Friends members and others who are interested in reading and discussing books are meeting, except as noted, in the Community Room at the Library on the second Tuesday of each month, 5:30 to 7:00pm. Discussion centers around the monthly selection and other books we have enjoyed. Upcoming books are as follows:
|Tuesday, January 8 @ 5:30pm|
|The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and the mischievous Toad live a quiet life on banks of the River Thames with the rest of their animal friends. But Toad tends to get into trouble, and his passion for cars eventually results in his being caught and kept a helpless prisoner in the remotest dungeon of the best-guarded castle in all the land. Dressed as a washerwoman–and with some help from his friends–Toad manages to escape the castle and begins his journey home to Toad Hall… Fans of all ages will enjoy reliving–or reading for the first time–this heartwarming story of friendship.
|Tuesday, February 12 @ 5:30pm|
|Any book by Jenifer LeClair
From the author’s website: “If you like mystery novels set in out of the way places that give you a glimpse of a different style of life, you’ll love the Windjammer Mystery Series. Set on fictional islands in the Gulf of Maine, my novels give readers a feel for the maritime culture that governs so much of life in Maine. From the great wooden sailing ships to the daily business of hauling lobster traps, my books are filled with many factual details about sailing, lobstering, and Maine’s history. But first and foremost, there’s always an intriguing mystery to unravel, complete with all the quirky, interesting characters one would expect to find in such a story.Other Lessons from Italy’s Culinary Capital from the U of M Press. His most recent book is Vikings in the Attic: In Search of the Nordic America.”
|Tuesday, March 12 @ 5:30pm|
|Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Booklist: *Starred Review* “Immensely popular novelist Picoult continues to tackle weighty subject matter in her twenty-fourth novel. Ruth Jefferson, a widow with a teenage son, is a labor and delivery nurse and the only African American in her department. When the infant son of two white supremacists, Turk and Brittany Bauer, who have specifically asked that Ruth not handle their child, dies suddenly, Ruth is blamed for the child’s death by both the hospital and the child’s parents. In quick succession, Ruth loses her license, is dragged from her home by the police in the middle of the night, and is charged with murder. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white female public defender, takes Ruth’s case, but her refusal to bring up race in Ruth’s defense doesn’t sit right with Ruth, given that race is ingrained in the case’s DNA, from the Bauers’ hateful views to Ruth’s supervisor’s acquiescence to their demands to Ruth’s experience once in the cogs of the justice system. Picoult’s gripping tale is told from three points of view, that of Ruth, Kennedy, and Turk, and offers a thought-provoking examination of racism in America today, both overt and subtle. Her many readers will find much to discuss in the pages of this topical, moving book.”
|Tuesday, April 9 @ 5:30pm|
|Once in a Blue Moon Lodge by Lorna Landvik
Set adrift when her mother sells the salon that has been a neighborhood institution for decades, Nora Rolvaag takes a camping trip, intending to do nothing more than roast marshmallows over an open fire and under a starry sky. Two chance encounters, however, will have enormous consequences, and her getaway turns out to be more of a retreat from her daily life than she ever imagined. But Nora is the do-or-die-trying daughter of Patty Jane, who now must embrace the House of Curl’s slogan: “Expect the Unexpected.”With her trademark wit and warmth, Lorna Landvik follows Nora and an ever-growing cast of characters between city and wooded retreat, Minnesota and Norway, a past that’s secret and a future that’s promising, but uncertain.
|Tuesday, May 14 @ 5:30pm|
|Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Booklist: *Starred Review* “During the early 1920s, many members of the Osage Indian Nation were murdered, one by one. After being forced from several homelands, the Osage had settled in the late nineteenth century in an unoccupied area of Oklahoma, chosen precisely because it was rocky, sterile, and utterly unfit for cultivation. No white man would covet this land; Osage people would be happy. Then oil was soon discovered below the Osage territory, speedily attracting prospectors wielding staggering sums and turning many Osage into some of the richest people in the world. Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, 2010) centers this true-crime mystery on Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman who lost several family members as the death tally grew, and Tom White, the former Texas Ranger whom J. Edgar Hoover sent to solve the slippery, attention-grabbing case once and for all. A secondary tale of Hoover’s single-minded rise to power as the director of what would become the FBI, his reshaping of the bureau’s practices, and his goal to gain prestige for federal investigators provides invaluable historical context. Grann employs you-are-there narrative effects to set readers right in the action, and he relays the humanity, evil, and heroism of the people involved. His riveting reckoning of a devastating episode in American history deservedly captivates.”
|Tuesday, June 11 @ 5:30pm|
|The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
Booklist: “Aging daughter of the South Sookie Simmons Poole has trudged along cheerfully through life under the shadow of her overbearing mother, Lenore. Faced with empty-nest syndrome, Sookie knows she won’t be too bored, since Lenore lives right next door and still has her mail delivered to Sookie’s house. When a mysterious letter arrives, Sookie questions everything she ever knew about her family, and her story soon dovetails with that of a proud Polish family from Wisconsin. The Jurdabralinskis’ gas station was nearly shuttered when all the area men joined up during WWII, but the family’s four girls bravely stepped up. Eldest daughter Fritzi was already a great mechanic, having been a professional stunt plane pilot in the 1930s. When Fritzi joins the WASPS, an elite but downplayed female branch of the U.S. Air Force, the story really comes to life. Flagg’s storytelling talent is on full display. Her trademark quirky characters are warm and realistic, and the narrative switches easily between the present and the past.”
|Tuesday, July 9 @ 5:30pm|
|Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A gripping vision of our society radically overturned by a theocratic revolution, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has become one of the most powerful and most widely read novels of our time.Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules.
Like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid’s Tale has endured not only as a literary landmark but as a warning of a possible future that is still chillingly relevant.
Except as noted, annotations are supplied from the SELCO catalog
Please join us! New members welcome at any meeting.