New Book Club! Forever Young Adult

I know this is technically the X Meets Y Book Club blog, but I am taking it over for this post! MWAHAHAHAHA! I want to announce an exciting new book club at Fountaindale – Forever Young Adult!

Young Adult literature is NOT just for young adults! Some of the most innovative stories, emotionally resonant characters, and hilarious narrators can be found in the YA genre, and that’s only the start. If you’re a John Green buff, Rainbow Rowell fangirl, or just starting to get into the genre, this will be the place to discuss the latest YA lit with your fellow “adults.” The new book club is for those of us 18 and older who are young at heart.

Forever Young Adult starts meeting in March so you have some time to read our first book for discussion, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

eleanor and park

Rainbow Rowell has become one of the biggest names in YA over the last few years, and Eleanor & Park is arguably her best YA novel. Here is a brief synopsis:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Even if you absolutely would never be caught dead with a love story, this book will surprise you. Far from ooey-gooey romance, the book is filled with witty quips and awesome 80s references. It’s funny, poignant, and adorable all at the same time.

The Forever Young Adult Book Club will meet every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room, starting with our first meeting on March 8th. No registration is necessary! To reserve your copy of Eleanor & Park, you can call Adult and Teen Services at 630-685-4176 or visit the 3rd Floor Reference Desk!

Hope to see you there!

-ES

X Meets Y Book Club!!! January – March 2011 Reads

The X Meets Y Book Club is gearing up for it’s winter season with a slew of interesting and diverse titles!  Over the next 3 months (January – March) we will be reading and discussing The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison, and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

Today, Saturday, January 15, 2011 we will be meeting at the Starbuck’s on 699 E. Boughton Road (just outside the Promenade) from 2:00-3:00 pm for another fun filled hour of book discussion!  Beginning Saturday, February 19, 2011, we will be meeting at Bar Louie Bolingbrook located at 619 E. Boughton Road (Store #100) inside the Promenade! Besides the change in venue, The X Meets Y Book Club will still be meeting everything 3rd Saturday of the month from 2:00-3:00 pm.

The book we will be discussing today is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.

From Booklist, Donna Seaman states: “Virtuoso Chabon takes intense delight in the practice of his art, and never has his joy been more palpable than in this funny and profound tale of exile, love, and magic. In his last novel, The Wonder Boys (1995), Chabon explored the shadow side of literary aspirations. Here he revels in the crass yet inventive and comforting world of comic-book superheroes, those masked men with mysterious powers who were born in the wake of the Great Depression and who carried their fans through the horrors of war with the guarantee that good always triumphs over evil. In a luxuriant narrative that is jubilant and purposeful, graceful and complex, hilarious and enrapturing, Chabon chronicles the fantastic adventures of two Jewish cousins, one American, one Czech. It’s 1939 and Brooklynite Sammy Klayman dreams of making it big in the nascent world of comic books. Joseph Kavalier has never seen a comic book, but he is an accomplished artist versed in the “autoliberation” techniques of his hero, Harry Houdini. He effects a great (and surreal) escape from the Nazis, arrives in New York, and joins forces with Sammy. They rapidly create the Escapist, the first of many superheroes emblematic of their temperaments and predicaments, and attain phenomenal success. But Joe, tormented by guilt and grief for his lost family, abruptly joins the navy, abandoning Sammy, their work, and his lover, the marvelous artist and free spirit Rosa, who, unbeknownst to him, is carrying his child. As Chabon–equally adept at atmosphere, action, dialogue, and cultural commentary–whips up wildly imaginative escapades punctuated by schtick that rivals the best of Jewish comedians, he plumbs the depths of the human heart and celebrates the healing properties of escapism and the “genuine magic of art” with exuberance and wisdom.”

On Saturday February 19, 2011, we will be discussing Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison.

Donna Chavez of Booklist states: “If one looked at only Robison’s impish sense of humor (he once ordered a blow-up sex doll to be delivered to his junior-high-school teacher—at school), or his success as a classic-car restorer, it might be impossible to believe he has the high-functioning form of autism spectrum disorder called Asperger’s syndrome. Clues abound, however, in his account of a youth encompassing serious inability to make and keep friends; early genius at pyrotechnics, electronics, and math; and pet names such as Poodle for his dog and Snort and Varmint for his baby brother. Much later, he calls his wife Unit Two. It is easy to recognize these telltale traits today, but Robison went undiagnosed until he was 40. In the 1960s, he was variously labeled lazy, weird, and, worse, sociopathic. Consequently, his childhood memories too often read like a kid’s worst nightmares. Not only did his parents fail to understand the root of his socialization problems but they were also virtually as dysfunctional as the pair Augusten Burroughs portrays in Running with Scissors (2002). ‘Nough said? Not nearly. Robison’s memoir is must reading for its unblinking (as only an Aspergian can) glimpse into the life of a person who had to wait decades for the medical community to catch up with him.”

