Book Discussion Group Title List 2016

December

2016

In the Unlikely Event

By Judy Blume

A vivid portrait of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed during one winter. At the center of the cast of characters are fifteen-year-old Miri Ammerman and her spirited single mother, Rusty. Their warm and resonant stories are set against the backdrop of a real-life tragedy that struck the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, when a series of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving the community reeling.

November

2016

House of Thieves

By Charles Belfoure

In 1886 New York, a respectable architect shouldn’t have any connection to the notorious gang of thieves and killers that rules the underbelly of the city. But when John Cross’s son racks up an unfathomable gambling debt to Kent’s Gents, Cross must pay it back himself. All he has to do is use his inside knowledge of high society mansions and museums to craft a robbery even the smartest detectives won’t solve. The take better include some cash too —the bigger the payout, the faster this will be over.

With a newfound talent for sniffing out vulnerable and lucrative targets, Cross becomes invaluable to the gang. But Cross’s entire life has become a balancing act, and it will only take one mistake for it all to come crashing down —and for his family to go down too.

October

2016

Truth According to Us

By Annie Barrows

In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck's father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers' Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty. Layla's arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a new tale about the Romeyns. 

September

2016

Cutting For Stone

By Abraham Verghese

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.

August

2016

 

Readers of the Broken Wheel Recommend

By Katarina Bivald

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy's funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor -- not much else to do in a small town that's almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she'd start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together and change everything.

July

2016

 

What the Waves Know

By Tamara Valentine

In a novel rich in mythology and childhood secrets, a girl searches for her voice in the Rhode Island town where she stopped speaking at age 6. Eight years after her father disappeared on her birthday, Izabella Haywood is still writing on notepads to avoid speaking the truth about what happened. When the truth finally emerges, Izabella’s heartfelt revelation puts sharply into focus the unspoken terror of being a child in an unpredictable world.

June

2016

 

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

 

Follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma.

May

2016

When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi

An Ivy League-trained, award-winning young neurosurgeon describes how, after receiving a terminal diagnosis with lung cancer, he explored the dynamics of his roles as a patient and care provider, the philosophical conundrums about a meaningful life and how he wanted to spend his final days.

April

2016

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

by Jim DeFede

 

When thirty-eight jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001, due to the closing of United States airspace, the citizens of this small community were called upon to come to the aid of more than six thousand displaced travelers.

The people of Gander were asked to aid and care for these distraught travelers, as well as for thousands more, and their response was truly extraordinary. Oz Fudge, the town constable, searched all over Gander for a flight-crew member so that he could give her a hug as a favor to her sister, a fellow law enforcement officer who managed to reach him by phone. Eithne Smith, an elementary-school teacher, helped the passengers staying at her school put together letters to family members all over the world, which she then faxed. Bonnie Harris, Vi Tucker, and Linda Humby, members of a local animal protection agency, crawled into the jets' cargo holds to feed and care for all of the animals on the flights. Hundreds of people put their names on a list to take passengers into their homes and give them a chance to get cleaned up and relax.

The Day the World Came to Town is a positively heartwarming account of the citizens of Gander and its surrounding communities and the unexpected guests who were welcomed with exemplary kindness.

March

2016

A God In Ruins

Kate Atkinson

The dramatic story of the 20th Century through the eyes of Teddy Todd—would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather—as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. For all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have. An ingenious and moving exploration of one ordinary man's path through extraordinary times.

February

2016

The Maltese Falcon

by Dashiell Hammett

Sam Spade is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby. But Miss Wonderley is in fact the beautiful and treacherous Brigid O'Shaughnessy, and when Spade's partner Miles Archer is shot while on Thursby's trail, Spade finds himself both hunter and hunted: can he track down the jewel-encrusted bird, a treasure worth killing for, before the Fat Man finds him?

Joins Us on February 17th @ 7pm to view the film.

               January                  2016
 

Orphan #8

by Kim van Alkemade

In 1919, four-year-old Rachel Rabinowitz is placed in the Hebrew Infant Home, a New York City orphanage, where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research on the children. Dr. Solomon subjects Rachel to an experimental course of X-ray treatments that establish the doctor's reputation while risking the little girl's health. Now in 1954, and Rachel is a nurse in the hospice wing of the Old Hebrews Home when elderly Dr. Solomon becomes her patient. Realizing the power she holds over the helpless doctor, Rachel embarks on a dangerous experiment of her own design. Before the night shift ends, Rachel will be forced to choose between forgiveness and revenge.