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November 2007 Book Clubs Schedule

[ Edited ]

November 2007 Book Clubs Schedule
October 29th - November 23rd.

Talk with Authors

Anita Diamant on The Red Tent
We're thrilled to announce that the author will be here to discuss -- on the 10th anniversary of its debut -- this timeless, bestselling novel. In the Bible, Dinah's life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that tell of her father, Jacob, and his twelve sons. Told in Dinah's voice, Diamant imagines the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood. It begins with the story of the mothers -- Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah -- the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Join the conversation.

Maggie O'Farrell on The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
Esme and Kitty were two daughters of privilege who endured a terrible tragedy while their family was in India. Upon returning to Scotland, they are forced into the claustrophobic nature of high society. Esme does not take well to this after a shocking scene at a ball, she is sent away to a mental institution. There, she is completely forgotten and abandoned for sixty years until the institution is closed and its residents reintegrated into society. An unsuspecting grand-niece is suddenly Esme's guardian; and Esme brings more than a few family secrets out of the ward when she leaves. Join the conversation.

Ann Packer on Songs without Words
Liz and Sarabeth were childhood neighbors in the suburbs of northern California, brought as close as sisters by the suicide of Sarabeth’s mother when the girls were just sixteen. In the decades that followed, their relationship remained a source of continuity and strength. But when Liz’s adolescent daughter enters dangerous waters that threaten to engulf the family, the fault lines in the women’s friendship are revealed, and both Liz and Sarabeth are forced to reexamine their most deeply held beliefs about their connection. Discuss the sometimes confining roles we take on in our closest relationships, about the familial myths that shape us both as children and as parents, and about the limits -- and the power -- of the friendships we create when we are young. Join the conversation.

Michael White on Soul Catcher
Augustus Cain faces a past he wants to forget, a present without prospect or fortune, and an uncertain future. He is also a man haunted by a terrible skill -- the ability to track people who don't want to be found. Rosetta is a runaway slave fueled by the passion and determination only a mother can feel. She bears the scars of a life lived in servitude to a cruel and unforgiving master. Her flight is her one shot at freedom. In the perilous years before the Civil War, the fates of these two remarkable people will intertwine in a journey of hardship and redemption -- one that will become an extraordinary test of character and will, mercy and compassion. Join the conversation.

Talk about Books, Genres, & Ideas

A Moderator-led discussion of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
One of the greatest satires in American literature, the story begins when Hank Morgan, a skilled mechanic in a nineteenth-century New England arms factory, is struck on the head during a quarrel and awakens to find himself among the knights and magicians of King Arthur’s Camelot. What follows is a culture clash of the first magnitude, as practical-minded Hank, disgusted with the ignorance and superstition of the people, decides to enlighten them with education and technology. Through a series of wonderfully imaginative adventures, Twain celebrates American homespun ingenuity and democracy as compared to the backward ineptitude of a chivalric monarchy. At the same time, however, Twain raises the question of whether material progress necessarily creates a better society. Join the conversation.

A Moderator-led discussion of The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and now grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined. Unfolding over the next twenty-four hours, this searing, fast-paced novel explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers; the meaning of devotion; and the line between love and hate. It is a challenging, moving, gripping story, written with the fluidity and strength of voice that only Alice Sebold (author of The Lovely Bones) can bring to the page. Join the conversation.

A Moderator-led discussion of Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
Louis Charles (“Lucy”) Lynch and his wife of 40 years, Sarah, are preparing for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy, where his oldest friend, a renowned painter, has exiled himself far from anything they’d known in childhood. In fact, the exact nature of their friendship is one of the many mysteries Lucy hopes to untangle in the “history” he’s writing of his hometown and family. And with his story interspersed with that of Noonan, the native son who’d fled so long ago, the destinies building up around both of them (and Sarah, too) are relentless, constantly surprising, and utterly revealing. Join the conversation.

A Moderator-led discussion of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
Join readers as they continue to read Philip Pullman's unforgettable His Dark Materials trilogy. In this, the final book, the intrigue of the first in the series are brought to a heartstopping conclusion. Meet a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Chevalier Tialys and Lady Salmakia, hand-high spy-masters to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. So, too, come startling revelations: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk though the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone's amber spyglass, and the names of who will live -- and who will die -- for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that will uncover the secret of Dust. Join the conversation.

The Paranormal Book Club reads Holidays are Hell by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Marjorie Liu, and Vicki Pettersson
Get ready for some holiday horror stories! Pettersson's unforgettable Thanksgiving, Harrison's solstice séance, Sands's grotesque Christmas, and Liu's bloody New Year will keep you screaming through the season! The authors will join the conversation, beginning October 29th.

The Jewish Encounters Book Club reads Betraying Spinoza by Rebecca Goldstein
In 1656, Amsterdam’s Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and, at the age of twenty–three, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. He was already germinating a secularist challenge to religion that would be as radical as it was original. He went on to produce one of the most ambitious systems in the history of Western philosophy, so ahead of its time that scientists today, from string theorists to neurobiologists, count themselves among Spinoza’s progeny. The author will join the conversation, beginning October 29th.

The Book Explorers Club reads The World We Want by Peter Karoff
Karoff presents a collective vision of an ideal world. The book weaves together multi-sector, multidiscipline strategies, but in large part it is about the power of human connection, reinforced by personal stories of motivation and the human capacity for caring. Without ignoring the institutional and cultural obstacles, and the courage needed to face down the dark side of human behavior, Karoff shows how citizen engagement and open source solutions could tip the scale toward a better world. The author will join the conversation, beginning October 29th.

The History Book Club reads Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw
Born of modest origins in Scotland in 1835, Andrew Carnegie is best known as the founder of Carnegie Steel. Carnegie, the son of an impoverished linen weaver, moved to Pittsburgh at the age of thirteen. The embodiment of the American dream, he pulled himself up from bobbin boy in a cotton factory to become the richest man in the world. He spent the rest of his life giving away the fortune he had accumulated and crusading for international peace. For all that he accomplished and came to represent to the American public -- a wildly successful businessman and capitalist, a self-educated writer, peace activist, philanthropist, man of letters, lover of culture, and unabashed enthusiast for American democracy and capitalism -- Carnegie has remained, to this day, an enigma.

The Crime Club reads Dead Street by Mickey Spillane
Using Dead Street as an example, join a discussion of living writers who are continuing the work of those who have passed away. For 20 years, former NYPD cop Jack Stang has lived with the memory of his girlfriend's death in an attempted abduction. But what if she weren't actually dead? What if she somehow secretly survived-but lost her sight, and her memory, and everything else she had ... except her enemies? Now Jack has a second chance to save the only woman he ever loved, or to lose her for good.

The Mystery Book Club reads Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
Miss Marple discovers what makes a house a home-to murder. Gwenda Reed's new home, a charming Victorian villa, is giving the lovely new bride the strangest feeling of deja-vu -- and an unnatural dread that's taking its toll. But how can her husband's aunt, Miss Marple, solve a mystery such as this when the only clues are those in Gwenda's vivid imagination?

The Literature by Women Book Club reads Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
A sensual and protected young woman, Antoinette Cosway grows up in the lush, natural world of the Caribbean. She is sold into marriage to the coldhearted and prideful Rochester, who succumbs to his need for money and his lust. Yet he will make her pay for her ancestors' sins of slaveholding, excessive drinking, and nihilistic despair by enslaving her as a prisoner in his black British home.

Message Edited by Jessica on 10-25-2007 04:53 PM