Nonfiction Book Group July 2016

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: On the Scene badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.
Also available in: e-book

The idea that "home" is a special place, a separate place, a place where we can be our true selves, is so obvious to us today that we barely pause to think about it. But, as Judith Flanders shows in her most ambitious work to date, "home" is a relatively new idea. Flanders traces the evolution of the house from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century across northern Europe and America, showing how the homes we know today bear only a faint resemblance to homes though history. Flanders uncovers the fascinating development of ordinary household items--from cutlery, chairs and curtains, to fitted kitchens, plumbing and windows--while also dismantling many domestic myths. 

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Lunch and a Book August 2016

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Keep It Real: On the Scene badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.
Also available in: audiobook

Using her own experiences as a starting point, journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life, weaving together the past and present to examine why­ she--along with over 100 million American women, whose ranks keep growing--remains unmarried. This unprecedented demographic shift, Bolick explains, is the logical outcome of hundreds of years of change that has neither been fully understood, nor appreciated. Spinster introduces a cast of pioneering women from the last century whose genius, tenacity, and flair for drama have emboldened Bolick to fashion her life on her own terms: columnist Neith Boyce, essayist Maeve Brennan, social visionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and novelist Edith Wharton.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Lunch and a Book July 2016

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your You Choose: On the Scene badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.
Go set a watchman by Harper Lee
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch-"Scout"-returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past - a journey that can only be guided by one's own conscience. Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. 

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group June 2016

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: On the Scene badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.
The Wright brothers by David G McCullough
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of courage, determination and ceaseless curiosity.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Lunch and a Book June 2016

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: On the Scene badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook

With the novelistic flair and knack for historical detail Catherine Bailey displayed in her New York Times bestseller The Secret Rooms, Black Diamonds provides a page-turning chronicle of the Fitzwilliam coal-mining dynasty and their breathtaking Wentworth estate, the largest private home in England. When the sixth Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left behind the second largest estate in twentieth-century England--a lifeline to the tens of thousands of people who worked either in the family's coal mines or on their expansive estate. The earl also left behind four sons, and the family line seemed assured. But was it? 

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Interested in writing? Join other adults to share your work, get feedback and discuss the craft of writing. We will meet at 2:00 PM on:

  • Saturday, May 14
  • Saturday, May 28
Also available in: audiobook

It is 1953, the coronation year of Elizabeth II. Sidney Chambers, vicar of Grantchester, is a thirty-two-year-old bachelor and an unconventional clerical detective who can go where the police cannot. Together with his friend, inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney inquires into the suspect suicide of a Cambridge solicitor, a jewelry theft at a New Year's Eve dinner party, the death of a jazz promoter's daughter, and an art forgery that puts a close friend in danger. Sidney discovers that being a detective, like being a clergyman, means that you are never off duty, but he nonetheless manages to find time for a keen interest in cricket, warm beer, and hot jazz. Join us Thursday, May 12 at noon.

With the exception of sleep, humans spend more of their lifetimes on work than any other activity. It is central to our economy, society, and the family. Given the overriding importance of work, we need to recognize a profound transformation in the nature of work that is significantly altering lives: the incoming tidal wave of shadow work. Shadow work includes all the unpaid tasks we do on behalf of businesses and organizations. It has slipped into our routines stealthily; most of us do not realize how much of it we are already doing, even as we pump our own gas, scan and bag our own groceries, and build our own unassembled furniture. But its presence is unmistakable, and its effects far-reaching. Join us on Saturday, May 21 at 10 AM.

This year marks the 100th awarding of the Pulitzer Prizes. The 2016 winners include:

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Winner of the Fiction Category, this is a gripping spy novel, a moving story of love and friendship, and a layered portrayal of a young man drawn into extreme politics,The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

Also available in: e-music

Winner of the Drama Category, Lin-Manuel Miranda's landmark American musical about our founding fathers is a unique blend of history and hip-hop. The New York Times review stated that the show moved "to a new, fierce, liberating beat that never seemed to let up. “Hamilton” makes us feel the unstoppable, urgent rhythm of a nation being born."