Posts tagged ‘the stand’

January 31, 2012

World Book Night 2012

Sign up by February 6th!

World Book Night 2012We have some excellent news!

The Book Cellar has been chosen to be an official store for World Book Night 2012. They are looking for 50,000 volunteers to hand out 20 copies each of their favorite books. That’s one million books!

What? You haven’t heard of World Book Night? Here’s the scoop from their website:

World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books. To be held in the U.S. as well as the U.K. and Ireland on April 23, 2012. It will see tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks.
World Book Night, through social media and traditional publicity, will also promote the value of reading, of printed books, and of bookstores and libraries to everyone year-round.
Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night will also be celebrated in the U.S. in 2012, with news of more countries to come in future years. Please join our mailing list for regular World Book Night U.S. news. And thank you to our U.K. friends for such a wonderful idea!
Additionally, April 23 is UNESCO’s World Book Day, chosen due to the anniversary of Cervantes’ death, as well as Shakespeare’s birth and death.

Volunteer to give books out in your community. Maybe at a food pantry or shelter. The organizers of World Book Night will provide the books–free of charge–and you can pick them up here in April.

They have chosen 30 amazing books across all genres to represent World Book Night, including Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, and Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games.

The Book Cellar book club has had fascinating discussions about many of the books on the list. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks looks at the early days of medical ethics (or the lack thereof). We unanimously enjoyed Stephen King’s The Stand even though it took us almost two months to finish. And The Glass Castle and Bel Canto both provoked vigorous debate.

You can sign up to be a volunteer for World Book Night. Go to their official page to sign up. We’d love to see you for the World Book Night reception on April 16th.

Let’s share. What book–it doesn’t have to be on the World Book Night list–has moved you so much you wish you could give out a million copies, and why?

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September 22, 2011

Book Club Recap: Stephen King’s The Stand

Our Book Club discussed Stephen King’s The Stand on Sept. 7, 2011. This may seem like an unusual book club choice (and in fact, it must be, because no reading-group guides exist for the book online). We learned, however, that the book has a little bit of something for everyone: horror, suspense, action, humor, sci-fi, romance, adventure. It’s a meaty book that spans all genres.

We normally read one book a month, but with The Stand we expanded it to two months. Many people in the group were really into it, but didn’t have the time to finish the 1400-page tome in the allotted 30 days. We got attached to the characters, especially Nick and Stu. Frannie, not so much.

Even though King updated the book in 1990, it still felt stuck in the 70s at some parts, especially regarding the cost of things and an archaic (for the 90s) view of birth control. We weren’t sure why it even had to be updated. We also debated if the book would still be interesting without the sci-fi elements. Isn’t a pandemic wiping out most of the world’s population enough? Why add a villain, a Sauron-esque embodiment of evil? We felt his motivations and purpose were a little vague.

We wondered how long the people of Boulder would be able to survive just by foraging for food. Also, we wondered why some people thought it was a good idea to just leave the community and head back to their homes, as though they could just make medicine or something if they got ill. It’s not that easy. And, as someone said, “Stephen King don’t know nothing ’bout birthin’ no babies!” A woman who had given birth by C-section wouldn’t be able to later have a natural birth without serious complications.

One thing we couldn’t figure out: why was the superflu called Captain Trips? According to google, this was also a nickname for The Grateful Dead‘s Jerry Garcia, but that doesn’t explain why King chose it as a euphemism for the superflu.

Still, despite these nitpicks, it was an entertaining book and an even better discussion. It’s fun to wonder who you might become after the end of the world. Would you be a hero or a villain? Would you even be able to survive? And if you did, what would you miss most about civilization?

For next month, we’re reading Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle, a more traditional book club selection.