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, August 14 @ 5:30pm
Picture of book cover for One Breath Away
One Breath Away
 by Heather Gudenkauf
Booklist Review: “Post-Columbine, we’ve sadly become accustomed to the familiar story surrounding school shootings: the disaffected gunman, the heroic teacher/student/law enforcement agent, the frightened parents, the intrusive media. Most of us experience these tragedies from a safely removed distance. Gudenkauf breaks down that barrier and puts the reader smack in the center of events as they unfold, with an unknown gunman holding hostage an elementary school and, by extension, the entire small town of Broken Branch. Using multiple narrators to excellent effect, Gudenkauf interweaves various perspectives, including those of Augie, a troubled 13-year-old transfer student, and Mrs. Oliver, a teacher nearing retirement, bent on protecting her children, to demonstrate the way in which the big picture emerges only in hindsight. At the heart of the storm, it’s all chaos, misinformation, and false leads. The characters, while representing archetypes, spring from the page as fully formed individuals with complex back stories. The reader becomes heavily invested in their survival, which, more than the mystery of the gunman and his motive, propels this suspenseful narrative compellingly forward.”
Tuesday, September 11 @ 5:30pm
Picture of book cover for Wintering
Wintering
 by Peter Geye
Publisher’s Weekly Review: “Continuing the saga of the Eide family introduced in his second novel, The Lighthouse Road, Geye’s powerful third outing journeys to the frozen places in the American landscape and the human heart. One November, the elderly Harry Eide, who is suffering from dementia, vanishes into the unforgiving backcountry surrounding his home in the tiny Minnesota town of Gunflint. When his son, Gus, comes to tell Harry’s longtime love, Berit Lovig, the news, Gus also begins recounting another defining trip Harry took into the wilderness three decades earlier. In fall 1963, Harry persuaded then-18-year-old Gus to postpone college and join him on a lengthy two-man journey north into the maze of waterways at the Canadian border, where they planned to winter over like the “voyageurs of yore.” By the time the first snow fell, Gus had come to understand that the maps Harry had brought were useless and that a showdown with Charlie Aas, Gunflint’s corrupt mayor and Harry’s longtime nemesis, might be dead ahead. As Gus recalls his tale, Berit looks back to her own past, most notably with Rebekah Grimm, a Gunflint icon whose history links her to the Eides. Capturing the strength and mystery of characters who seem inextricable from the landscape, Geye’s novel is an unsentimental testament to the healing that’s possible when we confront our bleakest places.”
Tuesday, October 9 @ 5:30pm
Picture of book cover for Sulfur Springs
Sulfur Springs
 by William Kent Krueger
Publisher’s Weekly Review: “Former sheriff Cork O’Connor, Edgar-winner Krueger’s tragedy-plagued hero, faces further heartache in his moving and suspenseful 16th outing. Cork, who lost his father and his first wife to violence, is in bed with his second wife, Rainy Bisonette, a Native American healer, one night in Aurora, Minn., when Rainy retrieves a disturbing voicemail from her son Peter, who’s been living in Arizona. Peter has turned his troubled life around, kicking his drug habit and using the lessons he learned to become a substance abuse counselor. His garbled message, however, seems to indicate that he has killed someone named Rodriguez. Cork and Rainy race to Arizona, where they’re stunned to learn that Peter left his job more than a year earlier. As they search for Peter, Cork becomes increasingly uneasy about his growing sense that Rainy is hiding something significant from him. As usual, Krueger does a fine job combining distinctive characters with a satisfying plot.”
Tuesday, November 13 @ 5:30pm
Picture of Eric Dregni
Any book
 by Eric Dregni
From the author’s Concordia University St. Paul biographical page:”Eric Dregni is an associate professor of English and Journalism at CSP and oversees the student newspaper, The Sword. He has taught Intro to Lit, College Writing, Review Writing, Column Writing, Memoir, Travel Writing, and is in charge of internships in the English Department. Occasionally, he’ll teach an Italian class and lead a student trip to Italy. In the summer, he is dean of the Italian Concordia Language Village, Lago del Bosco, in Hackensack, Minnesota. Dregni’s written 16 books including Follies of Science: 20th Century Visions of our Fantastic Future, Weird Minnesota, Midwest Marvels, The Scooter Bible, Ads That Put America on Wheels, and Let’s Go Bowling! As a Fulbright fellow to Norway, he wrote about the “Norwegian Dream” in In Cod We Trust: Living the Norwegian Dream. Dregni worked in Italy for five years as a travel journalist for a weekly paper and compiled his essays into a book in Italian, which was later translated into English as Never Trust a Thin Cook: and 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, December 11 @ 5:30pm
Picture of book cover for The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir
 by Jennifer Ryan
Publisher’s Weekly Review: “In 1940, at a time when women’s roles were still firmly rooted in home and hearth, the ladies of Chilbury, England, find themselves at the bleeding edge of progress as the ramifications of World War II begin to infiltrate their little town. The men of Chilbury head to battlefields, and the village choir becomes the first casualty of the war. When a female professor of music insists the choir can be reassembled as a ladies’ choir, the small community is at first scandalized by such an idea. But this is soon lost to other more salacious events. There is the brigadier who hires an unscrupulous midwife to swap his baby girl for a boy, and his teenage daughter seduces a handsome artist who’s come to town under mysterious circumstances. An upstanding single woman (a widow whose only son has gone to fight) is tapped to take a colonel into her home, and a 10-year-old Czech evacuee finds out what happened to her family. As the war advances on Chilbury, even more lives are changed when a German bomb kills a young mother as well as the choir mistress, young men are sent off to war, and spies and black market profiteers lurk in the quiet lanes. Told in the form of diaries and letters in the voices of the female characters, Ryan’s novel, reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, captures the experience of the war from a woman’s perspective. Readers may have come across this kind of story before, but the letter/diary format works well and the plot elements satisfyingly come together.”

Except as noted, annotations are supplied from the SELCO catalog

Please join us! New members welcome at any meeting.