Tuesday, October 20, 2009

LIFE AFTER GENIUS BOOK CLUB GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
LIFE AFTER GENIUS

BY M. ANN JACOBY

ABOUT THE BOOK:


Theodore Mead Fegley has always been the smartest person he knows. By age 12, he was in high school, and by 15 he was attending a top-ranking university. And now, at the tender age of 18, he's on the verge of proving the Riemann Hypothesis, a mathematical equation that has mystified academics for almost 150 years. But only days before graduation, Mead suddenly packs his bags and flees home to rural Illinois. What has caused him to flee remains a mystery to all but Mead and a classmate whose quest for success has turned into a dangerous obsession. At home, Mead finds little solace. His past ghosts haunt him; his parents don't understand the agony his genius has caused him, nor his desire to be a normal kid, and his dreams seem crushed forever. He embarks on a new life's journey -- learning the family business of selling furniture and embalming the dead--that disappoints and surprises all who knew him as "the young Fegley genius." Equal parts academic thriller and poignant coming-of-age story, LIFE AFTER GENIUS follows the remarkable journey of a young man who must discover that the heart may know what the head hasn't yet learned.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

M. Ann Jacoby has been an art director at Penguin Group USA for the past 20 years. LIFE AFTER GENIUS is her first novel.

I was not much of a reader as a kid preferring to live in my own make-believe world of characters and situations. Hours would go by like seconds. I didn’t want to stop playing to eat or sleep. Then in my twenties I started reading a lot of trashy romance novels. Somewhere along the line I bored of those, revisited my college edition of
American Literature: The Makers and the Making Vol. II and discovered Sherwood Anderson. I went back and reread Catcher in the Rye (which I surely must have read in high school) and loved it. I read and fell in love with Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler and Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg. I decided to try Tolstoy. I read Anna Karenina and was surprised by how much I enjoyed this Russian classic. I was like a hungry person at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I tasted a lot of different books putting aside those that didn’t please the palate and going back for seconds and thirds on those that did. Throughout the process of writing Life After Genius, I often referred to Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr and Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell, reading a chapter here or a paragraph there for inspiration. Or sometimes I’d pop into the DVD player one of my favorite movies. Elling, which is a Norwegian film. Son of the Bride, which is Argentinian. Or You Can Count on Me. Or Midnight Run. Or Terms of Endearment. I love smart, observant, small moments. Heart-rending moments sprinkled with humor. Quirky characters. These are what send me running back to my computer to write. The place I go as an adult where time loses all meaning and I have to remind myself to eat.



THANKS TO VALERIE AT HACHETTE BOOKS,
I HAVE FIVE COPIES OF THIS
BRILLIANT BOOK TO GIVE AWAY.
RULES
--U.S. and Canadian Residents Only

--No P.O. Boxes, Please
--Email address must be in your comment
--ALL comments must be separate to count
or they will count as one instead of possibly two.

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: Comment and name a person you think of as very intelligent throughout history--realistic or fictional!

+1 MORE ENTRY: Blog or Tweet about this giveaway and leave link in your comment!

+1 MORE ENTRY: Follow on Google Connect (see left hand sidebar) or tell me how you do follow

+1 BONUS ENTRY: After reading through the READING GROUP GUIDE Questions that book clubs can use, look at question #2 and see if you can predict what the
"six-legged creature" might be.



READING GROUP GUIDE:

1. Mead is considered a “genius” by almost everyone he knows, but he has mixed feelings about the title. Why? How has being labeled a genius shaped Mead’s character?

2. What is the six-legged creature and what role does it play in Mead’s life?

3. Early in the novel, Mead’s uncle Martin accuses Mead of being an “an overeducated, underachieving momma’s boy with no care or concern for anyone.” Why is Martin so angry at Mead? Do you think he is being too hard on Mead?

4. Describe Mead’s relationship with Percy. How is this relationship different from others in Mead’s life? How does Percy influence Mead?

