August title

A "lush and evocative" book for August, The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani will keep you entertained through the dog days of summer!   The group will meet on Wednesday August 24th at 1pm.  Check out your copy today.

The majestic and haunting beauty of the Italian Alps is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty, and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy, who meet as teenagers, despite growing up in villages just a few miles apart. At the turn of the last century, when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from his village and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon, Enza's family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future. Unbeknownst to one another, they both build fledgling lives in America, Ciro masters shoemaking and Enza takes a factory job in Hoboken until fate intervenes and reunites them. But it is too late: Ciro has volunteered to serve in World War I and Enza, determined to forge a life without him, begins her impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan and into the life of the international singing sensation, Enrico Caruso. From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill, to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy, over the perilous cliffs of northern Italy, to the white-capped lakes of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever. Lush and evocative, told in tantalizing detail and enriched with lovable, unforgettable characters, The Shoemaker's Wife is a portrait of the times, the places and the people who defined the immigrant experience, claiming their portion of the American dream with ambition and resolve, cutting it to fit their needs like the finest Italian silk. This riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write, one inspired by her own family history and the love of tradition that has propelled her body of bestselling novels to international acclaim. Like Lucia, Lucia, The Shoemaker's Wife defines an era with clarity and splendor, with operatic scope and a vivid cast of characters who will live on in the imaginations of readers for years to come.

July title

We're reading The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown for July.  Copies of the book are available to check out at the Reference Desk.  Join us on Wednesday July 20th at 1pm!

For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit" and "Unbroken," the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics. Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936. The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together--a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism. Drawing on the boys' own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, "The Boys in the Boat "is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times--the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam's "The Amateurs."

Book group on June 22nd at 1pm

This month's book selection is Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland, author of The Girl in Hyacinth Blue and The Passion of Artemisia. The group will meet on June 22nd at 1pm near the fireplace.




Against the unforgettable backdrop of New York near the turn of the twentieth century, from the Gilded Age world of formal balls and opera to the immigrant poverty of the Lower East Side, bestselling author Susan Vreeland again breathes life into a work of art in this extraordinary novel, which brings a woman once lost in the shadows into vivid color.

It’s 1893, and at the Chicago World’s Fair, Louis Comfort Tiffany makes his debut with a luminous exhibition of innovative stained-glass windows, which he hopes will honor his family business and earn him a place on the international artistic stage. But behind the scenes in his New York studio is the freethinking Clara Driscoll, head of his women’s division. Publicly unrecognized by Tiffany, Clara conceives of and designs nearly all of the iconic leaded-glass lamps for which he is long remembered.

Clara struggles with her desire for artistic recognition and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that she faces as a professional woman, which ultimately force her to protest against the company she has worked so hard to cultivate. She also yearns for love and companionship, and is devoted in different ways to five men, including Tiffany, who enforces to a strict policy: he does not hire married women, and any who do marry while under his employ must resign immediately. Eventually, like many women, Clara must decide what makes her happiest—the professional world of her hands or the personal world of her heart. --goodreads.com

Hopkinton READS! Endurance for May

Hopkinton READS!
Endurance:

Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing
Book Discussion

With Harold Janeway
May 11th
1pm and 7pm
Hopkinton Town Library

Our community “read” is cosponsored by the Library and the school district’s Family Support Team. Copies of Endurance are available for loan or for $5/copy. Leading the discussion will be Shackleton enthusiast Harold Janeway.  He and his wife Betsy live on an old farm in Webster and enjoy the outdoors nearby and in remote parts of the globe. They have been actively involved in a number of statewide non-profits and Harold chairs the Investment Committee of The State Retirement System.


The story of Shackleton's Antarctic expedition remains a century later
the most epic tale of survival, endurance, positive mindset and leadership.
Come get inspired!


To complement the discussion of Endurance we will have copies available of Mindset by Carol Dweck, which emphasizes the importance of a “growth mindset” in working with students.  Copies available for loan thanks to the school district. 


Made possible with support from the Hopkinton Town Library Foundation

March book

It's time for a classic!  We'll be reading Thomas Hardy's fourth book Far From the Madding Crowd originally published in 1874. We'll also set a date and time to watch one of the three versions of the film - two were theatrical releases (1967 and 2015) and one was a 1998 television film adaptation.
Copies of the book are available to check out at the library.  The meeting will be Wednesday March 23rd at 1pm by the fireplace.
Far from the Madding Crowd is perhaps the most pastoral of Hardy's Wessex novels. It tells the story of the young farmer Gabriel Oak and his love for and pursuit of the elusive Bathsheba Everdene, whose wayward nature leads her to both tragedy and true love. It tells of the dashing Sergeant Troy whose rakish philosophy of life was '...the past was yesterday; never, the day after'. And lastly, of the introverted and reclusive gentleman farmer, Mr Boldwood, whose love fills him with '...a fearful sense of exposure', when he first sets eyes on Bathsheba. The background of this tale is the Wessex countryside in all its moods.  ...Amazon.com

A little Chocolat for February!

