Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Want a Free Book?

Just wanted to remind y'all about the giveaway we have going on, that started with our Week 4 Discussion of Matched by Ally Condie, our last book club selection. 

(All discussions are ongoing! Feel free to comment on discussions in our past selections. By clicking on the labels on the bottom left side bar, you can find all posts related to a particular book we've covered previously.)

So. How do you win a free book? Here's how:

  • For every discussion question you answer until the end of Week 3 of The Help, you will receive an entry.
  • For every discussion question you SUBMIT (including the discussion for Week 3 of The Help), you will receive an entry.
  • For every friend you get to join us AND participate, you will receive an entry (have your friend comment on being sent by you).

You might have also noticed that we have a button! This week, you can get an extra entry by posting our button on your blog & commenting on this entry with a link to your blog. You can post it in an entry or place it in your side bar.

We are ending this giveaway at the end of Week 3 because that is when we will be announcing our next selection, to give everyone a chance to get the book. The winner of the giveaway can use their win to get the next book club selection for free, or hang on to get the selection of their choice for free later. Either way, you get a free book!

Don't forget to vote for your choice for our next selection! The poll is on the left sidebar.

To submit questions for discussion (due by midnight Friday night), book suggestions for the poll, or to get help posting your button, e-mail us! Alisha (alisha.wordshakers@gmail.com) or Candace (candace.wordshakers@gmail.com).

We are really excited about all of the participation we've gotten so far. Let's keep it going!

ETA: I just got an e-mailed suggestion for the poll! Unfortunately when I went to add it I was unable since votes have already been made. Any suggestions we now receive will be added to the next poll. The cut-off for sending suggestions for the next poll will be the end of Week 4 of The Help and voting will begin at Week 1 of our next book. Thanks for the suggestion, Theresa, & keep them coming!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 2--The Help

We are beginning Week 2 of The Help this week. The participation we have on the Week 1 Discussion, found HERE, is awesome! Let's keep it up! Welcome to our new commenters!

Our reading this week is:
Chapter 10--Chapter 17

On Saturday we will have our Week 2 Discussion. Please consider submitting a discussion question to us by Friday at midnight via e-mail to Alisha (alisha.wordshakers@gmail.com) or Candace (candace.wordshakers@gmail.com).

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Discussion: Week 1 -- The Help

Today is the end of week one of The Help.

This week we read chapters 1--9. 

As always, the questions are numbered so you can answer by number in the comments.

Please be clear about which question you are answering and don't forget to come back and see any responses to your comments! 

Let the discussion begin!

  1. Chapter 3--What do you think of Minny's mama's rules for working for White Ladies?
  2. Chapter 5--Skeeter talks a lot about her looks and being told she was ugly. Do you think her looks are what kept her from finding a husband in college like her friends?
  3. The book is set in the Civil Rights era...what did you find most difficult to learn about that time so far?
  4. What makes Skeeter and Celia different than the other White Ladies in the book? What is the same?
  5. Who do you feel you've learned most about what that time period in the south was like--Abilene, Minny, or Skeeter, and why?
  6. So far, who is your favorite narrator, and why?
  7. Do you have any favorite parts from this weeks reading?


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Week 1 -- The Help



Week one of "The Help" starts today!
Our reading schedule for the week is as follows:

Chapters 1 - 9

At the end of the week (Saturday) we will have a discussion post.
Remember to send any discussion questions you would like to add by email to us:



Alisha
alisha.wordshakers@gmail.com

Candace

candace.wordshakers@gmail.com

If you have already read the book and you would like to join the discussion, we would love to have you (just be careful about posting anything that would spoil it for those of us who have not).

If you have any questions, leave a comment and we will get back to you right away.
Also, don't forget to submit book suggestions for future selections and questions for this weeks discussion post!

Thank you for joining us!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Discussion: Week 4 & Final--Matched

This week wraps up our discussion of the book Matched by Ally Condie. Chapters covered this week were Chapters 25--32.


Below are the questions for our final discussion. Discussion for Week 3 is HERE. Week 2 Discussion can be found HERE. Week 1 Discussion can be found HERE.


Just a reminder--we are starting our new book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett tomorrow. Beginning with our final discussion for Matched and leading up until the end of Week 3, each discussion question answered and every question submitted to us for the discussions will count towards an entry into a random drawing for either our selection after The Help or another selection of your choosing. We hope to drum up more participation. If you get a friend to join AND participate, you will get an extra entry. We will announce the winner at the beginning of Week 4 of The Help. If this idea works well, we may continue for future books. This idea sort of reminds me of the Capital and the tesserae from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Only we have a much happier motive and ending in mind! :)


Don't forget to e-mail us (alisha.wordshakers@gmail.com or candace.wordshakers@gmail.com) your suggestions for the poll to choose our selection after The Help.


