S4L Book Club – Garmann’s Summer and Garmann’s Street

Our discussion leader in September is Harriet. She’s a very creative embroiderer, knitter, painter, and photographer, among other things. She loves shibas and books. She lives in Norway, and English is her second language. She communicates very well without my help, and the regulars here enjoy her “voice,” so I won’t be editing. Much. Just my usual butting in and puttering about.

Themes like this are common: Daydreaming, what to be afraid of in our everyday lives, what is dangerous to oneself or others, how it feels to be misunderstood, what to look for in a friend, etc. Do you think that grownups, elderly people, teenagers, and children will pick up the theme/themes in these two books and think about them in very different ways, or are these questions universal across age and gender?

Categories: Reading

3 replies »

  1. I do think that every age and every stage in life has its own puzzlement, mysteries and things to solve and think about.

    I believe that some of the subject mentioned is common and not related to age. However, how we interpret the problem, the subject will be according to personality as well as experience in life.

    People the same age as me, does not solve their problems the same way I do, thanks for that! And I have discussed in depth themes with a very, very young person who had some obvious solutions that I missed out due to complicated thinking… great!

    The questions may be universal, but the thinkers may not be drones, we are not copies of one another.

    I would like to ask: Will these two books inspire further reading?

  2. I am waiting for the October book “Where is the Mango Princess?…” to arrive from Amazone by slow mail. I am rather curious about this book…

  3. I also think that the themes are mostly universal and cross ages and genders and cultures, but how we think about them, and how much we care about them, changes with age. My priorities now are now what they were when I was a child, a teen, a younger adult, etc.

    These books definitely inspire me to seek out other works by Stian Hole.

    One of my questions is about the value of a book series, as opposed to a stand-alone title. Initially, I found Garmann’s Summer a much stronger story than Garmann’s Street. There seem to be more threads winding together than there are in the second book, more subtle connections, and greater depth. I found Garmann’s Street to be less intricate and involved.

    However, I need to go back and read them again because of things you’ve said, Harriet. You talk about the continuing development of Garmann’s character in subsequent books, and I wonder if I’ve missed some of that. (See? This is why I want to talk about the books we read!)

    Generally speaking, though, I sometimes have a problem with a successful book being turned into a series not because the characters and story warrant it but because the people involved simply hope to make more money. Many of us are often disappointed with sequels and for good reason.

    So my question is: Does the Garmann character and story warrant sequels? And do you think the sequels are as good as the original book?