5. Mead’s mother says to Mead: “You and I aren’t like your father and his whole side of the family. We’re cut from a different cloth. I want you to have the educational opportunities I never had. To fulfill your true potential.” Does Mead’s mother have Mead’s best interests in mind? Is she a supportive and loving mother? How is she different from Mead’s Aunt Jewel?

6. Why does Mead resist working for his father’s company, Fegley Brothers? Does his attitude towards his father and his business change over the course of the novel?

7. Why does Mead return home only days before his graduation from college? Do you think Mead is a coward for doing so? Did he have any other options?

8. What do Mead’s romantic failures with Cynthia and then with Shirley teach him? How is his friendship with Haley different from his other relationships with girls?

9. What do you make of Herman? Do you feel any sympathy for him? How are Mead and Herman alike and how are they different?

10. Who is Dr. Alexander and what does he teach Mead over the course of their work together? How is Dr. Alexander different from Dean Falconia and Dr. Kustrup?

11. Toward the end of the novel, the deceased Bernard Reimann appears to Mead and tells him that in order to solve the Riemann Hypothesis he must “stop being logical…and rely more on [his] intuitions.” What does Riemann mean by this? Does Mead take his advice?

12. Do you like Mead? Do you think he changes over the course of the novel? Why or why not?

13. Why is Mead’s mother so impressed with Herman when she first meets him in Chicago? How does Herman manipulate Mead and what makes him such a seductive personality?

14. Towards the end of the novel, Mead tells his father: “Ancient Egyptians thought the heart to be the seat of intelligence and will. Not the brain, but the heart.” Do you agree? Why does Mead tell his father this?

15. What do you make of the novel’s ending? Would you have made the same decision as Mead if you were in his position?

DEADLINE TO ENTER IS
6 PM, EST, NOVEMBER 11



64 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

A very intelligent person would be Richard Feynman.

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I follow on Google Connect and Google Reader.

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Pam said...

This may be obvious but I've always thought of Albert Einstein as intelligent. Quirky, likely on the autistic spectrum, but intelligent, nevertheless.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

I follow through google friend connect.

melacan at hotmail dot com

holdenj said...

As far as real people go, I think Thomas Jefferson, with all his tinkering around Monticello, was really bright, more than just a politician/writer.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I'm a Google Friend Connect follower!
Thanks.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Linna said...

Sherlock Holmes is genius. Ha ha. :D

linna.hsu at gmail dot com

Linna said...

I follow through google reader. :D

linna.hsu at gmail dot com

Bethie said...

Whenever I think of a young person advanning that quickly, I think of Doogie Houser.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

I follow on Google

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Linda K said...

I know plenty of people will disagree with me but Bill Clinton is very intelligent.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda K said...

GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Hmmm...I find Sherlock Holmes to be quite the brain...

fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

+1 I am a follower

fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

+1 I posted this on my blog: http://bookshelfmonstrosity.blogspot.com/2009/10/weekly-monstrosity-giveaway-list-1015.html

fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

fredamans said...

I think Oprah has been intelligent throughout her career and life. I know it may be a bit of a cliche, but I look up to her.

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

fredamans said...

I blogged contest: http://fredamans.blogspot.com/2009/10/contests_20.html

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

fredamans said...

I follow via Google Connect.

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

Sheila said...

Bill Gates is pretty intelligent.

ludeluh at yahoo dot com

Sheila said...

I follow on google friends connect.

ludeluh at yahoo dot com

Renee G said...

I've always admired Thomas Jefferson.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo.com

Glenn said...

In the world of language and linguistics, professor and author Steven Pinker is very intelligent. Thanks for the giveaway.

glenn_pessano AT yahoo DOT com

rubynreba said...

What would we do without Alexander Graham Bell and his invention of the telephone! He had to be very intelligent.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I follow on Google.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Sarah said...

I think Thomas Jefferson was a very intelligent person.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

Sarah said...

I follow on Google Friend Connect.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

Sarah said...

tweet:

http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5053702417

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

Renee said...

I think my dh is a very intelligent person.

reneesuz82(at)msn(d0t)com

Renee said...

I follow on blogspot dashboard

reneesuz82(at)msn(d0t)com

Stacie said...

An intelligent person is Robert Langdon of the Dan Brown novels. He's the first one to come to mind.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Stacie said...

I follow.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Diane said...

I'd love to win. I am a follower.

bibliophilebythesea AT gmail DOT com

Amy said...

I think a very intelligent person throughout history is Maya Angelou.

Thank you for another wonderful giveaway Karen!

Amy
Aimala127@gmail.com

Amy said...

I follow you on Google Connect!

Amy
Aimala127@gmail.com

Amy said...

I think the six-legged creature is Mead's mother or father. I thin he sees them has this monster-like creature that doesn't understand hom or try to understand him and doesn't seem to care much for him.

That's my guess!

Amy
Aimala127@gmail.com

cqueen2 said...

ellen degeneres i think is very intelligent

thanks

wadesherry@hotmail dot com

cqueen2 said...

follow on Google Connect

thanks

wadesherry@hotmail dot com

Beth (BBRB) said...

LOL! Doctor Who! :)

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Beth (BBRB) said...

I'm a Google Friend Connect follower.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Margie said...

Of course Albert Einstein comes to mind if we're listing true geniuses. However, in the fictional realm, I always liked Hercule Poirot and his use of the "gray matter"!

mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

What is the six-legged creature...that's a hard one, without reading the book!
I might guess that it would be a combination of his three selves....past, present, and future.

mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

MarionG said...

Hi The figure I think of as being intelligent is Albert Einstien. I have a nephew just like the character in the book so would very much like to read this. polo-puppy-fluffy AT hotmail *dot* com Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at the arts. I want to say Pablo Picasso was a genius.



bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I think the six legged creatures are some sort of insect.



bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

lynnie said...

Ben Franklin

Mytyme2 at gmail dot com

Margie said...

Your site is on my Favorites list...and I stop by quite often to see what's new.

SavingDiva said...

Albert Einstein

savingforhome at gmail dot com

brizmus said...

+1Anaximander, Pythagoras's teacher, is sort of my idol. He's the most intelligent person there is.
+1 I follow
+1 it's in my sidebar (http://brizmusblogsbooks.blogspot.com)

zedster.tbb(at)gmail(DOT)com

(I don't want to read through the question's because I'm afraid it will tell me more than I want to know about the book)

Anonymous said...

I think the 6-legged creature is the scarab an important symbol for ancient Egyptians. walkerd@primus.ca

Anonymous said...

I'm now following on Google Connect.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

bison61 said...

I think Benjamin Franklin was very smart

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Albert Einstein was very intelligent. walkermisc@primus.ca

catss99 said...

Napolean--so little, but won so many wars;-)
amanda
catss99@yahoo.com

catss99 said...

tweet

http://twitter.com/catss99/status/5554269915
amanda
catss99@yahoo.com

catss99 said...

I follow through google friends
amanda
catss99@yahoo.com

catss99 said...

for the six legged animal--I'm going to guess grasshopper.
amanda
catss99@yahoo.com

CherylS22 said...

I always considered John F. Kennedy to be an intelligent man.

megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

CherylS22 said...

I already follow on GFC
megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

CherylS22 said...

I'm going to guess a Monarch butterfly for the six-legged creature.

megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

cherdon said...

Sir Isaac Newton would be my choice for most intelligent person because he was a mathematician and physicist...truly one of the foremost scientific intellects of all time.

Please enter me. Thanks

cherdon@sympatico.ca

cherdon said...

tweeted

http://twitter.com/iamcherdon/status/5625609575

cherdon@sympatico.ca

cherdon said...

I Follow you via Google Connect

cherdon@sympatico.ca

Sue said...

George Washington.
Thanks for the giveaway.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

cherdon said...

The "six-legged creature" is Meads MOTHER of a MONSTER because of her annoying habit of sitting in a chair watching him hence the 4 legs of a chair and moms 2 legs.

cherdon@sympatico.ca


This is truly a must read. Love to add this to my collection.

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