Adult Contemporary Book Discussion Group

Meets the third Monday of the month at 7:00PM. This self-directed group is sponsored by the Friends of the Canton Public Library. No pre-registration is required.

The Adult Contemporary Book Discussion Group is currently celebrating our 30th year at the library reading and discussing great books. Some of the books we've read have either become movies or tv series. Here's our list of some of our current titles from page to screen! Interested in joining our group? We meet every 3rd Monday at 7:00 PM in the Community Room! 

Also available in: video

The Robinas have shared a wonderful life for more than sixty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from cancer and John has Alzheimer's. Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed "down-on-their-luck geezers" kidnap themselves from the adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives and steal away from their home in suburban Detroit on a forbidden vacation of rediscovery. With Ella as his vigilant copilot, John steers their '78 Leisure Seeker RV along the forgotten roads of Route 66 toward Disneyland in search of a past they're having a damned hard time remembering. Yet Ella is determined to prove that, when it comes to life, you can go back for seconds—even when everyone says you can't.

Also available in: video

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Adult Contemporary Book Discussion Group! We've compiled a list of our favorite books over the years. Maybe your book club is looking for recommendations or maybe you are interested in joining our group. We meet every 3rd Monday of the month at 7PM in the Community Room. 

The nightingale by Kristin Hannah

"Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions. Vivid and exquiste in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with great monstrosities, but also great humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah's novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they turn the last page"--.

Famed aviator and renowned racehorse trainer Beryl Markham is only one of the subjects of McLain's captivating new novel. The other is Kenya, the country that formed the complicated, independent woman whom Markham would become. Like her father who raised her, she falls under the spell of Kenya's lush valleys and distant mountains. Here she nurtures her affinity for animals in the wild and learns to breed and tame the most recalcitrant thoroughbreds. But when war and weather affect life at their farm in Ngoro, Beryl's father pressures the 16-year-old into marrying a much older, financially stable neighbor, setting in motion Markham's long history of fleeing the constraints of relationships that threaten her keen desire to live life on her own terms. Only on the back of a horse, at the wheel of a car, or, later, flying over her beloved -Africa does she feel fully alive and free. Drawing on Markham's own memoir, West with the Night, McLain vividly introduces this enigmatic woman to a new generation of readers. 

The Adult Contemporary Book Discussion Group is celebrating its 30th Anniversary of bonding over great books! Many of the authors we've chosen through the years have published new titles! Here's a list of what to read next from Adult Contemporary authors and enjoy reading throughout the 62 Days of Summer! 

The great alone by Kristin Hannah

Lenora Allbright is thirteen when her father convinces her mother, Cora, to forgo their inauspicious existence in Seattle and move to Kaneq, AK. It's 1974, and the former Vietnam POW sees a better future away from the noise and nightmares that plague him. Having been left a homestead by a buddy who died in the war, Ernt is secure in his beliefs, but never was a family less prepared for the reality of Alaska, the long, cold winters and isolation. Locals want to help out, especially classmate Matthew Walker, who likes everything about Leni. Yet the harsh conditions bring out the worst in Ernt, whose paranoia takes over their lives and exacerbates what Leni sees as the toxic relationship between her parents. The Allbrights are as green as greenhorns can be, and even first love must endure unimaginable hardship and tragedy as the wilderness tries to claim more victims.

Us against you : a novel by Fredrik Backman

A small community tucked deep in the forest, Beartown is home to tough, hardworking people who don't expect life to be easy or fair. No matter how difficult times get, they've always been able to take pride in their local ice hockey team. So it's a cruel blow when they hear that Beartown ice hockey might soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in the neighboring town of Hed, take in that fact. As the tension mounts between the two adversaries, a newcomer arrives who gives Beartown hockey a surprising new coach and a chance at a comeback.

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. Monday, January 15. 

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. Monday, February 19.

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. Monday, March 19.

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

Lilac girls : a novel by Martha Hall Kelly
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

On a September day in Manhattan in 1939, twenty-something Caroline Ferriday is consumed by her efforts to secure the perfect boutonniere for an important French diplomat and resisting the romantic advances of a married actor. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is nervously anticipating the changes that are sure to come since Germany has declared war on Poland. As tensions rise abroad - and in her personal life - Caroline's interest in aiding the war effort in France grows and she eventually comes to hear about the dire situation at the Ravensbruck all-female concentration camp. At the same time, Kasia's carefree youth is quickly slipping away, only to be replaced by a fervor for the Polish resistance movement. Through Ravensbruck - and the horrific atrocities taking place there told in part by an infamous German surgeon, Herta Oberheuser - the two women's lives will converge in unprecedented ways and a novel of redemption and hope emerges that is breathtaking in scope and depth.

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Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

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

Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate the first automobile any of them have seen and a stranger arrives. In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people.

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Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

Passion, redemption, and a battered old suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale of lost love and female ambition that crosses generations. Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family's past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history. Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant's magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe's fateful summer interrupts this delicate detente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband's perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel's shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own. As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt's past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet's story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future--and the love--she wants most.

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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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