Every year CPL's Lunch and a Book Club picks our favorite reads of the year. These are our favorite reads for 2013. Feel free to join us! We meet on the second Thursday of every month at noon in CPL's Community Room.
And the mountains echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
The aviator's wife: a novel by Melanie Benjamin
The birth house: a novel by Ami Mckay
The cutting season: a novel by Attica Locke
Defending Jacob: a novel by William Landay
The fault in our stars by John Green
The Paris wife [kit]: a novel by Paula McLain — Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness-until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in the fabled Lost Generation. Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging
The secrets of happy families [kit]: improve your mornings, rethink family dinner, fight smarter, go out and play, and much more by Bruce Feiler — Squeezed between caring for aging parents and raising his children, bestselling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler set out on a three-year journey to find the smartest solutions and the most cutting-edge research about families. Instead of the usual family "experts," he sought out the most creative minds -- from Silicon Valley to the Green Berets -- and asked them what team-building exercises and problem-solving techniques they use with their families. A timely, counterintuitive book that answers the questions countless parents are asking: How do we manage the chaos of our lives? How do we teach our kids values? How do we make our family happier?
[Gay Pride 225 by Guillaume Paumier is licensed under CC BY 2.0]
Say nice things about Detroit [kit] by Scott Lasser — In a racially polarized, economically collapsing city a man struggles with the double shooting death of a high school classmate and her brother while still mourning the death of his own teenage son and coping with his mother's dementia. A starred review Booklist suggests: "Forget the grime and crime, political corruption and economic decay. Lasser's Detroit may be a troubled city, but it is one whose vibrant soul is writ large in the small actions of its loyal citizens. With a serene and steady hand, Lasser's spare but intense tale is a smart, intimate homage to the power of second chances."
Lots of candles, plenty of cake [kit] by Anna Quindlen — From childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, Quindlen uses the events of her own life to illuminate our own in this humorous memoir. Along with the downsides of age, she says, can come wisdom, a perspective on life that makes it satisfying and even joyful. Candid, funny, moving, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen's status as America's laureate of real life.
The catcher in the rye [kit] 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.
11/22/63 [kit]: 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 beautiful edible garden: design a stylish outdoor space using vegetables, fruits, and herbs by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner ; photography by David Fenton and Jill Rizzo
Dead snails leave no trails: natural pest control for home and garden by Loren Nancarrow and Janet Hogan Taylor
Homegrown harvest: a season-by-season guide to a sustainable kitchen garden by Rita Pelczar, editor in chief
I garden: urban style by Reggie Solomon and Michael Nolan
Public gardens of Michigan by Miriam Easton Rutz
Good to great [kit]: why some companies make the leap— and others don't by Jim Collins — Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. The research team then contrasted these good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness — why some companies make the leap and others don't. The findings may surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice.
The tiger's wife: [kit] 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.