Got to have an amazing conversation with Oxford Exchange Bookstore’s Book Club about Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune. The wonderful hosts started off the club with a question about what tea would be served for everyone at the particular tea shop in the book. Some interesting answers were jasmine-green tea, orange tea, and mint-lemongrass. It was cute to hear the explanations of why those teas would be chosen and it led into even funnier topcs!
The best part about this discussion was learning how this book worked for different people just like how the book highlights how everyone is different so everyone needs different care and everyone will have a different path after death. The book also did amazing when it came to grief and being honest about it, especially how grief is soft and tender but also hard and harsh at times.
It seemed like out of all the characters many of the group’s favorite was Nelson, although a very interesting things was brought up on how a favorite character could not be chosen because all the characters felt like one unit. Another thing that was discussed about characters was how Klune did a terrific job in using the fear of the unknown when it came to the manager.
For my own personal take, I just want to make sure that I state that my favorite lesson in this book was the fact that your death is yours and no one else’s. I love that because it helps readers grasp control of their fear of the after-death.
I got the opportunity to have another joyous time having a deep conversation, pulling apart, and diving into the book The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune with the Oxford Exchange Book Club. The main directors of the book club were excellent once again in directing the conversation. The first topic was about the cover and how it may or may not represent the book and how some of the readers used it as a reference. This particular cover was used by multiple of our readers. We also dove into the hard question of what exactly defines YA and what category this book falls into. It was nice because working together the majority had decided that although it is an adult fiction that reads as a middle grade book, it can fall into the category of YA because it is a book that can be read by everyone depending on a wide range of maturity.
It was very interesting to see how many people loved so many of the characters and had a hard time picking which ones were their favorites, which was a similar issue that I had. Secondary characters even came out as being favorites to some and characters that didn’t completely speak to me spoke the most to others. Discussing this is always one of my favorite parts about book clubs. I love being able to see and hear how different everyone is and the different things they had taken away from the book.
Going deeper, the OE had us look at what the book represented as a whole, what issues, and what groups it may have been trying to tackle in representation. I think the author would have been enthused at how talented many see him in being able to cover a wide range of topics and issues.
Another take away I got from this book event was the question on why the ending of the book or any book may be satisfying for some but not for others. Not just that, but should we always be satisfied with the ending of a book? When does full satisfaction take away from the world and from the message of the story? What truly needs to be addressed at the end of a story and what can be left out? The ending fully satisfied some, while it didn’t others. This is interesting because it brings forth one of the most interesting questions of when should an ending be judged on how it is received compared to what was right for the story.
Thank you so much to the Oxford Exchange Book Store for giving us another terrific event.