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As far as we’re concerned, there couldn’t be a better time to talk about Jon Krakauer’s latest book on the life of Pat Tillman, Where Men Win Glory. We hope you’re planning to attend a discussion group at one of the three local independent bookstores at 6 p.m. tonight. They are:

1. Black Cat Books at 720 Manitou Avenue in Manitou Springs, (719) 685-1589.

2. Poor Richard’s Bookstore at 320 N. Tejon St. in downtown Colorado Springs, (719) 578-0012.

3. Hooked on Books at 3918 Maizeland Rd. in eastern Colorado Springs (at Maizeland & Academy in the Maizeland Moors Shopping Center), (719) 596-1621.

We chose this book as the first selection for The Big Something Book Club because of the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and their local toll (physical and psychological) on the troops stationed here at Ft. Carson, many of whom came here through the military and will remain part of our community. Now that President Obama has called for a troop increase of 30,000, the question of what we’ve accomplished after 8 years and the cost to our nation and troops looms even larger.

For those of you who’ve now read the book, you know that it is a biography of former National Football League star Pat Tillman interleaved with a concise history of both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during his service. The book raises both timeless and timely questions about war (in general) and these wars (specifically). It is also a book that examines themes familiar to readers of Krakauer’s book Into the Wild and Into Thin Air: the perils of naive heroism and idealistic adventures.

What follows are a list of questions that we invite participants to discuss here in the comments section and at the gatherings tonight:

1. Why do you think Jon Krakauer, a person who has written primarily about high-risk outdoor adventures, was drawn to Pat Tillman as a subject? And how well do you think he handled the biographical sections?

2. What do you make of Pat Tillman’s character? On the one hand, he seems to represent everything archetypal about American heroic masculinity: he plays football, marries his high school sweetheart, takes seemingly foolish physical risks and joins the military. On the other hand, Krakauer also presents him as bookish and extraordinarily principled to the point that he gave up his lucrative NFL career to make a grunt’s wages in the Army. Did Krakauer’s book change what you thought you knew about Tillman for better or worse?

3. Do you still think Pat Tillman was a hero? If so, in what regard?

4. Do you think Krakauer’s reporting on the wars was fair?

5. Did the book, ultimately, change the way you feel about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

6. Did the book change the way you feel about the military or what it means to be a hero in American culture?

7. Did you like the book?

Please feel free to stray from these questions in any manner. They’re merely points for initiating discussion.

We would also like to invite you to nominate the next book for our next Big Something Book Club in February. Keep in mind that the book should, ideally, touch on themes or subjects pertinent to life in the Pikes Peak Region. There have been requests that the next book be paperback, which we’re happy to honor. Please leave your nominations in the comments and see you tonight!

If you want to know more about why we started The Big Something Book Club, please click HERE. If you have any other questions, please email us at thebigsomething@krcc.org.

 

5 Responses to Tonight! Big Something Book Club

  1. Stephanie says:

    I l-o-v-e the idea of a Big Something book club!! I hope to participate–what a great way to get the KRCC comunity together, thank you!

  2. debra says:

    It’s probably inappropriate to suggest my own book, but it meets several of your criteria. The book, A Matter of Panache, is in paperback and I am happy to give local booksellers a reduced price. Colorado Springs weaves through the book and the entirety of part IV takes place here, with a spotlight on School District 8.

    In a nutshell it is the story of my career as an educational psychologist, first in Alaska for nearly 20 years, then on the reservation lands of SE Utah, then ultimately in a middle school on Fort Carson. It is the story of my passionate advocacy for the right thing to happen for kids with special needs and what happened after I sustained a traumatic brain injury in a work-related auto accident in 2003–leaving me with all my passions intact, but with sufficient personality changes that I would discover that passion without panache is a good way to turn an award-winning career into history.

    The book is timely as it sheds light on the challenges of a TBI– not just on the person who sustained it, but on those around them. I have not promoted the book locally prior to now as it provides a fairly shocking insider view into the workings of one school in District 8 and the decisions people in charge made that impact children. I personally needed to see how the book fared elsewhere before promoting it here (It became an Amazon bestseller and was a finalist for the 2008 Indie awards).

    If you want to read excerpts you can go to my website debrasanders.com or you can watch the trailer on YouTube (the trailer is also on my website); or if you want to see what others have said, you can read the reviews on Amazon (I swear, I did not ask for one single review that is on there. They really are for real!).

    I would love to begin to promote this book locally and have it provoke discussion both about our current crisis of soldiers returning with head injuries and the state of public education both here and elsewhere (from the number of letters I have received from all over the country (a lot), it is clear what took place at Carson Middle School is not something taking place in isolation).

    Anyway, it’s just a thought…:-)

    Debra
    author, A Matter of Panache: A career in public education, A traumatic brain injury, A memoir of surviving both

  3. Cami says:

    I read A Matter of Panache and it really is a great book. For me, after reading the book, it took several weeks and even months to grasp the frightening world that TBI survivors live in. I know that I still don’t fully comprehend it. But that’s only part of the story. This book really inspired me to realize that there are risks worth taking; that there are no guarantees; and that even when you know that the outcome won’t favor you, you have to be true to your convictions. It is so comforting to know that there are people in this world who are advocates for our children and who will put their careers on the line for them. I’d definitely recommend this book for the Big Something Book Club.

  4. Bree Brouwer says:

    Hello,

    My name is Bree Brouwer and I am the marketing assistant to Dr. Linda Seger, a Christian who is an internationally known scriptwriting speaker and consultant, as well as author of 11 books, including the recently released Spiritual Steps on the Road to Success: Gaining the Goal Without Losing Your Soul. Dr. Seger is a local to Colorado Springs, and she and I were wondering if your club ever looks at spiritual-oriented books.

    In her book, Dr. Seger addresses hardships that come one’s way in business and one’s personal career, and how to overcome these obstacles, all the while maintaining your spiritual convictions and beliefs. You can view her website on the book for more information. Thanks!

  5. Patricia Huhn says:

    I strongly second recommendation of Debra Sander’s A Matter of Panache. I was privileged to read an early draft of the book, and initially planned to read a chapter a day. My plans went awry. i was hooked and could not put this remarkable book down. As a long time teacher, I have always been concerned with the treatment of special needs kids that as been sorely lacking. Debra’s battles for these children, coupled withe her own brain injury make this book an ideal choice for the book club.

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