Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Euphoria, by Lily King

BOOK DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME: TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2015, AT 11:00 A.M.  (PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE MEETING ON A DIFFERENT DAY AND TIME FOR JULY AND AUGUST.)


Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is a captivating story of three young, gifted anthropologists of the 1930s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and ultimately their lives.


 

Monday, May 18, 2015

THE ARSONIST, BY SUE MILLER

BOOK DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME: MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2015, AT 1:00 P.M.
A series of summer house fires exposes deep social faults in the hometown of Frankie Rowley, who makes unsettling discoveries about her aging parents while engaging in an affair with a local journalist.
With her trademark elegant prose and masterful command of subtle psychological nuance, Miller explores the tensions between the summer people and the locals in a small New Hampshire town. Frankie Rowley, after years spent doing relief work abroad, has returned to her parents’ summer home, unsure of whether she will ever go back to East Africa, feeling depleted by that region’s seemingly endless suffering. But the reassuring comfort of the small town she has been coming to since she was a girl is shattered by a series of fires set by an arsonist who has targeted the rambling summer homes of the wealthy. Frankie falls into an unexpected and passionate love affair with the local newspaper editor while also becoming privy to her parents’ difficulties, with her mother seeming to resent her husband’s decline into Alzheimer’s, especially since she no longer loves him. The town, awash in fear of the unknown arsonist, splits into factions aligned along class divisions. In this suspenseful and romantic novel, Miller delicately parses the value of commitment and community, the risky nature of relationships, and the yearning for meaningful work.(Booklist, vol 110, number 17, p76)
Publishers Weekly:
A small New Hampshire town provides the backdrop for Miller’s (The Senator’s Wife ) provocative novel about the boundaries of relationships and the tenuous alliance between locals and summer residents when a crisis is at hand. After years of being an aid worker in Africa, Frankie Rowley returns to the idyllic Pomeroy, N.H., summer home to which her parents have retired. But all is not well in Pomeroy, where a spate of house fires leaves everyone wary and afraid. Frankie, who may have seen the arsonist her first night home, contemplates her ambiguous future and falls for Bud Jacobs, a transplant who has traded the hustle and bustle of covering politics in D.C. for the security of smalltown life, buying the local newspaper. Meanwhile, Sylvia, Frankie’s mother, becomes concerned about her husband’s increasingly erratic behavior, fearful that it’s a harbinger of Alzheimer’s. Liz, Frankie’s married sister, has her hands full dealing with their parents while Frankie’s been overseas. Miller, a pro at explicating family relationships as well as the fragile underpinnings of mature romance, brilliantly draws parallels between Frankie’s world in Africa and her life in New Hampshire, and explores how her characters define what “home” means to them and the lengths they will go to protect it. (June) --Staff (Reviewed April 28, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 17, p)
Library Journal:
Retiring with her increasingly erratic professor husband to the New Hampshire town where she has summered for decades doesn't turn out as planned for Sylvia Rowley. Social tensions surface, starting with the renovation work Sylvia's son is doing on the property, and then local homes start falling to an arsonist. From the multi-million-copy best-selling Miller. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed January 1, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 1, p71)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

NORWEGIAN BY NIGHT, BY DEREK B. MILLER

BOOK DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME:
MONDAY, MAY 18, 2015, AT 1:00 PM.

 Miller's affecting debut, about a cantankerous Jewish widower transplanted to Norway who becomes party to a hate crime, is an unusual hybrid: part memory novel, part police procedural, part sociopolitical tract and part existential meditation. Native New Yorker Sheldon "Donny" Horowitz, 82, is a retired watch repairman living in Oslo with his granddaughter Rhea, an architect, and her new Norwegian husband, Lars. She thinks her grandfather is slipping into dementia. Haunted by his experiences as a Marine sniper in the Korean War and by his son Saul's death in Vietnam, Sheldon sometimes has trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality. He thinks the Koreans are still after him. But he is more strong-willed, decisive and wily than his granddaughter thinks. When a stranger murders the immigrant woman who lives upstairs, Sheldon shelters and then escapes with her young son, fearing the boy is in danger, too. Hovering over the narrative is Norway's roundup of its Jewish population during the Nazi occupation--for which, the author points out, the nation didn't formally apologize until 2012. This novel, first published in Norway, was worth the wait.(Kirkus Reviews) 








Tuesday, March 24, 2015

THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS, BY ALICE HOFFMAN

BOOK DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2015, AT 1:00 p.m. (Please note different day of week than usual)

Romance blooms between a photographer and the daughter of a Coney Island freak show impresario in early 20th-century New York.  (Long Island Reads/South Shore Reads book selection for 2015)

VIEW A READING DISCUSSION GUIDE PREPARED BY THE LONG ISLAND READS COMMITTEE 

 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

GROLIER CLUB EXHIBITS "THE FIRST PAPERBACKS"

Anyone who has ever sat in a cafe, or in the bath, with a paperback owes a debt to Aldus and the small, cleanly designed editions of the secular classics he called libelli portatiles, or portable little books. (New York Times)
A Tribute to the Printer Aldus Manutius, and the Roots of the Paperback

Monday, February 23, 2015

WIDE SARGASSO SEA, BY JEAN RHYS

BOOK DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME: MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2015, AT 1:00 PM.
Jean Rhys's reputation was made upon the publication of this passionate and heartbreaking novel, in which she brings into the light one of fiction's most mysterious characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Set in the Caribbean, its heroine is Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into marriage to the prideful Rochester. In this best-selling novel, Rhys portrays a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ANNE FRANK: STORIES, BY NATHAN ENGLANDER

BOOK DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2015, AT 1:00 P.M.

A collection of short stories includes the title story about two marriages in which the Holocaust is played out as a devastating parlor game, and a dark story of vigilante justice undertaken by a troop of geriatric campers.

REQUEST A COPY OF THE BOOK

Read a discussion guide prepared by the library staff 

Read a review by Stacey Schiff in the New York Times Book Review 

Read a review by Michiku Kakutani in the New York Times 

Read a review from the New Republic