The Deadbeat Club – Part 3 (pages 158 – 229)

Deadbeat Club coverThe Word On The Street’s Book Club discussion of The Deadbeat Club continues!

This week, book club leader Christine has questions based on page 158 (…Girl on the Ceiling) to page 229 (…Below the Salt)

Next week we’ll conclude with page 230 (…Shootout At the Ah-So-Easy) to page 303 (…Mountain High).


Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to week three of the discussion. We are 3/4 of the way through the book – AMAZING! I want to thank you all again for taking the time to read and comment weekly. It has been a lot of fun in the comments! As always, please feel free to bring up your own questions as well.

We left off last week with the death of another character (is there a theme? haha) and the general consensus from the comments was that it was a pretty upsetting one. We get a nice character and bam! 😦

This week’s questions will look at the reading of: page 158 (…Girl on the Ceiling) to page 229 (…Below the Salt) – btw for any Supernatural fans, did the chapter title of “Girl on the Ceiling” bring back any feelings? 😉

1. The more we read of Grey and Dara – I’m slowly coming to the realization that I really don’t know much about Dara at all. One particular line really intrigued me and I hope that they will develop this further and that was: “Happy. She had just dodged going back to her mother’s basement, something that scared her more than facing Nick Rosco” (163). What do you think of Dara? Do we think she’s reliable and trustworthy? I don’t know why…but I just have a bad feeling about her! What do you think about this particular passage in general? It is meant to “build” Dara, but at the same time, I’m feeling quite disconnected from her as a character.

2. This book has given us an inside look into the drug selling world but it has barely focused on the effects of drugs. I found that in this week’s reading we got more of that, but more amped up! We saw before Dara and Grey smoking Eight Miles High, but in this section, we got to see what happened to Nick when he was drugged by Grey. Pot largely surrounds this book so it was an interesting change to see other drugs come into play. What do you think about introducing this other component of drugs? Was it simply a plot device to maneuver the scene where Jaelene steals from Nick? Is it weird that the focus is not really on Eight Miles High at all?

3. The last chapter we read from this section ends with some craziness. We are finally seeing the drug war come to the frontlines of the book. We are seeing “crews” develop and solidify. Grey does not seem like the fighting type, but his friend is missing and dead and he seems to be “on the run” to avoid trouble. What do you hope to see with Grey? Do you think that he’ll stand up and take action?

As always, please share other questions you may have about the reading. I hope you all have a wonderful week and I will see you next week for our final reading! 🙂

Cheers,
Christine

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The Road to Atlantis – Part 3 (pages 100 – 138)

The Road to AtlantisThe Word On The Street’s Book Club discussion of The Road to Atlantis continues!

This week, book club leader Jenn has questions based on pages 100 – 138. Feel free to use these as a jumping-off point for any other thoughts or questions you may have too.


Welcome to week #3 of discussion for The Road to Atlantis by Leo Brent Robillard! We are over halfway through the book now, and I hope you are pacing yourself for the end! This week we will be looking at pages 100 to 138 (the chapter entitled “The House on Water Street”).

Again, please feel free to ask questions and to discuss each other’s responses, keeping in mind a culture of respect for everyone’s opinions and beliefs.

Introduction:

We’ve jumped ahead ten years now, and the characters we have grown to know in the previous pages have had some pretty significant changes in their lives. David is now working at the Dairy as a counter clerk, Anne is now with Danny but working for another cabinet minister, and Matty finally comes into his own as a character.

Discussion Questions:

  1. “He fell in love with the trains, the stations, and the tiny worlds people created. It all seemed so safe and contained and self-sufficient.”  David has, we learn, lost touch with his family and his previous life over course of the ten years. How then does his foray into the world of modern trains demonstrate his new reality? What do you think his new relationship with trains and need for control – previously a trait most demonstrated by Anne –  says about him and about his personality?
  1. This is the chapter where Matty becomes known to us – what surprised you most/least about his development? What is your feeling about his relationship with Ashley – an older, more confident female? Is she a substitute for the relationship he might have had with his sister?
  1. Anne and David seem to have changed roles in this chapter, with Anne being the person on the edge and close to snapping. After ‘moving on’ with her life, why do you think she still feels the need to self-medicate through drugs, exercise and diet? What does her reaction to Matty’s announcement at the end of the chapter tell us about her?

