Book Club Reading List 2017-10-06T19:42:02+00:00

2017-2018 Book Club Reading List

September 16th – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

Exit West
by Mohsin Hamid  

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price.  Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

October 14 – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

Days Without End
by Sebastian Barry

Thomas McNulty, aged barely seventeen and having fled the Great Famine in Ireland, signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s. With his brother in arms, John Cole, Thomas goes on to fight in the Indian Wars—against the Sioux and the Yurok—and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, the men find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.

 

November 18 – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

Nutshell
by Ian McEwan

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home—a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse—but John’s not there. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

December 9 – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

They May Not Mean To But They Do
by Cathleen Schine

The Bergman clan has always stuck together, growing as it incorporated in-laws, ex-in-laws, and same-sex spouses. But families don’t just grow, they grow old, and the clan’s matriarch, Joy, is not slipping into old age with the quiet grace her children, Molly and Daniel, would have wished. When Joy’s beloved husband dies, Molly and Daniel have no shortage of solutions for their mother’s loneliness and despair, but there is one challenge they did not count on: the reappearance of an ardent suitor from Joy’s college days. And they didn’t count on Joy herself, a mother suddenly as willful and rebellious as their own kids.

January 13 – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

Another Brooklyn
by Jacqueline Woodson

Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.  But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.

February 10 – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi

This sweeping family saga encompasses seven generations of descendants of a Fante and his captured Asante house slave.  Progressing through 300 years of Ghanaian and American history, the narrative unfolds in a series of concise portraits of each sister’s progeny that capture pivotal moments in each individual’s life.  Well researched, beautifully told, and easy to read,   Yaa Gyasi has written a modern masterpiece, a novel that moves through histories and geographies and—with outstanding economy and force—captures the intricacies of the troubled yet hopeful human spirit.

March 10 – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

The Wonder
by Emma Donoghue

Lib Wright has survived the Crimean War and a failed marriage by the time she’s summoned to central Ireland to watch over 11-year-old Anna O’Donnell, whose parents claim she has eaten no food in four months. The girl’s physician, Dr. McBrearty, and a committee of local bigwigs have hired Lib and a nun to provide round-the-clock surveillance. Lib quickly realizes that Dr. McBrearty, at least, is weirdly anxious to prove the girl’s fast is no hoax, even if he deplores loose talk of a miracle.

April 14 – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

Dark at the Crossing
by Elliot Ackerman

Haris Abadi is a man in search of a cause. An Arab American with a conflicted past, he is now in Turkey, attempting to cross into Syria and join the fight against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. But he is robbed before he can make it, and is taken in by Amir, a charismatic Syrian refugee and former revolutionary, and Amir’s wife, Daphne, a sophisticated beauty haunted by grief. As it becomes clear that Daphne is also desperate to return to Syria, Haris’s choices become ever more wrenching.

May 12 – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

Autumn
by Ali Smith

Daniel Gluck, a 101-year-old former songwriter, lies asleep and dreaming in his care home. He is regularly visited by 32-year-old Elisabeth Demand, who had been his next door neighbor as a young child. Her mother had disapproved of their early friendship, based on her belief that Daniel was gay, but Elisabeth had nevertheless formed a close bond with him and been inspired by his descriptions of works of art.   The story largely alternates between Daniel’s prolonged dreams as he edges closer to death, and Elisabeth’s recollections of the origins of their friendship and its repercussions.

June 9 – 3:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor

Association of Small Bombs
by Karan Mahajan

Mahajan begins the novel by describing a singular, almost routine event of 1996: a car bomb in a crowded Delhi marketplace. In the years that follow, the lives of a survivor, the family of two deceased boys, and the bombers themselves become intertwined. Karan Mahajan writes brilliantly about the effects of terrorism on victims and perpetrators, proving himself to be one of the most provocative and dynamic novelists of his generation.