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MyAnonymousView
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House Rules, Jodi Picoult (MyAnonymousView "Viewpoint" Selection)

House Rules  This is a brand new endeavor and I am eager to begin it all with a challenge:  I need 100 people to discuss with me this new book by Jodi Picoult, who is my "Viewpoint" Author.  My site is all about viewpoints, in the news, music, film, and of course books.  Dealing with the controversial or subject matters that affect us all I am hoping to get people to utlize this online community format to discuss this book that is full of Picoult's trademark talent.  This time around she tackles Asperger's Syndrome, Crime Scene Reenactments and many homefront issues: sibling rivalry, parental guidance is secrets.  I work for Barnes & Noble in Troy MI and we are backing this endeavor in store as well, with other books that deal with the topics featured in this book.  Check out my MYB&N page to get all the information on titles that fit with House Rules.  Also, visit my home page http://my-anonymous-view.blogspot.com to stay in touch with me.  Lots of great links and items of interest on my featured author and many other topics.  i look froward to discussing this fantastic novels with those 100+ readers. 

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MyAnonymousView
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Re: House Rules, Jodi Picoult (MyAnonymousView "Viewpoint" Selection)

Does anyone out there know someone with Asperger's syndrome?  Does Jacob Hunt's character seem realistic?  My own anonymous view on the subject is that Picoult has given us one of the most interesting characters with a truly unique voice and I believed everything he did, but I am not 100% in the know on Autism. 

 

I also want to ask the readers:  Why do you read Jodi Picoult?  What attracts you to this type of story and storytelling??  How may of her book have you read? 

 

If you are like me I get so emotionally involved in the books that on occasion I have been known to throw it across the room in a rage. 

 

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MyAnonymousView
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Re: House Rules, Jodi Picoult (MyAnonymousView "Viewpoint" Selection)

I have two people who are now reading this book.  98 more to go.  How is everyone doing with the book?  It is #1 on the B&N Bestseller list and deservedly so.  This topical novel should sell even more than the last and should have people talking for years.  This is a great book club title and I hope to see many people commenting as the weeks go by.  Please don't be shy - let me know what you think of the book and lets discuss the subject matters Picoult raises in House Rules.  There are many.

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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: House Rules, Jodi Picoult (MyAnonymousView "Viewpoint" Selection)

 

MyAnonymousView wrote:

Does anyone out there know someone with Asperger's syndrome?

yes

  Does Jacob Hunt's character seem realistic? 

as soon as i read it, i will let you know

My own anonymous view on the subject is that Picoult has given us one of the most interesting characters with a truly unique voice and I believed everything he did, but I am not 100% in the know on Autism. 

 yale university has wonderful services as does ct in general.

I also want to ask the readers:  Why do you read Jodi Picoult? 

she has an engaging style; her writing draws you into her books and they are easy to read. also, she researches her subjects very well.

What attracts you to this type of story and storytelling??  How may of her book have you read? 

 i have read three or four depending on whether the subject she was covering was interesting to me.

If you are like me I get so emotionally involved in the books that on occasion I have been known to throw it across the room in a rage. 

 nope, i don't do that but i do get emotionally involved and care about the characters sometimes translating some of the events and behavior into my ideas about life in general.

What is your viewpoint??

about what?

 

 

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MyAnonymousView
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Re: House Rules, Jodi Picoult (MyAnonymousView "Viewpoint" Selection)

thewanderingjew wrote:

 

MyAnonymousView wrote:

Does anyone out there know someone with Asperger's syndrome?

yes

  Does Jacob Hunt's character seem realistic? 

as soon as i read it, i will let you know

My own anonymous view on the subject is that Picoult has given us one of the most interesting characters with a truly unique voice and I believed everything he did, but I am not 100% in the know on Autism. 

 yale university has wonderful services as does ct in general.

I also want to ask the readers:  Why do you read Jodi Picoult? 

she has an engaging style; her writing draws you into her books and they are easy to read. also, she researches her subjects very well.

What attracts you to this type of story and storytelling??  How may of her book have you read? 

 i have read three or four depending on whether the subject she was covering was interesting to me.

If you are like me I get so emotionally involved in the books that on occasion I have been known to throw it across the room in a rage. 

 nope, i don't do that but i do get emotionally involved and care about the characters sometimes translating some of the events and behavior into my ideas about life in general.

What is your viewpoint??

about what?

 

 

 

Thanks for your comments. I look froward to talking to people about this book as people finish it.  All of Picoult's books make for great discussions because in one way, shape or form, what she writes about affects us all.  My viewpoint question is about the book - when you finish it.  Jodi's novels always have many views and opinions, and plot points in the book make you see things in more than just black and white. 

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MyAnonymousView
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Re: House Rules, Jodi Picoult (MyAnonymousView "Viewpoint" Selection)

Here is the first question for the online book group about House Rules.

 

House Rules is told from the point of view of five different characters.

How do each of these characters bring a different perspective to the novel? 

