Books For Discussion
July 13, 2016
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
In 1996, Hanna Heath, a young Australian book conservator analyzes the priceless six-hundred-year-old jewish prayer book,the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, that was salvaged from a destroyed Bosnian library. Hanna discovers a series of artifacts in the centuries’ old binding and unwittingly exposes an international cover up.
August 10, 2016
Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup
The incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty as well as unexpected kindness, Solomon struggles to stay alive and also to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his odyssey, Solomon was able to secure his release with the help of friends and family.
September 14, 2016
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
In 1875, May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women under the auspices of the U.S. government travel to the western prairies to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial “Brides for Indians” program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man’s world. Toward the end, May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime.
October 12, 2016
Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
In 1867, Mark Twain and a group of fellow-Americans toured Europe and the Holy Land aboard a retired Civil War ship known as “Quaker City.” Throughout the journey, Twain kept a written record of his experiences which is both a travelogue and a critique of clashing cultures.
November 9, 2016
Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors
In seventeenth-century Hindustan, the reigning emperor, grieving over the death of his beloved wife, commissions the construction of the Taj Mahal as a monument to their lasting relationship. Princess Jahanara, the daughter of the emperor and his wife, recounts their mesmerizing tale while sharing her own parallel story of forbidden love with the celebrated architect of the Taj Mahal.
December 14, 2016
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet
When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library, she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Bennet describes the Queen’s transformation as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.
January 11, 2017
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to an unexpected friendship.
February 8, 2017
A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead
In January 1943, the Gestapo hunted down 230 women of the French Resistance and sent them to Auschwitz. This is their story, told in full for the first time--a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship to transcend evil that is an essential addition to the history of World War II.
March 8, 2017
The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley
For years the old First Bank of Cleveland has sat abandoned, its secrets perfectly preserved. Twenty years before, amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland’s largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees, and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost. A young engineer, Iris Latch, stumbles upon them during a renovation survey and becomes obsessed with unraveling the bank’s sordid past.
April 12, 2017
The Boys in the Boat: 9 Americans & Their Epic Quest for Gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
This book tells the story of the Universtiy of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal.
May 10, 2017
Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart by Carol Wall
Describes how a period of transition in the journalist author’s life marked by her empty nest, a recent illness and her aging parents led her to forge a deep friendship with a gifted Kenyan gardener with whom she transformed her yard and shared long-buried secrets.