Slow summer start

Hey, Bobcats!

We hope that finals went really well for y’all and that your summer is starting strong!

We know we haven’t posted in a while, but that’s because we’re putting together some pretty great content for the summer and figuring out the fantastic reads for Fall!

Stay tuned, we’ll be back soon!

Alkek Lit Society Team

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Finals!

Hey Bobcats! Finals are starting this week, and we wish you all the luck! Here’s a little something from us to you!

Copy of Accio 4.0 GPA!

Coloring Page Print-Out

We hope to see y’all next semester! Stay tuned for Summer Reading Information and future book club meetings! Also remember to check-out our Goodreads.

Keep Reading, Bobcats!

Alkek Lit Society Team

Last Book Club Meeting of Spring 2018

Okay Book Club, we’re coming down to the wire. I cannot believe that the semester is starting to come to a close… it has just gone by so quickly.

Today is the meeting and we’re really looking forward to talking about Howl. If you’ve finished the poem, we’re looking forward to your insights. If you haven’t finished… we’re also looking forward to your insights, and this post is for you.

There are so many reasons why you might not have finished the book and that’s just fine. Here are ones we’ve experienced personally:

  1. “There’s just not enough time!”

There just aren’t enough hours in the day, especially not when you’re going to school. Sometimes leisure reading falls behind because there are so many other things that have to be prioritized over reading. Class, homework, jobs, family, friends, mental and physical health are all normal things to contend with, and just because you want to read, you may not have the time/energy/etc. after tackling all of those things. That’s completely understandable. You gotta do what you gotta do!

2. “Oh yeah… I forgot”

A book has appeared on your shelf that you forgot that you owned. Happens all the time. A book comes along that piques your interest and so it joins the pile of books you intend to read. Rinse and repeat. Before you know it there’s a mountain of to-be-read and some are bound to be forgotten. Even if you remember to read it, sometimes life (read: another book or a new season Netflix binge) can interrupt the flow of reading and by the time you finish said life event, you’ve forgotten that little bit of literature and are ready to move forward.

For these two, let us help! While we don’t encourage the use of Wikipedia on any type of academic anything (seriously, don’t do it), book club is fine. Here’s the page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howl

Continuing on with more reasons why you might not be finished…

3. “Zzzzzz”

Everyone has different interests. Subject matter that might make other people over-the-moon excited could be sleep inducing to someone else. Perhaps that’s why there’s such a wide variety of genres available for visual consumption. If one particular book doesn’t catch your interest, you can always stop reading and pick something else. No one at book club is forcing you to slog through the pages of something that you have zero interest in. Reading should be fun, not a punishment, so if you can’t make it through the first couple of pages, it might not be for you. But even then you can get fooled by the promise of a pretty premise. You start reading the first few pages and this might be your new favorite book, and then…. it lets you down. It happens. Move on.

4. “It’s too much right now”

Poetry evokes emotions. It’s a simple statement for a complex concept. Often we look for our feelings between the pages of books, and in those instances, the type of book that you’re reading is important to satisfactorily engage those emotions that you’re seeking. Along those same lines, some of the emotions evoked in books can be intense. While it is important to read something challenging and explore new perspectives or places (there are elements of productive tension in learning about something or someone outside of yourself) it’s important to check in with yourself on how you’re feeling with the book. If something is overwhelming or doesn’t sit well with you, it makes sense to stop reading.

5. “I cannot believe this made it to print?!”

The characters were underdeveloped, the author’s writing style was ghastly, the plot was nonsensical, oversimplified, or overdone, the content was so vile that putting it down and stepping away is the most necessary course of action. It’s awful when a book doesn’t meet your expectations. Sometimes the only silver lining from these types of situations is that you’ve refined your criteria for what you absolutely detest and can move on with more confidence. It’s a big bummer though.

TL; DR – If you haven’t finished the book, we understand! Please come anyway!

We want to hear about why you weren’t interested in it, why it was forgettable, why you weren’t feeling it, why it might have been the worst book you’ve ever laid eyes on… it’s all important.

Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howl if you want a little background.

We hope y’all read and we hope you enjoyed it but in the event that you did not, let us know… show up, leave us a comment, make your voice heard!

Keep Reading, Bobcats!

Alkek Lit Society

Poetry vs. Prose

Hey there, Bobcats, hope you’re having an excellent week.

We’re coming up to the final session of Book Club and in case you’re just joining us, this month’s read is Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. April is National Poetry Month, so that is why we decided to do something a little bit different and read some poetry instead of reading our usual prose.

Something that always strikes me when comparing poetry to prose is how prose often gives me a means to escape. I read it to travel to other worlds, meet other characters, and go on grand adventures. Poetry is different, to me, because it brings me back to reality. The words written are deeply personal and so I connect to it on a deeply personal level. Instead of being able to escape and travel into a new life, it makes me look at my own life, my own views, and find that humanity and connection with other people. It resonates in a place, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful that makes me feel more human and less alone. And I think that it’s incredible that throughout time, there are words that describe the human experience hundreds of years ago that are still relevant today. These feelings of love, loss, struggle, success, isolation, community, alienation, consternation are just as real and relevant as they were back then.

So let us pose this question – what words resonate with you? Is there a line from Howl? Is there another poem or poet that speaks to your experience? What is it?

Leave us a comment and let us know.

Keep Reading, Bobcats,

Alkek Lit Society Team

Welcome to Poetry Month!

Hey, Bobcats!

Did y’all know that April is National Poetry Month?

I know! We are really excited too! While obviously poetry should be celebrated constantly, the Academy of American Poets established April as National Poetry Month in 1996. We were curious about why April should be chosen for a national poetry month and we ran across an anecdote on The League of Canadian Poets (Canada’s National Poetry Month was established in 1998) where apparently the inspiration came from a T.S. Eliot poem. Check it out, it’s kind of funny… if you are into that sort of thing, and we definitely are.

