Seniors Book Club March Selection

The Seniors Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, March 14 in the 2nd floor Training Room to discuss the novel  Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney.Lillian Boxfish takes a walk

About the book…

It’s the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk.

As she traverses a grittier Manhattan, a city anxious after an attack by a still-at-large subway vigilante, she encounters bartenders, bodega clerks, chauffeurs, security guards, bohemians, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be—in surprising moments of generosity and grace. While she strolls, Lillian recalls a long and eventful life that included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America—a career cut short by marriage, motherhood, divorce, and a breakdown.

A love letter to city life—however shiny or sleazy—Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop. (Author’s website)

Meet Chicago’s modern-day flaneuse: an interview with Kathleen Rooney

Interview with author Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney describes the process of writing Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

The real Lillian Boxfish: Margaret Fishback 

In praise of walking (and witty women) 

Chicago Tribune review



Monday Evening Book Club January Selection

Image result for handmaid's taleThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet in Forsyth Hall on January 8 at 7 pm. This month we’re discussing The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

About the book…

In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate “Handmaids” under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred’s persistent memories of life in the “time before” and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning.

Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye, short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; Oryx and Crake, short-listed for the 2003 Man Booker Prize; The Year of the Flood; and MaddAddam. She is the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award, and lives in Toronto with the writer Graeme Gibson. (Publisher)

What critics said about The Handmaid’s Tale back in the 1980’s

Haunted by The Handmaid’s Tale – an article about the book by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood: The prophet of dystopia (New Yorker)

Emma Watson interviews Margaret Atwood about The Handmaid’s Tale

Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again (Boston Review)

Seniors Book Club January Selection

The Seniors Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, January 10 in Forsyth Hall to discuss The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.

About the book

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them. (Publisher)

About the author

Eowyn (A-o-win) LeMay Ivey was raised in Alaska and continues to live there with her husband and two daughters. Her mother named her after a character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Eowyn works at the independent bookstore Fireside Books where she plays matchmaker between readers and books. The Snow Child, her debut novel, appeared in 2012; her second, To the Bright Edge of the World, was published in 2016. Her short fiction appears in the anthology Cold Flashes, University of Alaska Press 2010, and the North Pacific Rim literary journal Cirque.

Prior to her career as a bookseller and novelist, Eowyn worked for nearly a decade as an award-winning reporter at the Frontiersman newspaper. Her weekly articles about her outdoor adventures earned her the Best Non-Daily Columnist award from the Alaska Press Club. Her articles and photographs have been published in the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Magazine, and other publications.

Eowyn earned her BA in journalism and creative writing through Western Washington University’s honors program and studied creative nonfiction in University of Alaska Anchorage’s graduate program. She is a contributor to the blog 49Writers and a founding member of Alaska’s first statewide writing center.

The Snow Child is informed by Eowyn’s life in Alaska. Her husband is a fishery biologist with the state of Alaska. While they both work outside of the home, they are also raising their daughters in the rural, largely subsistence lifestyle in which they were both raised.

As a family, they harvest salmon and wild berries, keep a vegetable garden, turkeys and chickens, and they hunt caribou, moose, and bear for meat. Because they don’t have a well and live outside any public water system, they haul water each week for their holding tank and gather rainwater for their animals and garden. Their primary source of home heat is a woodstove, and they harvest and cut their own wood.

These activities are important to Eowyn’s day-to-day life as well as the rhythm of her year. (from LitLovers)

Myths and Legends: The Snow Maiden

Homesteading in Alaska

A conversation with Eowyn Ivey

NPR book review

Book review in The Guardian

Book review in The Globe and Mail