Round Rock New Neighbors is a social organization of women welcoming women in the Round Rock area since 1978. Both "new" and "old" neighbors are welcome. For more information: rrnewneighbors.org [Barnes & Noble requires that RRNN's book club be open to the public, so you do not need to be an RRNN member to attend book club, and both men and women are welcome and do attend. ]
The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series events will be listed here.
Round Rock Public Library Book Group meets monthly at 7:00-8:30 PM. Check the library website for more information, or ask Carla.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Book Club Enjoys Picture Book Narrated by 12-Year-Old
While reading The Collected Works of T.S. Spivet, by Reif Larsen, I just enjoyed the book and the illustrations. After our discussion and upon retrospect, I see the book as one of those that cross over from adolescent to adult; appropriate and interesting for everyone from a fairly young age through an advanced one! The feat of creating such a book is admirable. It's not sophomoric, the way a lot of movies about young adult relationships seem to me at my age, and yet I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it and might even give my copy to my 13-year-old great nephew, who reads and reads and reads over again.
A wonderful coincidence was that Kathleen joined our group recently and had experienced a small city celebrating The Collected Works with 28 days of events focused on the book! The town of Trumbull, Connecticut, chose this book in 2010, soon after it was published. The whole town was involved, with parties, fundraisers, discussions about the book, and analysis of the themes in the book, culminating in a day the author spent as a guest of the town. Kathleen showed us some brochures and schedules. Seems Trumbull went all out and had a lot of fun with T.S. Spivet!
Two themes that were addressed in Trumbull as well as at our meeting were the incidence of triads in the book and the question as to whether the book was autobiographical. Kathleen was the one who noticed the triads. She listed them. The list was a lot longer than what I was able to quickly note as she read them: the Trident Youth, 3 laws of motion, 3 books in the library about quantum mechanics, a 3-part series on a child prodigy, 3 suits for 3 press conferences, the 3-fingered Megatherium salute, and T.S. packing 3 of his notebooks for his trip to Washington, DC. Apparently the author, Reif Larsen, was surprised by the list of triads and could not take credit for spreading them throughout the book. His reaction to the plethora of triads was to remark that he might need to discuss this with a psychotherapist!
Larsen didn't tell the citizens of Trumbull much about his personal background, although it was clear that he was a young author and had been an intellectually gifted child. But he didn't have any personal anecdotes about hoboes or trains. Among the clever small print parts of the book are a list on the copyright page, as if part of the cataloging, of 27 subjects in the book, each of which is noted to be "fiction;" and on the very last page of the book, in the middle of a full-page abstract design, is a short sentence in similar tiny print that says, "Everything is fiction."
All who read the book, which seemed to be most or all of us present, enjoyed it. Some liked the sidebars and illustrations more than others did. Jay said they were like footnotes, and Cindy said they showed how the author's or T.S. Spivet's thought patterns. Carla nominated and presented the book and gave us 2 themes to think about: The book as a hero's quest in the spirit of Joseph Campbell, and the book as a parallel of The Wizard of Oz. Lots to enjoy and think about with this book. I still don't quite understand the Wormhole. Maybe I'm just too old for that!
A movie based on this story was released all over the world except in the United States and is called "The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet."