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:

January 10, 2023
Picture of book cover for The Kitchen HouseThe Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
From Publisher’s Weekly: “Grissom’s unsentimental debut twists the conventions of the antebellum novel just enough to give readers an involving new perspective on what would otherwise be fairly stock material. Lavinia, an orphaned seven-year-old white indentured servant, arrives in 1791 to work in the kitchen house at Tall Oaks, a Tidewater, Va., tobacco plantation owned by Capt. James Pyke. Belle, the captain’s illegitimate half-white daughter who runs the kitchen house, shares narration duties, and the two distinctly different voices chronicle a troublesome 20 years: Lavinia becomes close to the slaves working the kitchen house, but she can’t fully fit in because of her race. At 17, she marries Marshall, the captain’s brutish son turned inept plantation master, and as Lavinia ingratiates herself into the family and the big house, racial tensions boil over into lynching, rape, arson, and murder. The plantation’s social order’s emphasis on violence, love, power, and corruption provides a trove of tension and grit, while the many nefarious doings will keep readers hooked to the twisted, yet hopeful, conclusion.”
February 14, 2023
Picture of book cover for The FindersThe Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton
From Booklist: “*Starred Review* A wonder of a thriller, crammed to bursting with everything genre fans are pining for: fascinating characters, sparky dialogue, wry humor, sweaty-palm tension—all in a literate narrative that is a joy to follow. It begins when an apparently dead golden retriever puppy gets up and walks. She’s adopted by a Mason “Mace” Reid, who lives outside of Chicago and trains dogs to hunt for the dead; soon spooky things start to happen. Vira, as Mace calls the puppy, singles a murderer out of a crowd of bystanders. She visits a crime scene and informs the cops they’ve arrested the wrong man. Awed observers hint at psychic powers, making Vira the dog version of Will Graham, the gifted agent in Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon. Then Vira and Mace, working as a pair, take on serial-killer everyman, who’s been a spooky presence from the start and a vicious and fascinating one as the story builds to its climax.”
March 14, 2023
Picture of book cover for Bone HarvestAny Claire Watkins mystery by Mary Logue
From Booklist: “(regarding Blood Country, first in the series) In a promising start to a new series, Logue introduces Claire Watkins, police officer, widow, and mom to 10-year-old Meg. After her husband’s death, supposedly due to a hit-and-run accident, Claire leaves behind a promising law-enforcement career in Minnesota to become a routine patrol officer in a tiny Wisconsin town. Hoping for quiet time to heal, Claire and Meg are about to have their world rocked again as their kindly elderly neighbor is murdered, and Meg confesses that she saw the face of the man who killed her father. Logue deftly blends suspense with personal drama as Claire is courted by her old partner and a mysterious man in her new town. An interesting ancillary character is Claire’s sister, Bridget, who has man troubles of her own and unwittingly becomes part of the killer’s scheme. Although her plot is at times predictable, Logue has created an appealingly human bunch of characters who just may gel into a fine ensemble.”
April 11, 2023
Picture of book cover for Lessons in ChemistryLessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
From Kirkus: “*Starred Review* Two chemists with major chemistry, a dog with a big vocabulary, and a popular cooking show are among the elements of this unusual compound.At the dawn of the 1960s, Elizabeth Zott finds herself in an unexpected position. She’s the star of a television program called Supper at Six that has taken American housewives by storm, but it’s certainly not what the crass station head envisions: “ ‘Meaningful?’ Phil snapped. ‘What are you? Amish? As for nutritious: no. You’re killing the show before it even gets started. Look, Walter, it’s easy. Tight dresses, suggestive movements…then there’s the cocktail she mixes at the end of every show.’ ” Elizabeth is a chemist, recently forced to leave the lab where she was doing important research due to an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Now she’s reduced to explaining things like when to put the steak in the pan. “Be sure and wait until the butter foams. Foam indicates that the butter’s water content has boiled away. This is critical. Because now the steak can cook in lipids rather than absorb H2O.” If ever a woman was capable of running her own life, it’s Elizabeth. But because it’s the 1950s, then the ’60s, men have their sweaty paws all over both her successes and failures. On the plus side, there’s Calvin Evans, world-famous chemist, love of her life, and father of her child; also Walter Pine, her friend who works in television; and a journalist who at least tries to do the right thing. At the other pole is a writhing pile of sexists, liars, rapists, dopes, and arrogant assholes. This is the kind of book that has a long-buried secret at a corrupt orphanage with a mysterious benefactor as well as an extremely intelligent dog named Six-Thirty, recently retired from the military. (“Not only could he never seem to sniff out the bomb in time, but he also had to endure the praise heaped upon the smug German shepherds who always did.”) Garmus’ energetic debut also features an invigorating subplot about rowing. A more adorable plea for rationalism and gender equality would be hard to find.”
May 9, 2023
Picture of book cover for The Book of HopeThe Book of Hope by Jane Goodall
From Publisher’s Weekly: “*Starred Review* This illuminating conversation between naturalist Goodall (Reason for Hope) and Abrams (coauthor, The Book of Joy) teases out Goodall’s thoughts on why one should feel hopeful in “dark times.” According to Goodall, there are “four main reasons for hope: the amazing human intellect, the resilience of nature, the power of youth, and the indomitable human spirit.” In unpacking her belief in the power of persistence, Goodall takes readers to her childhood home in England, where her family questioned if she had the constitution to travel to Africa; to Tanzania, where she studied chimpanzees and came face to face with “crippling poverty, lack of good education and degradation of the land”; and into her work as a U.N. Messenger of Peace. In the process, she cites having a spiritual sense of purpose as crucial to her hope and activism. Her infectious optimism and stirring call to action make this necessary reading for those concerned about the planet’s future: “we must not let this distract us from the far greater threat to our future—the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity,” she writes. “Find your reasons for hope and let them guide you onward.” Goodall’s rousing testament will resonate widely.”
June 13, 2023
Picture of book cover for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
From Booklist: “Galaxy-hopping Arthur Dent and galaxy tour-guide writer Ford Prefect race to save the universe in an antic series that begins with the guide and goes on to The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe & Everything, and So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.”
July 11, 2023
Picture of book cover for And the Mountains EchoedAnd the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
From Booklist: “*Starred Review* Saboor, a laborer, pulls his young daughter, Pari, and his son, Abdullah, across the desert in a red wagon, leaving their poor village of Shadbagh for Kabul, where his brother-in-law, Nabi, a chauffeur, will introduce them to a wealthy man and his beautiful, despairing poet wife. So begins the third captivating and affecting novel by the internationally best-selling author of The Kite Runner (2003) and A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007). An immense, ancient oak stands in Shadbagh, emblematic of the complexly branching stories in Hosseini’s vital, profound, and spellbinding saga of family bonds and unlikely pairings forged by chance, choice, and necessity. We meet twin sisters, one beautiful, one plain; one an invalid, the other a caretaker. Two male cousins, one a charismatic wheeler-dealer; the other a cautious, introverted doctor. A disfigured girl of great valor and a boy destined to become a plastic surgeon. Kabul falls and struggles to rise. Shadbagh comes under the rule of a drug lord, and the novel’s many limbs reach to Paris, San Francisco, and a Greek island. A masterful and compassionate storyteller, Hosseini traces the traumas and scarring of tyranny, war, crime, lies, and illness in the intricately interconnected, heartbreaking, and extraordinary lives of his vibrantly realized characters to create a grand and encompassing tree of life.”

Except as noted, annotations are supplied from the SELCO catalog

Please join us! New members welcome at any meeting.