November 2017 Book Discussions

It’s strange to be writing about November discussions when it’s warm and sunny outside. The Tuesday Morning Book Group will meet at 10am on November 21 to talk about Lab Girl: A Story of Trees, Science, and Love by Hope Jahren, a memoir on several best books of 2016 lists, including mine.

On November 28 at 7pm the Tuesday Evening Book Group will discuss The Second Mrs. Hockaday, by Susan Rivers, a historical novel set during and after the Civil War.

On Thursday, November 16, the Crime Readers will meet at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien to discuss The Round House, by Louise Erdrich. Co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library, the Crime Readers gather at 6 pm for optional dinner.

Copies of the books are available at the Adult & Teen Services Reference Desk.

Brenda


October, 2017 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Morning Book Group will meet at 10 a.m. on October 17 to discuss The Japanese Lover, by Isabel Allende. Alma Belasco, an elderly textile artist, is looking back on her long and colorful life, especially her childhood in San Francisco and her friendships with her cousin Nathaniel and with Ichimei, the Japanese gardener’s son. My earlier review is here.

On October 24 at 7 p.m., the Tuesday Evening Book Group will be discussing Among the Living, by Jonathan Rabb. In 1947, Holocaust survivor Yitzhak Goldah moves to Savannah to live with his cousins and work in the family shoe store, and finds the thriving Jewish community virtually untouched by the war.  Here’s my earlier review.

The Crime Readers will meet at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien at 7 p.m. on October 19 to discuss Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? by Stephen Dobyns, with optional dinner at 6 p.m. The Crime Readers is co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library.

Copies of the books are available now at the Adult & Teen Services Reference Desk.

Brenda

 

 


Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Jende and Neni Jonga, immigrants from Cameroon, pursue the American dream in New York City in 2007. Jende is fortunate to find a good job as chauffeur to Lehman Brothers executive Clark Edwards and his family. Neni is in college, their son Liomi is in elementary school, and they are happy together in their tiny Harlem apartment. Jende hears Clark’s phone calls in the limo, Neni spends time in the Hamptons helping Cindy Edwards with child care, and they both learn the family’s secrets. Neni is pregnant again, and Jende wants her to take time off from work and school, even though their legal status in the United States is uncertain. Then Lehman Brothers collapses, the Great Recession begins, and both families are in turmoil. Jende thinks that with their savings, they may be happier back in Cameroon, but Neni really wants to stay and get her degree. The Edwards, not as resilient as the Jonga family, are even unhappier. They are not as vividly drawn as the Jongas, and I didn’t care about their problems as much. I really enjoyed reading about life in Cameroon, and the Jongas’ interactions with their fellow immigrants. This debut novel is our September book discussion selection, and is also the latest book club selection by Oprah Winfrey. I look forward to hearing what everyone else thought about this compelling novel.
Brenda


September 2017 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Morning Group is meeting a week early, at 10am on September 12, to discuss Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue. In this novel, immigrants from Cameroon think the American dream is within their reach. Jende Jonga is the new chauffeur to Clark Edwards, an executive with Lehman Brothers in Manhattan, while his wife Neni is in college. Unfortunately, it’s 2007, and the recession is just around the corner.

The Tuesday Evening Group will meet again on October 24.                                                                      

The Crime Readers are back from their summer break, meeting at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien at 7pm on Thursday, September 21. They will be discussing Billy Bathgate, by E.L. Doctorow, and gathering at 6pm for an optional dinner. The Crime Readers are co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library.

Copies of the books are available at the Adult & Teen Services Reference Desk.

Brenda


August 2017 Book Discussion

On August 22 at 7:00 pm, the Tuesday Evening Book Group will meet to discuss the novel Let Him Go, by Larry Watson. This novel, set in North Dakota and Montana in 1951, is both tender and violent, like a mid-century Western, and may appeal to readers of Kent Haruf and Ivan Doig. A couple is worried about their young grandson after their widowed daughter-in-law remarried and moved away. Larry Watson is best known for his novel Montana 1948.

The Tuesday Morning Group and the Crime Readers will meet again in September, while the Tuesday Evening Group takes September off.

Brenda


July 2017 Book Discussions

On July 18 at 10am, the Tuesday Morning Book Group will discuss Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly. This book tells the true story of African-American women mathematicians who worked at Langley Research Laboratory in Virginia, and their contributions to the design of new airplanes, and later for NASA.                             
The Tuesday Evening Book Group will meet at 7 pm on July 25 to discuss the short historical novel, News of the World, set in Texas in 1870, featuring traveling news reader Captain Jefferson Kidd. Here is my earlier review of one of the best books I read in 2016; I’m looking forward to rereading it.
Brenda


June 2017 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Morning Book Group will  meet at 10 am on June 20 to discuss a book that was popular when the library was founded in 1967, Trustee from the Toolroom, by Nevil Shute. Published in 1960, this is the well-loved story of an British engineer who travels to the South Pacific to recover his young niece’s legacy. We will be meeting in the open area off the lobby, near the new books. Here’s a brief review about re-reading Nevil Shute.

On June 27 at 7 pm, the Tuesday Evening Book Group will discuss The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, by Phaedra Patrick. This is a contemporary novel about a man who find’s his late wife’s charm bracelet on the first anniversary of her death. Arthur doesn’t remember Miriam wearing the bracelet, and calls the phone number on a bejeweled elephant charm. Here is my earlier review.

The Crime Readers are on break until September. Happy summer reading!

Brenda