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Reading Lists

Book Lovers Circle January

All Our Names

All Our Names
Two narrators tell their separate stories. Set in the 1970's, one character has fled the turbulence of Africa, when colonial rule is being threatened by the desire for independence and autonomy to the US of that ere, when racial tensions are simmering and boiling. A young African, in order to survive, has fled his country to a mid-western American town, and taken on a false identity. He falls in love with Helen, a social worker, who has not idea of his real identity. The author parallels the racial tensions in African and the racial issues in the US, and weaves them into an adventure story, a lesson in history, a love story and a story about the things that keep us apart and the things that pull us together. Check Our Catalog

The Anatomy Lesson

The Anatomy Lesson
Nina Siegel brings to life the Amsterdam of 1632, when Rembrandt painted his masterpiece, "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp." Siegel tells her story through many voices from all walks of life who were affected by the dissection-the thief who, after being hanged, was the corpse dissected that day; Dr. Tulp, a prominent member of the Amsterdam Surgeon's Guild who did the public dissection; the pregnant common law wife of the thief who tried to save him from being executed; and even Rene Descartes, as well as Rembrandt. The fictional back story to this painting, based on fact, is fascinating reading. Check Our Catalog

Being Mortal

Being Mortal
The author of this non-fiction book is a practicing surgeon as well as a professor at Harvard Medical School. Gawande has been pondering the questions that surround aging and this book deals with many of those issues-when to we stop treatment, how to assist the infirm and dependent elderly to achieve the highest quality of life, how to assist those who are dying. This book is filled with issues that our society needs to look at, and can be used as a guidebook to plan realistic programs for the elderly as well as use as a guidebook to help us make our own personal decisions. Check Our Catalog

The Boston Girl

The Boston Girl
Addie Baum, born in 1900, is now 85, and her grand-daughter interviews her about her past. Addie is the child of Russian immigrants, but she wants to have the full American experience-high school, college, career, independence and love. This novel, filled with historical detail, has been meticulously researched to recreate the period, and Addie is a spunky and interesting character. Check Our Catalog

Deep Down Dark

Deep Down Dark
33 miners were trapped beneath thousands of feet of rock for 69 days. While underground, they made a pact that they would tell their story as one, and they chose Hector Tobar, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, to write their story. He did hundreds of interviews, read the reports of the rescuers as well as the reports written about what caused the mine disaster, saw videos shot by the minters and followed them as they lived their lives above ground and told the stories of their experience below ground. The story took 3 years to write. Every single one of the men who went down to the mine to do a days work, and then did not come up again for 69 days, came back a changed man and Tobar gives them each a chance to tell their story. Check Our Catalog

Even This I Get to Experience

Even This I Get to Experience
This is a big book, because Norman Lear has had a big life-all 90 plus years of it. Norman Lear, the talented man who produced or created over 100 shows, and had, at one point, over 120 million people a week watching his comedies, did not have an easy childhood. His charming father was a small time crook who spent years of Lear's childhood in jail, and Norman's mother left him to be raised by relatives much of the time. He used bits and pieces of many of the people he grew up with in the characters he created in his comedies-and he fought many a battle with the network censors to bring up issues that were extremely serious and controversial-but which we could laugh at. He has lived an amazing life, and we are lucky enough that he has lived long enough to be able to tell us about it. Check Our Catalog

Family Life

Family Life
This is an intensely emotional story told as sparingly as possible. Two young boys spend their childhood in New Delhi, and are brought to American by their father. Their adjustment to the US is difficult, but just as they are enjoying the positive aspect of life in America, tragedy strikes. The older boy suffers irreversible brain damage in a freak accident at the neighborhood pool, and instead of starting a prestigious high school, he spends his life being cared for by overwhelmed parents. This is an unsentimental but moving and loving look at growing up in a family dealing with multiple issues. The author based this novel, which took him 13 years to write, on his own family's experience. He was the younger child in a family where the older son suffered the same type of devastating injuries. Check Our Catalog

Some Luck

Some Luck
This is the first in a planned trilogy that will trace the life of one family over the course of 100 years. This novel covers 33 years in the life of the Langdon family, with each chapter covering a year. The novel begins in 1920, when the first child of Rosanna and Walter Langdon of Denby, Iowa is an infant. Frank is the center of the novel, which covers not only the remarkable changes in one family as well as the tremendous changes in the country and the world. Check Our Catalog

Tempting Fate

Tempting Fate
Gabby is one half of a couple who have been married for 18 years. Their marriage has become strained, and then Gabby's husband has a vasectomy knowing that Gabby wants a second child. Gabby soon finds that she has a lot of decisions to make, especially when she finds herself attracted to a younger man. Check Our Catalog

Thirty Girls

Thirty Girls
This is Susan Minot's first novel in 10 years. She has based it on an incident that occurred in Uganda in 1966 when 130 girls are kidnapped from a convent school. The school's head nun is able to arrange the release of 100 girls, but 30 of them are then brutalized and forced to brutalize others by a group that calls themselves the Lord's Resistance Army. Esther is one of the girls. At the other side of the world, Jane, an idealist writer, travels from America to Uganda, with the desire to be the voice of the 30 captured girls. The novel has two different story lines going until the two lives intersect. This is a moving, powerfully written story. Check Our Catalog



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