Book Clubs

Find new books and new friends at our book clubs

Our book clubs meet via Zoom and are moderated by library staff. Zoom links for each club are found on the library's event calendar.

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Adult Book Club

Each year we read two mysteries, two historical novels, three general fiction novels, three nonfiction / biographies and devote two meetings to “What else are you reading?” discussions.

New members are welcome!

2022 Book Selections

Month / Meeting DayBook Selection
June 1
The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore1860: As the clash between the state's rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Threatened by Elizabeth's intellect, independence, and outspokenness, her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her and makes a plan to put her back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum. The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they've been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line; conveniently labeled 'crazy' so their voices are ignored. No one is willing to fight for their freedom, and disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose.

July 6
Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts
Tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the book that inspired the iconic film, through the eyes of author L. Frank Baum's intrepid wife, Maud.

Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband's masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank's passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book because she's the only one left who knows its secrets. But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of 'Over the Rainbow,' Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story: from her youth as a suffragette's daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Judy reminds Maud of a young girl she cared for and tried to help in South Dakota, a dreamer who never got her happy ending. Now, with the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her, the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy.

August 3
Magpie Murders: A Novel by Anthony Horowitz
A reimagining of the classic whodunit (a la Agatha Christie) with a contemporary mystery wrapped around it.

September 7
Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown
A World War II saga of patriotism and courage: the special Japanese-American Army unit that overcame brutal odds in Europe; their families, incarcerated in camps back home; and a young man who refused to surrender his constitutional rights, even if it meant imprisonment. They came from across the continent and Hawaii. Their parents taught them to embrace both their Japanese heritage and the ways of their American homeland. They faced bigotry, yet they believed in their bright futures as American citizens. But within days of Pearl Harbor, the FBI was ransacking their houses and locking up their fathers. Within months many would themselves be living in internment camps.

October 5
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Cussy Mary Carter is the last of her kind, her skin the color of a blue damselfly in these dusty hills. But that doesn't mean she's got nothing to offer. As a member of the Pack Horse Library Project, Cussy delivers books to the hill folk of Troublesome, hoping to spread learning in these desperate times. But not everyone is so keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and the hardscrabble Kentuckians are quick to blame a Blue for any trouble in their small town. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's determination to bring a little bit of hope to the darkly hollers.

November 2
The Childbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan
As England becomes enmeshed in the early days of World War II and the men are away fighting, the women of Chilbury village forge an uncommon bond. They defy the Vicar's stuffy edicts to close the choir and instead "carry on singing," resurrecting themselves as the Chilbury Ladies' Choir. An enchanting ensemble story that shuttles from village intrigue to romance to the heartbreaking matters of life and death. Jennifer Ryan's debut novel thrillingly illuminates the true strength of the women in a village of indomitable spirit.

December 7 
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Documenting his grandparents' experiences during the siege of Leningrad, a young writer learns his grandfather's story about how a military deserter and he tried to secure pardons by gathering hard-to-find ingredients for a powerful colonel's daughter's wedding cake.


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A Book Club for Those Who Love Classics

Classics Book Club

"Every rereading of a classic is as much a voyage of discovery as the first reading."

-Italo Calvino

Join us as we discuss some recognized classic literature.  

New members are welcome!

2022 Book Selections

Month / Meeting DayBook Selection
May 15
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
A classic story of love and tragedy set against the backdrop of pre-revolutionary Russia. The extravagant and dramatic story of Anna Karenina, a woman who risks everything for passion, is intertwined with the quiet story of Levin (an autobiographical character) and his own quest for true love and personal fulfillment. This psychological masterpiece is considered to be one of the greatest novels of world literature.

June 19
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

July 17
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
First published on March 20, 1852, the story focuses on the tale of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave, the central character around whose life the other characters, both fellow slaves and slave owners, revolve. The novel depicts the harsh reality of slavery while also showing that Christian love and faith can overcome even something as evil as the enslavement of fellow human beings.

