Discuss new titles or with new people the 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm in the Library Community Room.
April 25, 2019 Sutton by J. R. Moehringer
Presented by Mary Ann
A “non-fiction novel” that takes us far beyond Willie Sutton’s clever one-liners about banks and deeply into his life. Born in Irish Town in Brooklyn, Willie never quite fit into his own family. Willie was smart and sensitive but came of age during some parlous economic times and considered banks and bankers the symptom of life as a rigged game. Moehringer also depicts Willie as a hopeless romantic who falls deeply in love with Bess Endner, daughter of a rich shipyard owner. After...a robbery at the shipyard, abetted by Bess, Willie and his cronies are caught and sentenced to probation, and thus begins a life on the outside of social respectability. By the 1930s, Willie is the most famous bank robber in the country, known in part for his gentility…..he’s incarcerated for many years, but he ironically becomes something of a folk hero for breaking out of several prisons. His final release, at Christmas in 1969, following a 17-year stretch in the slammer, has him retracing his past in the company of a reporter and photographer. Moehringer cleverly presents the antiphonal voices of Willie in the present (i.e., at the time of his release) and Willie in the past to give a rich accounting of his life,... A captivating and absorbing read. (From Kirkus Star Reviews Sept. 1st, 2012)
May 23, 2019 Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes
Presented by Linda D.
“Frances Mayes shines with new novel about Tuscany and friendship”
Frances Mayes is back under the Tuscan sun, and the forecast for readers is bright. The author of the best-selling 1996 mem-moir Under the Tuscan Sun brings THE MAGIC OF Tuscany to life once again in her new novel, intertwining the experiences of five American expats into one story of loss, courage, healing and renewal. Women in Sunlight (**** out of four) follows a trio of Southerners (ages 59, 64, and 69) from orientation at a retirement community to a leap-of-faith escape to Italy, through the eyes of their new neighbor, Kit Raines….Each visiting woman is moving on from personal tragedy...As each woman learns she’s not too old for new dreams, the only question left is whether a fantasy in a foreign country can last forever. Italy isn’t the only place where the sun shines, but here it illuminates what’s truly important for these appealing characters, as they “va & torna,” go and return. (From USA TODAY, April 9, 2018)
June 27, 2019 Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
Presented by Kathy N.
There are some stories that are impossible to get out of your head once you’ve finished reading them. Pam Jenoff’s The Lost Girls of Paris is one of those stories. Told from three different perspectives across a couple of different timelines, The Lost Girls of Paris shines a light on the little-known experiences of British SOE agents who operated in Nazi-occupied areas during World War II. … Regardless of the accuracy of the events described in The Lost Girls of Paris, there’s no denying that this is a powerful novel of love, loss, and duty. The stories of these three fierce women are woven together beautifully and effortlessly. While some of the things they faced or uncovered were difficult to read, I had a hard time putting this book down…. If you’re a fan of stories of underappreciated women doing the unthinkable, novels set around World War II, or historical fiction, you’re bound to be enthralled by Pam Jenoff’s The Lost Girls of Paris. (From Hypable Review by Danielle Zimmerman Feb. 4, 2019)
July 25, 2019 Evicted : Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmon
Presented by Carol F.
In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books)
Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible. (From Amazon description) "After reading Evicted, you’ll realize you cannot have a serious conversation about poverty without talking about housing.... The book is that good, and it’s that unignorable."—Jennifer Senior, New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2016
WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE FOR GENERAL NONFICTION
August 22, 2019 There There by Tommy Orange
Presented by Dorothy C.
Here's the thing about There There, the debut novel by Native American author Tommy Orange: Even if the rest of its story were just so-so — and it's much more than that — the novel's prologue would make this book worth reading….….There There is pithy and pointed. With a literary authority rare in a debut novel, it places Native American voices front and center before readers' eyes. (From NPR Review by Maureen Corrigan)
One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, The Oprah Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, The Dallas Morning News, Buzzfeed, BookPage, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The New York Times Book Review, Kirkus Reviews
September 26, 2019 The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
Presented by Karen S.
She possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both? Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis? if anyone would listen to her. A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication. (From Google Books)
October 24, 2019 The Wife by Alafair Burke
Presented by: Carol S.
His Scandal, Her Secret
When Angela met Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, like so many relationships between locals and summer vistors. To her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer. For Angela, the marriage turned out to be a chance to reboot her life. She and her son were finally able to move out of her mother's home to Manhattan, where no one knew about her tragic past. Six year later, thanks to a bestselling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a cultural lightning rod, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern accuses Jason of inappropriate behavior, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troublin allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Jason insists he is innocent, and Angela believes him. But when Kerry disappears, Angela is force to take a closer look—at both the man she married and the woman she chose not to believe. (From the back cover)