Sunday, November 24, 2019

Book Club Choices 2020 

We offer the following choices for the 2020 reading season. We select a range of fiction and nonfiction, books that have been recommended by members or books that have been favorably reviewed.  Our goal is to select a range of books that will lead to lively discussions.

The book club is a wonderful way to get to know other TYC members as well as to discuss some interesting books. Everyone is always welcome.  Please join us.

 Denise David and Linda Maddigan


Note change of date from June 21 (Father's Day) to June 28th. We are planning to have our meeting outside in chairs arranged spaciously apart.  Let's hope for a lovely June day!


Meeting #1               March 8th                     The Library Book 

                                                                          by Susan Orlean


  Our meeting will be held from 1:00-3:00 at the home of Claudia Lewis. 

Please RSVP to Denise  David or Linda Maddigan if you will be attending.


Image result for Image for The Library Book

 The Library Book begins with an investigation of the fire that destroyed the Los Angeles Public Library, but takes us on a journey following the history of libraries. We think you will enjoy this one.

"Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before." from Good Reads

Meeting #2       May 17th    The Jell-o Girls: A Family History

                                                  by Allie Rowbottom

 Due to COVID-19 we scheduled our meeting online through ZOOM.

Jell-O Girls: A Family History

  This is a dark history of Jello that has been recommended by several members. Since Leroy, New York is the home of Jello, the book has a local connection.

"A memoir that braids the evolution of one of America's most iconic branding campaigns with the stirring tales of the women who lived behind its façade - told by the inheritor of their stories."  ~from Good Reads


 Meeting # 3   June 21  June 28th

 Note change of date from June 21 (Father's Day) to June 28th. We are planning to have our meeting outside. Let's hope for a lovely June day!

 The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

"Arguably, every single historical novel should evoke those two much-quoted lines of William Faulkner’s: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” But coming away from Alice Hoffman’s gravely beautiful new novel, “The World That We Knew,” historical fiction that transports you to Germany and France in the 1940s and, thus, the Holocaust, those words ring particularly true. Her subjects are preteen and teenage refugees on the run from Berlin and Paris, but with them, she conjures up contemporary children fending for themselves after being separated from their parents by today’s horrors."

Note: Some editions of the book include an additional essay  Hoffman has written about her novel. I will not copy the whole essay here, but I will include a few sections that I think might give us further insight into her novel.  Hoffman comments on her use of magic:
"The legacy of magic has helped me as I attempted to understand one of the darkest times in modern history, the Holocaust. This is an era that defies logic when the monstrous actions of men were fueled by hate rather than by logical thought, and their actions were impossible to understand. To try to make sense of a world ruled by illogical actions and terrible, inhuman deeds, I turned to the fantastical and miraculous. What cannot be comprehended intellectually may be understood by the heart. "
Some interesting comments about the golem. "Jewish magic and folklore contain a curious central figure, a mysterious being who is meant to protect Jewish people, a creature made of water and clay who is magically brought to life by mystics and scholars through a highly complex an illogical world, men can be monsters and monsters can have human hearts."

You may also be interested in this interview with Alice Hoffman.

Alice Hoffman Interview with Judith Light

Meeting # 4   July 19                          The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes

Image result for images of The book Giver of Stars

  In this book of historical fiction, Moyes tells a story based on the real-life librarians, known as the Mule Pack librarians, who delivered books to remote areas of the Appalachians during the Depression.  

If you are particularly interested in this subject, there is another book worth reading entitled, "The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek" by Kim Richardson, which also focuses on the packhorse librarians. There has been some controversy about the similarity between the two books. The controversy appears to be unresolved so we can only recommend that both are interesting and worth reading.

Meeting # 5  August 23        She Said:  Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story  That  Helped Ignite a Movement           by  Jodie Kantor and Megan Twohey 

She Said by Jodi Kantor (Digital,2019) 

From Good Reads:

"She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement"  is a nonfiction book written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the two New York Times reporters who wrote the story that ended Harvey Weinstein's career, and which catalyzed the burgeoning #MeToo movement.


Meeting # 6       September   20.        Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine 

                                                              by  Gail  Honeyman


Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

   From Good Reads:
"Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . the only way to survive is to open your heart."



Meeting # 7   October 18   American Dirt by Jeanine CumminsImage result for American Dirt: Chapter Sampler Jeanine Cummins 

This from Good Reads~

"She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable."

And the book goes on from there. Highly recommended by Kim in our book club. Let's see what everyone thinks. It promises to be a page turner.


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