January Book Discussion

Copies of this month’s book are available at either library and participants are encouraged to read the book and post their comments anytime during the month. Discussion questions are given at the end of this post to prompt the discussion. These discussions are open to the public and all participants are welcome. The comments will be monitored before they are posted. Contact Marty Hubbard with any questions: mhubbard@ledyard.lioninc.org

January’s title is Submergence by J.M. Ledgard.

Submergence book cover

This is a story featuring glamorous James More, an English spy and descendant of Sir Thomas More, and Danielle “Danny” Flinders, of Martinique and Australia, a sexy oceanographer and biomathematician. They meet and fall in love at a small, charming European hotel just before Christmas. As the tale begins, More is a prisoner of jihadists in Somalia, while Flinders is on a scientific mission on the Greenland Sea, exploring deep-sea vents. At times silly, and at others brutal, beautiful, and extraordinary! (Booklist.)

Discussion questions:

  1. This book is often described as a spy novel. Is it being told though James More’s voice or is someone else the narrator?
  2. Does it include silliness like a James Bond spy novel?
  3. What are the elegant parts of this story?

One thought on “January Book Discussion

  1. Marty H.

    This came in an email from Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore (Robin Sloan) this am.

    “I come bearing urgent recommendations. Here are two books consumed by me over the holidays that have, in the weeks since, become the subjects of multiple wild-eyed exhortations to READ THIS NOW:
    SUBMERGENCE, by J. M. Ledgard, is a stunning novel that almost invents a new genre. Ledgard calls it “planetary writing.” In my estimation, it’s a fiction that’s comfortable with questions like: if the earth is a giant chunk of molten rock with a living crust proportionally thinner than the shell of an egg, and if that crust is mostly bacteria anyway, um… does it really matter that human X meets human Y? Put another way: how do we square a sense of scale with our deeply-held intuitions about love and the stories of our lives? Ledgard embeds those questions into a tale that’s riveting and real. A British spy languishes in a cell in Somalia; a scientist prepares to dive into a deep Atlantic trench; they know each other. Those facts lay the groundwork for a book that “gets” the molten rock and the human stories alike — without compromise. An astonishing achievement.”

    Did you read Mr. Penumbra, and does it change your interest in this month’s title to know that it’s been recommended by another author you have or haven’t read?


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