Book Club: our August book is...

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by kholmes, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    20th Century Ghosts, a collection of short stories by Joe Hill, the same author who wrote Heart-Shaped Box (Turns out "Joe Hill" is the son of Stephen King--see below). Good reviews on Amazon.

    This is our first collection of short stories. And our first horror book. Good idea, Kellyanne, Rock, and all.

    As usual, I'll post a discussion thread during the last week of the month. Even if you don't read it, feel free to join us. You could always tell a ghost story.

    New members always welcome!

    [This Message was Edited on 08/06/2008]
  2. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Thanks for posting that.

    Stephen King's son? That's quite a writing family: Stephen, Tabitha, now "Joe Hill."

    I was a huge Stephen King fan, circa 1980, devouring everything I could get my hands on by him: The Dead Zone, The Stand, Firestarter, Carrie, Cujo, Skeleton Crew, etc....

    This will make me feel nostalgic for my summer reading experiences when I was in high school!

  3. texangal81

    texangal81 New Member

    I was a huge King fan in the 80's too and I've been looking for something to read. Many of my weekends are spent resting, watching, chick flicks and reading. I will pick this up and look forwarding to chatting about it!

  4. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Very glad you're joining us. It will be fun to read some horror stories written by Stephen King's son, and then compare them to his famous father's.

    Not much to know about being in Book Club. It's very laid back. You don't even need to read the book of the month to join us. If you do a search for "Book Club," you'll see a lot of the books we've read during the last two years.

    During the last week of the month, usually around the 26th, I, or someone else in the club, will post a discussion thread with a few questions about the book or a general "what did you think?" Say as little or as much as you want in response to the questions, digress, tell stories, tease Rockgor, or just hang out with us.

    By the way, Erin, looks like we're neighbors (I'm in Albuquerque), and nice pic of your son!

    Do you also live west of the Mississippi, Tleaw?

    [This Message was Edited on 08/06/2008]
  5. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    But I probably won't be able to get it until Saturday. I love getting an e-mail from the library telling me my hold is ready. Ah, simple pleasures.

    Tleaw: I love San Diego, though haven't been there in about ten years. And you're 15 minutes from the ocean? Sounds wonderful. Me, I'm in Albuquerque, with little water in sight, except for the Rio Grande. Last night, there was a tremendous thunderstorm, and the water went rushing down streets from the mountains. The arroys were flooding over in places.
  6. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the club.

    Ok, I've got it on hold. I'm number one. Yeah!

    If you were picking a nome de plum, would you pick one that carried overtones of union activity, murder, government oppression, folk music and martyrdom?


  7. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Rock, I hadn't thought about the connotations of the pen name, "Joe Hill." It sounds like a name out of a ballad about a desperado who is captured and hung in Wyoming, circa 1870.

    I think I'd call myself "Manon Bangor." (Get it? Man-in-Bangor?)

    Jean: So our latitude explains our craziness. I knew there had to be SOMETHING. You were right about the balmy weather here today. Has it rained a lot in Toronto this summer? Have you ever been out to Nova Scotia? If been to Winnipeg and many places in western Canada, but I'd love to visit Montreal, Toronto, and drive around Nova Scotia, stopping for some traditional Cape Breton music. Aussi, parlez vous francais?
  8. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I guess latitude is as good an explanation for human behavior as full moon or astrology sign.

    The Joe Hill I'm thinking of is the one who was executed in Utah during WWI for the crime of murder and, probably, for being a Wobbly (union member). He was originally from Sweden. Wikipedia has an article.

    I've been to Bangor. Gordon and I went on a bus trip of New England. Guess what. It looks just like a calendar.

    When we got to Bangor, the tour guide didn't seem to know Stephen King lived there. You can see his house if you go to

    Pretty nice place.

    Manon Bangor" seems like an excellent name, tho it would remind that both Massenat and Puccini wrote operas about Manon. (Nope, wouldn't have fingered out your cunning joke.)

    Have an EA meeting tonight. We have to start half an hour earlier. We meet at a library and the library has reduced its hours due to budget considerations.

    So even tho we are not supposed to discuss politics (or religion) at our meetings, we cannot escape the effects of politics.

    Just finished reading Julie Andrews' autobiography "Home".
    Guess what. She belongs to the large tribe that came from a dysfunctional family.


  9. kellyann

    kellyann New Member

    Wow! I can't believe ya'll picked my book! I did know that Joe Hill is Stephen King's son, which honestly is why I bought the book in the first place, but it is turning out to be pretty good!

