Monday Evening Book Club January Selection

The DinnerThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet January 13th at 7 pm in Forsyth Hall. We will discuss the international bestseller The Dinner by Dutch author Herman Koch.

About the book:

An internationally bestselling phenomenon: the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives—all over the course of one meal.

It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

About Herman Koch

An Interview with Herman Koch

Discussion questions

A New York Times review of The Dinner

An Interview with Sam Garrett, translator of The Dinner

A trailer of the Dutch movie version – with English subtitles 

Information about an upcoming movie adaptation of The Dinner

Seniors Book Club January Selection

100 Year Old ManThe Seniors Book Club will meet January 8th at 2 pm in the Training Room. We will discuss the international bestseller The 100-year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson.

About the book:
A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it’s not too late to start over. After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant). It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life back story: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.

Monday Evening Book Club Christmas Party Book Talks

Our book talks generated an interesting  list of  favorite reads this year, both fiction and nonfiction. There are some great suggestions for holiday reading, and all titles are available from the library.

Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood – (Kathy)

Food for the Gods by Karen Dudley – (Michelle)

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper – (Michelle)

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – (Erin P)

Road Ends by Mary Lawson – (Luise)

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake – (Stena)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – (Lynn)

Heaven is for Real; a little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back by Todd Burpo – (Lynn)

The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith – (Lynn)

Private Altars by Katherine Mosby – (Erin V)

Wild Swans; three daughters of China by Jung Chang – (Madeleine)

Madness Vase; a collection of poetry by Andrea Gibson – (Ewa)

And the Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hosseini – (Linda R)

Angela’s Ashes; a memoir of a childhood by Frank McCourt – (Linda-Marie)

Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole – (Iris)

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – (Julie)

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened; a mostly true memoir by Jenny Lawson – (Julie)

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel – (Sandra)

Seniors Book Club Christmas Party Book Talks

Another great list of recommended reading from our book club members – something for every reading mood, from literary fiction to mysteries to serious non-fiction (all available at the library)!

The Lake of Dreams : a novel by Kim Edwards – (Susan)

The Art of Upcycle : repurpose, reclaim and redefine leisure time: enjoy more inspired DIY projects by Linda Bodo – (Susan)

The Reason for God: belief in an age of skepticism by Timothy Keller – (Pauline)

The Son : a novel by Philipp Meyer – (Loreen)

The reason I jump : the inner voice of a thirteen-year-old boy with autism by Naoki Higashida ; translated by David Mitchell  – (Loreen)

The Sunday Philosophy Club : an Isabel Dalhousie mystery by Alexander McCall Smith – (Margaret)

The Linford romance library series – (Margaret)

Condemned to repeat : a Randy Craig mystery by Janice E. MacDonald – (Nora)

The Ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Gaiman – (Luise)

Road ends : a novel by Mary Lawson – (Luise)

What? : are these the twenty most important questions in human history, or, Is this a game of twenty questions? by Mark Kurlansky – (Luise)

Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton – (Richard)

Silver linings playbook : a novel by Matthew Quick – (Richard)

Our Home OR Native land? : what governments’ aboriginal policy is doing to Canada by Melvin H. Smith. – (Jan)

The Hit by David Baldacci – (Joan)

Escape from Camp 14 : one man’s remarkable odyssey from North Korea to freedom in the West by Blaine Harden – (Anna)

Bring up the bodies by Hilary Mantel – (Sandra)

The Twelve tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis. – (Sandra)

Left neglected : a novel by Lisa Genova – (Marcia)

Love Anthony : a novel by Lisa Genova – (Marcia)

Seniors Book Club Christmas Party

ImageThe Seniors Book Club will meet Wednesday, December 11 at 2pm in the Training Room for our Christmas Party. Please bring a wrapped new or gently used book for our “secret”book exchange, and be prepared to give a brief talk about a book you enjoyed this year outside of our book club reads.

This is always a fun time. Hope you can join us!

Sandra and Luise