Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Library Book Group Dukes it Out Over Charming British Novel

Last night, the library's Tuesday night book group discussed Julia Stuart's 2010 novel, The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise in a surprisingly spirited exchange of opinions. Ms. Stuart's novel, a charming love story about a Beefeater and his wife who live in the Tower of London, was well-received by the critics when it was published. This blog's favorable review of it can be found here. However there were several readers in the group who did not like this book at all and who did not find its humor humorous and who could not finish the book. Their reaction seemed surprisingly strong considering the fairly innocuous nature of the book. Ms. Stuart's style is low-key, the characters are quirky; the overall tone is one of a gently humorous and sympathetic look at people's lives. Librarians believe "every book its reader." Maybe Dr. Ranganathan's Third Law of Library Science needs a corollary: "every book its non-reader." But that's o.k., book groups are a good way to try books outside your usual reading zone and you will never know which book is yours until you try it. I liked The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise very much, but if you have an aversion to whimsy or quirky, best stay away from it.

No comments: