Saturday, February 13, 2016

One, Two, Three o’clock, Four o’clock READ!

The Read-Around-the-Clock Book Club is a concept that took off with Ashe Library’s wall clock.   The idea is to read books with numbers in the title, since the numbers on the clock are books that have numbers in the title.  Ashe Friends of the Library is sponsoring this unique book club with monthly discussions that take place at various times throughout the year.    Meeting dates coincide with the month, day, and time of the featured clock number.  For example:  next month the club will meet at 3:00 p.m. on March 3 (3/3@3).  The number three on the library’s wall clock features James Patterson’s novel “3rd Degree.”  

James Patterson is a prolific fiction writer and to some readers he seems to be running a “mystery novel factory.”  In addition to writing the thriller novels for which he is best known, he also writes children’s, middle-grade, and young-adult fiction and is also the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on the New York Times adult and children’s bestsellers lists.  A film adaptation of Patterson’s middle-grade novel “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” will be released in theaters in October 2016. 

Patterson founded, a website designed to help parents, teachers, and librarians ignite a new generation’s excitement for reading.  He has donated millions of books and dollars to libraries throughout the United States and to U.S. soldiers at home and overseas.    For his initiatives to help kids become passionate readers and for his philanthropic efforts, Patterson was awarded the National Book Foundation’s 2015 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.  

Patterson’s book published in 2005 is the third book in the Women’s Murder Club series.  I personally haven’t read the first two books in the series, but that didn’t seem to interfere with understanding the backstory.  Lt. Lindsay Boxer, who works for the San Francisco police department, is working on a case where the criminals seem to be trying to save the world … as crazy as that sounds.   In efforts to cure economic apartheid a group of terrorists are killing prominent leaders from businesses or organizations that are supposedly taking advantage of the poor.    I learned that Lindsay and her circle of friends, a.k.a. the “women’s murder club” work together on cases in this series.  One friend is a news reporter, one works as a crime scene investigator, and one is a prosecuting attorney.  I won’t spoil the story for those who may want to read the book, but as a teaser Patterson himself marketed this book by saying one of these characters will die.  Oh no!  There is also a romantic twist in Patterson’s thriller, another reason you may want to pick this one up.    While I was reading this book, I happened to hear about Martin Shkreli, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and his profit-minded drug increases.  Immediately I thought of how Shkreli would be a perfect candidate for the killers’ hit list in 3rd Degree.    

It will be interesting to discuss this thriller with the Friends’ book club, but the concept for this book club is to inspire diversity in reading.  Readers are encouraged to find and read any book with number three in the title.  There are plenty of good books for all ages that fit the criteria for a 3:00 book club on March 3, so stop in and find something to read.  The varied selection of books discussed is what makes this book club so fun!

Marcia Rowe, Friends Book Store Manager, is organizing books for resale that have numbers in the title in case you are interested in collecting your own set of “Read-Around-the-Clock” books.  I predict that Ashe County book lovers will soon be installing their own novel wall clocks!   Marcia comments on January’s featured book “One Amazing Thing” by, Chitra Banerjee Divakarum, “This was not a book I would have just picked up to read, so I’m glad it is part of the clock!  If you had one story to tell from your life, what would it be? These stories prove that we all have one amazing thing that has happened in our lives that has had a major impact on us and possibly those around us. Listening to others tell their stories can lessen the drama of the moment, as in this book. I would highly recommend this book.”  

Club member, Karen Gross, reflected on February’s clock book “Two for Sorrow” by, Nicola Upson and the chilling historical references to London’s famous multiple child murders in 1903.   “This story was enthralling and even though it was very gruesome in some parts I couldn’t put it down!”   I randomly read a “chic lit” novel “Chocolate for Two” by, Maria Murnane.  This is just a peek at the eclectic mix of genres discussed.  One minute the discussion is about serial killers and the next romance and weddings! 

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