The Writers as Readers book club has selected Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter for their February 7th book discussion.

HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages—”since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda—traces its development from an improbable perfor­mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.
–Overview from the Barnes & Noble book listing

The WaR book club meetings are free and open to the public. They meet at the Barnes & Noble at CherryVale Mall on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
If you are interested in attending a meeting, please contact Linda at lindak0003@comcast.net

Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Time: 6:30 pm
Place:  Barnes & Noble at CherryVale Mall
Book: Hamilton: The Revolution

WaR Summary of Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence

by Mary Lamphere

Griffin and Sabine, by Nick Bantock, is an epistolary, interactive, illustrated novel. At 48 pages, it was certainly a stray from recent WaR reads. (The Third Coast was 544 pages, Beautiful Fools was 368 pages, and Me Before You was 448 pages.)

Griffin and Sabine is a mystery that unfolds one handwritten letter or post card at a time. The exchange is between two “strangers” who are both artists. She lives on a (fictional) tropical island, he in London. Through their conversations we learn that for whatever reason, she is able to see through his eyes when he creates art. At first, he is logically skeptical, but over time she convinces him it’s true. This connection is very deep and they begin to fall in love through their correspondence of shared experiences and creativity. The involvement for the reader is quite personal as well, opening envelopes and flipping cards to “eavesdrop” on their discussions.

This is the first book in a trilogy and it reads as so. The end is not really an end, but it certainly gets you wondering.

Griffin and Sabine is a unique book in that the illustrations are part of the story. There is probably more story revealed through the images than there is in the words. In club, we talked about the themes, content, and interpretation. Love, loneliness, and connection were themes that resonated. Most of the group appreciated the interactive nature of the book, but wouldn’t be inclined to read more like it or create one. Our best discussions surrounded the original art and how it related to the story. The elements of style, colors, and graphic nature of the art more often contradicted the words, informing the reader of a multi-leveled story. What is really going on here?

Because of its physical attributes, Griffin and Sabine isn’t available as an e-book. Those qualities also make it hard to describe this novel. I recommend you check it out from the library, pick it up at the book store, or borrow it from me. It’s worth a perusal.

WaR Readers Trek Through WWII with French Sisters

by Sharon Boehlefeld
Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale generated mixed reviews from Writers as Readers in August.The-Nightingale
The WWII novel traces the paths of two sisters and their father during the German occupation of France. One sister, who stayed at home in the French countryside, ended up being forced to board two German officers of opposite dispositions. The other became involved in the resistance, traveling from Paris to Leon, on to Spain and back again, eventually being captured by the Germans. Their father, who also worked in the resistance, spent most of his time in Paris.
The title is both the nom de guerre of the sister in the resistance, and their family name, Rossignol, the French word for nightingale.
Structurally, Hannah put most of the action in the war, but a story arc from the “present” helped generate some mystery as to which of the sisters survived long after the war. For the war years, Hannah switched point of view from one sister to the other, showing both times when their lives intersected and when they separated. Some readers liked that approach, while others were distracted by it. Continue reading “WaR Readers Trek Through WWII with French Sisters”

The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream

By Mary LamphereThe Third Coast

The July selection for Writers as Readers (WaR) was The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, by Thomas Dyja, a book about the history of Chicago. I was eager to read this One Book-One Chicago selection for 2016. I enjoyed the blend of story-telling and history woven through Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen and was looking forward to more like that. I loved the idea of Chicago being a “third coast”, the heart of an emerging America influencing the arts, politics, and construction of a nation, from New York to L.A. Continue reading “The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream”

Gilead, June Writers as Readers (WaR) Summary — linda’s pensieve

Winner of the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson is a genteel study of 1950’s rural life in the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa. Published in 2004, Gilead is Robinson’s second novel, following her critically acclaimed debut novel Housekeeping. Gilead is one of those books that you […]

via Gilead, June Writers as Readers (WaR) Summary — linda’s pensieve

WaR Discussed African American Female Sci-Fi Writer

by Cindy Kremer

In May, the Writers as Readers (WaR) group discussed Dawn book coverDawn by Octavia E. Butler, an African American science fiction writer. This was Book One of the Xenogenesis Trilogy, now published under the current title of Lilith’s Brood. This book was written in 1987 and the undercurrents of the U.S. and Russian nuclear arms race have destroyed earth as we know it at the beginning of our story.

This literary genre is not one of my favorites, but Octavia is an elegant writer who kept our interest with her very visual depictions of Lilith on an Oankali ship. Depicting the story centuries into the future permits the reader to believe the setting that is portrayed. She uses archetypes that depict the ugliness of the aliens and she left us wanting to read the rest of the series. Continue reading “WaR Discussed African American Female Sci-Fi Writer”

Writers as Reader (WaR) April Book Selection, The Professor’s House by Willa Cather

Reblogged from linda’s pensieve blog:

by Linda Kleczkowski
Willa CatherWilla Cather, born in Virginia in the 1873, is an author and a poet best known for her works depicting frontier life on the Great Plains, O Pioneers! (1913) and My
(1918) being two of her most recognized novels. One of Cather’s lesser esteemed but no less admired novels is The Professor’s House (1925).

The Professor’s House is a slice of life narrative about a middle aged professor, Godfrey St. Peter, who finds himself, at what should be the pinnacle of his life, despondent and disillusioned. Continue reading “Writers as Reader (WaR) April Book Selection, The Professor’s House by Willa Cather”

WaR Review – Before I Go to Sleep

512bunwjocvl-_sx329_bo1204203200_by Linda Kleczkowski

The book that Writers as Readers read for March was Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. According to WikipediaBefore I Go to Sleep is a psychological thriller about a woman suffering from anterograde amnesia.

Imagine waking up every single morning of your life with the previous day a complete blank page; not knowing that you’ve grown older, who the man in the bed next to you is, and what you did the day before or the week or years before. That is Christine’s life. The thriller part comes in when we learn that Christine’s amnesia was caused by a brutal attack that she barely survived.

Early in the story we are introduced to Dr. Nash, a neuropsychologist who is surreptitiously trying to help Christine gain her memory back. He encourages her to keep a journal which becomes the focal point of Christine’s journey to discover her past and what the horrible ‘accident’ was that caused her amnesia.

For those WaR members who attended the March meeting, Before I Go To Sleep was an enjoyable roller-coaster ride. Watson’s use of a journal to craft the protagonist’s forgotten story was ‘just the right tool’ remarked one member. The fact that Christine could read entries written in her own hand-writing was a credible vehicle for Christine to use to piece together her forgotten life.

Continue reading “WaR Review – Before I Go to Sleep”

Writers as Readers Review – American Copper

51tqqmlmjll-_sx331_bo1204203200_The January selection for the In Print Writers as Readers (WaR) book club was American Copper by Shann Ray. American Copper tells the story of Evelynne, daughter of Joseph Lowry, a powerful copper baron who wanted to “exhaust the storehouses of God” and never let his daughter marry because he needed her. Despite his desire to keep her at home, two very different men challenge his claim: Zion “a kind of powerful man who can’t put together words for feelings” and William Black Kettle, a Cheyenne team roper, who “has an intact family with a whole unified male female interwoven quality.”

Continue reading “Writers as Readers Review – American Copper”

In Print 2015 – A Year in Review

In Print provides a strong learning environment for writers of all ages, abilities and genres to grow in their craft and career. In addition to support and networking, we offer monthly meetings, guest speakers, workshops, writing retreats, field trips, contests, a monthly newsletter, and connections with the publishing world.

In Print sponsors Word of Art- a collaboration of authors and artists, In Print Radio, The Prompt Club, and Writers as Readers Book Club.

As an affiliate of Chicago Writers Association, In Print members are invited to participate in Printers’ Row, Speaker’s Bureau, Windy City Reviews, Write City Magazine, Book of the Year Awards, and many other literary opportunities. In Print and CWA co-host the annual Writers’ Block Party.

Continue reading “In Print 2015 – A Year in Review”