February 2017 - Founding Mothers

At our January 30th meeting, we discussed Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. Almost all our readers absolutely loved the book.  The fact that it was based on real people and instances only heightened the interest of most of the readers. Discussion centered on surviving World War II and whether this could happen again.  Refreshments included coconut washboard cookies and Sernik Babci (Polish cheesecake).

Our next book group meeting will be Monday, February 27th at 3pm in the Turner Room.  Copies of the book, Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts are available for pickup at the library's front desk.  Discussion questions can be picked up in the library or are available online.  
Summary: Founding Mothers is an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families -- and their country -- proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it. While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. Roberts brings us the women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their businesses, raised their children, provided them with political advice, and made it possible for the men to do what they did. The behind-the-scenes influence of these women -- and their sometimes very public activities -- was intelligent and pervasive. Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favored recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed, and Martha Washington -- proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might never have survived. Social history at its best, Founding Mothers unveils the drive, determination, creative insight, and passion of the other patriots, the women who raised our nation. Roberts proves beyond a doubt that like every generation of American women that has followed, the founding mothers used the unique gifts of their gender -- courage, pluck, sadness, joy, energy, grace, sensitivity, and humor -- to do what women do best, put one foot in front of the other in remarkable circumstances and carry on.

Lilac Girls - January 2017

At our December 12th meeting, we had a variety of treats brought by members, and we chatted about our favorites from 2016. Most member really enjoyed the books chosen to read this past year especially: The Martian by Andy Weir, Dead Wake by Erik Larson, and the Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani.  Several other books were read by members outside the group and enjoyed including Rosemary: the Hidden Kennedy daughter by Kate Larson,  The Wonder by Emma Donaghue, and Just One Damned Thing After Another (Chronicles of St. Mary's) by Jodi Taylor.

Our next meeting will be in the new year!  We'll meeting on January 30th at 3pm in the Turner Room to discuss Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.  Copies of the book in print, large print, and audio are available at the LME Library desk.  The discussion sheet is available for pickup in the library or can be viewed online.  The group is open to all adults.  

Summary of Lilac Girls: An arresting, powerful debut novel inspired by the life of debutante turned unlikely WWII hero Caroline Ferriday. Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is nervously anticipating the changes that are sure to come since Germany has declared war on Poland. As tensions rise abroad - and in her personal life - Caroline's interest in aiding the war effort grows and she eventually comes to hear about the dire situation at the Ravensbruck all-female concentration camp. Through Ravensbruck the two women's lives will converge in unprecedented ways and a novel of redemption and hope emerges that is breathtaking in scope and depth. From New York to Paris, and Furstenberg to Lublin, Martha Hall Kelly captures the powerful pull of human compassion, strong enough to stretch across continents and capable of triumphing over the grim evils of war.


Best Books of 2016

It’s that time of year when visions of sugar plums dance in our heads and we start thinking about the best books of the year.  Several of my favorite authors released new books in 2016 including Daniel O’Malley (Stiletto) and Fredrik Backman (Britt Marie Was Here).  I liked a lot of the books we read for bookgroup, but my favorite for 2016 was What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.
  
      
In addition to my favorites, you can see some others through the links below:


December 12th Coffee Chat

At our November 28 bookgroup, we discussed All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  Several members of our group loved the book, but others thought that moving back and forth in the timeline was distracting.  Overall, we felt it was a good pick but a bit too literary for our tastes.  We had Peach Dump Cake with ice cream.

The group also finished picking our titles for next year:

2017 (Our 14th year)

January 30
Kelly, Martha Hall
February 27
Roberts, Cokie
March 27
Crais, Robert
April 24
Gilbert, Elizabeth
May 22
Horowitz, Anthony
June 26 
Scalzi, John
July 31
Roach, Mary
August 28
Benjamin, Melanie
September 25
Hood, Ann
October 30
Kiernan, Denise
November 27
Hannah, Kristin
December 11th @ 3pm —Coffee Chat about your favorite books of 2017
& get our new list for 2018

Our next meeting will be our Coffee Chat on Monday, December 12th at 3pm.  We'll discuss our favorite books in 2016 and pick up the January title.  Feel free to bring an appetizer or dessert (although it is not required!)


November 28 - All the Light We Cannot See

At our October 31st bookgroup, we discussed the Wright Brothers by David McCullough.  We liked that the book focused mostly on the Wright brothers' efforts leading up to their first flights and demonstrations.  This made the book manageable.  I used my two Elizabeth City, NC cookbooks to make NC Sweet Potato Pie and Pecan Squares for refreshments.  

Our next meeting will be Monday, November 28th at 3pm in the Turner Room.  The book, All the Light We Cannot See, is available for pickup at the library desk.  Discussion sheets can be picked up with the book or printed online.

Summary: Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

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