Under the Header

“She is too fond of books, and it has
turned her brain.” - Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lightening up a bit

We have a couple of ladies joining our discussion next month and rather than scare them off right away, it seemed appropriate to introduce a fun, simple read to our little circle.

February's discussion will be on Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns:

Our local library system has several copies.

With the newcomers adding to the mix, it is an opportune time to review the aim of our reading group -- a post I will write soon.

In the meantime, the list of recommended questions for evaluating a novel might be helpful:
In the Logic stage:
  1. Is the novel a "fable" or a "chronicle?"
  2. What does the central character (or characters) want? What is standing in his (or her) way? And what strategy does he (or she) pursue in order to overcome this block?
  3. Who is telling this story?
  4. Where is the story set?
  5. What style does the writer employ?
  6. Images & metaphors -- Is any particular image repeated again and again?  What does it represent?
  7. Beginnings and endings -- what do they represent?  Are they related?
In the Rhetoric stage:
  1. Is it true?
  2. Do you sympathize with the characters?  Which ones, and why?
  3. Does the writer's technique give you a clue as to her "argument" -- her take on the human condition?
  4. Is the novel self-reflective?
  5. Did the writer's times affect him?
  6. Is there an argument in this book?
  7. Do you agree?


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