How would the reading experience have been different if one of the narrators’ perspectives was removed from the novel?

 

(from S&S Reading Group Guide)

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bert21
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Registered: ‎03-16-2010
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Re: House Rules, Jodi Picoult (MyAnonymousView "Viewpoint" Selection)

Picoult's versatility in providing each of the 5 characters incredible depth and perspective was fantastic.  I have a personal connection with autism and as such, cannot get over how on target she was with regard to the voices of Emma, Jacob and Theo.  I felt for Emma.  Putting our fires, anticipating fires, juggling all the time, and trying to balance what it meant to be a "mother" to each of her sons which definition was so fluid, yet finite.  Her vulnerability was no less appealing than her strength and steadfast devotion to her full time job.  Theo, oh Theo.  If ever there were a down trodden hero, Theo surely meets the criteria.  In Theo lies the plight of so many siblings of children with special needs, dutifully going with the flow, so much of their identity beholden the their sibling. I think for me the clearest picture of Theo and his reality, cam the night of the promise of splurging on the Chinese food dinner, summed it up, when Emma came into the kitchen only to see the remains of the dinner Theo made quietly for himself, as he so often did.  That also was the defining moment for me in terms of almost literally hearing Emma tear in half.

 

Jacob,  I totally get him and love him and believe it or not, knew it could not have been him.  All of the foreshadowing aside, his relationship with Jess was so precious to him that I truly knew he could not have done it.  I loved Jacobs "quirks" and was heartbroken when he was struggling to wrap himself around the "labels" which his mom for so long had kept him free from believing himself to be subject to.  I also loved his jokes..Especially the one about the psychologist in the hot air balloon.  I believe Jacob has taught every single reader a great deal about Asperger's and the accompanying manifestations of the syndrome.  He did it with dignity and compassion, and with a clear vision of the defects in all of the "normal" humans, who, let's be frank, are just as confusing in many cases as those with "labels".  Just look at his dad for an example. Or, for that matter at Jess with regard to her relationship to her boyfriend.

 

Oliver, now how can you not like Oliver.  Almost too cool, I kept seeing Matthew McCoughney in that Grisham film, as I was reading Oliver.  To me, Oliver represented the hope in humanity accepting people for who they are regardless of the label.  I love that he got right into the color of the day of the week, or that he would not let Emma completely define the parameters of what could or could not be done with Jacob.  While the farrier past was not so smooth for me, I did get that when others were prepared to put the horses down for their weakness, he tried to save them...as was the case with Jacob.  Though I found my sappy self wanting him and Emma to get together, that part of their relationship (especially the age difference) made it less believable.

 

Rich, the detective.  Now, caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.  In this character, I think the reality of the lack of training and awareness on the part of first responders and law enforcement with regard to Apserger's is made clear.  I also think the reality of society not being so sympathetic to any disorder, regardless of the label or characteristics, when a heinous crime is committed, was a point made well by this detective and his commitment to solving the crime.  The dynamic between he and Jacob was interesting and certainly compelling to read about and watch evolve.

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bert21
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Re: House Rules, Jodi Picoult (MyAnonymousView "Viewpoint" Selection)

I have have two son's, one typical and 9 and one 12 with PDD (an autism spectrum disorder not unlike Asperger's but his IQ is not high enough for an Aspie diagnosis).  I must tell you, in answer to your question about how realistic Jacobs character is, in my opinion, she "nailed it".  In so doing, she got Theo and Emma perfectly too.  I cannot believe that someone who does not live it, could get so much of what is involved in terms of dynamics, stresses, nuances...she just pegged it.

 

Why do I read her?  The depth of her research into the background of her books is awe inspiring.  I cannot even imagine how much time she spent interviewing people, asking the right questions and more importantly, really listenting to the answers.  She was able to develop characters and assign to them feelings and situations that were so realistic, that at times, I was sobbing (and I do not cry easily), or so tense that I did not realize it until I got up from reading and noticed my palms were sweaty.  I read her because her characters could truly be any of us and that makes them appealing to me.

 

This is my 3rd Picoult book and certainly not my last.

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MyAnonymousView
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Re: House Rules, Jodi Picoult (MyAnonymousView "Viewpoint" Selection)

Hi Bert,

 

Great response!  I totally agree that as a writer she nailed all the voices in the story.  This book was an emotional one too!  The strength in this book - and all her others, really! - is to make you look at life differently and to make choices that are more than just about yourself.  Theo was probably the one who suffered the most and was so realistic it almost hurt to read about him.

 

I read a recent review from Entertainment Weekly (you can read it by going to my homesite http://my-anonymous-view.blogspot.com where the online discussions keep going) and it treats this novel like a mystery/thriller.  I was taken aback at the lack of understanding and the need to label the book and then critique it by its label.  Picoult's book are thrilling and are to be enjoyed, but by no means are they "genre" books.  She blends all aspects of fiction to create realistic stories about nearly realized people and it should be about the characters.

 

Let me know your viewpoint on this topic and more questions are coming soon!

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