Our recommended read and this month’s book club book is The Lake House by Kate Morton.
It is June, 1933. The Edevane family’s country house, Loeanneth, is polished and gleaming, ready for the much-anticipated Midsummer Eve party. Alice Edevane, 16 years old and a budding writer, is especially excited. Not only has she worked out the perfect twist for her novel, she’s also fallen helplessly in love with someone she shouldn’t. But by the time midnight strikes and fireworks light up the night skies, the Edevane family will have suffered a loss so great that they leave Loeanneth forever.
Download the book via Borrowbox (by following this link or downloading the Borrowbox app onto your android or iOS device) in either eBook or eAudiobook format. Don’t worry about having to wait for the book – it can be read by lots of people at the same time, making it ideal for a book club book.
Below are some topics and questions for you to consider when reading the book. For this guide and more information on the book visit the Simon and Schuster website.
1. The structure of this novel lies in recreating different time periods in Cornwall and London—in the early 1930s and in 2003. Do you feel that the author was successful in moving the reader between the historical and more contemporary times?
2. Thinking about the stories and histories in The Lake House, what themes were most interesting to you?
3. The Lake House is the English translation of Loeanneth, the house’s Cornish name. Have you read other novels in which a house features within the text as vital and alive, almost as if it is another character in its own right?
4. The main female characters, Sadie, Alice, and Eleanor are all strong women with ﬂaws. Is this the way you saw them? Did their imperfections allow you to identify or sympathize with one more than another? If so, why do you think that was?
5. Sadie Sparrow’s job as a detective and Alice’s bestselling crime-writing career has allowed an interesting incursion of the crime genre into The Lake House’s gothic mystery genre. Were you aware of this in your reading?
6. Both World War I and II have tragic and far-reaching effects on the characters and narrative of The Lake House. Discuss.
7. Mysteries, twists, family secrets, carefully placed red herrings, and unexpected revelations are now compelling traditions in Kate Morton’s novels. What parts of the novel were key to your enjoyment of the story?
8. The author poses the often complex question of what moral obligation each character has to another within their particular stories. Were decisions made within the novel with which you disagreed? Or could you see yourself making similar decisions?
9. After Sadie stumbles upon Loeanneth, she’s drawn to it, returning daily and “no matter which way she headed out on her morning run, she always ended up in the overgrown garden.” (p. 135) What is it about Loeanneth that intrigues Sadie? Why do you think she dives head ﬁrst into solving the mysteries of the estate?
10. What did you think of Eleanor when you ﬁrst encountered her? Did your feelings about her change? In what ways and why?
11. Many reviewers have praised Kate Morton’s writing, particularly the way she reveals family secrets. What family secrets were revealed in The Lake House? Did you ﬁnd any particularly shocking? Which ones and why?
‘Do you like your books as they come, clean, or squeaky clean?’ A new app lets you state your preference, remove profanities from the text of your ebook, and replace them with “clean” alternatives.
Clean Reader – “the only e-reader that gives you the power to hide swear words” – sells more than a million ebooks from its online book store. Its app allows users to search the text, and “put a non-transparent ‘highlight’” over anything potentially offensive. The blanked-out word is replaced, when it is tapped, with one judged suitably safe. So in a passage from its online demonstration – “‘Don’t tempt me, you little bastard,’ growled Vyder” – bastard becomes jerk. In a slice of a David Baldacci novel, “Pick up your damn game, Bobby”, becomes “Pick up your darn game, Bobby”.
The creators say: “If there are books you’ve put off reading because you’ve heard they’re full of curse words, chosen to stop reading some books because you weren’t comfortable with the bad language in them, or if you worry about what’s in the books your children read … then Clean Reader is for you!”
“Will some authors be offended that some of their consumers use Clean Reader to pick out most of the profanity in their books? Perhaps. Should the reader feel bad about it? Nope. They’ve paid good money for the book, they can consume it how they want.”
Not everyone is convinced- “Edits inappropriately, doesn’t understand context. [Removes] words that have multiple uses and aren’t necessarily curse words, destroying context in written works. Worthless,” wrote a third user.
Does using tablets and backlit eReaders at night lead to sleep deficiency and damage health?
According to findings published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, blue light, the wavelength common in smartphones, tablets and LED lighting, can disrupt the body clock and slow or prevent the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
The study found that using light-emitting electronic devices for reading, communication, and entertainment before bedtime meant it took longer to fall asleep, suppressed levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and reduced or delayed the amount of REM sleep. And we’re not as alert the following morning!!
Results were based on 12 people locked in a sleep laboratory for two weeks. The results were concluded after taking blood samples from participants who spent five days reading from a paperback and five days from an iPad.
Lead researcher Prof Charles Czeisler said: “The light emitted by most e-readers is shining directly into the eyes of the reader, whereas from a printed book or the original Kindle, the reader is only exposed to reflected light from the pages of the book. Sleep deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes, and cancer. Thus, the melatonin suppression that we saw in this study among participants when they were reading from the light-emitting e-reader concerns us.”
Exhausted after Christmas? Lie on the sofa or stay in bed or distract yourself from the ironing by listening to an audiobook. Download any of these titles free, here’s a selection of the most popular.
Most popular downloaded eAudiobooks
We have well in excess of one thousand and one hundred titles to choose from, so there’s a wide choice. You can search by your favourite genre, how new to us the titles are or when they were released.
You just need to be a library member and get your PIN from your local library.
Not enough time to get down to the library?
Feeling the chill and want to stay indoors but fancy a new read? Or maybe you’re getting a tablet or eReader for Christmas?
Well in addition to our incredibly popular main eBooks and eAudio collection, we’re thrilled to announce a new eReading Room for Children and Young People, making it easier to find the titles aimed at this age group.
With nearly 800 titles to choose from, search by:
Subject (thriller, humour), Collection (most downloaded, just returned, audio, new), Level.
We’ll be adding titles to the collection on a regular basis and it’s easy to download – Downloading instructions
All downloads are FREE, and you can download up to 6 titles for 21 days.
Place a hold if a title you like is already out. that’s free too.
You just need library membership and a PIN number (if you’re a member but don’t have a PIN you can easily get one from your library) Enjoy!
Have you had a look at the new eBooks which we’ve added lately?
Our new buying team’s been busy adding some popular authors and the range is fantastic.
Join our other eBook enthusiasts who now download over 4000 eBooks and eAudio titles a month FREE
You can also download many classics from the Public Domain collection- these don’t count towards your download total.