Monday Evening Book Club February Selection

Burgess BoysThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet February 9th @ 7 pm in Forsyth Hall. This month we will discuss The Burgess Boys by Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout.

Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout’s “magnificent gift for humanizing characters.” Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature.

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art. (

Elizabeth Strout’s website

Goodreads Interview with Elizabeth Strout

Publisher’s Reader’s Guide (including Discussion Questions)

A Washington Times review

A New York Times review

Somali diaspora in U.S. and Canada

Somali Americans (Wikipedia article)

NYT article about real “pig’s head” incident in Lewiston, Maine in 2006

2007 Follow-up on news story

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Girl on the trainTouted as the next Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train by British debut author Paula Hawkins is the new runaway bestseller that everyone wants to get their hands on – our library holds are up to 48 now, seemingly out of nowhere!

The plot: After witnessing something shocking, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

While you’re waiting for your copy with bated breath, why not try one of these psychological suspense nail biters?

Harrison, A.S.A., The Silent Wife. 2013.

Flynn, Gillian. Gone Girl. 2012.

Watson. S.J. Before I go to sleep. 2011.

French, Tana. The Secret Place. 2014.

Hannah, Sophie. The Other Woman’s House. 2012.

Silent wife Gone girl Before I go to sleep Secret place Other woman's house

Seniors Book Club January Selection

100 foot journeyHappy New Year! Our first Seniors Book Club meeting in 2015 will be Wednesday, January 14th at 2:00 pm in Forsyth Hall. We will be discussing The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais.

About the book:

Follows the life journey of chef Hassan Haji, who progresses from his family’s modest restaurant in Mumbai to master haute cuisine in an elegant Parisian restaurant. “That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that come along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist.” And so begins the rise of Hassan Haji, the unlikely gourmand who recounts his life in this novel. Lively and brimming with the colors, flavors, and scents of the kitchen, it is a succulent treat about family, nationality and the mysteries of good taste.


Visit Richard C. Morais’s website

Interview with the Author

New York Times Review of the book

Discussion questions for the book

What are the Michelin Stars?



Monday Evening Book Club January Selection

Somewhere in FranceThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet January 12th at 7:00 pm in Forsyth Hall to discuss Somewhere in France by Canadian author Jennifer Robson.

About the book…

A daring young woman will risk her life to find her destiny in this atmospheric, beautifully drawn historical debut novel—a tale of love, hope, and danger set during the First World War.

Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford wants to travel the world, pursue a career, and marry for love. But in 1914, the stifling restrictions of aristocratic British society and her mother’s rigid expectations forbid Lilly from following her heart. When war breaks out, the spirited young woman seizes her chance for independence. Defying her parents, she moves to London and eventually becomes an ambulance driver in the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps—an exciting and treacherous job that takes her close to the Western Front.

Assigned to a field hospital in France, Lilly is reunited with Robert Fraser, her dear brother Edward’s best friend. The handsome Scottish surgeon has always encouraged Lilly’s dreams. She doesn’t care that Robbie grew up in poverty—she yearns for their friendly affection to become something more. Lily is the most beautiful—and forbidden—woman Robbie has ever known. Fearful for her life, he’s determined to keep her safe, even if it means breaking her heart.

In a world divided by class, filled with uncertainty and death, can their hope for love survive. . . or will it become another casualty of this tragic war?


Jennifer Robson’s website

Author Interview

Review of Somewhere in France

Discussion Questions

The Great War: 100 years ago

Monday Evening Book Club Favorite Reads

Here is the list of favorite titles, read and enjoyed outside our book club selections, and presented at our “book talks” in December.  Once again, it is a diverse and entertaining list of  both fiction and nonfiction books, all available in our library’s collection.

Happy Holiday reading!

MacDonald, Ann-Marie. The Way the Crow Flies. 2004.

Lindhout, Amanda. A House in the Sky; a memoir. 2013.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 2003, c1852.

Kidd, Sue Monk. The Invention of Wings. 2014.

Grissom, Kathleen. The Kitchen House. 2010.

Tartt, Donna. The Goldfinch. 2013.

Marciano, Francesca. The Other Language; stories. 2014.

May, Elizabeth. Who We Are; reflections on my life and Canada. 2014.

Six Nutrition and Diet books highlighting the psychological aspects of nutrition:

Scott, Trudy. The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution. 2011.

Ross, Julia. The Mood Cure. 2004.

Selhub, Eva. Your Brain on Nature. 2012.

Dean, Carolyn. The Magnesium Miracle. 2006.  (on order)

Robbins, John. Healthy at 100. 2006.

Rosenthal, Joshua. Integrative Nutrition. 2008.

Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. 1996.

Humphreys, Helen. Leaving Earth. 1998.

Connelly, Michael. The Burning Room. 2014.

Hadfield, Chris. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. 2013.

Forster, E.M. A Passage to India. 2005, c1924.  (audiobook highly recommended)

Boyden, Joseph. The Orenda. 2013.

Toews, Miriam. All My Puny Sorrows. 2014.

Galloway, Steven. Cellist of Sarajevo. 2008.

Winter, Kathleen. Annabel. 2010.

Van Camp, Richard. The Lesser Blessed. 2013.

Keyes, Marian. This Charming Man. 2008.

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. 2005, c1897.

Reichl, Ruth. Delicious! 2014.