Our March Books Plus will be special because Wendy Rubin will be leading a discussion on the book so many Bloomingtonians are reading, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Not only is it our 2013 One Book One Bloomington selection but it's a dystopian novel that focuses on the treatment of women.
This novel offers so many interesting questions to discuss, what makes a theocratic society, can women really be revered when they are policed by men, and how does dividing women into hierarchies based on their domestic tasks affect society. It's basically a book about good and evil. In one passage, Margaret Atwood said, "The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you've been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil.” Read more »
In this dark vision of a future United States, the handmaid Offred is defined solely by her biological function as a child-bearer. Forbidden even to read, she tries to survive in oppressive and dangerous circumstances. The novel explores themes of power, gender conflict, the individual in society, language and storytelling. Have you read this dystopian classic?
Please visit www.mcpl.info/onebook for upcoming information on public book discussions and a related film festival. Or listen to the announcement and interview with MCPL director Sara Laughlin and MCCSC North High School librarian Kathy Loser on the Interchange radio broadcast on the WFHB website.
Warning – Don't look for these books in the Young Adult section! These are "Adult Books," written for adults. Teens beware!
Ok, now that I've got your attention, let me also say that these books are just great for teens. So great, in fact, that the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) made an award just for them, and named them after a famous Baltimore librarian – sort of. Her name was Margaret A. Edwards, but her friends called her Alex, and that's where we get the Alex Awards. The 2012 Alex Awards feature ten books written for adults, but with special appeal to teens. Read more »
Having moved on from vampires and zombies to dystopias, as heralded by the success of the Hunger Games series, many teen readers are looking for something similar but still fresh. Catherine Fisher's Incarceron (and the sequel, Sapphique) fit the bill perfectly. Variously described as fantasy, science fiction, slipstream, and steampunk, the setting of this book is both a dystopic future and a fantastical past.
Having moved on from vampires and zombies to dystopias, as heralded by the success of the Hunger Games series, many teen readers are looking for something similar but still fresh. Catherine Fisher's Incarceron (and the sequel, Sapphique) fit the bill perfectly. Variously described as fantasy, science fiction, slipstream, and steampunk, the setting of this book is both a dystopic future and a fantastical past. Read more »
In The Passage,author Justin Cronin, shows us a world in which humans struggle to survive in a bleak future overrun by horrific vampires. The only hope for humanity is a mysterious young girl.
When the military attempts to use a virus to create the next race of super-soldiers a bloodthirsty horde is released upon the world, knocking the human race down a step in the food chain. Cronin, admittedly, takes us where many, many authors have taken us before. However, few authors have done so with the style that one expects from Cronin, a former Hemingway/PEN award winner.
If you have not heard of Suzanne Collins' trilogy, The Hunger Games, I must ask what rock you've been sleeping under? The 2008 Young Adult Bestseller has exploded in classrooms, libraries, bookstores, and on the tongues of everyone I come in contact with (or so it seems). Well after being dogged for not reading this book, I finally gave in and read it, determined not to like it to spite all those people who gawked at me for not yet reading it. Unfortunately, my mission backfired on me. I loved it. Read more »