For February we'll indulge in a bit of sweetness with the 1999 confection Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Copies are available to borrow at the library. We'll discuss the book on Wednesday February 17th at 1pm.  We will also be showing the movie (with Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp) on Friday March 4th at 1pm.

 Even before it was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Joanne Harris' New York Times bestselling novel, Chocolat entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate. In tiny Lansquenet, where nothing much has changed in a hundred years, beautiful newcomer Vianne Rocher and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive and instantly begin to play havoc with Lenten vows. Each box of luscious bonbons comes with a free gift: Vianne's uncanny perception of its buyer's private discontents and a clever, caring cure for them. Is she a witch? Soon the parish no longer cares, as it abandons itself to temptation, happiness, and a dramatic face-off between Easter solemnity and the pagan gaiety of a chocolate festival. Chocolat 's every page offers a description of chocolate to melt in the mouths of chocoholics, francophiles, armchair gourmets, cookbook readers, and lovers of passion everywhere.

January title

On Wednesday January 20th at 1pm we'll meet for a discussion of A Man Called Ove by Swedish author Fredrik Backman.  Copies of the book are available to borrow at the library as well as on OverDrive if you need a downloadable book or audiobook.
 Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon--the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell." But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations. A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand , Fredrik Backman's novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. "If there was an award for 'Most Charming Book of the Year,' this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down" (Booklist , starred review).

December title

For December our book is The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Scottish author Muriel Spark. This short book was originally published in The New Yorker magazine and was published as a book in 1961. Join us on Wednesday December 16 at 1pm.  We may set a time to view the 1969 movie with Academy Award winner Maggie Smith if there is enough interest!


At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls, in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods, in her attraction to the married art master, Teddy Lloyd, in her affair with the bachelor music master, Gordon Lowther, and—most important—in her dedication to "her girls," the students she selects to be her crème de la crème. Fanatically devoted, each member of the Brodie set—Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy—is "famous for something," and Miss Brodie strives to bring out the best in each one. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, "Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me."
And they do. But one of them will betray her.   ....Amazon.com

Hopkinton READS! The Martian for November

Two discussions will take place on Wednesday November 18th at 1pm OR 7pm. Join us for a facilitated discussion
with Dr. Michael Miller, astronomer and former flight surgeon with NH Air National Guard with experience in aerospace physiology and Richard Brandt, Hopkinton High School English Teacher. 

October title

The library book group will meet on Wednesday October 28th at 1pm for a discussion of Sweetland by Michael Crummey. Copies of the book are available to borrow at the library.  Audiobook and large print book editions also available.  All are welcome!
The scarcely populated town of Sweetland rests on the shore of a remote Canadian island. Its slow decline finally reaches a head when the mainland government offers each islander a generous resettlement package--the sole stipulation being that everyone must leave. Fierce and enigmatic Moses Sweetland, whose ancestors founded the village, is the only one to refuse. As he watches his neighbors abandon the island, he recalls the town's rugged history and its eccentric cast of characters. Evoking The Shipping News, Michael Crummey--one of Canada's finest novelists--conjures up the mythical, sublime world of Sweetland's past amid a stormbattered landscape haunted by local lore. As in his critically acclaimed novel Galore, Crummey masterfully weaves together past and present, creating in Sweetland a spectacular portrait of one man's battle to survive as his environment vanishes around him.

September book

Pick up a copy of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand at the Reference Desk in the library and join us on Wednesday September 23rd at 1pm by the fireplace to discuss this thrilling book!
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant's name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he'd been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

August book

For August we will be reading Mao's Last Dancer
by Li Cunxin. 
Discussion on 8/26 at 1pm.
 In 1961, three years of Mao's Great Leap Forward-along with three years of poor harvests-had left a rural China suffering terribly from disease and deprivation. Li Cunxin, his parents' sixth son, lived in a small house with twenty of his relatives and, along with the rest of his family, subsisted for years on the verge of starvation. But when he was eleven years old, Madame Mao decided to revive the Peking Dance Academy, and sent her men into the countryside searching for children to attend. Chosen on the basis of his physique alone, Li Cunxin was taken from his family and sent to the city for rigorous training. What follows is the story of how a small, terrified, lonely boy became one of the greatest ballet dancers in the world. One part Falling Leaves, one part Billy Eliot, Mao's Last Dancer is an unforgettable memoir of hope and courage.