October title

October Book Discussion

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Wednesday October 27 at 1pm 

Copies of the book are available at the library as well as on hoopla (audio, ebook) and Overdrive (audio, ebook).  

Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize
National Bestseller
“A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood… An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves… Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humor. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away from its momentum.”—Booker Prize judges

Bernardine Evaristo is the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and the first black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language. Girl, Woman, Other is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean.

The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her Black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London’s funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley’s former students, is a successful investment banker; Carole’s mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter’s lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class.

Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.
https://groveatlantic.com/book/girl-woman-other/

SEPTEMBER 

Karen is on vacation, but would want you to know that the September book group will be reading "The Stranger in the Woods: The extraordinary story of the last true hermit" by Michael Finkel.  We should be receiving the "READS to GO" bag of books via ILL  on Wednesday September 1st and will make those available asap.  


Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality--not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.

For August

I'm going on vacation at the end of the month so there is no specific book for August. However....Cindy Garland has generously volunteered to lead the group in discussing (what else??) BOOKS!  Have you read something great lately? Have an all-time favorite that you think would be great for a discussion? We’d like to compile everyone’s suggestions prior to the meeting date of August 25th.  Please email your list of 2 or 3 books (or more if you so choose) with a descriptive line or 2 about each book to info@hopkintontownlibrary.org and we will put together a handout that everyone can take home. Or just come and listen to everyone’s suggestions on WEDNESDAY AUGUST 25th at 1pm in the Community Room.

Have a great rest of your summer!  Karen

A Long Petal of the Sea Book Club Kit

A very nice book club kit from the author's website, including drink recipes! (sorry we won't be doing that at the library though!)

 



July title

 

 
July book discussion

Wednesday July 28th at 1pm

at the library

 

A Long Petal of the Sea

by Isabel Allende 

Copies of the book are available at the library.  Also available in Large Print and audio formats and as an Overdrive ebook and audiobook

 

  

In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires.

Together with two thousand other refugees, Roser and Victor embark for Chile
"the long petal of sea and wine and snow" on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda.  As unlikely partners, the couple embraces exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, they face trial after trial, but they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they might go home. Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.

A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile, and belonging, A Long Petal of the Sea shows Isabel Allende at the height of her powers.


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the author of The House of the Spirits, this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home.

"One of the most richly imagined portrayals of the Spanish Civil War to date, and one of the strongest and most affecting works in [Isabel Allende's] long career."--The New York Times Book Review

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY EsquireGood Housekeeping * Parade

June title

 And now for something completely different!
Our June title will be Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi.

Here are the meeting details:

Wednesday June 30th at 1pm

IN PERSON! Under the library's new tent!

Reading options:

Hardcover copies! (available soon)

Hoopla audiobook (always available)

Hoopla ebook (always available)

Hoopla Spotlight book club resources

Overdrive ebook 

 

Here's a bit more about the book:
Heartwarming, wistful, and delightfully quirky, Before the Coffee Gets Cold explores the intersecting lives of four women who come together in one extraordinary café, where the service may not be quick, but the opportunities are endless.

Japanese playwright Kawaguchi’s evocative English-language debut is set in a tiny Tokyo café where time travel is possible. In four connected tales, lovers and family members take turns sitting in the chair that allows a person to travel back in time for only as long as it takes a single cup of coffee to cool. In “Husband and Wife,” a nurse goes back in time to visit her husband before his Alzheimer’s erased her from his memory; in “The Sisters,” a woman visits her younger sister, who died in an accident while trying to visit her, to apologize for not seeing her. Kawaguchi’s characters embark on lo-fi, emotional journeys unburdened by the technicalities often found in time travel fiction—notably, they are unable to change the present. The characters learn, though, that even though people don’t return to a changed present, they return “with a changed heart.” Kawaguchi’s tender look at the beauty of passing things, adapted from one of his plays, makes for an affecting, deeply immersive journey into the desire to hold onto the past. This wondrous tale will move readers.  ....Publisher's Weekly Review

Hopkinton READS! How to Make a Slave

Please join us for a discussion of How to Make a Slave and Other Essays on Thursday May 20th. You can join us at either 12 noon or 7pm.  Registration is required. The discussion will be led by Dr. Dottie Morris of Keene State College. Copies of the book are available to borrow OR purchase for $5.

The book is a bracing and often humorous examination by an acclaimed essayist of what it is to grow, parent, write, and exist as a black American male. Walker urges readers to do better as they consider, through his eyes, how to be a good citizen, how to be a good father, how to live, and how to love.


Discussion questions and more for The Dutch House

We'll be zooming on Wednesday April 28th at 1pm to discuss The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. Email kdixon@hopkintontownlibrary.org if you would like an invitation to the zoom meeting.  If so inclined you can check out discussion questions here.

April title

 


April's title is The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.  We'll meet (probably via zoom but possibly outside!) on April 28th at 1pm. This book is available in lots of formats including:

  • hardcover copies, including large print editions (email kdixon@hopkintontownlibrary.org to reserve a copy for curbside pickup)
  • hoopla audiobook
  • hoopla ebook
  • Overdrive/Libby audiobook
  • Overdrive/Libby ebook


From the author's website:

THE DUTCH HOUSE
Ann Patchett, the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, returns with her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go.

“Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?” I asked my sister. We were sitting in her car, parked in front of the Dutch House in the broad daylight of early summer.”

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are. Filled with suspense, you may read it quickly to find out what happens, but what happens to Danny and Maeve will stay with you for a very long time.

