In the spirit of the amazing and extremely talented Readers Advisor Becky Spratford, who writes the blog RA for All (if you're not reading it yet, GO NOW), I will be briefly recapping the various book discussions that I lead.
Suspicious Minds is an evening book discussion that meets inside the library, in the evening, and reads only crime fiction.
Last night we met to discuss The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, a much more divisive book that I had anticipated. Of the 12 people who attended, two flat-out hated the book, another three were somewhere in the middle, while the remaining adored the book.
I always begin my book discussions with a go-around where everyone gives their general impression: did they love it, did they hate it, etc. Words used to describe the book were: goofy, fun, charming, no character development, and boring.
We spent the most time discussing Flavia de Luce, the precocious child narrator of the book. The big question is whether an 11 year old could actually be as smart and witty as Alan Bradley writes her. Some people insisted that they knew 11 year olds just as smart as Flavia, while others insisted it could never be. I asked the group if they think that characters need to be realistic in order to enjoy the story, and of course, they were divided.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to other discussion leaders, even for groups that read more than just mysteries. We could have debated and discussed for another hour, at least. There are publisher discussion questions available, but I tend to write my own. You can access those on my Google Doc.
Happy Friday, and happy reading!