To help avoid spoilers, Discussion Questions are hidden below, click "Read More" to continue to the discussion. Please be sure to reference the number of the question you are answering. Thanks for joining us in reading Matched. We hope you've enjoyed the book and the discussions that ensued.




Friday, June 17, 2011

GIVEAWAY!

We'd like to drum up some more participation! (Thanks SBaney for your participation in Week 3 Discussion!)

It appears that tomorrow will wrap up our discussion of Matched by Ally Condie. (Click HERE to vote by midnight tonight). Our new book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, will likely begin on Monday (see link above). Therefore, we have a proposal.

Starting with submitting discussion questions by midnight tonight (alisha.wordshakers@gmail.com or candace.wordshakers@gmail.com), there will be one drawing entry given per discussion question submitted and discussion question answered by the submitter/answer-er until the end of Week 3 of The Help. Get a friend to join and participate and you get an extra entry for bringing in a friend.

After Week 3, all entries will be put into a drawing and the winner of the drawing will be sent a free copy of the next book chosen (our selection after The Help). We could use some new suggestions for our selection poll, so be sure to submit them. They can be repeats of books in past polls. If you aren't exactly crazy about the next book chosen and would like to save your free copy until later when a book you're more interested in comes about, we can do that instead. 

We hope that this will help generate some more interest in our discussions. We have 13 followers and who knows who else is actually checking out the blog? 

If you have a moment, send us an e-mail or comment below (you can do so anonymously if you'd like) about what else might generate more participation, or maybe what has kept you from participating so far. Remember, you don't have to love the books to participate in the discussion. It doesn't have to be a love-fest of the book! If you disagree with a point, tell us!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Matched: Week 4

This week we will finish Matched by Ally Condie. Our reading for the week is Chapters 25--32. Discussion for Week 3 is HERE, ready and waiting for your thoughts! Week 2 Discussion (found HERE) had some great participation. Let's keep it up! Week 1 Discussion can be found HERE.

As mentioned on Saturday, The Help by Kathryn Stockett is our next selection. To determine when we will begin reading, please take a moment to let us know your thoughts about our Week 4 discussion below.

Also, we are ready for your suggestions for our poll for choosing our next selection (for after The Help). E-mail us (alisha.wordshakers@gmail.com or candace.wordshakers@gmail.com)

We can discuss Matched Week 4 and discuss Matched in its entirety on this coming Saturday's discussion, or we can move to a Week 5 and discuss the entire book Matched. If we do discuss Week 4 & the entire book this Saturday, we will begin The Help on Monday June 20 & that will give everyone two weeks to get the book and read the first week. Otherwise, we will begin The Help on June 27 and that will give everyone 3 weeks to get the book read. The Help is easily found at Target for sure, not sure about Wal-mart. We do want to know what will work best for everyone, so please take a moment and vote in the poll below, and/or leave your thoughts/feelings in the comments. Please consider sharing your thoughts on whether we should decide this on a case by case basis or stick to a strict schedule (as far as lumping Week 4 discussions & the whole book together or discussing them separately).

How should we handle Week 4 Discussion?



Sunday, June 12, 2011

Discussion: Week 3 - Matched

Week 3 discussion is here! That means the poll for our next reading selection is closed. Our next selection will be The Help by Kathryn Stockett. So go and get it now!

This week we read chapters 17 -- 24. 

Discussion for week 2, chapters 9-16 can be found here and discussion for Week 1, Chapters 1--8 can be found here.

Be aware that the questions may contain spoilers--if you haven't gotten this far, wait to read the questions until you have reached the end of Chapter 24.

The questions are numbered so you can answer by number in the comments.


Please be clear about which question you are answering . Also, with our comment setup, other participants can reply directly to your comment, as well as subscribe to all comments given so everyone can keep up with 
the discussion!

Don't feel like you have to answer every question, and if you would like to present a question that is not on the list, feel free to do so.

Let the discussion begin!

1. In chapter 18 the Officials come to collect Artifacts. This seems to have been because Em had Cassia's compact at her Match ceremony. Do you think this was truly the reason for collecting artifacts? Why or why not, and what other reason might there be?