More on Disappearing Earth

I hope you are enjoying reading Disappearing Earth for the 3/31 discussion.  I'll be sending out the Zoom link early next week.  In the meantime, Now Read This (a book club from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times) has some great links to material about the book and the author, as well as background information and discussion questions that can all be found here.

March title

 

 

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

The Library Book Group will meet on Wednesday March 31st at 1pm via Zoom. Please email or call the library to reserve a copy of the book.  Also available as an ebook or audiobook via Overdrive/Libby. 

 
One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2019
National Book Award Finalist
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize
Finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award
National Best Seller
 
Spellbinding, moving—evoking a fascinating region on the other side of the world—this suspenseful and haunting story announces the debut of a profoundly gifted writer.
One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls—sisters, eight and eleven—go missing. In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women.
Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty—densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska—and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused.
In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, and through a young writer's virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this powerful novel brings us to a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before. 

February title

 Library Book Group

Wednesday February 24th at 1pm

via zoom

The Henna Artist 

by Alka Joshi


 Copies of the book are available.  
Call 746-3663 or email info@hopkintontownlibrary.org 
to reserve a copy.
Also available on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla.


Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman's struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist--and confidante--to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own...

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow--a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

Reading Group Guide and more for This Tender Land

Join us this Wednesday at 1pm for a discussion of This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger.

Check out the Reading Group Guide with discussion questions, a Q&A with the author, a Spotify playlist, and a map of the characters' journey.  Here are some photos that inspired the author.

Email kdixon@hopkintontownlibrary.org for the meeting link.

William Kent Krueger discusses THIS TENDER LAND with Barbara Peters

January title

   

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Wednesday January 27th at 1pm via zoom 

Print copies will be available for pickup starting on Tuesday December 29th. There will be large print and audio CD copies too.

Other options for access:

hoopla audiobook

Overdrive/Libby ebook

Ovedrive/Libby audiobook

    (Hint: make sure you are logged in to Overdrive to see copies available to you)

                       

"For fans of Before We Were Yours and Where the Crawdads Sing, a magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression.

1932, Minnesota—the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own.

Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an en­thralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole". ...https://williamkentkrueger.com/standalone/this-tender-land/#about

 

 Email kdixon@hopkintontownlibrary for more information or the zoom login info.

 

November/December title

 

Our next title is Apeirogon by Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic

As in previous years, we are combining our November/December book group meeting.  We'll meet (via zoom) on December 9th at 1pm

 

We will have copies of the hardcover book (as well as a large print edition and audio CD edition) to borrow from the library - just email or call if you'd like to reserve one.

Or use the links below to access the online versions.

Overdrive/Libby audiobook

Overdrive/Libby ebook 

 

 

October title

 

Our October title is The Bear by Andrew Krivak. We'll meet via zoom on Wednesday October 28th at 1pm. Email the library if you would like the zoom login information. And good news for 'real' book lovers - we will have multiple copies of the book available for loan.  Just let us know if we should hold one for you!
Online access links below. FYI - hoopla books are always available - Overdrive/Libby books may have hold lists.

hoopla ebook

hoopla audiobook

Overdrive/Libby ebook

Overdrive/Libby audiobook

 ....and print copies available too! 

 

 The description of the book sounds like a bit of a departure from our usual reads, so hopefully this will inspire you to read something in a new genre!

In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They possess a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last of humankind. But when the girl finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness that offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen.

A cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss, The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature's dominion.

 

September title

 

September Book Group

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michele Richardson
 
Wednesday 
September 23rd at 1pm
via zoom
 
Available formats include 1 hardcover, 1 CD audiobook, ebook and eaudiobook.
 Reserve the hardcover or audio CD version in our catalog. Click on the links below to access the digital versions.
 
 
 
Please let us know if you need help with any of our online resources!  
 
Author information, discussion questions, videos, reviews and more can be found here!
 
 
 
 
 The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.

Cussy’s not only a book woman, however, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.

August title

August title!   
Writers & Lovers by Lily King
Group will meet on Wednesday August 26th at 1pm 
Available formats include 1 hardcover, 1 CD audiobook, ebook and eaudiobook (links below).


hoopla ebook (always available)

hoopla audiobook (always available)

Overdrive/Libby ebook

Overdrive/Libby audiobook

Discussion Questions and more

Q & A with Lily King

 

 

Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.


Blindsided by her mother's sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey's fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Writers & Lovers follows Casey--a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist--in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King's trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.
  Goodreads.com

Book club resources for The Mountains Sing

Since Hoopla recently featured The Mountains Sing in their Spring Spotlight, they have some awesome links to background information, discussion questions and recommended next reads.  You'll find links to all this and more here.

July title


July's title is The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai. The meeting will be on July 22nd at 1pm via zoom.  
Email Karen at kdixon@hopkintontownlibrary.org if you would like to be included in the email list for book group news or would like the zoom link.

Here are the available formats for the book:
~1 hardcover copy available via curbside pickup (reserve via our catalog
~1 mp3-cd available via curbside pickup (not here yet but on order)
~ebook from hoopla (always available)
~audiobook from hoopla (always available) 
~ebook from Overdrive/Libby (there is presently a reserve list)

 “An epic account of Việt Nam’s painful 20th century history, both vast in scope and intimate in its telling . . . Moving and riveting.” —VIET THANH NGUYEN, author of The Sympathizer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.

The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s first novel in English.                                                                                       Goodreads.com