The Upper Moreland Free Public Library holds monthly book discussion meetings for anyone who wants thoughtful discussion and great company. Our Daytime Book Discussion Group meets on the first Thursday of every month from 2:30-3:45pm.
We also have an Evening Book Discussion Group that meets the last Wednesday of every month from 7:00-8:15pm.
New attendees are always welcome at these groups, and no registration is needed. Stop by the reference desk for help in getting a copy, or put a hold in the catalog on the titles below!
Upcoming Daytime Book Discussion Group Schedule
To download a PDF copy of the schedule for the coming year, click here
March 7 ~ Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson ~ 258 pages, © 2007
Trond’s friend Jon often showed up with adventure in mind, but this morning was different. What began as a joy ride on “borrowed” horses ends with Jon falling into a trance of grief. Trond learns what befell Jon earlier that day—an incident that marks losses for both boys. Now sixty-seven-year-old Trond settles into an isolated cabin to live with quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer.
April 4 ~ The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot ~ 369 pages, © 2010
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. A poor farmer working the same land as her slave ancestors, her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine and uncovering secrets of cancer. Yet Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. This is her story.
May 2 ~ Open City by Teju Cole ~ 259 pages, © 2011
Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor wanders aimlessly. The walks meet a need for Julius: a release from the regulated mental environment of work, and they give him the opportunity to process his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. Julius crisscrosses streets as well as social territory, encountering people from cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul.
June 6 ~ The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht ~ 337 pages, © 2011
Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her deeply rational grandfather would go on such a journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger’s wife.
WEDNESDAY, July 3 ~ Annie Dunne by Sebastian Barry ~ 228 pages, © 2002
Please note: July’s meeting will be held the first Wednesday due to the Independence Day holiday.
Annie Dunne and her cousin Sarah live and work on a farm in beautiful Wicklow in 1950s Ireland, where old green roads are being tarred, cars are being purchased, a way of life is about to disappear. Then Annie’s nephew sends his children to spend the summer with her. It is a chance for happiness for Annie, but against that happiness moves the figure of Billy Kerr, with his ambiguous attentions to Sarah. She struggles to find clear ground, clear light—to preserve her sense of love and place against these subtle forces of disquiet.
August 1 ~ The Comedians by Graham Greene ~ 296 pages, © 1966
Three men meet on a ship bound for Haiti, a world in the grip of the corrupt “Papa Doc” and the Tontons Macoute, his secret police—Brown the hotelier, Smith the innocent American, and Jones the confidence man. Hiding behind their actors’ masks, they hesitate on the edge of life. And, to begin with, they are men afraid of love, afraid of pain, afraid of fear itself.
September 5 ~ The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald ~ 296 pages, © 1998
German author Sebald once again blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction in this meditative work. An unnamed narrator is walking his way through the county of Suffolk, England, and from there back in time. Recovering from a hospitalization and sunk in his own thoughts, he becomes obsessed with the disintegration he views in the landscape and history of the coastal towns, from the moribund herring industry to the lost art of silk production.
October 3 ~ 1491 by Charles Mann ~ 465 pages, © 2005
Contrary to what Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, larger than any contemporary European city, had running water and clean streets. Mexican cultures created corn in a breeding process that has been called man’s first genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this is a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.
November 7 ~ The Plague by Albert Camus ~ 308 pages, © 1948
The townspeople of Oran are in the grip of a deadly plague, which condemns its victims to a swift and horrifying death. Fear, isolation and claustrophobia follow as they are forced into quarantine. Each person responds in their own way to the lethal disease: some resign themselves to fate, some seek blame or revenge, and a few, like the unheroic hero Dr Rieux, resist the terror.
December 5 ~ Life of Pi by Yann Martel ~ 401 pages, © 2001
When Pi Patel, zookeeper’s son, turns sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat with Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Pi’s fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days until they finally reach the coast of Mexico, where Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional—but is it more true?