2. In chapter 19 the hikers are given the task to mark obstacles. Do you think the recreational hiking has an ulterior motive, and if so, what?

3. In chapter 20 Cassia says she feels she & Ky are their true selves when they are hiking together, yet Cassia has mentioned before how well she and Xander know each other. What are the similarities and differences in how Xander & Cassia know each other and how Ky & Cassia know each other? How is Cassia's true self with Ky different than the Cassia Xander knows?

4. Also in Chapter 20, Xander asks Ky if he wants to play a 1:1 game, something Xander doesn't usually play as he likes group games. Why do you think Xander does this?

5. In Chapter 22 the Official tells Cassia that there is a 95% chance her feelings for Ky will be over by the time she's 25. What do you think?

6. In Chapter 23 Cassia's mother explains that the maple trees on the street are being cut down for being un-uniform. How are the trees symbolic of the people of the Society? What do you think this moment foreshadows?

7. In Chapter 24, what is the significance of the story of Bram's first day of school?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Matched - Week 3

Week three of Matched starts today!


We are reading Chapters 17--24.


Or, if you're like me, you are reading ahead because it was too good to put down! Luckily, you can still join the discussion for each week anyway!


Discussion for Week 1 of Matched can be found here and week 2 here.

Also, as we mentioned earlier, we will be closing the poll for our next selection at the end of this week. So make sure you vote!

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Let us know!

Happy reading!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Discussion: Week 2--Matched

Week 2's reading was for Chapters 9--16 of Matched by Ally Condie. Discussion for Week 1, Chapters 1--8 can be found here.

Be aware that the questions may contain spoilers--if you haven't gotten this far, wait to read the questions until you have reached the end of Chapter 16.

The questions are numbered so you can answer by number in the comments.

Please be clear about which question you are answering . Also, with our comment setup, other participants can reply directly to your comment, as well as subscribe to all comments given so everyone can keep up with the discussion!
Don't feel like you have to answer every question, and if you would like to present a question that is not on the list, feel free to do so.

Let the discussion begin!

1. Do you feel Cassia's discovery of the Dylan Thomas poem is the start of her awakening or do you feel it started before then (and if you do, when do you think it started, and what was the catalyst?).


2. In what ways has Cassia started rebelling?


3. The Society claims to use the tissue samples to possibly bring back the dead one day. Do you believe them? Why or why not?

4. Cassia mentions in chapter 11 that they no longer know how to write, only to use scribes. For the Society, what purpose does this serve?

5. Also in Chapter 11 Cassia comments on her father being an Official, but not an important one. She says, "We're thinkers, not enforcers: learners, not doers." How do you feel about Cassia's statement?

6. In Chapter 13, Cassia's friend Em has an anxiety attack. Do you think this has meaning to the story, and if so, what meaning do you think it has?


7. Why/How do you think Ky knows how to write, and how to write cursive?

8. What did you love/not love/like/not like about this week's reading? What stands out to you? Any thoughts in general you'd like to share?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Updates

Just a reminder that tomorrow we will be having our discussion on Week 2 of Matched, Chapters 9--16. In the meantime, Discussion for Week 1 can be found here. Feel free to jump in whenever you can! It was exciting to see a new face participating!

Also want to remind our participants that we would love to post some of your own questions for discussion. Please e-mail either one of us to have your questions included in the discussion. Please e-mail these questions by midnight tonight.
Alisha: alisha.wordshakers@gmail.com
Candace: candace.wordshakers@gmail.com

Lastly--Desiree made a great point earlier this week that more time is needed between books to make sure that everyone has enough time to get the next book before discussion begins. We are going to start closing the poll for selection of our next book by the end of Week 3, which means we have one week left to vote. 

To help everyone decide, here are some summaries of our options (taken from About This Book from Google Books). Click on the title to be taken to Google books, where you can read selections. Don't forget to come back and vote your choice for the next book club book!


POLL OPTIONS FOR NEXT BOOK CLUB SELECTION

The Search for Queen Kitana by Vickie Perrine (an unpublished manuscript, waiting on a synopsis)

The Help by Kathryn Stockett:
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step. Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women ;mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends ;view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Helpis a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.
Lauren Oliver astonished readers with her stunning debut, Before I Fall. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it "raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful. An end as brave as it is heartbreaking." Her much-awaited second novel fulfills her promise as an exceptionally talented and versatile writer.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. 
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. 
Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind.
And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debuts in years: a comedy, a heartbreaker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.