August 21
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Written during World War II, the novel mourns the passing of the aristocratic world Waugh knew in his youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities; in so doing it also provides a profound study of the conflict between the demands of religion and the desires of the flesh. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh's familiar satiric exploration of his cast of lords and ladies, Catholics and eccentrics, artists and misfits, revealing him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity.

September 18
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
A story of expatriate Americans and British living in Paris after the First World War.

October 16
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Dorian Gray is arrogant. He is pompous, selfish, devastatingly narcissistic, and for much of his life, he has never had to think twice about the ramifications of his actions. When the arrival of artist Basil Hallard forces Gray to confront his deepest insecurities, Dorian’s most vulnerable self is imminently revealed. After having traded his righteousness for riches, Dorian Gray becomes faced with many regrettable truths. Needing to own up to his actions, Gray must finally learn to deal with the consequences of living a life completely self-obsessed. Gripping with prose so relatable to the many conundrums of growing up, Wilde weaves a narrative of self-desire and self-actualization. A true coming-of-age tale in a time where the glamour of appearance was as heavy as the currency in your pocket.

November 20
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
An autobiographical novel concerning a young daughter of German immigrants growing up in the slums of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the early 20th century.

December 18
No Meeting


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Sometimes Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

TrueCrime

“Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained.

-Thomas M. Cirignano

Meet with us to discuss select true crime books, examine writing style, content and overall presentation of material by the author as we try to understand whether or not the people at the heart of the stories were explained.


2022 Book Selections

Month/Meeting DayBook Selection
May 11
What are you reading/listening/watching?
Book club members discuss what they've recently read/watched/listened to.

June 8
Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg
A stunningly written investigation of the murder of two young women, showing how a violent crime casts a shadow over an entire community. In the Third Rainbow Girl, Eisenberg follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, forming a searing and wide-ranging portrait of America — its divisions of gender and class, and of its violence.

July 13
The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing by Sonia Faleiro
The girls' names were Padma and Lalli, but they were so inseparable that people in the village called them Padma Lalli. Sixteen-year-old Padma sparked and burned while fourteen-year-old Lalli was an incorrigible romantic. They grew up in Katra Sadatganj, an eye-blink of a village in western Uttar Pradesh crammed into less than one square mile of land. It was out in the fields, in the middle of mango season, that the rumors started. Then one night in the summer of 2014, the girls went missing; hours later they were found hanging in the orchard. Who they were, and what had happened to them, was already less important than what their disappearance meant to the people left behind. In the ensuing months, the investigation into their deaths would implode everything that their small community held to be true, and instigate a national conversation about sex and violence. Slipping deftly behind political maneuvering, caste systems, and codes of honor in a village in northern India, The Good Girls returns to the scene of Padma and Lalli's short lives and shameful deaths, and dares to ask: What is the human cost of shame?

August 10
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
The Sackler name adorns the walls of many famous institutions: Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing OxyContin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis.


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Young at Heart

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 "Brave doesn't mean you're not scared.  It means you go on even though you're scared."

- Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

Can’t get enough of Young Adult (YA) literature? Connect with fellow teens as we discuss a wide range of YA books. Visit our web calendar for upcoming titles                        


2022 Book Selections

Month/Meeting DayBook Selection

May
 

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.
 

June


Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
Desperate to stop her beloved from marrying another, sixteen-year-old Evangeline Fox strikes a deal with the mythic Prince of Hearts leading her down a dangerous path that may ultimately end in her destruction.


July


Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray
Sixteen-year-old indentured beast-keeper Koffi and seventeen-year-old warrior candidate Ekon forge an unusual alliance and venture into the Greater Jungle to hunt down a monster that has been menacing their city for a century.

AugustBlackout by Dhonielle Clayton
A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks... A first meeting. Long-time friends. Bitter exes. And maybe the beginning of something new. When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.


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