Evening Book Club


Our Evening Book Club meets the last Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm.
For  a printable list of 2020 titles- click here.

 

November 20th

Radium Girls

By: Kate Moore (2017)

In 1917, as a war raged across the world, young American women flocked to work, painting watches, clocks, and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. The girls themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in the dust from the paint. As the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. They had been poisoned by the radium paint. Their employers denied all responsibility. These courageous women became determined to fight for justice.

 

 

December 18th

Music Shop

By: Rachel Joyce (2018)

1988. The CD has arrived. Sales of the shiny new disks are soaring on high streets in cities across the country. Meanwhile, down a dead-end street, Frank’s music shop stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. It attracts the lonely, the sleepless, the adrift. There is room for everyone. Frank has a gift for finding his customers the music they need. Into this shop arrives Ilse Brauchmann – practical, brave, well-heeled. Frank falls for this curious woman who always dresses in green. But Ilse’s reasons for visiting the shop are not what they seem. Frank’s passion for Ilse seems as misguided as his determination to save vinyl. How can a man so in tune with other people’s needs be so incapable of helping himself?

 

 

2020 Selections

 

January 29th

The Last Painting of Sara De Vos

By: Dominic Smith (2016)

1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain–a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive.

 

 

 

February 26th

Semiosis

By: Sue Burke (2018)

Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches … and waits … Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.

*2020 Longwood Gardens Community Read*

 

 

 

March 25th

Circe

By: Madeline Miller (2018)

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

 

 

 

April 29th

The Library Book

By: Susan Orlean (2018)

In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the Los Angeles Public Library fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

 

 

May 27th

Less

By: Andrew Sean Greer (2017)

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.
QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?
ANSWER: You accept them all.
What would possibly go wrong?

 

 

 

June 24th

Harry’s Trees

By: Jon Cohen (2018)

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.
QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?
ANSWER: You accept them all.
What would possibly go wrong?

 

 

July 29th

Behold the Dreamers

By: Imbolo Mbue (2016)

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the U.S. to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

 

 

 

August 26th

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

By: Gail Honeyman (2017)

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit and a bit of a loner. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, but everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman, the three become the kind of friends who rescue each other from the lives of isolation they have each been living.

 

September 30th

There There

By: Tommy Orange (2018)

There There is the story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything.  There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.

 

 

 

October 28th

The Silent Patient

By: Alex Michaelides (2019)

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations.

 

 

November 18th

Where the Crawdads Sing

By: Delia Owens (2018)

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

 

 

 

December 30th

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

By: Robin Sloan (2012)

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone and has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior to figure out just what’s going on.

 

 

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