January 2017 Book Discussions

marriage-of-opposites-jacketIn January, the Tuesday Morning Book Group will meet at 10am on January 17 to discuss The Marriage of Opposites, by Alice Hoffman, a biographical novel about Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, and his parents, set on the island of St. Thomas and in Paris. Here’s my review.

The Tuesday Evening Book Group will discuss a memoir, Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found, by Rebecfade-away-jacketca Alexander. They will meet at 7 pm on January 24. When she was 19, Rebecca learned that she was gradually going deaf and blind. Undaunted, Rebecca became a psychotherapist, a spin instructor, and since finishing her memoir, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Here’s my recent review.

The Crime Readers will be discussing The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney at 7 pm on Thursday, January 19, at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien. The Crime Readers is co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library. Meet for optional dinner at 6 pm. Their selection is an award-winning historical novel set in the winter of 1867, on the Canadian frontier.

Copies of all three books are available at the Adult & Teen Services Reference Desk.tenderness-jacket

November 2016 Book Discussions

At 10:00 am on November 15, the Tuesday Morning Book Group will be discussing Our Souls at Night, a blue-death-jacketcontemporary novel by Kent Haruf, about two recently widowed friends who get lonely in the middle of the night, and just want somebody to talk to. Their neighbors gossip, and their families don’t approve, but Louis and Addie enjoy their companionship.


The Tuesday Evening Book group will meet at 7:00 pm on November 22 to discuss A Beautiful Blue Death, by Charles Finch, the first in a series of Victorian mysteries featuring London gentleman Charles Lenox, his butler Graham, his brother Edmund, and his neighbor, Lady Jane.

The Crime Readers will be discussing The Black Echo, by Michael Connelly at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 17 at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien, with optional dinner gathering at 6:00 pm. Los Angeles police detective Harry Bosch investigates the death of Billy Meadows, who he remembers from the Vietnam War.

Copies of all three titles are available at the Adult and Teen Services Reference Desk.


October 2016 Book Discussions

tilted-world-jacketAt 10:00 am on October 18, the Tuesday Morning Book Group will be discussing The Tilted World, a historical novel by Tom Franklin and his wife Beth Ann Fennelly. Set in a river town in Mississippi in the spring of 1927 as the river levels rise and levees upstream start failing; a tale of federal revenuers, a baby, and moonshiners. Here’s my recent review.

The Tuesday Evening Book Group will meet at 7:00 pm on October 25 to talk about Georgia, by Dawn Tripp. This is a biographical novel about Georgia O’Keeffe, her long, adventurous life, her art, and her relationship with her older husband, georgia jacketphotographer Alfred Stieglitz. Read more here.

The Crime Readers will be discussing Our Kind of Traitor, by John Le Carré at 7:00 pm on Thursday, October 20 at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien, with optional dinner at 6:00 pm. A recent spy thriller set in Antigua, England, and Paris by a highly regarded novelist who served in British Intelligence during the Cold War. Check out our current display of Spy Thrillers, or look for Le Carré’s new memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel : Stories From My Life. The Crime Readers are co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library.


September 2016 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Morning Book Group will meet at 10 a.m. on September 20 to discuss Flight of Dreams by Ariel flight of dreams jacketLawhon. This is a novel about the last voyage of the Hindenberg in 1937. It will be interesting to compare and contrast with the non-fiction account of the Lusitania in Erik Larson’s Dead Wake, which we discussed in January.

The Tuesday Evening Book Group will meet at 7 p.m. on September 27 to discuss My Name is Lucy Barton, the newest novel by author Elizabeth Strout. Elizabeth Strout will be speaking at Ashton Place in Willowbrook at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 24, for our Big Author Event. Here’s my review of her stunning new lucy barton jacketbook. Readers may remember her for her book of connected short stories, Olive Kitteridge, which won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The Crime Readers return to Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien to discuss A Death in Vienna, by Daniel Silva, the thriller writer whose new book, Black Widow is topping the bestseller lists. Optional dinner is at 6 p.m., and the discussion is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 15. The Crime Readers is co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library.