On Saturday March 19, 2011, we will be discussing The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

“Former academic Setterfield pays tribute in her debut to Brontë and du Maurier heroines: a plain girl gets wrapped up in a dark, haunted ruin of a house, which guards family secrets that are not hers and that she must discover at her peril. Margaret Lea, a London bookseller’s daughter, has written an obscure biography that suggests deep understanding of siblings. She is contacted by renowned aging author Vida Winter, who finally wishes to tell her own, long-hidden, life story. Margaret travels to Yorkshire, where she interviews the dying writer, walks the remains of her estate at Angelfield and tries to verify the old woman’s tale of a governess, a ghost and more than one abandoned baby. With the aid of colorful Aurelius Love, Margaret puzzles out generations of Angelfield: destructive Uncle Charlie; his elusive sister, Isabelle; their unhappy parents; Isabelle’s twin daughters, Adeline and Emmeline; and the children’s caretakers. Contending with ghosts and with a (mostly) scary bunch of living people, Setterfield’s sensible heroine is, like Jane Eyre, full of repressed feeling—and is unprepared for both heartache and romance. And like Jane, she’s a real reader and makes a terrific narrator. That’s where the comparisons end, but Setterfield, who lives in Yorkshire, offers graceful storytelling that has its own pleasures”  – from Publisher’s Weekly.

So come on in for some diverse reads, great discussion, and good times to keep you warm in this frosty season!

-Brian S.

X Meets Y Book Club 2010

Are you looking for something to read? Do you want to meet, discuss and have coffee at Starbucks with us? Then our X Meets Y Book Club is for you! This book club is for those that are 20- and 30-somethings. This club meets at the Starbucks outside the Bolingbrook Promenade, 699 E. Boughton Road the third Saturday of the month at 2 PM.

We started meeting  in January 2009.  Here’s a list of what we’ve read so far:

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines by Anthony Bourdain

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Post Office by Charles Bukowski

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

You may be wondering how we select our titles each month. Our members take turns suggesting titles that they are interested in reading and having the group read and discuss. We have found some of our favorite and least favorite books this way. Don’t let a book you don’t care for fool you, some times those are some of our best discussions as well! We’ve also read some non-fiction and may read a graphic novel in the future.

Our current selections for October – December 2010 are:

October 16: Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Klosterman, who has made a name for himself as an idiosyncratic pop-cultural commentator on rock music and sports, proves just as entertaining in his first novel. In or on the edge of nondescript Owl, North Dakota, live laid-back high-school football player Mitch Hrlicka, who stands out from his peers by being exceedingly normal; teacher Julia Rabia, who has fallen in love with buffalo farmer and Rolling Stones–exclusivist Vance Druid; and old Horace Jones, who mourns his wife and has a few painful secrets. Klosterman doesn’t follow them in a conventional narrative manner. Gifted with a superb ear for dialogue, a kind of perfect pitch for the way ordinary people talk, Klosterman is also capable of fine word-portraits of the three principals and the folks orbiting them in a town whose residents have nicknames like Vanna White, Bull Calf, Grendel, and Little Stevie Horse ’n’ Phone, and time exists on its own odd terms rather than those of the novel’s setting, the 1980s. Despite their eccentricities, or maybe because of them, one believes in these people and their often improbable yet always credible stories. Think of this as a literary relative of the movies Fargo and American Graffiti, sans the latter’s cruising Main Street and warm weather, with a poignant and tragic edge to it, conferred by a paralyzing and deadly blizzard in February 1984. –June Sawyers

Want to see more of  Chuck Klosterman’s other titles? Check his author pages on Amazon here and Goodreads here.

November 20: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

From Publishers Weekly

British journalist Hornby has fashioned a disarming, rueful and sometimes quite funny first novel that is not quite as hip as it wishes to be. The book dramatizes the romantic struggle of Rob Fleming, owner of a vintage record store in London. After his girlfriend, Laura, leaves him for another man, he realizes that he pines not for sexual ecstasy (epitomized by a “bonkus mirabilis” in his past) but for the monogamy this cynic has come to think of as a crime. He takes comfort in the company of the clerks at the store, whose bantering compilations of top-five lists (e.g., top five Elvis Costello songs; top-five films) typify the novel’s ingratiating saturation in pop culture. Sometimes this can pall: readers may find that Rob’s ruminations about listening to the Smiths and the Lemonheads -pop music helps him fall in love, he tells us-are more interesting than his list of five favorite episodes of Cheers. Rob takes comfort as well in the company of a touring singer, Marie La Salle, who is unpretentious and “pretty in that nearly cross-eyed American way” but life becomes more complicated when he encounters Laura again. Hornby has earned his own place on the London bestseller lists, and this on-the-edge tale of musical addiction just may climb the charts here. First serial to Esquire. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

December 18: One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

From Booklist

After the glorious complexity of The Palace of Illusions (2008), Divakaruni, who also writes for young readers, presents a wise and beautifully refined drama. When an earthquake hits, nine men and women of diverse ages and backgrounds are trapped in an Indian consulate. Cameron, an African American Vietnam vet, takes charge, striving to keep them safe. College student Uma, who brought along The Canterbury Tales to read while waiting for clerk Malathi and her boss Mangalam to process her papers, suggests that they each tell an “important story” from their lives. Their tales of heartbreak and revelation are nuanced and riveting as Divakaruni takes fresh measure of the transcendent power of stories and the pilgrimage tradition. True, the nine, including an older couple, a young Muslim man, and a Chinese Indian grandmother and her granddaughter, are captives of a disaster, but they are also pilgrims of the spirit, seeking “one amazing thing” affirming that life, for all its pain, is miraculous. A storyteller of exquisite lyricism and compassion, Divakaruni weaves a suspenseful, astute, and unforgettable survivors’ tale. –Donna Seaman

One Amazing Thing was in the running for the possible Great Read selection this year.

So what better time than the chillier months to come join us for a cup of hot cider, coffee, tea or hot chocolate and discuss some books at Starbucks? Hope to see you this Saturday! In the meantime, You can find us on GoodReads!

-Sabrina S.