Old Man’s War ~ Book Club Discussion Questions

old man's war

I couldn’t find discussion questions for one of my favorite books so I  came up with some for our book club, here they are. Please feel free to add to these in the comments and when there’s a few I’ll repost the list. SPOILER ALERT!

Old Man’s War Discussion Questions

 

Does the future world/universe view seem believable?

 

How does the body change, change John Perry?

 

Would you volunteer in the Colonial Union?

 

When John Perry met Jane Sagan, do you agree or disagree with his pursuit of her? How does her true age affect your feelings? She was only a few years old when they met, but an adult physically.

 

Was it good or bad for John or Jane that she wasn’t his dead wife, but only had her DNA?

 

Does their budding romance speak to our genetics being a factor in compatibility and attraction? Or was it just John’s previous love and affection for his wife that captures Jane’s interest, as she does not have a past to draw on and John can give her his wife’s past?

 

What did you think of John Perry’s experience of having to stomp an alien race that was only an inch tall?

 

What did you like about this book? What did you dislike?

Soon to follow: Our book club’s review of Old Man’s War.

Advertisements

Book Review: The Red Tent

This review of The Red Tent, by Karen Jacobs aka Kacy Jey author of Jolene, You’re Not a Monster for the Gonzales Book Club and appeared in the Gonzales Inquirer on March 15th. I’m posting it here, because The Red really is a great book that I highly recommend to anyone, even men!

the red tent

The Gonzales Book Club met at the Gonzales Public Library on Feb. 18 to discuss “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant. This was Diamant’s debut novel. It was originally published in 1997.

The novel is based on the brief story of Jacob’s family that is told in Genesis chapter 34 in which two of Dinah’s brothers slaughter all the men of a neighboring tribe, take everything and everyone of value; because they believe Dinah was raped by the man she loved. But, that’s their side. The Red Tent is Dinah’s side of the story.

From a young age, Dinah shouldered great responsibility as the only daughter in a large family of one father, four wives, and twelve sons. The four wives or as Dinah called them, her four mothers looked to her to remember them and their stories. These stories give us an enchanting look into what life might have been like at the birth of the Jewish and Christian religions.

For Jacob, Dinah’s father was the son of Isaac who was the son of Abram. Their story: Their God asked Abram to sacrifice his only son, who was a gift from this God in Abram’s old age, to prove Abram’s devotion to his God. At the last moment, Abram’s God sent him a more fitting sacrifice. Abram, Isaac and Jacob believed that their God was greater than all the other deities. Jacob’s four wives Leah, Racheal, Zilpah and Bilhah believed in many different Gods and Goddesses, but Jacob ruled the tribe. So when Jacob had to circumcise his first born because his God demanded it, the women didn’t like it, but they could not stand against Jacob or his God’s wishes. This is only a small taste of the sub-plot of the religious evolution, but it’s woven throughout the book with subtle threads that by the end made for a fascinating tapestry that showed us the beginning of two worldwide religions.

Still, this isn’t a religious book. It is the story of young woman coming into her own. She wasn’t raped, but gave herself to the marriage bed as was the custom of her husband’s tribe. Though she suffers for the murderous deeds done by the hands of her two wicked brothers, Dinah survives. To live, though, she must remember the lessons she learned as a child in the Red Tent.

As for the Red Tent, it was where the women went during their monthly cycle. All the women were within a day or two apart in their cycles and would spend three days in the Red Tent resting and refreshing. What a marvelous idea. Three days at the spa with your girlfriends, to bond with every month. We discussed that this is something we as women have lost in our drive for equality. We no longer celebrate the feminine. We speculated that most women we’ve known have hated their menstrual cycle. Whereas the women in the Red Tent embraced it as evidence that they were the life bearers. Without that spilt blood, they could not bring new life into the world. And really, the main theme of this book is celebrating bringing life into the world. Dinah is a rich character, as are her mothers and many of the supporting characters.

