Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Discussion Questions for Under the Banner of Heaven

I hope you're enjoying our December Featured Book of the Month, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer. Some insightful comments about the book have already been posted, so here are a few discussion questions for you to consider. Join the conversation or add your own thoughts...we'd love to hear from you!

Did you like the book? Why or why not?

Given the nature of--and the motive for--the murders of Brenda Lafferty and her child, should Ron Lafferty be considered mentally ill? Or, as Krakauer states in his book, "If Ron wasn't insane--or at least no more "insane" than anyone else who believes in God--what was he? Why had the Lafferty brothers' religious beliefs turned them into ruthless killers?"

How would you expect maintream and fundamentalist Mormons to react to Krakauer's book?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

About Under the Banner of Heaven

What's not to love about Under the Banner of Heaven, our December Featured Book of the Month? It's a true crime story, an exploration into the extremes of religious belief, and it's written by Jon Krakauer, one of my all-time favorite authors.

Under the Banner of Heaven tells the true story of Mormon fundamentalists Dan and Ron Lafferty, who murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother Allen in 1984, but claimed they were acting on direct orders from God.

So take a break from the holiday madness, grab a blanket and some hot chocolate, and spend a chilly winter's night absolutely mesmerized.

Be sure to listen to Krakauer's informative NPR interview about his book or read my blog post on Turning the Page, our staff blog about books and reading.

About Jon Krakauer

Born in 1954, writer and journalist Jon Krakauer grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, where his father introduced him to mountain climbing at the age of eight.

He reached the summit of Mt. Everest while on assignment for Outside magazine in May 1996, but during his descent, a storm engulfed the peak, taking the lives of four fellow climbers. His subsequent book about the experience, Into Thin Air (1997), became a national bestseller.

Best known for writing stories about lives conducted at the outer limits of nature and society, Krakauer is also the bestselling author of Into the Wild (1996), Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith (2003), and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman (2009).