July Book Groups

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Classics & Contemporary Book Discussion: Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

Tuesday, July 9, 10:30-11:30am, Adults, Auditorium

Birnam Wood is on the move . . .

A landslide has closed the Korowai Pass on New Zealand’s South Island, cutting off the town of Thorndike and leaving a sizable farm abandoned. The disaster presents an opportunity for Birnam Wood, an undeclared, unregulated, sometimes-criminal, sometimes-philanthropic guerrilla gardening collective that plants crops wherever no one will notice. For years, the group has struggled to break even. To occupy the farm at Thorndike would mean a shot at solvency at last.

But the enigmatic American billionaire Robert Lemoine also has an interest in the place: he has snatched it up to build his end-times bunker, or so he tells Birnam’s founder, Mira, when he catches her on the property. He’s intrigued by Mira, and by Birnam Wood; although they’re poles apart politically, it seems Lemoine and the group might have enemies in common. But can Birnam trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust one another?

A gripping psychological thriller from the Booker Prize–winning author of The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton’s Birnam Wood is Shakespearean in its drama, Austenian in its wit, and, like both influences, fascinated by what makes us who we are. A brilliantly constructed study of intentions, actions, and consequences, it is a mesmerizing, unflinching consideration of the human impulse to ensure our own survival. (From the publisher)

Copies of the book are available here.

For those who would like to purchase a copy of Birnam Wood, please support our local independent bookstore, The Book Stall at 811 Elm Street in Winnetka.

Walking Book Club Discussion for Older Adults: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Thursday, July 25, 9:30-10:30am, Adults, Library Lawn 

Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later—the night before New Year’s Eve—the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma. This powerful book is Didion’ s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness... about marriage and children and memory... about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.
(From the publisher)

Join your fellow walkers and book club lovers as we stroll around Wilmette while discussing this month's book.

Meet at the flagpole, the walk will begin at 9:30am sharp. Registration is required.

Obtain copies of the title at the library. For those who would like to purchase a copy of The Year of Magical Thinking, please support our local independent bookstore, The Book Stall at 811 Elm Street in Winnetka.