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, March 9, 10:30 am

Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy’s most famous novella is an intense and moving examination of death and the possibilities of redemption. Ivan Ilyich is a middle-aged man who has spent his life focused on his career as a bureaucrat and emotionally detached from his wife and children. After an accident he finds himself on the brink of an untimely death, which he sees as a terrible injustice. Face to face with his mortality, Ivan begins to question everything he has believed about the meaning of life. 

Copies of the book are available at the library. Ebook and eaudiobook copies are always available through Hoopla. 

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

Death of Ivan Ilyich

Tuesday, April 13th, 10:30 am

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Our 2021 One Book, Everyone Reads selection! The novel tells the story of Willis Wu, an Asian American actor, who is perpetually cast as Generic Asian man, but who aspires to play the role of Kung Fu guy, the most respected role that anyone of Asian descent can attain. Written in the form of a screenplay, Wu and the others in his world move seamlessly between their everyday lives in and around Chinatown and their characters’ lives inside the story line of Black and White, a cop show that is in constant production. Utilizing satire and humor, the book is a unique and inventive narrative that takes a lens to race, immigration, stereotypes, pop culture, Hollywood, and the roles that people are forced to play in the modern world.  

Learn more about Interior Chinatown, Charles Yu, and the full programming schedule for One Book Everyone Reads here.

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.

Interior Chinatown

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, March 24th, 11 am

How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America by Heather Cox Richardson

While the North prevailed in the Civil War, ending slavery and giving the country a "new birth of freedom," Heather Cox Richardson argues in this provocative work that democracy's blood-soaked victory was ephemeral. The system that had sustained the defeated South moved westward and there established a foothold. It was a natural fit. Settlers from the East had for decades been pushing into the West, where the seizure of Mexican lands at the end of the Mexican-American War and treatment of Native Americans cemented racial hierarchies. The South and West equally depended on extractive industries-cotton in the former and mining, cattle, and oil in the latter-giving rise a new birth of white male oligarchy, despite the guarantees provided by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, and the economic opportunities afforded by expansion.

To reveal why this happened, How the South Won the Civil War traces the story of the American paradox, the competing claims of equality and subordination woven into the nation's fabric and identity. Richardson's searing book seizes upon the soul of the country and its ongoing struggle to provide equal opportunity to all. Debunking the myth that the Civil War released the nation from the grip of oligarchy, expunging the sins of the Founding, it reveals how and why the Old South not only survived in the West, but thrived. (From the publisher.)

Find a copy of the book here. You can also find the ebook on 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.

How the South Won the Civil War

Wednesday, April 24th, 11 am

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo

What happens to a country that tells generation after generation of white men that they deserve power? What happens when success is defined by status over women and people of color, instead of by actual accomplishments?

Through the last 150 years of American history -- from the post-reconstruction South and the mythic stories of cowboys in the West, to the present-day controversy over NFL protests and the backlash against the rise of women in politics -- Ijeoma Oluo exposes the devastating consequences of white male supremacy on women, people of color, and white men themselves. Mediocre investigates the real costs of this phenomenon in order to imagine a new white male identity, one free from racism and sexism. (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. 

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

Mediocre

 

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