June 27 - Some Luck

At our May 23rd book group, we discussed The Martian by Andy Weir. Everyone enjoyed the plausibility of the story even though some of the technical aspects were not always understood. It was very readable and members would recommend it to other readers. This was one of our favorite quotes:
Every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out.  It might not seem that way sometimes, but it's true. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it's found in every culture without exception.
Our refreshments focused on (what else): potatoes! We had Orange Delight Potato Cake (from the book The Popular Potato Best Recipes by Valwyn McMonigal) and Potato Chip Cookies.

Our next meeting is Monday, June 27th at 3pm in the Turner Room. We will be reading Some Luck by Jane Smiley. Copies of the book are available at the circulation desk and discussion guides can be picked up or are available online. Summary: "An epic novel that spans thirty years in the lives of a farm family in Iowa, telling a parallel story of the changes taking place in America from 1920 through the early 1950s."

Fredrik Backman's new book will be out May 3rd!

One of our favorite authors will be publishing a new book soon, and I wanted to share this interview with fans.  Fredrik Backman wrote A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry--both of which our book group read and loved!  His newest book is Britt-Marie Was Here and continues the story of one of the primary characters in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry.

A detailed description of Britt-Marie Was Here and the author interview is available from Shelf Awareness at http://www.shelf-awareness.com/max-issue.html?issue=196#m416.  The book will be out on May 3, 2016 and we can hardly wait to read it! 

May 2016 - The Martian

At our meeting on April 25th, we discussed the book Dead Wake by Erik Larson.  The group really liked the way the author presented the story with details about the history surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania. Overall, the group rated it very highly and would recommend it to others.  Our refreshments included Triple Chocolate Cheesecake and fresh fruit.

Our next book group will be on Monday, May 23rd at 3pm in the Turner Room.  PLEASE NOTE: this is a week earlier than usual due to the Memorial Day holiday.  We will be discussing The Martian by Any Weir.  Copies of the book are available at the circulation desk and the discussion guide is available for pickup or can be obtained online. Regular print, large print, ebook, eaudio, and audio book formats are available.

Summary: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive -- and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old 'human error' are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills -- and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit -- he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

April 25th - Dead Wake

At our March 28th book group, we discussed Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.  This was a great discussion because some members loved the book and others did not.  It also was helpful to look at the author's book club kit.  We had cream puff dessert.

Our next bookgroup meeting with be Monday, April 25th at 3:30pm in the Turner Room. We will be reading Dead Wake: the Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. Copies of the book are available at the LME Library desk. Regular print, large print, ebook, eaudio, and audio book formats are available.  The discussion sheets can be picked up or are available online.

Summary:
The #1 New York Times best-selling author of In the Garden of Beasts presents a 100th-anniversary chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania that discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as President Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat and architect Theodate Pope Riddle.

March 2016 - Everything I Never Told You

We just wrapped up Fredrik Backman's My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry for our February pick.  We had chocolates and Auntie Carlene's cinnamon coffee loaf since I cannot make a decent cinnamon roll.  For most members, the book started off slowly, but once you got past the learning curve about the Land-of-Almost-Awake, the author really drew you into the story.  Overall, it was very favorably reviewed by the group, and we'd love to continue to read more by this author. (We read A Man Called Ove in 2015.)  Backman's particular sense of humor and pathos is endearing but still touches on things that really matter.  Here's a quote I feel conveys this well:

"It's difficult ending a fairy tale.  All tales have to end sometime, of course.  Some can't finish soon enough.  This one, for example, could feasibly have been rounded off and packed away long ago.  The problem is this whole issue of heroes at the ends of fairy tales, and how they are supposed to 'live happily to the end of their days.'  This gets tricky, from a narrative perspective, because the people who reach the end of their days must leave others who have to live out their days without them."
Our next book group will meet on March 28th at 3pm in the Turner Room. This is the Monday after Easter.  We will be discussing the novel, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.  Copies of the book are available at the library desk and the discussion sheets are available for pickup or online here.

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