Book discussion

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

Commonwealth : a novel by Ann Patchett
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

An enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families' lives. One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly--thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

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Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

The orphan's tale by Pam Jenoff
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

Two disparate women are thrown together by destiny, each hiding a secret from the Nazi regime. Noa's Dutch family kicks her out of the house after an affair with a Nazi soldier leaves her pregnant. She gives up the child, but in her new life as a train-station washerwoman, she finds a boxcar full of Jewish infants. She rescues one and flees, nearly freezing to death in a distant forest where she is rescued by a member of the famous German Circus Neuhoff; Noa claims the baby is her brother. Astrid Sorrell (born Ingrid Klemt) is forced to separate from her German officer husband when the Reich forces all Jewish intermarriages to be dissolved. A former star in her now-depleted Jewish family's circus, she, too, finds refuge with the rival Circus Neuhoff, where her Jewish identity will be hidden, and now her boss forces her to teach the pretty Noa the art of the trapeze. 

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Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

America's first daughter by Stephanie Dray
Also available in: audiobook | large print

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson's oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother's death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France. It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father's troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love--with her father's protege, William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William's wife and still be a devoted daughter. 

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Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

Midwives : a novel by Chris Bohjalian
Also available in: audiobook

During her hippie days, Sibyl Danforth delivered a friend's baby on a blizzardy night. From this emergency delivery grew her calling as a midwife. Over the years, she had great success, helping with more than 500 home births. But on March 4, 1981, Charlotte Fugett Bedford died under Sibyl's care. Severe weather conditions treacherously iced the roads and downed phone lines, making contact with her backup physician impossible. After hours and hours of arduous labor, Charlotte seemed to suffer a stroke and die. To save the yet-unborn child, Sibyl performed a cesarean section. However, since she was not trained for this procedure and since witnesses thought perhaps Charlotte was not actually dead, Sibyl was charged with involuntary manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license.

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Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

A man called Ove : a novel by Fredrik Backman
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | video | large print

A stereotypical grumpy old man, Ove, finds his quiet life of solitude slipping away when a young family moves in next door. Ove is the kind of man who yells at kids to get off his lawn and is the bane of the local residents' association. He may come across as gruff and bitter, but behind the unpleasant exterior is a dignified man with a story of love and heartbreak. The new neighbors and a scruffy cat may be the perfect combination to break Ove out of his shell and help him truly to start living.

Upcoming sessions

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Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

As the new year begins in 1945, the war in Europe is in its end stages as German forces are beaten back by the Allied armies. To escape the Soviet advance on the eastern front, thousands of refugees flee to the Polish coast. In this desperate flight for freedom, four young people-each from very different backgrounds and each with dark secrets-connect as they vie for passage on the Willhelm Gustloff, a former pleasure cruiser used to evacuate the refugees. Packed to almost ten times its original capacity, the ship is hit by Soviet torpedoes fewer than 12 hours after leaving port. As the ship sinks into the icy waters of the Baltic Sea, what was supposed to be an avenue for escape quickly becomes another fight to survive the randomness of war. 

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Nonfiction Book Group December 2017

Please join the Nonfiction Book Group to discuss:

Also available in: e-book

Drawing on her own adventures living in re-created Tudor conditions, Goodman serves as our intrepid guide to sixteenth-century living. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, this charming, illustrative work celebrates the ordinary lives of those who labored through the era. From sounding the "hue and cry" to alert a village to danger to malting grain for homemade ale, from the gruesome sport of bear-baiting to cuckolding and cross-dressing the madcap habits and revealing intimacies of life in the time of Shakespeare are vividly rendered.

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Canton Seniors Book Discussion: January 25, 2018

Please join the Canton Seniors Book Group to discuss: 

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Also available in: audiobook | video

The story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, is told from her point of view, beginning with the story of her mothers, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah. These wives of Jacob give her the gifts that are to sustain her through a damaged youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land.

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Lunch and a Book November 2017

Please join Lunch and a Book to discuss:

The gilded hour by Sara Donati
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

The year is 1883, and in New York City, it's a time of dizzying splendor, crushing poverty, and tremendous change. Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie--both graduates of the Woman's Medical School--treat the city's most vulnerable, even if doing so may put everything they've strived for in jeopardy. Anna's work has placed her in the path of four children who have lost everything, just as she herself once had. For Sophie, an obstetrician and the orphaned daughter of free people of color, helping a desperate young mother forces her to grapple with the oath she took as a doctor--and thrusts her and Anna into the orbit of Anthony Comstock, a dangerous man who considers himself the enemy of everything indecent and of anyone who dares to defy him.

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