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Fiction Book Discussion Group


The Fiction Book Group has been meeting since 2002. New members welcome! Come to one or all meetings. Books are available at the front desk. 

When:  Second Thursday of each month from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Where:  The Jamie Gagarin Community Room & Gallery
Facilitated by:  Patricia Moore [email protected]


 

2019  Selections             
   

 


 

July 11, 2019

Orphan Master's Son

Adam Johnson

 

Pak Jun Do’s mother is lost and his father runs a North Korean work camp for orphans. Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the limits of what he can endure, he takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong II to save the women he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress so pure she didn’t know what starving people looked like. Moderated by Dick

 

August 8

The Lacuna

Barbara Kingsolver

 

Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities. Moderated by Diane

 

Sept 12

There There

Tommy Orange 


Twelve characters from Native communities are all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American – grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. There There is poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, utterly contemporary and unforgettable. Moderated by Kathy

 

October 10

The Marriage of Opposites

Alice Hoffman

 

This is the forbidden love story about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro – the father of Impressionism. Growing up on the tropical island of St. Thomas in the early 1800s, part of a small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, Rachel is married off to a widower with three children. When her husband dies suddenly, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal. Moderated by Denise

 

November 14

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Jesmyn West

 

This novel is an intimate portrait of three generations of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic and unforgettable family story and an odyssey through rural Mississippi’s past and present. Moderated by Cindy

 

December 12

Lisette's List  

Then 5 pm holiday get-together

Susan Vreeland

 

A woman in the south of Vichy France awakens to the power of art, to the beauty of provincial life, and to love in the midst of war. The book spans 1937 to the Armistice; Lisette is a young married woman left alone in Vichy France as her husband fights in the French army. She is a strong woman and a survivor. Even though her story is fiction with historical characters thrown in the mix, it surely represents that of millions of women on both sides of the conflict. Moderated by Curry

 

 

January 9, 2020

I Sing the Body Electric!

Ray Bradbury

 

Ray Bradbury was an American author and screenwriter who was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream. Some of his other works include Fahrenheit 451, the Martian Chronicles, and Dandelion Wine. The title story of I Sing the Body Electric! was made into a Twilight Zone episode in 1962.
Moderated by Jeff

 

February 13

The Magus

John Fowles

 

Fowles was profoundly influenced by the Existentialists, Sarte and Camus among others. His story concerns an expatriate English teacher teaching in a school in Greece. Filled with shocks and chilling surprises, the Englishman’s friendship with an island estate owner leads him into a nightmare. Reality and fantasy are deliberately confused by staged deaths, sensual encounters, and terrifying violence in this work rich with symbols, conundrums and labyrinthine twists of event. Moderated by George

 

 

March 12

Circe

Madeline Miller

 

Circe, the daughter of Helios the sun god, has the power of witchcraft, transforming rivals into monsters and menacing the gods themselves. Circe is a bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story that is both epic and intimate, recasting the most infamous female figure from The Odyssey as a hero in her own right. We know how everything here turns out – we’ve known it for thousands of years – but this reimagined story feels harrowing and unexpected. Moderated by Margaret

 

April 9

The Last Neanderthal

Claire Cameron

 

Two women are separated by millennia but linked by common experiences of early motherhood. 40,000 years ago, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. Girl is just coming of age and her family wants to find her a mate. But the unforgiving landscape takes its toll, and Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. In the modern day, an archaeologist works well into her pregnancy to excavate Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Moderated by Frances

 

May 14

Howards End                Movie to be discussed also

E.M. Forster

 

This novel describes social conventions, codes of conduct and relationships in England at the beginning of the 20th century. There are three families: capitalists with a fortune made in the colonies; siblings whose cultural pursuits have much in common with the Bloomsbury Group; and an impoverished young couple from a lower-class background. The idealistic, intelligent sisters seek to help the struggling couple and to rid the capitalists of their deep-seated social and economic prejudices. Moderated by Beth

 

June 11

2020-21 Book Selection, and An American Marriage

Tayari Jones

 

Two newlyweds are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. How many of y'all can relate to a black couple in America ripped apart by a flawed justice system? Moderated by Jocelyn

 

July 9

Lost Children

Valeria Luiselli

 

A mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. On the radio, there is news about an "immigration crisis": thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States, but getting detained – or lost in the desert along the way. The family is led to a grand, harrowing adventure – both in the desert landscape and within the chambers of each member’s own imagination. Moderated by Dick

List as of June 14, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

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