Alkek Lit Society has decided to celebrate by reading Howl by Allen Ginsberg.

Allen Ginsberg was part of the Beat Poetry movement of the 1950s. If you’ve never heard of the Beat Poets you can learn more from Poets.org here. In 1996, Ginsberg actually came to Texas State University and did a reading in Evans Auditorium, and you can find that video here.

If you’re interested in joining us for this month’s book club, there are again several options.

howl

You can find your books at:

Alkek Library:  We have Howl on book on CD, streaming audio, and in print, (or request through Interlibrary Loan)

Better World Books (code: BFFD6WT23 for a 10% discount)

Book People (Mention you’re with Alkek Lit Society for a 10% discount)

 

Stay tuned for more poetry fun, and keep reading, Bobcats!

Alkek Lit Society Team

Alkek Lit Society Recap – The Immortalists

Thank you to all who came to the book club last Tuesday, we sure had a lively discussion!

There were several things that struck me enough to share, but we will try not to give much away if you are still reading the book.

We have discussed in previous posts that a big theme in the novel was fate versus self-fulfilling prophesy. Something reflected upon in the book group was the idea that maybe all these things could be avoided had they just not given credence to the Old Woman and her words.  If she was a scammer, we may never know, the power was in the belief of the children, carried through their lives and impacting the choices that they made. If it was magic/destiny/fate, whatever you want to call it, they never stood a chance. The question was raised if they ever had a chance, learning their death story from the time of their childlike wonderment and belief to influence the rest of their adult lives with change only coming from the skeptical.

Obsession was another theme we discussed. The idea that even some of the children who were skeptical from the beginning lost themselves in the prophesy later in their life, and through their obsession lost their lives forever. The obsession manifested itself in various ways, through dance, magic, grief, and compulsion, each reflecting the personality and identity of the child it consumed.

Finally, the differences in the ages of the characters as they were displayed in the story. Some people in the group mentioned that it was easier to empathize with the younger characters and would be interested in seeing what the same book would look like being read from older eyes. And that makes sense. One thing we discovered through reading other reviews and listening to the reflections from the book club members is that as the story went on, it became less “interesting”. We gathered that it was because it was harder to identify with the older characters. So maybe if you couldn’t finish it this time, there’s time to finish it later. Maybe read it with new eyes. Or don’t. We understand.

Anyway, stay tuned for more information on our next book club!

Keep reading, Bobcats!

Alkek Lit Society Team

Meeting today!

Hey, Bobcats!

Book club today!

We are looking forward to seeing y’all today! Come tell us what you thought about this month’s book, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin!

We will be down in Alkek 105/106 (downstairs from the main floor) from 6-8pm.

If you want to discuss but haven’t had a chance to finish the books – check out our previous blog posts here and here for some discussion that might come up during the meeting.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry, we still have one more meeting coming up this semester!

 

Fate or Self-Fulfilling Prophesy?

Hey, Bobcats!

Hope you’re enjoying your Spring Break!

We are a week away from our book club meeting, and I don’t know about y’all but we are so ready to talk about this book.

The question that has been plaguing my mind since the last post… is it really fate? Is it self-fulfilling prophesy?

Tell us what you think! Share your thoughts on Goodreads, reply to the blog, or even better… tell us at the meeting next week!

Here are the details:

March Social Media PNG

Keep Reading, Bobcats, and see you next week!

Alkek Lit Society Team

 

Who Wants to Live Forever?

For the month of March, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is our Alkek Lit Society book choice. This book was published this year and was featured on Book People, and Book Riot.

The Immortalists promises to be an intriguing tale that straddles the concepts of fate, prophesy, and self-determination. The book follows four siblings who, in their childhood, meet a woman who tells them the date they would die in their struggle to decide if fate controls them or if they control their fate.

The premise of the story makes me wonder – if someone told me the date and time of my death, would that make a difference in how I live my life? Would it make a difference in how you live your life? Would we take risks that were unnecessary, or would we play it safe to beat the odds? How would it effect the way you approach your relationships with your family? Friends?

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this, Bobcats and have a wonderful Spring Break!

March Social Media PNG

Join us Tuesday, March 20 from 6-8pm in Alkek 105/106 (downstairs from the main entrance)

You can find your books at:

Alkek Library (or request through Interlibrary Loan)

Better World Books (code: BFFD6WT23 for a 10% discount)

Book People (Mention you’re with Alkek Lit Society for a 10% discount)

 

Keep Reading, Bobcats!

The Alkek Lit Society Team

Recap on Romance

Hey Bobcats! If you made it to book club, thank you for coming! It was great to hear from you all and see the fabulous books you brought – I know we came away with several new reads to add to our TBR (to be read) pile!

Here were some of the fantastic reads shared by book clubbers!

 

 

 

Thank you for coming and sharing your book choices with us!

For those who cannot see the titles – Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen and Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland.

Also discussed were Rogue by Fabio (yes! he is an author too!), Valley of the Dolls, Outlander, and a host of other fantastic reads.

Overall, it was a fun meeting. We talked about the genre of romance novels and feminism, and talked about the continued growth of diversity in romance representation (one of our team members recommended this article in response to that discussion).

At one point we discussed audio books (Are they considered real reads or not? We firmly believe they count as real reads!) and another of our team members shared a fun tidbit about voice acting. You can find the link here.

All in all, we hope you had a great time because we definitely did!

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For those who couldn’t make it, don’t worry, we have two more meetings this semester.

Next on our list is The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. We have a copy at the library in case you want to check it out!

Don’t forget, we also have the option to get the book via Interlibrary Loan!

Keep Reading, Bobcats!

Alkek Lit Society Team