Monday, August 31, 2009

About In Defense of Food

If you’ve ever wondered why eating -- or, more specifically, eating right -- has to be so complicated, then you will be very interested in September’s Book of the Month selection.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, describes in highly-readable and fascinating detail how science and politics have impacted the way we eat in America, how the resulting “Western Diet” has impacted our health, and, most importantly, how we can alleviate some of our 21st Century confusion about food. Best of all, the story is told with good humor, and with insight that extends well beyond the realms of science and politics.

Join us in reading and discussing In Defense of Food -- a delicious way to start the season!

Michael Pollan is best known for his 2006 book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Stay tuned for more information about the author.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Discussion Questions for The Other

I hope you're enjoying The Other. Let's get the discussion started!

1. Neil describes John William at sixteen as “The rich kid who hates and loves himself equally. The contrarian who hears his conscience calling in the same way schizophrenics hear voices, so that, for him, there’s no not listening”. Have you encountered people like John William in your own life? In literature? What makes him a believable character, rather than a stereotype?

2. Does Neil also represent a familiar type or character? What makes him interesting or appealing to you? To John William? What distinctive characteristics (strengths and flaws alike) inform the way he tells John William’s story? Consider the qualities that Neil admires in John William in contrast to how he describes himself.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

About David Guterson

David Guterson was born in Seattle in 1956. He received his Master's Degree from the University of Washington and after graduation, he moved to Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, where he taught English at the local high school and began writing for Sports Illustrated and Harper's Magazine.
Guterson is the author of a number of books and short stories, but he is probably best known for his 1994 novel, Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award. Check out an interview with David Guterson here, then be sure to visit your local branch to check out a copy of The Other.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

About The Other

David Guterson's The Other is a moving portrait of male friendship, set in the backdrop of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula. John William Barry and Neil Countryman, meet as high school students at a track meet in 1972. John William is from an elite Seattle family while Neil stems from a working-class background. Despite their differences, their forge a lifelong friendship that is tested when, as adults, they choose radically different paths. John William chooses to live as a hermit in the wilderness while Neil becomes a teacher, gets married and has a family. Sound interesting? Check out a review of the book and then check out a copy at your local library! Stay tuned to the Featured Book Blog. Information about the author and discussion questions are coming soon!