The world Ms. Diamant recreated is beautiful and so real that if I believed in reincarnation, I’d think she lived there, perhaps as Dinah. This is a book that has changed the way I see other women and myself. It’s shown me another side of the Biblical stories and given them a refreshing burst of fresh air in my mind. I’d enjoy reading other books based on the Bible stories, especially if they were done in such a tasteful non-preachy way as Ms. Diamant has done with The Red Tent. I think the Song of Solomon would make a great book, but it’d have to be R rated.

This book is available in eformats, paper, audio and it’s also been made into a mini-series that is available on Amazon.

Our next meeting will be on March 17 at the Gonzales Public Library from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. We will discuss Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout, a collection of short stories based upon a the central character Olive Kitteridge. Everyone is welcome at our meetings.  We look forward to see you there.

Reviewed by Karen Jacobs aka Kacy Jey author of Jolene, You’re Not a Monster, member of the Gonzales Readers Group and the Gonzales Writer’s Group. Connect with Karen via Facebook, The Web or Twitter.

The Writer’s group meets the first Thursday of every month at the Gonzales Public Library 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is open to new members of all ages. Under 18 writers must be accompanied by an adult their first time. The next meeting will be April 7th.

BE A WINNER!!!

Click HERE to enter!Chicken-DinnerWinner, winner –but not a chicken dinner. Click HERE to enter!

Contests are always exciting and I’m thrilled to share this with all my friends.

No purchase necessary to enter. Prize is valued at almost $20!!!

Please share this contest far and wide as we only  have until March 31, 2016!

Click HERE to enter!

So, what’s this all about?

139114_orig

 

This. I know, it’s a strange title for a book, but the review is outstanding and I hope I’m one of the winners so I can read it, too. Here’s an excerpt from Mark Palm’s five star review:

….All of this leads me to Dog Run Moon: Stories, a collection of short stories by Callan Wink. I was a little more than halfway through this collection when I knew that I was reading the works of a writer who could stand shoulder to shoulder with folks like Annie Proulx and Thomas McGuane, and believe me, it’s a tough pair of writers to match up against, but this book is just that good. Since the stories are set in the American West, and take place beneath their unending skies, the analogy fits….. Click HERE to read the entire review.

GOOD LUCK and please follow my blog for more exciting contests!

 

Book Review: NEVER LET ME LEAVE

51p1biZmoCL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_This is a sneak preview of the review that will be live on Amazon in the next day or two.

Never Let Me Leave, the second book in Jennifer Brozek’s Melissa Allen trilogy was stunning! I enjoyed it as much as the first and I can’t wait for the third. Melissa, in the first book, survived an alien takeover of South Dakoda because of her unusual brain chemistry. Now, she’s in a lab for some tests, but there’s a different kind of alien being held there.

Melissa meets Adam, Ian, Sean and Carrie. Adam was created and raised in a lab. He is genetically perfect. Carrie is an orphan hacker. Ian survived a different kind of alien attack and captured the one being held at this lab. Sean survived yet another different kind of alien attack that slaughtered his family at sea. At this point, I’m intrigued to find out what’s going on with these aliens and alarmed at their diversity. By the end of the book, I was delighted with the plot and the aliens’ diabolical cleverness.

The action ramped up fast and was filled with nail biting excitement. By the end, I didn’t stop but bought the third book, because I had to find out what would happen next to Melissa. She’s a character that will forever stay with me and I have to thank Ms. Brozek for introducing us.

Adam will also stay with me, but for a very strange and coincidental reason. My debut novel, Jolene, You’re Not a Monster is centered on a creature/young woman (depending on your point of view) created in a lab like Adam. When I first read that Adam had a similar origin I was excited. It was fascinating to read another author’s take on such a parallel premise. Adam is very different from Jolene, he’s not a monster, but he has some of the same problems as Jolene. Although, I think he’s better adjusted to his life than Jolene is. Plus, Jolene is not a YA but a New Adult novel with adult situations. Still, I greatly enjoyed getting to know Adam and I care for him. He’s opened me to some new ideas. I’ve got a running scene in my head of Jolene and Adam meeting. What a conversation that would make!

Overall, I highly recommend this series to young and adult readers. Jennifer Brozek is going on my list of favorite authors.