Adult Book Club
Book Discussion Group
Discussion Group will meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the
LeClaire Community Library @ 6:30 pm.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - FREE OF CHARGE
Copies of the book can be obtained
at the Circulation Desk of the LeClaire Community Library to
LeClaire Library patrons. Twenty copies of this selection will be
available for check-out at no charge on a first-come, first-served
basis. Once the initial supply of books is claimed, patrons wishing
to participate are asked to obtain a copy of the book independently.
Reading selections for 2013 are as follows:
January 2013 Song of Achilles-
(2012) 416 p. Orange Prize 2012
ardor, war, and prophecies--in The Song of Achilles, author Madeline
Miller brings together everything I love about The Iliad without the
labor of epic poetry. In this new twist on the Trojan War story, Patroclus
and Achilles are the quintessential mismatched pair--a mortal underdog
exiled in shame and a glorious demigod revered by all--but what would a
novel of ancient Greece be without star-crossed love? Miller includes other
good tragic bits--foreknowledge of death, ruthless choices that pit pride
and reputation against the lives of innocents, the folly of men and
gods--and through her beautiful writing my spine chilled in the presence of
Achilles’ mother, the sea goddess Thetis, and I became a bystander in the
battlefield of Troy awash with blood, exaltation, and despair. The Song
of Achilles infuses the essence of Homer with modern storytelling in a
combination that is utterly absorbing and gratifying--I can’t wait to see
what Miller tackles next. --Seira Wilson
February 2013 House of Stone - Anthony Shadid
(2012) 326 p.
House of Stone
is not a work of Middle East reportage; it is, rather, a memoir, devoted to
Shadid's deeply personal quest to uncover his heritage in war-torn Lebanon .
. . Shadid's great skill as a journalist was that of a master storyteller,
and he's never been more effective than in his final book. The work
essentially belongs to the tradition of non-fiction belles lettres, as
noteworthy for its style and prose elegance as for its subject matter.
Tale of Two Cities-
Charles Dickens (1859)
Set in London
Paris before and during the
French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities ranks among the most famous
works in the history of fictional literature.
April 2013 The Fault in Our
Stars- John Green (2012) 328 p.
has created a soulful novel that tackles big subjects--life, death,
love--with the perfect blend of levity and heart-swelling emotion. Hazel is
sixteen, with terminal cancer, when she meets Augustus at her
kids-with-cancer support group. The two are kindred spirits, sharing an
irreverent sense of humor and immense charm, and watching them fall in love
even as they face universal questions of the human condition--How will I be
remembered? Does my life, and will my death, have meaning?--has a raw
honesty that is deeply moving. --Seira Wilson
2013 The Handmaids Tale-
Margaret Atwood (1998) 311 p.
In the world
of the near future, who will control women's bodies?
June 2013 Forrest Unseen.
David Haskell (2012) 288 p.
the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature.
A biologist reveals the secret world hidden in a single square meter of
In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one-
square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the
entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace
nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants
to vivid life.
July 2013 Unlikely
Pilgrimage of Harold Fry- Rachel Joyce (2012) 336 p.
Fry--retired sales rep, beleaguered husband, passive observer of his own
life--decides one morning to walk 600 miles across England to save an old
friend. It might not work, mind you, but that's hardly the point. In
playwright Rachel Joyce's pitch-perfect first novel, Harold wins us over
with his classic antiheroism. Setting off on the long journey, he wears the
wrong jacket, doesn't have a toothbrush, and leaves his phone at home--in
short, he is wholly, endearingly unprepared. But as he travels, Harold
finally has time to reflect on his failings as a husband, father, and
friend, and this helps him become someone we (and, more important, his wife
Maureen) can respect. After walking for a while in Harold Fry's very human
shoes, you might find that your own fit a bit better. --Mia Lipman
August 2013 Broken Harbor-
(2012) 464 p.
French’s fourth novel, detective Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy and his partner are
sent to the abandoned, half-constructed housing development Broken Harbor
to investigate the brutal murder of the Spain family. What Scorcher thinks
is an open and shut case is quickly complicated when Jenny Spain is found
barely alive, and the family’s circumstances are brought to light: hidden
baby monitors, a strained mortgage brought on by the housing crisis, and the
increasingly erratic signs of a family in crisis. French fans will
appreciate this new look at Scorcher, who was a minor character in
Faithful Place; he shines as the successful but jaded detective with a
troubled past. French delivers a layered psychological thriller and
satisfying ‘who dunnit,’ masterfully spinning a plot packed with tension and
a haunting mood that rivals the best of the gothic writers.
September 2013 Age of Miracles-
(2012) 289 p.
The world is
ending not with a bang so much as a long, drawn-out whimper. And it turns
out the whimper can be a lot harder to cope with. The Earth's rotation
slows, gradually stretching out days and nights and subtly affecting the
planet's gravity. The looming apocalypse parallels the adolescent struggles
of 10-year-old Julia, as her comfortable suburban life succumbs to a sort of
domestic deterioration. Julia confronts her parents' faltering marriage,
illness, the death of a loved one, her first love, and her first heartbreak.
Karen Thompson Walker is a gifted storyteller. Her language is precise and
poetic, but style never overpowers the realism she imbues to her characters
and the slowing Earth they inhabit. Most impressively, Thompson Walker has
written a coming-of-age tale that asks whether it's worth coming of age at
all in a world that might end at any minute. Like the best stories about the
end of the world, The Age of Miracles
is about the existence of hope and whether it can prevail in the face of
uncertainty. --Kevin Nguyen
October 2013 Rebecca- Daphne
(1938) 384 p.
words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the
windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the
chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride
of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were
phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the
sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched,
clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's
current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart,
the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious
predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths
about Maxim's first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.
Round House- Louise Erdrich
(2012) 336 p.
National Book Award 2012
in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is
attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts
is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to
the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one
day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but
she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly
alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he
is ill prepared. National Book Award Nominee
December 2013- No Book Discussion. Happy Holidays.
discussion resumes on January 22, 2014.
obtained from Amazon.com