Sunday, January 10, 2010

Talking Books

Many thanks to Mary Cronk Farrell for organizing a monthly book-talk group. Last Friday, a congenial mix of teachers, librarians and writers gathered to chat about recently read books we loved. Among those discussed:

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
All the Broken Pieces by Ann Burg, YA
Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, HS/adult
The White Giraffe by Jill St. John, MG
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, MG, YA
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, MG, YA
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, YA
Pagan's Crusade by Catherine Jinks, YA
Columbine by Dave Cullen, HS/adult
A Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, HS/adult
Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberg, adult
The Help by Katheryn Stockett, adult

--cross-posted to Under the Covers


gm said...

Cullen , who first reported on the story for the online magazine Salon, acknowledges in the book's source notes that thoughts he attributes to Klebold and Harris are conjecture gleaned from the record the pair left behind.

Jeff Kass takes a more straightforward approach in "Columbine: A True Crime Story," working backward from the events of the fateful day.
The Denver Post

Mr. Cullen insists that the killers enjoyed "far more friends than the average adolescent," with Harris in particular being a regular Casanova who "on the ultimate high school scorecard . . . outscored much of the football team." The author's footnotes do not reveal how he knows this; when I asked him about it while preparing this review, Mr. Cullen said he did not necessarily mean to imply that Harris was sexually active. But what else would such words mean?

"Eric and Dylan never had any girlfriends," the more sober Mr. Kass writes, and were "probably virgins upon death."
Wall Street Journal

Dave Cullen said...

Teachers, librarians and writers--three of my favorite groups. I am so glad so see teachers, students and librarians embracing my book (Columbine). Thanks for including it.

I'd love to know what you all thought. Feel free to comment or discuss on my Columbine facebook page. I hope it's OK to post the link:

Dave Cullen said...

Oh, I see GM Davis has been here. He runs a local press that published Kass’ book. For the record, I never spoke to him and
his characterizations of my author notes are perplexing/untrue.

Sorry to draw this unpleasantness here. Google alerts are a mixed blessing.

Wonders of Weird said...

I was the writer at the book discussion meeting that commented on Dave Cullen's remarkable book, COLUMBINE and I have read the Kass book, as well. And while I found his book helpful, from a researcher's point of view, Cullen's book was a far more compelling work. Cullen covered the story for the Denver Post from its onset, so from his book a sense of immediacy and familiarity I didn't get in Kass's book. I moved from he Denver area just weeks before the Columbine events and so was famliar with the landscape and the local population. Cullen's work reflected those regional truths. Kass' book felt far more distant. I'm glad I read both, but I felt Cullen's book was far more emotionally layered because Cullen was THERE. Dave, you've written a magnificent book. I admired your work in the Denver Post for 12 years. COLUMBINE didn't let me down.

Mary said...

I just wanted to add several other titles from the book group last night.
The Agency: A Spy in the House by YS Lee,MG/YA
The "Death by...Bikini, Latte, Denim" series by Linda Gerber,YA