Thursday, December 20, 2007

January Book Club Selections

The Seniors' Book Club will meet Wednesday, January 9th in the Library Program Room to discuss "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards. New members are welcome to attend!

The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted family drama that explores every mother's silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you?

On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this beautifully told story that unfolds over a quarter of a century in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by David Henry's fateful decision that long-ago winter night.

A rich and deeply moving page-turner, The Memory Keeper's Daughter captures the way life takes unexpected turns and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets burst into the open. It is an astonishing tale of redemptive love.

Critics' praise of the book:
"Unfolds from an absolutely gripping premise, drawing you deeply and irrevocably into the entangled lives of two families and the devastating secret that shaped them both. I loved this riveting story." —Sue Monk Kidd

"Anyone would be struck by the extraordinary power and sympathy of The Memory Keeper's Daughter." —The Washington Post

"Kim Edwards has written a novel so mesmerizing that I devoured it. . . . The Memory Keeper's Daughter has it all." —Sena Jeter Naslund

"Kim Edwards has created a tale of regret and redemption, of honest emotion, of characters haunted by their past. This is simply a beautiful book." —Jodi Picoult


The Monday Evening Book Club selection for January is "The Space Between Us" by Thrity Umrigar. The first meeting of the New Year will be held in the Library Program Room Monday, January 14th, at 7:00 p.m. New members are welcome!

Poignant, evocative, and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. A powerful and perceptive literary masterwork, author Thrity Umrigar's extraordinary novel demonstrates how the lives of the rich and poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and how the strong bonds of womanhood are eternally opposed by the
divisions of class and culture.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Favorite Reads: Seniors' Book Club

Our Seniors' Book Club met in December for coffee and Christmas sweets. Instead of our usual discussion of a title, each member brought along a personal "favorite read" from the past year to share with the group. The list was so diverse and interesting, that we thought it should be shared with everyone!
Along with these holiday reading suggestions, we send our Seasons Best Wishes to all!

Good Grief by Lolly Winston. 2002.

A brilliantly funny and heartwarming debut about a young woman who stumbles, then fights to build a new life after the death of her husband.

Digging to America by Anne Tyler. 2006.

Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport. The couples, from different cultural backgrounds, are both awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. Their meeting destines them to a lasting friendship.
The novel brims with subtle, funny, and tender observations that cast a penetrating light on the American way as seen from two perspectives, those who are born here and those who are still struggling to fit in.

Color of Water by James McBride. 1996.

This is the true life account of Ruth McBride Jordan, a self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician and son, explores his mother's past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut.

Bad Dogs Have More Fun by John Grogan. 2007.

Selected writings on family, animals and life from the Philadelphia Inquirer, written in the delightful style of the author's bestselling book "Marley and Me".

David Golder by Irene Nemirovsky. 2007.

Written by the acclaimed author of "Suite Francaise", this novel, first published in 1929, is a brilliant portrait of the frenzied capitalism of the 1920's and a mature story of an elderly Jewish businessman who has sold his soul.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. 2003.

This novel, by a Pullitzer-prize winning author, is about the immigrant experience. It takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. 2007 edition.

This extraordinary story of survival, by Canadian author Yann Martel, is now available in an illustrated edition.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Attack by Yasmina Khadra

The Monday Evening Book Club will be discussing The Attack by Yasmina Khadra on Dec. 10th, 2008. We will meet at 7 pm in the program room.

Dr. Amin Jaafari, an Arab-Israeli citizen, is a surgeon at a hospital in Tel Aviv. Dedicated to his work, respected and admired by his colleagues and community, he represents integration at its most successful. He has learned to live with the violence and chaos that plague his city, and on the night of a deadly bombing in a local restaurant, he works tirelessly to help the shocked and shattered patients brought to the emergency room. But this night of turmoil and death takes a horrifyingly personal turn. His wife’s body is found among the dead, with massive injuries, the police coldly announce, typical of those found on the bodies of fundamentalist suicide bombers. As evidence mounts that his wife, Sihem, was responsible for the catastrophic bombing, Dr. Jaafari is torn between cherished memories of their years together and the inescapable realization that the beautiful, intelligent, thoroughly modern woman he loved had a life far removed from the comfortable, assimilated existence they shared.

From the graphic, beautifully rendered description of the bombing that opens the novel to the searing conclusion, The Attack portrays the reality of terrorism and its incalculable spiritual costs. Intense and humane, devoid of political bias, hatred, and polemics, it probes deep inside the Muslim world and gives readers a profound understanding of what seems impossible to understand.

"A genuine work of art...The Attack derives its force in large measure from never going off track as a novel, never slipping for a moment -- as it easily could -- into a fictional political tract. Every idea expressed, every action that takes place, is solidly grounded in character, in the complex, inconsistent and contradictory elements of human nature. Khadra neither demonizes nor offers any apology for the terrorists. He simply presents them as human beings who happen to be willing, even eager, to kill innocent people. By so doing, he places them squarely beyond the pale."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Gripping and dynamic...The Attack is both a plea for peace and a rendering of the Palestinian frustration and fury that this well-heeled Arab-Israeli (Jaafari) once managed to ignore."
--The New York Times

"Khadra's best and most ambitious novel yet...An audaciously conceived and courageously important novel...Khadra has a mastery of plot that lends this story a propulsive, whodunit energy."
--The Los Angeles Times

YASMINA KHADRA is the nom de plume of the former Algerian army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul. He is the author of five other books published in English, among them: The Swallows of Kabul, In the Name of God, and Wolf Dreams [and most recently, The Sirens of Baghdad]. He lives in France.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Book Club Titles for 2008

We made our selections for the first half of 2008. Please click on the links below to view a list of titles for January to June.

Seniors Book Club 2008
Evening Book Club 2008

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We're back!

We are back - with a new look. Sorry for the long absence. We will be posting our Seniors' and Evening book club selections for the first half of 2008 shortly. Please check back with us soon!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Book Club Titles for 2007
Seniors Book Club
Evening Book Club

What We've Read in the Past Seven Years
A comprehensive list of the Seniors Book Club from its inception in February 1999 to December 2006.

Book Club Favourites
This is a list of the books we have most enjoyed reading AND discussing.

What has been said about books?