On Thursday, July 11 at noon, we will be discussing:
The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger — This classic coming of age story electrified the literary world when published in 1951. The New York Times wrote that the 'book's very first sentence, struck a brash new note in American literature': "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth." Over sixty years later, Salinger's writing and his disaffected and cynical narrator, Holden Caulfield, not only have iconic stature in the literary world, but remain as fresh and exciting as they were when new.
On Thursday, June 13 at noon, we will be discussing:
11/22/63: a novel by Stephen King — Jake Epping's friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession: to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine, to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
The tiger's wife: a novel by Téa Obreht — Natalia, a young doctor, arrives in a Balkan country on a mission of mercy. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. But Natalia is also confronting a private mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather's recent death. After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel. Searching for clues, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child. But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her, the one Natalia must discover for herself. One winter during the Second World War, his childhood village was snowbound, cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another, fierce presence: a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness. "These stories," Natalia comes to understand, "run like secret rivers through all the other stories" of her grandfather's life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for.
On Thursday, April 11 at noon we will be discussing:
Behind the beautiful forevers by Katherine Boo — In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human. Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.
I married you for happiness by Lily Tuck — Slender, potent, and engaging, the book unfolds over a single night as Nina sits at the bedside of her husband, Philip, whose sudden death is the reason for her lonely vigil. She remembers defining moments of their long union, beginning with their meeting in Paris. She is an artist, he a mathematician-a collision of two different worlds that merged to form an intricate and passionate love. As we move through select memories-real and imagined-Tuck reveals the intimacies, secrets, and joys that defined Nina and Philip's life together.
Join us Thursday, March 28 from 6:00 to 8:30 PM.