Monday, February 11, 2019

LOVE MEDICINE, BY LOUISE ERDRICH

Discussion date and time: Monday, March 4, 2019, at 2:00 P.M.


A novel in stories about passion, family, and the importance of cultural identity, Love Medicine examines the struggle to balance Native American tradition with the modern world. Using an eclectic range of comic and tragic voices, Louise Erdrich leads the reader through the interwoven lives of two Chippewa families living in North Dakota. This modern classic is an often sad, sometimes funny look at the ways family and tradition bind us together.  (The National Endowment for the Arts)


Monday, January 28, 2019

THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR, BY YEWANDE OMOTOSO

BOOK DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME:

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019, AT 2:00 P.M.



Loving thy neighbor is easier said than done.

Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbors. One is black, the other white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed, and are living with questions, disappointments, and secrets that have brought them shame. And each has something that the woman next door deeply desires.
Sworn enemies, the two share a hedge and a deliberate hostility, which they maintain with a zeal that belies their age. But, one day, an unexpected event forces Hortensia and Marion together. As the physical barriers between them collapse, their bickering gradually softens into conversation and, gradually, the two discover common ground. But are these sparks of connection enough to ignite a friendship, or is it too late to expect these women to change?

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

EDUCATED, BY TARA WESTOVER

Book Discussion Monday January 14, 2019, at 2:00 P.M.

RESERVE THIS BOOK



An unforgettable memoir in the tradition of The Glass Castle about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge. 
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.
Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.
Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it. (www.randomhousebooks.com)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

WARLIGHT, BY MICHAEL ONDAATJE


BOOK DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME:  MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2018, AT 2:00 P.M.
It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel.



Tuesday, October 30, 2018

ETERNAL LIFE, BY DARA HORN



DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2018



At the heart of Horn ’s funny and compassionate novel is a 2,000-year-old Jewish mother seeking reasons for living, some way of dying, and help for her 56-year-old son who lives  in her basement. Rachel’s story begins in Roman-occupied Jerusalem, where at 16 she marries her father’s apprentice although she loves the high priest’s son, Elazar, and is pregnant with Elazar’s baby. Two years later, when the child falls ill, Rachel makes a bargain with God: she must give up not her life  but her death in exchange for the child’s survival. The child survives, and Rachel endures successive lifetimes over the next 20 centuries, each lifetime immediately following the previous. Elazar, having made a similar bargain, pursues Rachel through time, occasionally finding her, though never for long. Now in 21st-century New York, Rachel’s current form (or “version,” as she calls it) is an 84-year-old widow. She thinks she has found a way to finally die, but first she wants to see her current problem child, the one in the basement, get a life . She also wishes to protect her granddaughter, a medical researcher dangerously close to discovering the truth behind Rachel’s unusual DNA. Horn  (A Guide for the Perplexed) weaves historical detail and down-to-earth humor into this charming Jewish Groundhog Day spanning two millennia. (Publishers Weekly)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, BY DAVID GRANN

BOOK DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME:
MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2018, AT 2:00 P.M.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances.

In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes such as Al Spencer, “the Phantom Terror,” roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most sinister conspiracies in American history.

A true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.
 












Author David Grann
David Grann has written about everything from New York City’s antiquated water tunnels to the hunt for the giant squid to the presidential campaign. His stories have appeared in several anthologies, including What We Saw: The Events of September 11, 2001The Best American Crime Writing, of both 2004 and 2005; and The Best American Sports Writing, of 2003 and 2006. A 2004 finalist for the Michael Kelly award for the “fearless pursuit and expression of truth,” Grann has also written for "The New York Times Magazine," The AtlanticThe Washington PostThe Boston GlobeThe Wall Street JournalThe Weekly Standard, and The New Republic

Before joining The New Yorker in 2003, Grann was a senior editor at The New Republic, and from 1995 until 1996, the executive editor of the newspaper The Hill. He holds master’s degrees in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy as well as in creative writing from Boston University. After graduating from Connecticut College in 1989, he received a Thomas Watson Fellowship and did research in Mexico, where he began his career in journalism. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

HEROES OF THE FRONTIER, BY DAVE EGGERS

DISCUSSION DATE AND TIME:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2018, AT 2:00 P.M.

A captivating, often hilarious novel of family, loss, wilderness, and the curse of a violent America, Dave Egger's Heroes of the Frontier is a powerful examination of our contemporary life and a rousing story of adventure. Josie and her children's father have split up, she's been sued by a former patient and lost her dental practice, and she's grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancee's family, Josie makes a run for it figuring Alaska is about as far as she can get without a passport. Josie and her kids, Paul and Ana, rent a rattling old RV named the Chateau, and at first, their trip feels like a vacation....