Literacy Comes Alive at the Learning Tent!

IMGP8158The Word On The Street Learning Tent hosts family-friendly literacy programming

The Word On The Street Toronto is dedicated to the promotion of local literacy organizations. The festival shows its support each year by providing free exhibit space to 20 literacy groups in the Exhibitor Marketplace to help them promote their programs, attract new tutors and volunteers, and raise funds.

The Word On The Street is partnering with seven community groups this year to program the Learning Tent. The Learning Tent is a family-friendly destination where experts in the fields of literacy and education will share informative and entertaining activities, and introduce the public to a range of community literacy projects.

We’re pleased to announce that our Literacy Programming Partners for the 2015 festival are ONBIDA (the Ontario branch of the International Dyslexia Association), Frontier College, Vallum Society for Education in Arts and Letters, Ontario Science Centre, The Ontario Cultural Society of the Deaf (OCSD) and Silent Voice, and First Book Canada.  For a full schedule of Learning Tent activities, visit The Word On The Street’s website.

 Learning Tent Highlights:

  • In the Recognize the warning signs of dyslexia workshop, speech-language pathologists Jana Leggett and Sherry Raffalovitch lead a dyslexia simulation, teaching participants how to identify students at risk, and how to intervene to help students overcome their reading and writing difficulties.
  • Canada’s original literacy organization, Frontier College, believes in developing quality learning opportunities to motivate the next generation of readers and leaders. Join Frontier College in Math Twister and Picture Bingo, classic games with a fun and educational twist! Each visitor will receive a free new children’s book.
  • Vallum Society for Education in Arts and Letters and author Greg Santos invite visitors to write a poem with “Newspaper + marker = blackout poetry.” This activity illustrates poet James Tate’s remark: “Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing.”
  • Join The Ontario Science Centre for an explosion of brainstorming, building, rethinking and…more rebuilding as you tackle real world problems. Working together to solve a challenge, festivalgoers are invited to design, build and test probable solutions using a variety of common but  unexpected materials within unreasonable limits of time and resources, with ambiguous directions and changing conditions. The Ontario Science Centre’s facilitators will guide guests toward solutions as they exercise ingenuity, innovativeness and imagination in a fun, creative atmosphere.
  • In the ASL Storytelling, Rhythms and Rhymes segment, renowned Deaf storytellers bring American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf culture and Deaf heritage to the stage, with rhymes and rhythms, personification, poetry, rap, and storytelling like no other.
  • First Book Canada invites you to a presentation of The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear with author and illustrator Hilary Leung. Join Hilary for a fun Reading Celebration, with a chance to meet the author and receive a free copy of his book!

The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan – Part 2 (pages 74 – 153)

The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan CoverThe Word On The Street’s Book Club discussion of The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan got started last week. Check out the conversation!

This week, book club leader Karen has a few questions based on pages 74 – 153.

Coming Up
Part 3
– Ch 15-24 (pg. 242)
Part 4 – Ch 24 – End


Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your insightful comments this past week! You definitely made me rethink some of my impressions, which is exactly what I love about book clubs. I can’t wait to start discussing part 2!

  1. What was your first reaction after finishing the part? Was there anything that surprised you? I can’t say I saw the outcome of the second expedition coming!
  1. I have to admit that one of my shortcomings as a reader is that I’m often too trusting of the narrator, which is why I loved that some of you weren’t sure whether to trust Wand’s story in the previous part! Do you think Benny is a reliable narrator?
  1. Given how chapter 14 ends, I really want to talk about Captain Morgan. What do you think of him now? I did not see him as a heartless man in part 1, but now I’m starting to doubt him. Do you think everything has been a part of a bigger plan, or did he genuinely enjoy watching the priests suffer?

Please feel free to add your questions in the comments as well!

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better – Part 2 (pages 69 – 126)

Monica Heisey- I Can't Believe-final cover -april 2015The Word On The Street’s Book Club discussion of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better got started last week. Check out the conversation!

This week, book club leader Michele has a few questions based on pages 69 -126.