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


New and Forthcoming Books by Authors We’ve Discussed

New and Forthcoming Books from Authors We’ve Discussed

We’re not having book discussions in August. If you’re looking for some reading ideas, try one of these, or reserve a not-yet-published title.

Fictionchurchill jacket

Chevalier, Tracy. At the Edge of the Orchard. 3/16

Diffenbaugh, Vanessa. We Never Asked for Wings. 2015

Doig, Ivan. Last Bus to Wisdom. 2015

Erdrich, Louise. LaRose. 5/16

Hashimi, Nadia. A House Without Windows. 8/16

Hill, Lawrence. The Illegal. 1/16

Hood, Ann. The Book That Matters Most. 8/16

Ivey, Eowyn. To The Bright Edge of the World. 8/16

McLain, Paula. Circling the Sun. 2015

Semple, Maria. Today Will Be Different. 10/16

Shapiro, B.A. The Muralist. 2015

Smiley, Jane. Early Warning, Golden Age. 2015

Stewart, Amy. Lady Cop Makes Trouble. 9/16

Weisgarber, Ann. The Promise. 2014house jacket

Winters, Ben. Underground Airlines. 7/16


Duhigg, Charles. Smarter, Faster, Better. 3/16

Krist, Gary. Empire of Sin. 2014

Kurson, Robert. Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship. 2015

Lahiri, Jhumpa. In Other Words. 2/16

Millard, Candice. Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill. 9/16

Philbrick, Nathaniel. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. 5/16

Streever, Bill. And Soon I Heard a Roaring Wind. 7/16

Happy Reading! Fall book discussion titles will be announced soon.

July 2016 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Morning Group will meet at 10 am on July 19 to discuss Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart. This girl waits with gun jacketbook, set in 1914 and 1915 in Paterson, New Jersey, is based on a true story. One morning, three sisters in a horse-drawn buggy are run down by a large black car driven by a ruthless silk factory owner, and their lives suddenly get a lot more interesting.

The Tuesday Evening Book Group will discuss The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck at 7pm on July 26. Rinker and his brother Nick attempt the first crossing of the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon drawn by three mules in a century. Lots of history, humor, and adventure as two very different brothers tackle the challenges of the journey.

oregon trail jacketCopies of the books are available at the Adult and Teen Services Reference Desk. Both groups are taking August off, and will meet again in September, along with The Crime Readers. September titles will be announced in early August. I am considering a wide variety of titles for our fall book discussions.


BookExpo America

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are a few of the advance reading copies I brought back from BookExpo America in Chicago last month, and shared with my book discussion groups. A few books will be prizes in the children’s summer reading program. I met several authors, got a preview of big books for fall, and attended two programs. Some of the authors I talked with include Brandon Mull, Candice Millard, Robert Hicks, and Mary Robinette Kowal. I enjoyed a panel discussion of What’s New in Young Adult, moderated by author Veronica Roth. Five authors of teen fiction, Lauren Oliver, Alyson Noel, Kendare Blake, and Melissa de la Cruz, along with Roth, talked about the writing process, what inspires and challenges them, and how their new books are going to be a little different. Veronica Roth, who I didn’t expect to be funny, is coming out with a science fiction book next January, Carve the Mark.
After meeting more authors, it was time for Book Group Speed Dating, sponsored by ReadingGroupGuides.com. I was assigned a round table, with dozens of advance reading copies on the table. Several publishers’ reps took turns spending 5-10 minutes telling the people at my table about their new and forthcoming books that they think will be great for book discussion groups. Afterwards, we could take the books that interested us, which I later shared with the library’s book groups. I have a lengthy handout listing all of the books, and several ideas for future book discussion titles. One expected highlight of my day at McCormick Place: I got to meet Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi, who was signing posters for a forthcoming children’s book.