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Our current book is Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

Presumed Innocent brings to life our worst nightmare: that of an ordinary citizen facing conviction for the most terrible of crimes. Prosecutor Rusty Sabich is transformed from accuser to accused when he is handed an explosive case–that of the brutal murder of a woman who happens to be his former lover. His boss is in the midst of a bitter campaign for re-election. A fellow prosecuting attorney, Carolyn Polhemus, has been brutally murdered. Rusty is handling the investigation– and he needs results. Before election day. Before his illicit affair with Carolyn is uncovered.

Come discuss Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow on November 12th, 2014. We meet at the Main Library in the Third Floor Program Room at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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Our current book is The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris

Chani Kaufman is a nineteen-year-old woman, betrothed to Baruch Levy, a young man whom she has seen only four times before their wedding day. The novel begins with Chani standing “like a pillar of salt,” wearing a wedding dress that has been passed between members of her family and has the yellowed underarms and rows of alteration stitches to prove it. All of the cups of cold coffee and small talk with men referred to Chani’s parents have led up to this moment. But the happiness Chani and Baruch feel is more than counterbalanced by their anxiety: about the realities of married life; about whether they will be able to have fewer children than Chani’s mother, who has eight daughters; and, most frighteningly, about the unknown, unspeakable secrets of the wedding night. As the book moves back to tell the story of Chani and Baruch’s unusual courtship, it throws into focus a very different couple: Rabbi Chaim Zilberman and his wife, Rebbetzin Rivka Zilberman. As Chani and Baruch prepare for a shared lifetime, Chaim and Rivka struggle to keep their marriage alive-and all four, together with the rest of the community, face difficult decisions about the place of faith and family life in the contemporary world.

Come discuss The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris on October 8th, 2014. We meet at the Main Library in the Third Floor Program Room at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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Our current book is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Come discuss The Fault in Our Stars by John Green September 10th, 2014. We meet at the Main Library in Third Floor Program Room at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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Our current book is A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress in Calgary, Alberta, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each adventure, went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.

Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives “wife lessons” from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured.

Come discuss A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout August 13th, 2014. We meet at the Main Library in Conference Room 2 at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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Our current book is Sex and the Citadel by Shereen El-Feki

As political change sweeps the streets and squares, the parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at an upheaval a little closer to home—in the sexual lives of men and women in Egypt and across the region. The result is an informative, insightful, and engaging account of a highly sensitive and still largely secret aspect of Arab society.

Sex is entwined in religion, tradition, politics, economics, and culture, so it is the perfect lens through which to examine the complex social landscape of the Arab world. From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, from sex work to same-sex relations, Sex and the Citadel takes a fresh look at the sexual history of the region and brings new voices to the debate over its future.

Come discuss Sex and the Citadel by Shereen El-Feki July 9th, 2014. We meet at the Main Library in Conference Room 2 at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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Our current book is Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan

When Scott McClanahan was fourteen he went to live with his Grandma Ruby and his Uncle Nathan, who suffered from cerebral palsy. Crapalachia is a portrait of these formative years, coming-of-age in rural West Virginia. Peopled by colorful characters and their quirky stories, Crapalachia interweaves oral folklore and area history, providing an ambitious and powerful snapshot of overlooked Americana.

Come discuss Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan June 11th. We meet at the Main Library in Conference Room 2 at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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Our Current Book is Hateship, Friendship, Loveship, Courtship, Marriage by Alice Monro

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice MunroIn the nine breathtaking stories that make up her celebrated tenth collection, Alice Munro achieves new heights, creating narratives that loop and swerve like memory, and conjuring up characters as thorny and contradictory as people we know ourselves. A tough-minded housekeeper jettisons the habits of a lifetime because of a teenager’s practical joke. A college student visiting her brassy, unconventional aunt stumbles on an astonishing secret and its meaning in her own life. An incorrigible philanderer responds with unexpected grace to his wife’s nursing-home romance. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage is Munro at her best, tirelessly observant, serenely free of illusion, deeply and gloriously humane.

Come discuss Hateship, Friendship, Loveship, Courtship, Marriage by Alice Munro 14th, 2014. We meet at the Main Library in Conference Room 2 at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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Our current book is We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy FowlerMeet the Cooke family. Our narrator is Rosemary Cooke. As a child, she never stopped talking; as a young woman, she has wrapped herself in silence: the silence of intentional forgetting, of protective cover. Something happened, something so awful she has buried it in the recesses of her mind. Now her adored older brother is a fugitive, wanted by the FBI for domestic terrorism. And her once lively mother is a shell of her former self, her clever and imperious father now a distant, brooding man. And Fern, Rosemary’s beloved sister, her accomplice in all their childhood mischief? Fern’s is a fate the family, in all their innocence, could never have imagined.

Come discuss We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves April 9th, 2014. We meet at the Main Library in Conference Room 2 at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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Our current book is The Circle by Dave Eggers

The Circle by Dave EggersWhen Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

Come discuss The Circle March 12th, 2014. We meet at the Main Library in Conference Room 2 at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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Our current book is Tenth of December by George Saunders

George Saunders, one of our most important writers, is back with a masterful, deeply felt collection that takes his literary powers to a new level. In a recent interview, when asked how he saw the role of the writer, Saunders said: “To me, the writer’s main job is to make the story unscroll in such a way that the reader is snared-she’s right there, seeing things happen and caring about them. And if you dedicate yourself to this job, the meanings more or less take care of themselves.” In Tenth of December, the reader is always right there, and the meanings are beautiful and profound and abundant. The title story is an exquisite, moving account of the intersection, at a frozen lake in the woods, of a young misfit and a middle-aged cancer patient who goes there to commit suicide, only to end up saving the boy’s life. “Home” is the often funny, often poignant account of a soldier returning from the war. And “Victory Lap” is a taut, inventive story about the attempted abduction of a teenage girl. In all, Tenth of December is George Saunders at his absolute best, a collection of stories and characters that add up to something deep, irreducible, and uniquely American

Come discuss Tenth of December February 12th, 2014. We meet at the Main Library in Conference Room 2 at noon. Feel free to bring a lunch.

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