May 2017 - The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, by Hannah Tinti


(Jennifer D.) #21

Today's the DAY -- it's the official start of our book club!!!! :smile:

I have been so patient in waiting for today, before cracking open my copy of the novel. I am pretty excited to get going with it.

As a reminder, this is what's on the schedule for this week:

May 1st - 6th: Chapters "Hawley" though end of "Dogtown"
(HC: pgs 1-81; PB pgs 1-103)

Please remember to be courteous about spoilers. If you would like to mention something from the story that is further along than the schedule, you can use the "hide details" formatting. (This is found if you click on the wheel icon - the icon on the very right - in the formatting bar of a comment box.)

As we begin this read, I am curious:

  • Was this novel already on your radar?
  • Is it a book you would have chosen to read without the Riffle book club selection it?
  • What are your expectations of the book before you begin to read?

I would love to hear your comments on these questions -- how people go about choosing their reads, and the expectations we all bring into our own reading is a constantly fascinating consideration for me.

Happy reading!!


(Cheri) #22

I hadn't heard about the book until the discussion about the book club. I don't think I probably would have picked it up on my own and I have absolutely no expectations. Keeping an open mind and ready to dive in!

(BookBroad) #23

I hadn't heard about the book before the invitation to the discussion, but I think I would have picked it up if I'd seen it at the library. The synopsis makes it sounds as though it could cross between YA and Adult genres. And, I was intrigued by the idea of dividing someone's life on the basis of their wounds.

(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #24

Happy Day!
I was seeing this book all over the place, and I was seeing many good reviews, or opinions of it, so it was great to see it would be the inaugural book club choice!

I've read up to the end of Dogtown (finished last night) and I'm enjoying it so far! Will be interesting to see where it goes!

I'm not too sure what I'm expecting - I actually haven't really truly read too much into what it's about. I think I want it to unfold slowly and see - obviously it's about a father and daughter, but I'm not digging too much into it right now. :slight_smile: (I really haven't even read the jacket description!)

So far I like the structure of it.

(Jennifer D.) #25

I was also seeing the book all over the place and was curious about it, for sure. Like you, @BookBroad, I wondered about the YA/Adult crossover... though lots of times readers ascribe YA to a book if it has a younger character, even though the story might be very adult. I have lots of teenaged nieces and nephews, so I am wondering if the book would be alright for some of them.

@Cheri - love your open mind!! i try to do the same... though sometimes it's tricky if a book has been really hyped, or if it's a book from an author i already love.

@Penny_Kollar -- so glad you are enjoying it so far, and curious about where it's going! that's a good sign!!

(Jane D) #26

This book wasn't on my radar at all but then again I haven't been following new books as much this year. In fact my reading has been kind of stunted but that is something I hope to change!:slight_smile:

I don't think this is a book I would immediately have been drawn to. There are just so many books on the old TBR pile.

But now that it is in front of me I am intrigued by it. The format of the table of contents piques my interest. Also, the hard cover edition I am reading has the 12 zodiac signs on it underneath the slip cover. It is a very colourful surprise. I am curious if this wil play into the story some how.

(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #27

Yes! I agree @Jane_Dixon! those zodiac signs are very intriguing andI do wonder too how/if they will play into the story.

(Jennifer D.) #28

my edition is a different one, so i don't have the lovely design on the inside. @Penny_Kollar showed me a photo and it looks so beautiful!! i love when publishers give good care to the design of a book!!

(Jennifer D.) #29

Okay -- just opened my book to begin reading, and LOVED the dedication. I haven't read Helen Ellis before, but I have read - and loved - Ann Napolitano's A Good Hard Look. I also appreciated that Tinti has dedicated her book to CANADA! Upon a bit of googling, 'Canada' is Tinti's dog! :blush: I would totally dedicate a book to my dog!

When a book has an epigraph, do you give this a lot of consideration? Does it create a setup for you in some way?

