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Book Discussions at the Library April 2009

March 25, 2009 by Reader's Connection

Ninety Minutes in Heaven

Ninety Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper will be discussed at the Warren Library on Thursday, April 2nd, at 10:30 a.m.

As Baptist minister Don Piper drove home from a conference, his car collided with a semi-truck that had crossed into his lane. Piper was pronounced dead at the scene. For the next 90 minutes, he experienced the glories of heaven, where he was greeted by those who had influenced him spiritually, and he experienced true peace. Back on earth, a passing minister who had also been at the conference felt led to pray for the accident victim even though he was told Piper was dead. Miraculously, Piper came back to life, and the pleasure of heaven was replaced by a long and painful recovery. For years Don Piper kept his heavenly experience to himself. Finally, friends and family convinced him to share his remarkable story. — Baker Publishing Group


   A Tale of Two Cities

The Charles Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities will be discussed at the Wayne Library on Monday, April 6th at 7:00 p.m.

A Tale of Two Cities  is . . .  set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. It depicts the plight of the French proletariat under the brutal oppression of the French aristocracyin the years leading up to the revolution, and the corresponding savage brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution. It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events, most notably Charles Darnay, a French once-aristocrat . . . and Sydney Carton, a dissipated English barrister — Wikipedia





Wide Sargasso Sea

The novel Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys will be discussed in the Goodrich Houk Meeting Room at Central Library on Tuesday, April 7th, at 6:00 p.m.

 Jean Rhys achieved literary fame with her acclaimed novel Wide Sargasso Sea. The novel is a moving and beautiful account of the life of Antoinette Cosway, the fictional character who becomes the madwoman in the attic in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.-Publisher’s reading guide 









Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success will be discussed at the Fountain Square Library on Thursday, April 9th, at 1:30 p.m.

Written in Gladwell’s typical breezy, conversational style, Outliers seeks to discover what makes people smart, wealthy or famous. Gladwell argues that in studying successful people, we spend too much time on what they are like and not enough time on where they are from. In other words, he believes that it is “their culture, their family, their generation and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringings” which determines their success. – BookPage






 Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America will be discussed at the Irvington Library on Thursday, April 9th, at 1:30 p.m.  

The Devil in the White City

Daniel Burnham, the main innovator of the White City of the 1892 World’s Fair, made certain that it became the antithesis of its parent city, born to glow and gleam with all that the new century would soon offer. While the great city of the future was hastily being planned and built, the specially equipped apartment building of one Herman Webster Mudgett was also being constructed. Living in a nearby suburb and walking among the hundreds of thousands of visitors who would eventually attend the fair, Mudgett, a doctor by profession more commonly known as H.H. Holmes, was really an early serial killer who preyed on the young female fair goers pouring into Chicago . . . Both intimate and engrossing, Larson’s elegant historical account unfolds with the painstaking calm of a Holmes murder. – Library Journal 



   Home to Holly Springs

Jan Karon’s novel Home to Holly Springs will be discussed at the East 38th Street Library on Monday, April 13th, at 6:00 p.m.

When he receives a letter postmarked Holly Springs, Miss., that contains a cryptic two-word message written in a precise, old-fashioned hand, Father Tim decides to answer its call and return to his birthplace for the first time in 38 years. On the long drive, he faces unanswered questions and half-forgotten memories . . . In this setting away from home, we see Father Tim in a new light as he wrestles with his past and explores the origins of his religious convictions. — Kirkus Reviews






Valerie Wilson Wesley’s novel Playing My Mother’s Blues will be discussed at the Flanner House Library on Monday, April 13th at 6:30 p.m.

Playing My Mother's Blues

Wesley is in high form in this contemporary story about mother-daughter relationships in an African-American family. When she was in her 30s, Mariah had an affair that led to her leaving her husband and two daughters. Several months later, she shot her lover and spent time in prison for his murder. Now Rose and Dani are grown, and she has just read of her ex-husband’s death. Desperate to make peace with her children after all these years, she makes plans to attend the funeral. Meanwhile, her daughters have spent their lives trying to come to terms with their mother’s desertion . . . When the three women meet again, long-buried issues are brought to the surface and change each of their lives in ways they could not have anticipated. — School Library Journal




   The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs will be discussed at the Lawrence Library on Tuesday, April 21st, at 10:15 a.m.

Between running her Manhattan yarn shop, Walker & Daughter, and raising her 12-year-old biracial daughter, Dakota, Georgia Walker has plenty on her plate in Jacobs’s debut novel. But when Dakota’s father reappears and a former friend contacts Georgia, Georgia’s orderly existence begins to unravel. Her support system is her staff and the knitting club that meets at her store every Friday night, though each person has dramas of her own brewing. – Publishers Weekly 






 Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked, on which the Broadway musical was based, will be discussed at the Spades Park Library on Thursday, April 23rd, at 6:00 p.m. 


 Born with green skin and huge teeth, like a dragon, the free-spirited Elphaba grows up to be an anti-totalitarian agitator, an animal-rights activist, a nun, then a nurse who tends the dying and, ultimately, the headstrong Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz. Maguire’s strange and imaginative postmodernist fable uses L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a springboard to create a tense realm inhabited by humans, talking animals (a rhino librarian, a goat physician), Munchkinlanders, dwarves and various tribes . . . Maguire combines puckish humor and bracing pessimism in this fantastical meditation on good and evil, God and free will — Publishers Weekly






Escape by Carolyn Jessop will be discussed at the Southport Library on Monday April 27, at 7:00 p.m.

Raised in the breakaway Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jessop was married at age 16 to a man decades her senior who already had three wives. Eventually, she escaped with her eight children, giving information to the Utah attorney general that led to the arrest of the church’s leader. – Library Journal








 Marilynne Robinson’s novel Home will be discussed at the Pike Library on Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m.Home

Robinson’s beautiful new novel, a companion piece to her Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead , is an elegant variation on the parable of the prodigal son’s return. The son is Jack Boughton, one of the eight children of Robert Boughton, the former Gilead, Iowa, pastor, who now, in 1957, is a widowed and dying man. Jack returns home shortly after his sister, 38-year-old Glory, moves in to nurse their father, and it is through Glory’s eyes that we see Jack’s drama unfold. When Glory last laid eyes on Jack, she was 16, and he was leaving Gilead with a reputation as a thief and a scoundrel, having just gotten an underage girl pregnant . . . In giving an ancient drama of grace and perdition such a strong domestic setup, Robinson stakes a fierce claim to a divine recognition behind the rituals of home. – Publishers Weekly





The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch will be discussed at the Franklin Road Library on Thursday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m.

When Randy Pausch learned he was dying of pancreatic cancer, he found himself in quite a dilemma: at the top of his professional game, with a beautiful wife and three young children, how should he check out of life?  . . . Pausch decided to distill his life lessons into a talk for students, friends and colleagues about how to achieve your childhood dreams . . . Ultimately, this insightful nerd-optimist-dreamer abandons the idea of a “bucket list,” reflecting instead his father’s lifelong dedication to sharing intellectual and emotional wealth with others. “Time is all you have,” Pausch writes, “And you may find one day that you have less than you think.” – BookPage


  1. L Lorton says:

    Why are there so few book discussions held at Glendale library?
    Is there a monthly book discussion?
    I would certainly like to see one held there.

  2. The Glendale library does have a monthy book discussion that meets the 2nd Tues. of the month. The next one will be May 12th at 10:00 a.m. and the book is the Widow’s War by Sally Gunning. You are welcome to join in on the discussion.

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