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Book Discussion Group

Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Reviewer: Denise Wallace
Publisher's Summary: A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld.

Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Reviewer: Ann Hammon
Publisher's Summary:Prof. Nafisi resigned from her job as professor of English Literature at a university in Tehran in 1995 due to repressive government policies. For the next 2 years, until she left Iran, she gathered 7 young women, former students, at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss works of Western literature forbidden by the new regime. They used this forum to learn to speak freely, not only about literature, but also about the social, political, and cultural realities of living under strict Islamic rule.

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Reviewer: Sue Moesley
Publisher's Summary:The story follows Hetty 'Handful' Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard

Reviewer: Gerry Cove
Publisher's Summary:A young boy living in China at the outbreak of World War II is separated from his wealthy parents, forced to forage for survival in Shanghai's foreign quarter, interned in a Japanese prison camp, and, eventually, reunited with his family, in a new edition of the award-winning autobiographical novel.

Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Reviewer: Barbara Pronovost
Publisher's Summary:The handsome appearance of dissolute young Dorian Gray remains unchanged while the features in his portrait become distorted as his degeneration progresses.

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes

Reviewer: Craig Hutchinson
Publisher's Summary:A reinterpretation of the Great Depression seeks to demonstrate how the failures of Hoover and Roosevelt to understand the prosperity of the 1920s directly contributed to massive national burdens that marginalized everyday citizens, in an account that shares the survival stories of lesser-known historical figures from the period.

Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Reviewer: Dee Johnson
Publisher's Summary:When a writer returns to his Maine home town, he discovers that the peaceful hamlet is being overrun by vampires and sets out to curb this ancient evil before it can spread.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Reviewer: Chris Wrona
Publisher's Summary:Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown

Reviewer: Judy Chelte
Publisher's Summary:Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washingtons 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans.

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