Library Book Clubs

Classics and Contemporary

Classics & Contemporary is currently a virtual book club. Use the links in the description below to register for the event and receive further information.

Tuesday, June 8th, 10:30 am

Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. (From the Publisher)

Copies of the book are available here. Ebook and eaudiobook copies are available through Digital Library of Illinois or the Libby app.

Registration will close two hours before the program begins and registrants will receive a link to join shortly thereafter.

Nickel Boys

Tuesday, July 13th, 10:30 am

The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

The post-office girl is Christine, who looks after her ailing mother and toils in a provincial Austrian post office in the years just after the Great War. One afternoon, as she is dozing among the official forms and stamps, a telegraph arrives addressed to her. It is from her rich aunt, who lives in America and writes requesting that Christine join her and her husband in a Swiss Alpine resort. After a dizzying train ride, Christine finds herself at the top of the world, enjoying a life of privilege that she had never imagined. But Christine’s aunt drops her as abruptly as she picked her up, and soon the young woman is back at the provincial post office, consumed with disappointment and bitterness. Then she meets Ferdinand, a wounded but eloquent war veteran who is able to give voice to the disaffection of his generation. Christine’s and Ferdinand’s lives spiral downward, before Ferdinand comes up with a plan which will be either their salvation or their doom. Never before published in English, this extraordinary book is an unexpected and haunting foray into noir fiction by one of the masters of the psychological novel. (From the Publisher)

Copies of the book are available here. Ebook copies are available through Digital Library of Illinois or the Libby app.

Registration will close two hours before the program begins and registrants will receive a link to join shortly thereafter.

Post-Office Girl

There will be no discussion in August. See you in September!

League of Women Voters/WPL Book Group

LWV/WPL Book Group is currently a virtual book club. Use the links in the description below to register for the event and receive further information.

Wednesday, May 26th, 11 am

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads.

In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying Linda May and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. (From the publisher)

Find a copy of the book here. You can also find the ebook and eaudiobook on Digital Library of Illinois or through the Libby app on your device. The audiobook is always available through Hoopla.

Registration will close two hours before the program begins and registrants will receive a link to join shortly thereafter.

Nomadland

Wednesday, June 23rd, 11:00 a.m.

Useful Delusions by Shankar Vedantam and Bill Mesler

From the New York Times best-selling author and host of Hidden Brain comes a thought-provoking look at the role of self-deception in human flourishing. Self-deception does terrible harm to us, to our communities, and to the planet. But if it is so bad for us, why is it ubiquitous? Vedantam and Bill Mesler argue that, paradoxically, self-deception can also play a vital role in our success and well-being. The lies we tell ourselves sustain our daily interactions with friends, lovers, and coworkers. They can explain why some people live longer than others, why some couples remain in love and others don’t, why some nations hold together while others splinter. Filled with powerful personal stories and drawing on new insights in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, Useful Delusions offers a fascinating tour of what it really means to be human. (From the publisher)

Find a copy of the book here. You can also find the ebook Digital Library of Illinois or through the Libby app on your device.

Registration will close two hours before the program begins and registrants will receive a link to join shortly thereafter.

Useful Delusions

There will be no discussion in July or August. See you in September!

Novels at Night

Thursday, June 24th, 7:00 p.m.

The Chicken Sister by K.J. Dell-Antonia

Bonus: Meet the Author!

This novel tells the story of two rival restaurants and the families that run them. Merinac, Kansas. Chicken Mimi's and Chicken Frannie's have spent a century vying to serve up the best fried chicken in the state. The legendary feud between the owners--the Moores and the Pogociellos--has caught widow Amanda Moore in the middle. She had worked for her mom at Mimi's before marrying Frank Pogociello and working for Frannie's. When she convinces Food Wars, a reality-TV competition, to cover the feud, Amanda and her sister Mae must choose whether to fight with each other, or for their heritage. (Adapted from the back cover.)

Copies of the book are available at the library. Ebook and eaudiobook copies are always available through the Digital Library of Illinois

Registration will close two hours before the program begins and registrants will receive a link to join shortly thereafter.

Chicken Sister

Thursday, July 22nd, 7:00 p.m.

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob

Graphic Novel Edition!

Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions. (From the publisher)

Copies of the book are available here. Eaudiobook copies are available through Digital Library of Illinois or the Libby app.

Registration will close two hours before the program begins and registrants will receive a link to join shortly thereafter.

Good Talk

 

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