What does the epigraph for Samuel Hawley create in your mind?

With a rapid, nameless impulse, in a superb lofty arch the bright steel spans the foaming distance, and quivers in the life spot of the whale. Instead of sparkling water, he now spouts blood.

'That drove the spigot out of him!' cries Stubb. ''Tis July's immortal Fourth; all fountains must run wine to-day'

-- Herman Melville, MOBY DICK

(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #30

Your version has this epigraph by Herman Melville in it?
I've got the hardcover and I'm searching -- the only thing I'm seeing is the dedication. (ha! great googling! I would have continued to think she dedicated it to Canada. Not her dog Canada. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: )

But normally - yes - when there is an epigraph I do take the time to read them. Sometimes I'm not too clear on how they relate to the book, but there are some that really sing. The most recent one for me was The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. As soon as I saw her epigraph I knew I was in for some great reading.

For Samuel Hawley -- I read violence in that epigraph.

(and I have A Good Hard Look on my TBR! I really should get to this one soon! I've heard many good things about American Housewife too.)

(Kim@Time2Read) #31

I'm so glad you posted this today. I feel like I FINALLY have permission to start reading!) Does anyone remember the middle grades when the teacher cautioned you NOT to read ahead? That was always sooo hard!)

I can't say this one was really on my radar. I subscribe to the First Look book club through my library where I get excerpts of new books, and this was one of them, but I hadn't really had time to read the excerpt yet. The synopsis was interesting, but I can't say I would have chosen to read it without the Riffle book club selection. There are just so many good books and so little time!

I'm not really sure what my expectations are for the book. I expect some mystery and probably coming of age. I also expect a redemption story of sorts with Samuel's criminal past.

Off to read!

(Jennifer D.) #32

Wait... yours doesn't?? How strange!!!

(Jennifer D.) #33

I KNOW!! :joy:

I truly hope I don't make you - or anyone else - feel like I'm a stern teacher, or that there are rigid rules.

Online bookclubs can be a little bit tricky because everyone reads at such different paces, and we do have to be sensitive to spoilers for others. But I will certainly keep tuned in to how everyone is progressing. We can certainly be flexible here, so if it seems like we are all progressing quickly, we can adjust our chats to keep the pace.

We are also open to your input and suggestions about how the book club would best function, so don't be shy about sharing your ideas!!

(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #34

No hahaha - but seriously -- what's so funny is that I did read a book recently that had an epigraph by Herman Melville! So I thought - hey wait did I read that here in Samuel Hawley? NOPE. hahaha.
But that is so weird why it wouldn't show in the hardcover. Unless mine is unique and they missed a page? :wink:

(Jennifer D.) #35

It is very strange that the epigraph ins't in the HC edition. Hmmm.

When I read the epigraph, I was excited. I quite love Moby-Dick, so it immediately conjured up certain things from Melville's novel. Some quite dark things, but then also some levity.

(Kim@Time2Read) #36, I'm good. I know I CAN read ahead if I choose to, but I want to try to keep pace. I've found in my real-life book club, if I read the book too much before our meeting, I tend to forget details that would be helpful in the discussion. So I'm going to try to read along with everyone else. No promises though.

(Kim@Time2Read) #37

I usually read the epigraph, but usually it doesn't have any meaning for me. After I finish the book, I like to go back and read the epigraph again. That's usually when something clicks and I get the meaning behind the epigraph, Same thing with the title.

(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #38

I like that @Kim! We'll all have to do that when we finish the book - go back and read the epigraph and see how it fits with the story! Great idea.

(Jennifer D.) #39

Last night I read through the chapters for this week -- and it was hard to hit pause and set the book aside. :slight_smile:

(Kate Minckler) #40

Ohhh, @Penny_Kollar I'd love to see a photo of the inside design - could you share here?

My library copy was taking too long, but luckily my husband works at Random House and snagged me an ARE (no fancy designs in it though - boo!)