Gamache Series Open Discussion

Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

Paul Hochman

Discussion on “Gamache Series Open Discussion

  1. Anna says:

    Okay book readers, I have a problem. My almost 14 year old needs to extend herself in the reading department and develop her vocabulary and modes of expression. The difficulty is the books of interest to teenagers these days don’t have a complex vocabulary. Neither do a lot of adult books come to think of it.

    Recently she has read To Kill A Mockingbird and The Help which were both good. She needs a few more ideas. Best if the books aren’t too thick as she doesn’t get lots of time in between homework etc. I was going to give her some Agatha Christie…quick, easy to read but the vocabulary can be a bit different coming as it does from an older time.

    The classics are an option but I have to stay aware of her interest level. She is doing Romanticism, The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and Heart of Darkness in English. That should help but any other thoughts from you, the well read crowd!?

  2. Julie says:

    Anna – I think the Agatha Christie is a good idea. The language has a few differences, perhaps, but nothing so vastly different that it should be a big hurdle, and will help her to grow, I think. The stories are engaging, and the vocabulary varied… It’s hard to think of something else that will do the same for her, while still remaining of interest to a young reader. I have not read the Twilight books, so don’t know if the vocab. in them is challenging at all – I do know it grabs young readers. Heart of Darkness is one of those books I’ll never forget – one I read in school, but it will stay with me forever. Those books are few and far between, I’m afraid.

  3. Anna says:

    The vocab in Twilight didn’t strike me as very complex….it’s typical of most YA books. My daughter didn’t mind the movies but wasn’t a fan of the books. She read Mortal Instruments series which has a wider vocab I thought. I will try Agatha. She likes the Poirot movies with David Suchet.

  4. Cathryne Spencer says:

    Has she read “The House of Dies Drear” by Virginia Hamilton? Delicious, original, hard to put down. Virginia Hamilton was a remarkable American writer for young people.
    Also, Richard Peck: “The Teacher’s Funeral,” “The River Between Us,” “Amanda/Miranda.”
    Both of these writers have written many other fascinating books for young people. Both, I think, show respect for their readers. Richard Peck is often fall off your chair funny.

  5. Anna says:

    Thank you Catherine. I haven’t heard of any of those books. I will look them up straight away. I appreciate the help!

  6. Marcy N says:

    My daughter was in High School when she read “The Book of Negroes” (called Somebody Knows My Name in the US), but I don’t remember what grade. We just watched the mini-series together and she said it was one of the best books she has read.

  7. Nancy Miller says:

    How about Katherine Patterson books? She has written some really interesting books for young adults. I think the most well known is Bridge to Terabithia which was made into a movie. She lives in Vermont and my Vermont friend told me that another of her books, The Great Gilly Hopkins, will soon be a movie too.

  8. Anna says:

    Thanks Marcy. I looked up The Book of Negroes. It looks very good.

    Thanks Nancy. She read Bridge of Terabithia a few years ago. It’s a good book but I am looking for even wider complexity of vocabulary. One of my friends has a similar problem for her daughter. The books written for teens these days just aren’t necessarily very complex from a language perspective. The books suggested here are much better I think. A lot of teen books are also written focussing on angst and the darker side of youth which is fine but my friend’s daughter finds them depressing and my daughter finds them repetitive. She read John Green and enjoyed A Fault in Our Stars but after a couple more she put them aside as a bit same same.

    There is definitely good literature around but matching taste and interest to complexity is actually challenging at this age. The books I loved at the same age don’t necessarily appeal. I was a Lord of The Rings fan….my daughter is not although happy for other fantasy.

    On another note. Is everyone surviving the cold ok?? It really is astonishing. If we were in the States already I would have to shovel snow! This is definitely not a skill people need in Australia. Even in the snowfields for the most part mores the pity. Stay warm and safe everyone.

  9. Julie says:

    The snow here has been unbelievable – however by “here”, I mean “there”… The east coast of the US, and especially Boston has been hit with snow that I find hard to fathom. I am often just as quiet as can be on this subject, because we’ve been sitting here in the Pacific Northwest, having one of the best winters ever. Hardly a killing frost – no snow whatsoever and very little rain, really. We’ve had way more than our share of sunny days and have been breaking records for warm temperatures in February. I’ll take it, even though the rest of the country seems to be paying for our good luck.

  10. Anna says:

    I seem to remember floods and landslides earlier in the season Julie so you are just as entitled to a spell of kinder weather as the East Coast. The cold in the rest of the country is extreme though. I see sleet and ice for my sister today in Dallas. Not good for driving to work tomorrow.

    After thinking about books for my daughter yesterday I went and pulled out the book with the most bends in the spine…..it’s almost white from use instead of black. It’s a thick book with small print so not quite what I was aiming for. I read her the first chapter at bedtime. Language is rich and the story grabbed her attention.

    I chose The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. It’s a book I come back to a lot. The story is about a journey and growth. It’s a very different take on adolescence. Despite the pedigree of the authors the book is more fantasy than horror…..mostly.

    We shall see how it goes.

  11. Cathryne Spencer says:

    Nancy, thank you for recommending the Steven F. Havill Posadas County books. I’m enjoying them so much. I especially like the setting, characters, and somewhat leisurely pace. Havill gives the reader a real feel for southern New Mexico and the small town(s) there. This series is just what I needed right now!

  12. Cathryne Spencer says:

    Anna, I like what you said about pulling out from your bookcase the book with the most bends in the spine. There is nothing like the comfort of a well-loved book. I’m planning to read “The Talisman” after your description.
    I felt great pleasure when you said you started reading it to your daughter, another of life’s joys.

  13. Anna says:

    Thanks Cathryne. She still loves being read to which is lovely. I am glad you have a new series to read thanks to Nancy. It’s always good to find something you need!

    The Talisman is a very different kind of book. Interesting that Stephen King touches on early adolescence in a few of his stories…It and The Body (which became Stand By Me) leap immediately to mind. It’s a very unique time when childhood and adulthood start to merge. I watch my daughter almost seem to blink in and out between being a child and an older teen. I am not sure we outgrow our childhood natures. I think they are absorbed into our adult selves as an intact entity.

  14. Anna says:

    I see on Louise’s Facebook page that she will release a small plot synopsis for the new book on Thursday Northern time. Now that is exciting! Makes a great day feel better.

  15. Cathryne Spencer says:

    Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!

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