Lunch & a Book
On Thursday, November 8 at noon we'll be discussing:
The language of flowers: a novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh — After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, Victoria Jones is unable to get close to anybody and her only connection to the world is through flowers. She uses the Victorian language of flowers (originally developed to convey romance) to communicate grief, mistrust, and solitude. Praised by Booklist as "enchanting, ennobling, and powerfully engaging", this debut novel creates a vivid portrait of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.
On Thursday, October 11 at noon we'll be discussing:
Turn of mind by Alice LaPlante — Dr. Jennifer White is the prime suspect in the murder of her life-long friend and neighbor, Amanda, but as she descends further into the later stages of dementia, it becomes unclear if her shattered memory is preventing her from remembering the truth or helping her hide it. Kirkus Reviews calls this book, "a haunting story masterfully told."
On Thursday, September 13 at Noon we'll be discussing:
Once upon a river: a novel by Bonnie Jo Campbell — After the violent death of her father, in which she is complicit, Margo Crane takes to the Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in search of her vanished mother. Her river odyssey through rural Michigan becomes a defining journey, one that leads her beyond self-preservation and to the decision of what price she is willing to pay for her choices. The New York Times called this book "an excellent American parable about the consequences of our favorite ideal, freedom."
On Thursday, July 12 at Noon we'll be discussing:
Beloved: a novel by Toni Morrison — According to the publisher, Random House, the book can be described as "Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history in a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.
On Thursday August 9 at noon we'll be discussing:
Waterland by Graham Swift — Set in the bleak Fen Country of East Anglia, England and spanning some 240 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland is a book that takes in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the heartless sweep of history and a family romance as tormented as any in Greek tragedy. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Waterland, like the Hardy novels, carries with all else a profound knowledge of a people, a place, and their interweaving… Swift tells his tale with wonderful contemporary verve and verbal felicity… A fine and original work."
Room: a novel by Emma Donoghue — January 12
The girls from Ames: a story of women & a forty-year friendship by Jeffrey Zaslow — February 9
The postmistress by Sarah Blake — March 8
Lethal by Sandra Brown — April 12
On Thursday June 14 at noon we'll be discussing:
Blood, bones, & butter: the inadvertent education of a reluctant chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Above all she sought family, particularly the thrill and the magnificence of the one from her childhood that, in her adult years, eluded her. Blood, Bones & Butter is an unflinching and lyrical work.
On Thursday April 12th from Noon to 1:00 PM we will be discussing the Everyone's Reading 2012 selection:
Lethal by Sandra Brown — When her four year old daughter informs her a sick man is in their yard, Honor Gillette rushes out to help him. But that "sick" man turns out to be Lee Coburn, the man accused of murdering seven people the night before. Dangerous, desperate, and armed, he promises Honor that she and her daughter won't be hurt as long as she does everything he asks. She has no choice but to accept him at his word. But Honor soon discovers that even those close to her can't be trusted.
On Thursday, February 9th from Noon to 1:00 PM we'll be discussing:
The girls from Ames: a story of women and friendship by Jeffrey Zaslow. Meet the Ames Girls: eleven childhood friends who formed a special bond growing up in Ames, Iowa. As young women, they moved to eight different states, yet managed to maintain an enduring friendship that would carry them through college and careers, marriage and motherhood, dating and divorce, a child's illness and the mysterious death of one member of their group. Capturing their remarkable story, The Girls from Ames is a testament to the deep bonds of women as they experience life's joys and challenges — and the power of friendship to triumph over heartbreak and unexpected tragedy.
On Thursday May 10th from Noon to 1PM we'll be discussing
To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee — Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer Atticus, has just started school. She's known how to read and write, though, ever since she and her older brother Jem can remember. Bored with school, Scout and Jem decide on a project — to make Boo Radley, the town's notorious recluse, come out. But Scout's carefree days come to an end when a black man in town is accused of raping a white woman — and Atticus is the only man willing to defend him.
On Thursday, March 8th, at Noon we will be discussing:
The postmistress by Sarah Blake — The lives of two women in a small Cape Cod town are impacted by the radio broadcasts of Frankie Bard, an American journalist in London who hopes that by revealing details of World War II she will encourage the United States to take up the cause.
On Thursday, January 12, from Noon-1:00 PM we'll be discussing:
Room: a novel by Emma Donoghue — Five-year-old Jack has spent his life living in an eleven-by-eleven foot space his mother calls Room and while Jack uses his imagination to create wondrous fantasies to entertain himself, his mother dreads the day her son begins to question why they must remain in Room and tries to find a way to escape.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins — September 8th — In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
The adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain — May 12. A young boy living in mid-nineteenth century Missouri relates the many adventures that he and his friend Jim, an escaped slave, experience as they travel down the Mississippi River on a raft.
Cutting for stone by Abraham Verghese — June 9. Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in Ethiopia on the brink of revolution, where their love for the same woman drives them apart.
Sarah's key by Tatiana de Rosnay — January 13 On the sixtieth anniversary of the 1942 roundup of Jews by the French police in the Vel d'Hiv section of Paris, American journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article on this dark episode during World War II and embarks on investigation that leads her to long-hidden family secrets and to the ordeal of Sarah, a young girl caught up in the raid.
The chosen; a novel by Potok, Chaim — (July 8, 2010) — A baseball game between two different Jewish schools becomes the catalyst that starts a bitter rivalry between two boys and their fathers.
The help by Kathryn Stockett — (August 12, 2010) — Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, three women, including an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend, and a recently graduated white woman, team up for a clandestine project against a backdrop of the budding civil rights era.
The road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway — (September 9, 2010) — A woman of intellect and ambition describes growing up on an Australian ranch, coping with her father's death and her mother's depression, her intellectual awakening at the university, and her path to becoming the first woman president of Smith College
Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr — (October 14, 2010) — Richard and Sara Everton move to Ibarra, Mexico to reopen Richard's grandfather's copper mine and learn that Richard is dying of leukemia.
Mennonite in a little black dress: a memoir of going home by Rhoda Janzen — (November 11, 2010) — A poet describes how, after her husband left her for a relationship with a man and she subsequently was seriously injured in a car crash, she returned home to her close-knit Mennonite family and came to terms with her failed marriage and her choices in life.