Book Groups

Are you a member of a book group? Check our Book Group Corner for copies of books that have been popular with local book groups. If you have a title you’d like us to consider for the Corner, let us know! Looking for other suggestions? Try Novelist for ideas about what to read next.

Book Groups at C.H. Booth Library

There are a few different book groups that meet regularly here at the library. These groups are open to the public. We also have special topic discussion series throughout the year. For complete scheduling and to register (if needed) please click on the event calendar on the left. This page lists the current discussion schedule for the groups. Come to one discussion or come to them all!

2017 Book Group Titles
2016 Book Group Titles
2015 Book Group Titles

Thursday Evening Reading Group 2019 Schedule

Meets the third Thursday of the month (usually) at 7:00 pm in various locations. For now, we are meeting in the Gathering Room, second floor front.

January 17, 2019
Watership Down by Richard Adams. Set in England’s Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of wild rabbits on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. A classic.

 

February 21, 2019
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers. When Major Hockaday is called to the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband’s farm and infant son.  Inspired by a true incident, this saga conjures the era with uncanny immediacy.   

 

Mar. 21, 2019
Maus by Art Spiegelman. Widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written, Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma.

 

April 18, 2019
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. A story told by the family of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who emigrates to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it―from garden seeds to Scripture―is calamitously transformed on African soil.

 

May 16, 2019
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

June 20, 2019
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout.  The adult Lucy Barton  (heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton) returns to visit her siblings after 17 years of absence. Reverberating with the deep bonds of family and the hope that comes with reconciliation, a cast of small-town characters struggles to understand themselves and others.

July 18, 2019
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine  by Gail Honeyman.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 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 who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

August 15, 2019
Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss. An original novel about personal transformation that interweaves the stories of two disparate individuals – an older lawyer and a young novelist – whose transcendental search leads them to the same Israeli desert.

 

September 19, 2019
 Slaughterhouse Five by  Kurt Vonnegut. This absurdist classic introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. Listed in Top 100 Books by Modern Library.

October 17, 2019
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay. A searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.

November 21, 2019
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. A riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

My Brilliant Friend

 

December 19, 2019
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber. An inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a megahit podcast that reopens a murder case – and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.

 

 

 

Daytime Book Discussion 2019 Schedule
The group meets the second Monday of the month at 1 pm in the Antiques Room

January 14, 2019
Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation by Dean Jobb. A rollicking story of greed, financial corruption, dirty politics, over-the-top and under-the-radar deceit, illicit sex, and a brilliant and wildly charming con man who kept a Ponzi scheme alive perhaps for longer than anyone else in history.

February 11, 2019
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda ReillyMaia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage.

          

March 11, 2019
The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash Set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events, this chronicle of an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill is a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice.

 

April 8, 2019
Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan VreelandAgainst the backdrop of New York near the turn of the twentieth century, from the Gilded Age world of formal balls and opera to the immigrant poverty of the Lower East Side, the author breathes life into this novel, bringing a woman once lost in the shadows into vivid color.

 

May 13, 2019
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker KleinA novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting Christina’s World. Fact and fiction are interwoven to illuminate a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

 

June 10, 2019
Small Great Things by Jodi PicoultRuth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse with more than twenty years’ experience at a Connecticut hospital. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

 

July 8, 2019
The Alice Network by Kate QuinnTwo women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

 

August 12, 2019
Evicted by Matthew Desmond Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

 

September 9, 2019
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout. Short story collection explores the range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others. Here are two sisters: one trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

 

October 15, 2019
Husbands and Other Sharp Objects by Marilyn Simon Rothstein.  After a lifetime of marriage, Marcy Hammer is ready to get herself unhitched—just as everyone else in her life is looking for a commitment. Her new boyfriend, Jon, wants to get serious, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Harvey, is desperate to get back together. When her headstrong daughter announces a secret engagement to Harvey’s attorney, Marcy finds herself planning her daughter’s wedding as she plans her own divorce.

 

November 12, 2019
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences – and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined

 

December 9, 2019
A Wedding in Haiti by Julia Alvarez. In a story that travels beyond borders and between families, Dominican novelist and poet Julia Alvarez reflects on the joys and burdens of love for her parents, for her husband, and for a young Haitian boy known as Piti. In this intimate true account of a promise kept, she takes us on a journey into experiences that challenge our way of thinking about history and how it can be reimagined when people from two countries traditional enemies and strangers become friends.

 

 

Non-Fiction Book Club 2019 Schedule

Meets the first Tuesday of the month (usually) at 1 pm in the Antiques Room

 

January 8, 2019
News of the World by Paulette Jiles (2016). In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

        

February 5, 2019
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis (2015). In this game-changing bestseller, a small group of Wall Street iconoclasts realize that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders. They band together—some of them walking away from seven-figure salaries—to investigate, expose, and reform the insidious new ways that Wall Street generates profits. If you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you.

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March 5, 2019
Killers of the Flower Moon: Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (2018). In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.

April 2, 2019
Unstoppable: My Life So Far by Maria Sharapova (2017.) In 2004, in a stunning upset against Serena Williams, seventeen-year-old Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon, becoming an overnight sensation. “Maria Mania” was born. And then—at perhaps the peak of her career—Sharapova came up against the toughest challenge yet: during the 2016 Australian Open, she was charged by the ITF with taking the banned substance meldonium.

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May 7, 2019
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary  by Simon Winchester (2005). An extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary — and literary history.  As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

June 4, 2019
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan (2006). In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian twenty-five-year-old, journeyed to Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Ashkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967.

 

July and August 2019: No Meetings

 

September 10, 2019
The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humbodt’s New World by Andrea Wulf (2015). Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infected Siberia or translating his research into bestselling publications that changed science and thinking. Among Humboldt’s most revolutionary ideas was a radical vision of nature, that it is a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone.

October 1, 2019
The Finest Hours by Michael Tougias (2009). In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal nor’easter in years. While the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, found themselves in the same horrifying predicament. Both tankers split in two, leaving the dozens of men on board utterly at the Atlantic’s mercy. The Finest Hours is the gripping, true story of the valiant attempt to rescue the souls huddling inside the broken halves of the two ships.

November 5, 2019
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (2017). From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

December 3, 2019
The Good, Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood by Sy Montgomery (2006). A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings. Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish–and she soon found herself engaged with her small-town community in ways she had never dreamed possible. Unexpectedly, Christopher provided this peripatetic traveler with something she had sought all her life: an anchor (eventually weighing 750 pounds) to family and home