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We read to know we are not alone.
        ~ C. S. Lewis~

~~Evening Book Discussions

Emma S. Clark Memorial Library~~

The Evening Book Discussion meets from 7:30-9 p.m., the 4 th Wednesday in the Meeting Room, *except for November and December, when it meets the 3 rd Wed. in the Board Room.

New this year! Copies of the books will be available for cardholders to check out at the Circulation Desk on the day of the preceding discussion.  Ask for the Book Discussion book and please check out on your way to the discussion. * indicates a schedule aberration.  Discussions are held at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room, except for November and December.


* = schedule aberration    += interlibrary loan   br= meeting in Board Rm. instead of Community Rm. 

 

~~2016-2017~~

 

Wed. Sept. 28   

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, Nina George’s impressionistic prose takes the reader on a journey not just through the glories of France and the wonders of books, but through the encyclopedic panoply of human emotions.  The Little Paris Bookshop is a book whose palette, textures, and aromas will draw you in and cradle you in the redemptive power of love.  Charlie Lovett, author of The Bookman’s Tale (408 pp)
Pick up at the Circulation Desk Aug. 31

Wed. Oct. 26  

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A light- hearted, deeply moving novel about a grumpy but loveable curmudgeon who finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.  This quirky debut is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the impact one life has on countless others—and an absolute delight.  CBS Local (368 pp)

Wed. Nov. 16*   

Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof
Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, managing his department's oddball faculty, and caring for his wife Marjory, a fragile shut-in with unrelenting neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom's brief affair with a visiting poetess a decade earlier.  Suddenly, change is on the horizon as Marjory makes a new friend, and Tom makes a new connection.  Barnes & Noble (320 pp)   
*Meeting in Board Room

Wed. Dec. 21*  

Dead Wake by Erik Larson
Erik Larson proves his mettle again as a weaver of tales of naïveté, calumny and intrigue.  He engagingly sketches life aboard the liner [Lusitania] and amply describes the powers’ political situations.  The panorama Mr. Larson surveys is impressive, as is the breadth of his research and his bibliography.  Washington Times (480 pp) Nonfiction
*Meeting in the Board Room

Wed. Jan. 25

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins This novel is perfectly paced, from its arresting beginning to its twist ending; it's not an easy book to put down. What really makes The Girl on the Train such a gripping novel is Hawkins' remarkable understanding of the limits of human knowledge, and the degree to which memory and imagination can become confused. NPR (336 pp) Wed. Jan. 25  

Wed. Feb. 22  

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity.  When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable.  That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air.  McCullough draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.  Barnes & Noble (336 pp)   nonfiction

Wed. Mar. 22  

The Rosie Project The art of love is never a science: meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife.  In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.  What unfolds is not scientifically explainable.  Barnes & Noble (320 pp)

Wed. Apr. 26   

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
A classic work of American literature about the Vietnam War that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, this novel is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of story-telling.  The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three.  Barnes & Noble (256 pp)  

Wed. May 24   

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
In the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else.  As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other.  Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists.  Barnes & Noble (336 pp)

Wed. June 28  

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Set during World War II, Doerr uses radio’s ability to cross enemy lines as a device to weave together the fate of a young, blind French girl and an orphaned German boy.  There is a fairytale quality to the book—the girl and her father.

~~2015-2016~~

 

Wed. Sept. 30 

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace
by Jeff Hobbs—
In 2011, novelist Jeff Hobbs received terrible news: Robert Peace, his Yale roommate and a great friend, had been murdered in an apparent drug deal gone wrong. It was an event made all the more shocking by the fairy tale narrative of Peace’s life: a gifted boy from the slums of New Jersey, he triumphed over a troubled upbringing to graduate from the Ivy League. In a work that is both a touching biography and a sobering cultural critique, Hobbs, who is white, confronts head-on the cultural divide between himself and his departed friend, and asks why someone who seemed to have made it out would allow himself to be pulled back in.   406 pp

Wed. Oct. 28  

Waiting by Ha Jin
Ha Jin portrays the life of Lin Kong, a dedicated doctor torn by his love for two women: one who belongs to the New China of the Cultural Revolution, the other, to the ancient traditions of his family's village. Ha Jin profoundly understands the conflict between the individual and society, between the timeless universality of the human heart and constantly shifting politics of the moment. With wisdom, restraint, and empathy for all his characters, he vividly reveals the complexities and subtleties of a world and a people we desperately need to know. Judges' Citation, National Book Award   320 pp

*Wed. Nov.  18  

Book of Ages : the life and opinions of Jane Franklin
by Jill Lepore
Benjamin Franklin, who wrote more letters to his sister than he wrote to anyone else, was the original American self-made man; his sister spent her life caring for her children. They left very different traces behind. Making use of an amazing cache of little-studied material, including documents, objects, and portraits only just discovered, Jill Lepore brings Jane Franklin to life in a way that illuminates not only this one woman, but an entire world—a world usually lost to history.  442 pp

* Wed. Dec. 16 

Longbourn
  by Jo Baker
In this irresistibly imagined below-stairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.  352 pp

Wed. Jan. 27 

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Drawn into a tense and dangerous historical era, readers discover how Liesel Meminger first learns to read and is transformed into the "book thief," stealing books before they can be burned by the Nazis or confiscated from personal libraries. When her family decides to hide a Jew in the basement, Liesel holds out hope to him in the form of her two most precious commodities: words and stories.  476 pp

Wed. Feb. 24 

The Aviator’s Wife
by Melanie Benjamin
When Anne Morrow, a shy college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family, she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Eventually Anne becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the U.S..  Despite this, and other major achievements, she is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for, will bring heartbreak and hardships. Ultimately she will be pushed to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, embracing,at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.  402 pp

Wed. Mar. 23 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.  416 pp

Wed. Apr. 27 

And the Mountains Echoedby Khaled Hosseini
The bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children, but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. He follows the characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos. 448 pp

Wed. May 25 

Good Lord Bird by James McBride
James McBride made a gutsy decision when he chose to retell the rather tragic story of John Brown's failed slave rebellion at Harpers Ferry, Va., in 1859 as a historical romp with a gender-bending male slave as the great abolitionist's sidekick. The resulting new novel, The Good Lord Bird, is not only an irrepressibly fun read, but an iconoclastic exploration of a period in American history, the antebellum slave era,that we tend to handle with kid gloves. (Seattle Times)  480 pp

Wed. June 22

Molokaiby Alan Brennert
This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai'i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place---and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit. Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end---but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.
416 pp 

 

 

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