Hopkinton READS!


Hopkinton READS! 
One of Ours by Willa Cather
Join us on Thursday November 2 at 3pm or 6:30pm. 

About the book:
Willa Cather's Pulitzer Prize-winning narrative of the making of a young American soldier. Claude Wheeler, the sensitive, aspiring protagonist of this beautifully modulated novel, resembles the youngest son of a peculiarly American fairy tale. His fortune is ready-made for him, but he refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his crass father and pious mother, all but rejected by a wife who reserves her ardor for missionary work, and dissatisfied with farming, Claude is an idealist without an ideal to cling to. It is only when his country enters the First World War that Claude finds what he has been searching for all his life. In One of Ours Willa Cather explores the destiny of a grandchild of the pioneers, a young Nebraskan whose yearnings impel him toward a frontier bloodier and more distant than the one that vanished before his birth. In doing so, she creates a canny and extraordinarily vital portrait of an American psyche at once skeptical and romantic, restless and heroic.

About the discussion leader: 

Suzanne Brown just retired after teaching for 35 years at Dartmouth College. She is a writer of short stories as well as a literary critic; her articles have appeared in Modern Fiction Studies and other journals, while her stories have been published in Southern Review, Yale Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Carolina Quarterly, Southwest Review, and other magazines.  She was a Fulbright scholar to Germany  and received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the NH Arts Council.  From 2009-2011 she was the project scholar for a grant through the Maine Humanities Council to expand discussions of literature and medicine for staff in Veterans Hospitals nationwide and edited the literary anthology Echoes of War.  She is currently facilitating book discussions with veterans in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Hopkinton READS! in November and December

“One of Ours” by Willa Cather (1923 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the making of an American soldier in WWI) and
“Silent Night: the Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914” by Stanley Weintraub an event that still stands as the only time in history that peace spontaneously arose from the lower ranks in a major conflict.
Books available for sale or loan.

·         Book Discussion of “One of Ours” with Dartmouth Professor Suzanne Brown. (Thursday November 2nd at 3pm and 6:30pm)
·         Pizza and Movie “Joyeux Noel” (Thursday November 30th 6:30 pm) Award winning movie about 1914 Christmas Eve Truce. PG-13. 
Pre-Registration Required.
·         Book Discussion of “Silent Night: the Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914.” With Dick Hesse, Professor Emeritus at the UNH School of Law.  (Wednesday December 6th at 1pm and 7pm)
These programs are part of the regional partnership of historical societies, museums and libraries.  Check out programs at OverThereOverHere.com.  
With Support from the Hopkinton Library Foundation and NH Humanities


October Title


In conjunction with Hopkinton READS and Over There, Over Here (a multi-group collaboration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I), the afternoon book group will be reading  A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.  Pick up a copy of the book at the Reference Desk at the Library. We will meet on October 18th at 1pm by the fireplace. 
The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto -- of lines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized -- is one of the greatest moments in literary history. A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, A Farewell to Arms, written when he was 30 years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway.       --Scribner Classics

September Title


 Stop by and pick up a copy of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.  Discussion will be on Wednesday September 20th at 1pm. 



 What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she? Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original -- this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.

August Title

The Round House
by Louise Erdrich
Book Group Meeting
August 16th at 1pm
The Round House won the National Book Award for fiction. One of the most revered novelists of our time--a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life--Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family. Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich's The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction--at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.

July title

The Marriage of Opposites
by Alice Hoffman
July 19th at 1pm by the fireplace.
Large print, audio and regular print available.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things : a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro-the Father of Impressionism. Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father's business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frederic, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France. Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things , set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frederic is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable. ...from the publisher



June Title

Copies of Orphan Train are available to borrow from the library.  Join us on Wednesday 6/21 for a discussion of this fascinating book!
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude? As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.

April title

April's title is Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.
Copies of the book will be available at the library.
Join us on Wednesday April 26th at 1pm!


One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly, thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows between them. When in her twenties Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, guilt, and the deep loyalty they feel for one another. Told with equal measures humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories, a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us to one another.                                        --from annpatchett.com
 

March title

Our selection for March is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  Come pick up a copy of the book at the Reference Desk at the library.  We'll meet on Wednesday March 22nd at 1pm by the fireplace.

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

February title

The Library book group group is open to all! The book selection for February is Miss Jane by Brad Watson. Be sure to read it before the meeting on February 15th at 1pm! You can pick up a copy at the Reference Desk at the library.

Since his award-winning debut collection of stories, Last Days of the Dog-Men, Brad Watson has been expanding the literary traditions of the South, in work as melancholy, witty, strange, and lovely as any in America. Now, drawing on the story of his own great-aunt, Watson explores the life of Miss Jane Chisolm, born in rural, early-twentieth-century Mississippi with a genital birth defect that would stand in the way of the central "uses" for a woman in that time and place: sex and marriage. From the highly erotic world of nature around her to the hard tactile labor of farm life, from the country doctor who befriends her to the boy who loved but was forced to leave her, Miss Jane Chisolm and her world are anything but barren. The potency and implacable cruelty of nature, as well as its beauty, is a trademark of Watson's fiction. In Miss Jane, the author brings to life a hard, unromantic past that is tinged with the sadness of unattainable loves, yet shot through with a transcendent beauty. Jane Chisolm's irrepressible vitality and generous spirit give her the strength to live her life as she pleases in spite of the limitations that others, and her own body, would place on her. Free to satisfy only herself, she mesmerizes those around her, exerting an unearthly fascination that lives beyond her still.   --from the publisher

January title

The Soul of an Octopus
by Sy Montgomery 

Wednesday January 18 at 1pm
by the fireplace
Copies of the book available 
at the Reference Desk.
Join us! 
In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus-a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature-and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. Sy Montgomery's popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, "Deep Intellect," about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think? The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.


November title

 November's title is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Pick up a copy of the book at the Reference Desk at the library.
Discussion will take place on Wednesday November 16th at 1pm.

One of The New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu--beautiful, self-assured--departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze--the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor--had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion--for their homeland and for each other--they will face the toughest decisions of their lives. Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today's globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's most powerful and astonishing novel yet.

October title

Pick up a copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman at the Reference Desk at the library. The group will meet by the fireplace at 1pm on Wednesday October 19th. Join us!

 Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
--from goodreads.com
goodreads Choice Winner 2013

September title

The years-long New York Times bestseller soon to be a major motion picture from Spielberg's Dreamworks that is "irresistible...seductive...with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page" ( O, The Oprah Magazine ). After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a "gift from God," and against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

Copies of the book are available at the Reference Desk.  We'll discuss the book on Wednesday September 21st at 1pm. Join us!

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