Deep Dish Theater Reading Group – 2014-15 Season – Co-Sponsor: Chapel Hill Public Library

Adventures can be found on the page as well as the stage with Deep Dish Theater's upcoming Book Club selections.

The 2014-15 Season reading slate includes How Children Succeed by Paul Tough, Tenth of December by George Saunders, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, and Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel by David Rako.

Complimentary to the theater season, Book Club meets at the Chapel Hill Public Library at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday during the run of each Deep Dish production for a lively discussion of the chosen books. Led by Evelyn Daniel, former Dean of the UNC School of Information and Library Science, the Book Club events are free and open to the public.

You are welcome to the book discussion whether or not you have seen the play or read the book. Of course having done one or the other or both may make your participation in the discussion more enjoyable.

"I always look forward to the Book Club discussions," said Deep Dish's Artistic Director Paul Frellick. "While the books are all chosen to enhance the experience of seeing one of our productions, they're also just great reads, and they always provoke fascinating conversations about both the book and the play we're producing."

Copies of the book are available for loan at the Chapel Hill Public Library by request at the Circulation Desk. Identify yourself as a member of the Deep Dish Theater Reading Group.

The 2014-15 Books:

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. September 16, 2014, 7:00 pm, Chapel Hill Public Library, Meeting Room D

There is a widely held belief that the future success of our children depends mostly on the cognitive skills learned during early childhood, the kind of intelligence that gets measured on IQ tests. Paul Tough in his 2013 book offers compelling insight into why children succeed, and its more about character traits than IQ.

The traits that are necessary for children to succeed include grit, resilience, perseverance, and optimism. These traits are a better indicator of a students ability to succeed in college than their ACT score. Tough reveals how character, and intelligence are malleable, and when children believe this, everything from their IQs to their ACT scores can be increased.

This book has been selected as the companion book for the Deep Dish Theater's performance of A Kid Like Jake about the advice given to a young couple hoping to get their toddler into an exclusive kindergarten.

Tenth of December by George Saunders November 18, 2014. 7:00 pm. Chapel Hill Public Library, Meeting Room D

In this collection, short-story master George Saunders combines his unique and quirky blend of dystopian fiction and dark satire with a sense that the world we live in is often more surreal and savage than any satire could be. He provides an often humorous, often scary, critique of contemporary American culture with its objectification of women, obsession with consumerism, and desensitivation to violence.

This book has been selected as the companion book for the Deep Dish Theater's performance of The Landing, a set of three captivating supernatural tales presented as a musical.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. March 17, 2014, 7:00 pm. Chapel Hill Public Library, Meeting Room C

In this classic and highly acclaimed novel, the story opens as young German schoolmates are being urged by their teacher, whose wisdom they trust, to enlist in the army to serve in the first world war, the Great War, as it was called. Paul Baumer, innocent and inexperienced, is among the first to experience a violent shift in his thinking from the romantic lessons he learned at school to the horrific lessons he absorbs through the war's random destruction of his friends. All the soldiers abandon their idealism but evolve strong comradeship. In the end, all are lost.

With this novel, Erich Maria Remarque broke with the tradition of romanticizing warfare. He prefaces the work by saying he is merely trying to characterize his generation, the young men who fought and were destroyed.

This book has been selected as the companion book for the Deep Dish Theater's performance of Journey's End, the story of a group of American soldiers preparing for battle. This drama, like Remarque's book, redefine the popular notion of warfare.

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel by David Rako. May 19, 2015, 7:00 pm. Chapel Hill Public Library Meeting Room C.

A novel in verse that received high praise from New York Times reviewer Paul Rudnick (Aug. 1, 2013) who says he is a "committed poetryphobe" but declares the book a "heartfelt charmingly profound American epic." Rakoff, who died in 2012 was the author of four other books and a frequent contributor to NPR's This American Life, a weekly radio show.

"The characters' lives are linked to each other by acts of generosity or cruelty. A daughter of Irish slaughterhouse workers in early-twentieth-century Chicago faces a desperate choice; a hobo offers an unexpected refuge on the rails during the Great Depression; a vivacious aunt provides her clever nephew a path out of the crushed dream of postwar Southern California; an office girl endures the casually vicious sexism of 1950s Manhattan; the young man from Southern California revels in the electrifying sexual and artistic openness of 1960s San Francisco, then later tends to dying friends and lovers as the AIDS pandemic devastates the community he cherishes; a love triangle reveals the empty materialism of the Reagan years; a marriage crumbles under the distinction between self-actualization and humanity; as the new century opens, a man who has lost his way finds a measure of peace in a photograph he discovers in an old boxan image of pure and simple joy that unites the themes of this brilliantly conceived work." (from the Amazon description).

The novel is brief allowing the reader time to savor the verse and the images. The voice of the author is warm, witty and wise.

This book has been selected as the companion book for the Deep Dish Theater's performance of The Liar, adapted from the play of that name by Pierre Corneille, a classic French comedy about a young gentleman who can't stop lying and his hopelessly honest servant.

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