love to read your book suggestions as well as discussion questions. Please share them in the comment box below.

KL Book Exchange: Special Event on 25th of January 2015

Are you looking to give away old-but-in-good-condition books?

Check out this book exchange event organised by KL Book Exchange:

Date: 25th of January 2015
Time: 9 am – 6 pm
Location: SS Two Mall
Event is part of The Mustard Seed charity day

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Bring your books for a one-to-one exchange. You could also buy their books at RM5 each. All proceeds go to the Mustard Seed charity.

For more details, visit the Facebook page.

Paperback Book Club: Meetup on 24th January 2015

If you live in Kuala Lumpur or Selangor and enjoy book discussions, why not join of the few book clubs in the area? The Paperback Book Club is a Kuala Lumpur-based book group that has discussed more than 40 books since it was founded in October 2011.

The book chosen for the first discussion of the year is ‘The Namesake’ by Jhumpa Lahiri. If you haven’t read the book nor watched the movie version, here is a synopsis:

‘The Namesake’ takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves.

One of the many covers for ‘The Namesake’

Here are details of the book discussion:

Date: 24th of January 2015
Time: 3 – 5 pm
Location: The Local
D-7-G Jaya One, 72A Jalan Universiti,
46200 Petaling Jaya

Kindly RSVP by 17th of January 2015 so event organiser would be able to book enough seats and tables for attendees.

For latest news on the meetups, check out their official website and Facebook page.

American Association of Malaysia (AAM) Book Club: January 2015 meetup

Did you know that American Association of Malaysia (AAM) has a book club? Here are details of the first book discussion of the year:

Book: ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn
Date:
20th of January 2015
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Ambiance Coffee Café
Ambiance Ampang, 379A 4 Jalan Ampang,
First Floor (near Ampang Grocers)
Kuala Lumpur
Cost of drinks/food: Individual
RSVP: kindly appreciated but not necessary

If you haven’t read the book nor watched the movie, here is a synopsis:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?

One of the covers for ‘Gone Girl’

Please be informed that this event may be open to non-members. They are encouraged to become a member of AAM if they would like to join other activities in the future.

To get the latest information on the book club, visit their weblink or email to them.

The Paperback Book Club: December 2014 Meetup

The Paperback Book Club is a Kuala Lumpur-based book group that meets every month. Since its first meetup in October 2011, the book club has discussed 40 books including ‘The Book Thief’, ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘The Hobbit’.

The book chosen for December is…

Book: ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger (Goodreads reviews)
Date:  20th of December 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 3 – 5 pm
Location: Nook Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
Who is invited? Any readers aged 18 years and older
What will be discussed? Themes, characters, plot, style, takeaway points from the book, etc.

One of the most popular covers for this book

RSVP at the website or Facebook event page if you are keen to join the discussion. If you have not finished reading the book or are feeling rather shy, you are still welcome to take part in the meetup.

For latest news on the meetups, check out their official website and Facebook page.

Bookworms Unite! 20th December Book Meet by KL Book Exchange Club

All bookworms in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor…unite! KL Book Exchange Club is bring another book sale:

Date: 20th of December 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 3 – 6 pm
Location: Fuwa Fuwa Bakery Cafe, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya (click here to view map)
What to expect: book bargains galore; reading & autograph session by Tutu Dutta Yean; lucky draw prizes; Childrens’ Picture book swap

If you would like to sell books, please contact event organiser. More details at the event page.

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KL Book Exchange Club is a members-only group for individuals who want to exchange and sell books. Become a member of KL Book Exchange Club by visiting this link.