Items tagged with Book clubs

PageTurners Discuss "The Scarlet Letter"

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Join PageTurners for a discussion of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The book is considered to be his "masterwork". Set in 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin and guilt.

PageTurners Book Club page

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome. Information on more Library book groups.


ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
Summer Reading Challenge 2017.

Sheffer Reading Room
Book Groups

Sybil Steinberg's New Book Picks

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Sybil Steinberg Westporter Sybil Steinberg, contributing editor and former book review section editor for Publishers Weekly, returns with more ideas for your summer reading with her ever-popular talk on the best new reads.


ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
Summer Reading Challenge 2017.

McManus Room
Talks & Readings

History Book Discussion: "Custer's Trials"

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Amateur historian and Westporter J. Bruce McGuirk leads a discussion of Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T. J. Stiles.
This winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History paints a portrait of Custer both deeply personal and sweeping in scope, proving how much of Custer’s legacy has been ignored. Stiles demolishes Custer’s historical caricature, revealing a capable yet insecure man, intelligent yet bigoted, passionate yet self-destructive, a romantic individualist at odds with the institution of the military (court-martialed twice in six years) and the new corporate economy, a wartime emancipator who rejected racial equality. Stiles argues that, although Custer was justly noted for his exploits on the western frontier, he also played a central role as both a wide-ranging participant and polarizing public figure in his extraordinary, transformational time—a time of civil war, emancipation, brutality toward Native Americans, and, finally, the Industrial Revolution—even as he became one of its casualties.

“If anyone could make a reader forget Custer’s last stand, at least for a few hundred pages at a time, it would be T.J. Stiles… Stiles is a serious and accomplished biographer, but he is more than that. He is a skilled writer, with the rare ability to take years of far-ranging research and boil it down until he has a story that is illuminating and, at its best, captivating.” —The New York Times Book Review

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.


ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
Summer Reading Challenge 2017.

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups

PageTurners Discuss "Middlesex"

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Join PageTurners for a discussion of Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. The story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction.

PageTurners Book Club page

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome. Information on more Library book groups.


ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
Summer Reading Challenge 2017.

Sheffer Reading Room
Book Groups

PageTurners Discuss "The Man in the Wooden Hat "

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Join PageTurners for a discussion of The Man With the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam. The New York Times called Sir Edward Feathers one of the most memorable characters in modern literature. A lyrical novel that recalls his fully lived life, Old Filth has been acclaimed as Jane Gardam’s masterpiece, a book where life and art merge. And now that beautiful, haunting novel has been joined by a companion that also bursts with humor and wisdom: The Man in the Wooden Hat. It is the history of his marriage told from the perspective of his wife, Betty, a character as vivid and enchanting as Filth himself. 

PageTurners Book Club page

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome. Information on more Library book groups.


ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
Summer Reading Challenge 2017.

Sheffer Reading Room
Book Groups

History Book Discussion of "Destiny of the Republic"

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Presidential history buff Mike Shaw leads a discussion of Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. This New York Times bestseller is an account of James Garfield's rise from abject poverty. He rose to become a scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups

The Usual Suspects Mystery Book Discussion: The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

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Discuss The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P. D. James  Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time--swift, cunning murder mysteries (two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh) that together, to borrow the author's own word, add up to a delightful "entertainment."

The newly appointed Sgt. Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is "pure Agatha Christie." A "pedantic, respectable, censorious" clerk's secret taste for pornography is only the first reason he finds for not coming forward as a witness to a murder ... A best-selling crime novelist describes the crime she herself was involved in fifty years earlier ... Dalgliesh's godfather implores him to reinvestigate a notorious murder that might ease the godfather's mind about an inheritance, but which will reveal a truth that even the supremely upstanding Adam Dalgliesh will keep to himself. Each of these stories is as playful as it is ingeniously plotted, the author's sly humor as evident as her hallmark narrative elegance and shrewd understanding of some of the most complex—not to say the most damning—aspects of human nature. A treat for P. D. James's legions of fans and anyone who enjoys the pleasures of a masterfully wrought whodunit. 

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome.

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups

The Usual Suspects Mystery Book Discussion: The Language of the Dead

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Discuss The Language of the Dead by Stephen Kelly. German bombers are arriving daily, seeking to crush England. But in a rural Hampshire village, things have remained fairly quiet—until an elderly loner, Will Blackwell, is brutally murdered. The method of his killing bears the hallmarks of the traditional vanquishing of a witch, and indeed, local legend claims that as a boy, Blackwell encountered a ghostly black dog sent from the devil, who struck a bargain for Blackwell’s soul.

Not long after the murder, a young woman who is carrying the illegitimate child of a fighter pilot also is violently killed; then a local drunkard ends up in the race of an abandoned mill with the back of his head bashed in. As the Germans continue their relentless attack, Detective Inspector Thomas Lamb rushes to solve the crimes. Do the killer’s motivations lie in the murky regions of the occult? 

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome.

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups

Book Buzz

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Get excited for summer reading when a representative of Penguin Random House visits. Hear previews of upcoming books, and select from advanced reading copies, preview chapters and other giveaways.

ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
Summer Reading Challenge 2017.

McManus Room
Book Groups

The Usual Suspects Mystery Book Discussion: Invisible City

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Discuss Invisible City by Julia Dahl. A finalist for the Edgar and Mary Higgins Clark Awards in her riveting debut Invisible City, journalist Julia Dahl introduces a compelling new character in search of the truth about a murder and an understanding of her own heritage.

Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she's also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn.

Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah's shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD's habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder. Rebekah can't let the story end there. But getting to the truth won't be easy―even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world where her mother grew up, it's clear that she's not welcome, and everyone she meets has a secret to keep from an outsider.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome.


ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
Summer Reading Challenge 2017.

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups