Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 8th Meeting

It’s time to talk books with the Fairfax Library Book Discussion Group!

When? Thursday, October 8th at 7 p.m.
Where? Fairfax Library meeting room
What Book? The Song Is You by Arthur Phillips

check out these links for more background info

Do you have a soundtrack of your life? These folks do…
A playlist by Arthur Phillips
The soundtrack of my life
Favorite songs/personal soundtrack
make your own soundtrack

Do you have an iPod or mp3 player? I love my Zune and listen to it daily – podcasts more than music, though. Read how the iPod changed these lives:
How the ipod changed my life
iPod, Therefore I Am
iPod and the knowledge gap

Get even more info with BookMovement.com: Sign up with BookMovement.com for the Fairfax Library Book Discussion Group and get book reviews and reminders.

Our November 12th book selection is Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea.

Our December 10th book selection is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.

I look forward to seeing you at the library.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
The Song is You by Arthur Phillips

1. Julian is suffering something of a mid-life crisis. He looks back at the life he intended to live and sees the life he has created – even though he is seemingly successful in his field. Is such an experience inevitably disappointing? Have you experienced disappointment in your adult life?

2. Julian’s life is framed by the music he listens to on his iPod. What is the role of music in modern life? In your life?

3. Do you have a soundtrack of your life?

4. Is Julian an unlikeable protagonist? Is it possible to sympathize with an unlikeable protagonist? Can you give an example?

5. Is Julian’s behavior towards Cait explainable? Does he have Cait’s best interests at heart or is he not much more than a stalker?

6. Did you think the characters and their problems/decisions/relationships were believable or realistic? Was the author trying to make them realistic, and why did he fail or succeed? Were the characters drawn realistically? Which character could you relate to best and why? Talk about the secondary characters. Were they important to the story? Did any stand out for you?

7. A reviewer on SecondSupper.com described the book as a romantic anti-romance. Would you agree?

8. What is the central conflict of the plot? Is the conflict internal to the character (a psychological conflict)? Or is it external, having to do with character vs. character? Character vs. society? Character vs. nature?

9. What central ideas might the author be exploring in the novel's themes? Consider ideas about the nature of love, the requirements of goodness, the meaning of justice, the burden of the past...basic human issues that are at stake in the book.

10. Consider the ending. Did you expect it or were you surprised? Was it forced? Was it neatly wrapped up? Or was it unresolved, ending on an ambiguous note?

11. Overall—how did you experience the book while reading it? Were you immediately drawn into the story—or did it take a while? Did the book intrigue, amuse, disturb, alienate, or irritate you?