Coming Up
Part 3:
(pages 127 – 178)
“On Female Friendship, aka Everything” and “Fashion”

Part 4: (pages 179 – 231)
“S-E-X-X-X and Love” and “Our Modern World”


2nd Section: (pg 69-126)

“Werk” and “It’s Called Manners, Read a Book”

  1. Working from home has become more of a common reality for many nowadays. I think I’d like to, but only on a sporadic basis. I generally enjoy the office atmosphere and being around others. Do you work from home, or would you like to? What do you think the pros and cons of that kind of working environment would be?
  1. Heisey (half?) jokingly lists some difficult workplace truths, but what are some actual ones that you have discovered or learned yourself from being out in the working world?
  1. Having been slender my entire life and now newly married, I particularly connected with the section about people who want to talk you about your body whether it’s that they think I have an eating disorder or wondering when I’m going to have kids. How do you handle these situations, where a stranger or someone you know wants to discuss things about your body?

The Deadbeat Club – Part 2 (pages 79 – 157)

Deadbeat Club coverThe Word On The Street’s Book Club discussion of The Deadbeat Club got started last week. Check out the conversation!

This week, book club leader Christine has a few questions based on page 79 (…Getting Their Man) to page 157 (…Payback).

Next week we’ll discuss page 158 (…Girl on the Ceiling) to page 229 (…Below the Salt), and following that we’ll conclude with page 230 (…Shootout At the Ah-So-Easy) to page 303 (…Mountain High).


Hi everyone!

Welcome to week two of discussion. We left off last week with “…Loose Lips” where Nick left Travis standing with the limp body of Tuff Dubb.

1) With that, did any of you anticipate that happening? We saw another one of Grey’s “associates” get their teeth kicked in but escalating to the point of death, I simply did not see that coming. I had anticipated Travis being the one that would do something like that, but it really shocked me that it was Nick. How did you all feel about this? Do you think there’s a chance at all that Tuff Dubb may have survived the shot?

2) I also found it interesting in this section that you saw more interactions and dialogue between Grey/Dara and Travis/Lexie. Do you think that the story is perhaps progressing in the direction of a redemption arc for Travis instead heroic arc for Grey? I’m asking this because I’m finding that Kalteis is really good at subverting the reader’s expectations.

3) This book does not “build the world” for the reader in the typical way. How did you feel about passages like: “Said he wanted to pay me in syringes” (85) to build the setting? Do you think they build the setting instead of regular descriptions? Do you also think that it was deliberate on Kalteis’ part on choosing the setting of Whistler given the active drug scene there?

As always, please feel free to share other thoughts you had for this passage and ask questions as well! Happy reading all 🙂

Cheers,
Christine

The Road to Atlantis – Part 2 (pages 48 – 97)

The Road to AtlantisThe Word On The Street’s Book Club discussion of The Road to Atlantis got started last week. Check out the conversation!

This week, book club leader Jenn has a few questions based on pages 48 – 97. Feel free to use these as a jumping-off point for any other thoughts or questions you may have too.


Welcome to week #2 of discussion for The Road to Atlantis by Leo Brent Robillard!

Thanks for your input and thoughtful reflection on the book so far … I think there is much to discuss in the coming weeks, and I look forward to seeing what you think through our discussions.

This week we will be looking at pages 48 – 97 (remainder of A City By the River).
Again, please feel free to ask questions and to discuss each other’s responses, keeping in mind a culture of respect for everyone’s opinions and beliefs.

Introduction:

There’s a definite progression in the story with these fifty pages or so, and some themes are starting to develop. By the end of this section, the story has developed significantly, and we have a much clearer picture of Anne and David.
If there is something in the book that isn’t mentioned in the discussion questions that interests you, by all means add it to the responses – I would love to read different interpretations.

Discussion Questions:

1. “He could not undo what was done.” Regret plays a big role in this part of the novel, especially regarding the idea of a “do over” (such as the memory with Nat and her parents in the Wal-Mart). How do you see regret as an influence on Anne and David and their present-day actions?

2. We are starting to get a picture of Natalie as a child – throwing a tantrum in the shopping cart, cutting her hair. Do we have as clear a sense of Matty? What is his response to his sister’s death? Why do you think that he is less detailed in the narrative at this point?

3. Both Anne and David are starting to form attachments with individuals of the opposite gender, but in very different ways. What needs do these fill for each person, and why have they chosen to connect with Sarah and Danny? By the end of this chapter, each person has indirectly influence significant changes in Anne and David’s lives – are they truly a catalyst for change or merely the last straw in a already heavy load?