    Sometimes I think it is fun to just read something for fun, something scary, creapy, or whatever and Stephen King is my very favorite. He just can't write books fast enough to suit me! I liked his last one "Duma Key" it was like he was writing about the worst nightmares one could possibly have. I wonder where in the world he comes up with this stuff? And no, it doesn't give me nightmares to read it!

    Well, I hope you all have fun reading the book, I know I will.

    Your Friend,
  10. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Rock: Didn't know about the real Joe Hill. Will have to read more about him. Great pictures of Stephen King's house. Looks like the perfect house of the King family. Also nice that it's a beautiful historic house, rather than a Macmansion that so many wealthy people live in. Love the wrought iron railings the roof, and the pool. Remember when King was hit by the driver of a van when he was out walking in his neighborhood?

    Jean: Your Chapters must be a bit like our Borders. So you've hiked the Pacific Coast trail and have driven around Cape Breton and PEI? Beautiful places. Have you driven across the bridge to PEI, then? That's very impressive. The pictures I've seen of the Pacific Coast trail, with its wooden planks and ladders, always remind me of the game, Chutes and Ladders. I love the traditional Celtic music of Cape Breton. One of my students five years ago was the niece of Natalie MacMaster. Nathalie performed here in Albuquerque and I got to go. I'm a huge fan of Celtic music.

    At our latitude, we've been getting some awesome late afternoon thunderstorms. Lightning struck a few houses away last night and knocked out the power for two hours. This is rare in Albuquerque.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/09/2008]
  11. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Kellyann: Well, I'm glad you suggested it. I'm picking up my copy at the library today! Will have to look into Duma Key also.

    Tleaw: Hope you enjoyed the picture of the King family digs as much as I did.

  12. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I'm glad you saw my note about Robert Fulghum's book (What On Earth Have I Done?). I'm reading it slowly so it won't end soon. I read a chapter or two with a meal, like a digestive biscuit (as Annie would say).

    Let me know how you like it.

  13. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Tleaw: How would you like to spend a night, alone, in Stephen King's house during a thunderstorm? It would probably scare me to death. Might get attacked by a psychic man, or a fire-starting little girl, rabid dog, monster clown, axe-wielding nurse, car with personality of its own, a toxic cell phone, or a mass virus. (I'm sure I've missed quite a few characters from King's imagination there).

    Marta: I like your "digestive biscuit" method of reading Fulghum's book. I just put it on hold, but looks like I'm #33 or so, so it will be a bit of a wait.

  14. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Not for Book Club discussion but for those who enjoy a thought-provoking, well-written story and can read with an open mind.

    The book is called Breakfast with Buddha by Rolland Merullo. This is from the inside jacket cover:

    "When Otto Ringling, husband, father, and editor, departs on a cross-country drive from his home in a NYC suburb to the North Dakota farmhouse in which he grew up, he is a man on a no-nonsense mission: to settle the estate of his parents. However, when his flaky sister convinces him to give a ride to her guru, a crimson-robed Skovorodinian monk, Otto knows there will be a few bumps in the road."

    By the time I got to Chapter 40, I wanted to make this book required reading for all the heads of state.

    I loved it. See what you think.

    Good reading!
  15. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    a bit late coming in here but.....didnt Joan Baez sing a song or was it Bob dylan

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
    alive like you and me

    The library here aren't getting the book until October so I will see if I can find it in local bookshop.

  16. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Oh, yeah, I forgot about the song. Recorded by several people including Paul Robeson. It was originally a poem and later set to music.

    Reminds us all it's a good idea to stay outta the state of Utah.

  17. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    is this book seriously scary because I do NOT read horror books or watch horror films - I have nightmares.

    I still remember a story I read about a woman following a young boy and being eaten alive by his family and that was 30 years plus ago.

    Maybe I'll bow out of this one.

    Read today that there is a gene that decides whether we enjoy horror films etc or get scared by them.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/11/2008]
  18. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    actually I had nightmares last night just at the thought of the story I read years ago, I'm better without those things in my head.

    Ghost stories (haunted stories) I can cope with, horror stories where horrible things happen I can't.

    So thanks for letting me know.

  19. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I'm reading one a day, and have only read the first two so far. The first one was pretty gruesome--and not just gruesome, but distrubing--but I really liked the second one. It was more about love for the cinema than a ghost, and had a kind of beauty to it.

    Maybe as we can go along, can let you know which ones might not give you bad dreams, Rosie!
    [This Message was Edited on 08/12/2008]
  20. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    but I really think I'll pass on this one.

    My 'horror gene' must be very strong, I still remember Edgar Allan Poe films with Vincent Price - Pit and the Pendulum etc from 40 odd years ago, which would make today's kids laugh out loud, but still scare me.