Camino Island-May 2020

For our May book group, we had chosen the title Camino Island by John Grisham. The good news is we have more than 20 copies available in eReadIL in both ebook and eaudiobook formats. You can click here to checkout the item online.  You will need your library barcode number and PIN. (If you need assistance--just give us a call at 385-4540!  We're here Mondays-Fridays 9am-3pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.) 

The bad news is that we will still not be able to meet yet in person to discuss the book. If everyone would still like to meet, we can meet electronically.  I have established a WebEx free account so members can join me through the Internet or just by calling a phone number. We will be checking back with all our members and possibly set up a meeting time in late May/early June if there is interest.

Our bookgroup discussion sheets are available online here. A summary of Camino Island is below:
Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts. Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer's block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable's circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets. But eventually Mercer learns far too much.

Star of the North - my views

Today on March 30th we supposed to talk about the book Star of the North by D.B John. However due to the Governor's Stay at Home order (issued through April 7th), we were unable to meet to talk about the book.  

If anyone wants to email me his/her comments at, I would be happy to share them on the blog.  Until then, here are some of my comments about the book:

  1. I'm not sure how well the multiple storylines will be received by our group.  Usually members prefer a more linear storyline but I like how the author weaves them all together.
  2. It was very disturbing to gain some insight on how the North Korean leadership controls and manipulates its people and other countries.  I think the author does a great job showing the reader how this happens and why negotiating with their government does not produce the results expected.
  3. I felt that ending was very abrupt and would like to see a sequel.  I saw on that the author is considering writing one.  I'll keep watching to see if any new title has been announced!

Unfortunately, we will probably not be able to meet for book group in April either.  At this time, we've suspended all library programs indefinitely.  Stay home and be safe!

March 30 - Star of the North

At our February 24th meeting, we discussed To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  We chose this classic novel since many of our members had never read it, and it had been voted as America's Favorite Book via PBS's The Great American Read in 2018.  Several members commended that it lived up to its hype and they "couldn't put it down".  We had Toll House Cookie Bars and fruit for dessert.

One of our members also mentioned the Chillicothe Public Library's Big Read events for Into the Beautiful North.  More information on the programming is avaialable at  In addition, the Peoria Public Library is doing Peoria Reads 2020 with the book, The Hate U Give.  Information about Peoria Reads events can be found at

Our next book club meeting is on Monday, March 30 at 3pm.  We will be reading Star of the North by D.B. John and copies of the book are available for pick-up at the circulation desk.  Discussion sheets can be picked-up with the book or are available online.  

Here's a summary of the book: "A propulsive and ambitious thriller about a woman trying to rescue her twin sister from captivity in North Korea, and the North Korean citizens with whom she forms an unlikely alliance. Star of the North opens in 1988, when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a South Korean beach by North Korean operatives. Twenty-two years later, her brilliant twin sister, Jenna, is still searching for her, and ends up on the radar of the CIA. When evidence that her sister may still be alive in North Korea comes to light, Jenna will do anything possible to rescue her--including undertaking a daring mission into the heart of the regime."

Feb 24 - To Kill a Mockingbird

Our February meeting will be at 3pm on February 24.  We are reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Copies of the book are available for checkout at the LME Library circulation desk and discussion sheets can also be picked up or viewed online.  Please join us!

A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel--a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice--but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

January 27 - Girl Waits With Gun

At our January 27th meeting, we skyped with Amy Stewart.  We were very fortunate to be able to speak directly with the author of our January pick, Girl Waits With Gun.  It was interesting to ask her about her characters, writing process, some of her favorite authors, and things she edited out of the book.  Thank you Amy Stewart!  

We also discussed what aspects of life in 1914 we wish had survived, but we had a really hard time recommending anything.  (There are a lot of things we are glad are much improved principally women's rights, modern conveniences, end of child labor, and OSHA laws!) We finally decided that public transportation was better then and people were more self sufficient (but that came at a high price).  For dessert we had Apple Crumb Tart with Cinnamon Cream and fresh fruit. Overall, we greatly enjoyed this meeting and the book.  Many of us will be reading the rest of the series, and we'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

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