Join one of our monthly book clubs to discuss an omnivorous selection of fiction and nonfiction, popular novels, or scifi and fantasy. Titles are available from the Main Desk one month in advance. The Nonfiction Book Group is currently on hiatus.
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Join fellow readers for a beer and fine company at The Sweet and Savory Spot, 15 S Cass Ave, Westmont. We will explore themes in fiction, non-fiction, film and graphic novels. Beer will be available for purchase.
June 28, 2018
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia Butler and Damian Duffy
“Octavia E. Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, now in graphic novel format. More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler’s mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century. Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre-Civil War South.”
Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele
“A young black man meets his white girlfriend’s parents at their estate, only to find out that the situation is much more sinister than it appears.”
July 26, 2018
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
“February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins a story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state — called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo — a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.”
Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father by Jonathan Hennessey and Justin Greenwood
“Author Jonathan Hennessey and comic book illustrator Justin Greenwood team to bring the world of Alexander Hamilton to life in this fully-illustrated, graphic novel style biography that captures the period, people, and places of the birth of the United States.”
August 30, 2018
Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu
“Lakshmi, called Lucky, is an unemployed millennial programmer. She likes to dance, to have a drink or two, and she makes art on commission. Fifty bucks gets you high-resolution digital images of anything you want (orcs, mermaids, cos-playing couples in sexy boudoir scenes) and a nice frameable print. Lucky’s husband, Krishna, is an editor for a greeting card company. Both are secretly gay. They present their conservative Sri Lankan-American families with a heterosexual front, while each dates on the side. When Lucky’s grandmother has a nasty fall, Lucky returns to her mother’s home to act as caretaker and unexpectedly reconnects with her childhood best friend and first lover, Nisha. Nisha has agreed to an arranged marriage with a man she doesn’t know, but finds herself attracted to her old friend. The attraction is mutual and Lucky tries to save Nisha from entering a marriage based on a lie. But does Nisha really want to be saved? And what does Lucky want, anyway?”
My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 1 by Gengoroh Tagame
“From one of Japan’s most notable manga artists: a heartbreaking and redemptive tale of mourning and acceptance that compares and contrasts the contemporary nature of gay tolerance in the East and the West. Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo, married to wife Natsuki, father to young daughter Kana. Their lives are suddenly upended with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented, revelatory look at and journey into the largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation has the chance to change the preconceptions of and prejudices against it.”
This group is for readers who enjoy fantastical stories including paranormal, futuristic dystopian, science fiction, and more. We meet on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 pm. Books are available at the Main Desk one month in advance.
In June through August, we will meet at The Sweet and Savory Spot, 15 S Cass Ave, Westmont.
June 5, 2018
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
“For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human. When the autopsy of Matilda’s sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother’s suicide some quarter-century before, Aster retraces her mother’s footsteps. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she’s willing to fight for it.“
July 3, 2018
Blackfish City by Sam Miller
“After the climate wars, a floating city is constructed in the Arctic Circle, a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, complete with geothermal heating and sustainable energy. Now crime and corruption have set in, the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside poverty are spawning unrest, and a new disease called “the breaks” is ravaging the population. When a strange new visitor arrives–a woman riding an orca, with a polar bear at her side–the city is entranced. She very subtly brings together four people–each living on the periphery–to stage unprecedented acts of resistance. By banding together to save their city before it crumbles under the weight of its own decay, they will learn shocking truths about themselves.”
We will also discuss the film Elysium.
August 7, 2018
Circe by Madeline Miller
“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. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.”
Circe is also available as an audiobook on CD.
We will also discuss the film Wonder Woman (2017).
Join in the discussion of popular titles and share your thoughts and opinions! This group is led by a different member each month. Books are available at the Main Desk one month in advance. Click here for a list of upcoming dates, times, and locations.
May 21, 2018
Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
“Inspired by a true story, this is the unforgettable story of a young boy named Ernest, set during the 1909 Seattle world’s fair called the Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo. It is a time when the magical wonders of technology on display at the expo future seems limitless. But for Ernest, a half-Chinese orphan who found his way to America through a last desperate act of his beloved mother, every door is closed. A charity student at a boarding school, he has never really had a place to call home. Then one day, his wealthy sponsor announces that if a home is what he wants, then that is what he will have…”
June 25, 2018
The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
“When electric light innovator Thomas Edison sues his only remaining rival for patent infringement, George Westinghouse hires untested Columbia Law School graduate Paul Ravath for a case fraught with lies, betrayals, and deception.”
July 23, 2018
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
“Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for — and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.”
August 27, 2018
Bad Girl Creek by Jo-Ann Mapson
“From the acclaimed author of The Wilder Sisters comes this bittersweet, deeply moving story of four displaced women who unite to run a flower farm, heal their hearts, and realize the depth and necessity of friendship.”