MPPL's staff blog about books, movies, music and the talent behind them.
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” Rewatch the Star Wars original trilogy and prequel trilogy before you join me and millions of fans at the cinema on December 18 to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens the first film in the sequel trilogy. Use the force, and your Library card, to check out the DVDs at MPPL!
Because of the popularity of the film, copies may not be on shelf. Put yourself on hold for the films:
Drop in between 6-9pm on Thursday, December 3rd to meet new people, play games, and have fun!
Science fiction is a genre in which novellas are flourishing, and they can be a way to sample without a big commitment. Try Sci-Fi month may be winding down, but with books that are less than 130 pages, you still have time to read one start-to-finish and enter to win a prize! Read here for more details.
In All About Emily, acclaimed author Connie Willis combines the glamour of old Hollywood and the eternal allure of Broadway to explore the cutting edge robotics of a richly-imagined near future, all with trademark wit and heart.
A classic novel of the future, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells follows the Time Traveller as he hurtles one million years into the future and encounters a world populated by two distinct races, the childlike Eloi and the disgusting Morlocks.
Try steampunk with Kage Baker’s The Women of Nell Gwynne’s. After joining an exclusive brothel (and sister organization to the Gentlemen’s Speculative Society), Lady Beatrice finds herself in the middle of a mystery when a member of the Society goes missing.
Theodora Baumgarten has just been selected for a coveted spot as an IASA space cadet, but she is one of the few who didn’t apply. In D.A., another light comedy from Connie Willis, Theodora and her hacker best friend will stop at nothing to uncover the conspiracy that has her shanghaied.
Like to keep your options open? Take home a collection of short novels from master storytellers such as Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Larry Niven, and Philip José Farmer. In Baker’s Dozen: 13 Short Science Fiction Novels, you might find yourself reading more than one!
Want to take a break from reality and join in on the space adventures of the Serenity crew? A prequel to the movie Serenity and set after the TV series Firefly, Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews features all of the beloved characters, humor, and action fans previously fell in love with. This short episode ties up loose ends from Firefly, bringing the story to life with its realistic portraits.
Can’t wait to read it? Check it out instantly on Hoopla with your Library card along with other Dark Horse Comic titles!
Don’t forget: for each science fiction book read during November 2015, adults are eligible to enter a drawing for a gift card to AMC Theatres or to Barnes & Noble. Read more about Try Sci-Fi!
Title: The Shack
Author: WM. Paul Young
Page Count: 248 pages
Genre: Christian Fiction
Tone: Inspirational, Thriller
Mackenzie Allen Phillips’ youngest daughter has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack. Four years later, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare.
These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.
Questions composed by MPPL Staff
- 1. Did this book shock or disturb you? Intrigue you?
2. Were you drawn in by the plot of The Shack? How is it as a story?
3. Who is the intended audience?
4. The book maintained a spot on bestseller lists for several weeks and over one million copies have been sold. If religion is such a touchy subject, how can we explain the runaway success of this book?
5. Did you find the character of Mack to be sympathetic?
6. Many readers find the early chapters of The Shack almost too painful to read. Could they have been written in a way that would be less painful without changing the book’s message?
7. Why is The Great Sadness so frequently mentioned and always italicized?
8. Did the family’s different reactions to the tragedy ring true? (e.g., Josh, Kate, Mack)
9. How did you respond to the use of the narrator “Willie”? What did this add to the story?
10. How was Nan characterized? Should she have been more integral to the story?
11. Does the idea of God as a character in the book, or God’s first-person voice, bother you? Does it work within the context of The Shack’s story?
12. Why is God portrayed a woman? What reasons does God give Mack?
13. How is Young’s description of God different from your concept of God? What parts of his description did you like and what parts didn’t you like? Compare Mack’s assumptions of how God might appear to your own.
- 14. Are people changing their view of God because of this book?
- 15. Why do you think Mack’s encounter with God took place at the shack?
16. Why did God let Missy die? Do you think The Shack answers convincingly the central question of why, if there is a God, bad things happen to good people? Were you satisfied with God’s answers to Mack about suffering?
17. Why do you think Missy was buried in the garden?
18. What does The Shack say about forgiveness – toward the self or toward those who have wronged you?
19. What were your thoughts about Mack’s reconciliation with his father? In what ways to our relationships with our parents define us? Color our relationship with God? With others?
- 20. What is the literary merit of this book?
21. What do we know of the author? What does he reveal about himself in the story and in his reasons for writing?
22. How does the author portray church (or The Church)? Do you agree?
- 23. Which part of the book spoke to you the most and why?
24. What part of the book created the most questions for you?
Lit Lovers’ Discussion Questions
Video of Young talking on CBN (Christian Bible Network)
USA Today Article on controversy surrounding The Shack
Q&A with WM Paul Young
Richards Academy’s Discussion Guide