Eclectic Book Club

Eclectic Book Club: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

When Kingsolver and her family move from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they take on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally produced diet, paying attention to the provenance of all they consume. "Our highest shopping goal was to ... know the person who grew it. Often that turned out to be ourselves as we learned to produce what we needed, starting with dirt, seeds, and enough knowledge to muddle through. Or starting with baby animals, and enough sense to refrain from naming them."

Eclectic Book Club: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

A poignant tale of childhood and the ties of family, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn will transport the reader to the early 1900s where a little girl named Francie dreamily looks out her window at a tree struggling to reach the sky.

Eclectic Book Club: The Corrections

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

The novel follows the delamination of the Lambert family. Alfred, once a rigid disciplinarian, flounders against Parkinson's-induced dementia; Enid, his loyal and embittered wife, lusts for the perfect Midwestern Christmas; Denise, their daughter, launches the hippest restaurant in Philly; and Gary, their oldest son, grapples with depression, while Chip, his brother, attempts to shore his eroding self-confidence by joining forces with a self-mocking, Eastern-Bloc politician.

Eclectic Book Club: Kaffir Boy

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Mathabane describes his life growing up in a non-white ghetto outside Johannesburg--and how he escaped its horrors. Hard work and faith in education played key roles, and Mathabane eventually won a tennis scholarship to an American university. This is not, needless to say, an opportunity afforded to many of the poor blacks who make up most of South Africa's population. And yet Mathabane reveals their troubled world on these pages in a way that only someone who has lived this life can.

Eclectic Book Club: The Handmaid's Tale

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Highly respected Canadian poet and novelist Atwood presents here a fable of the near future. In the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, far-right Schlafly/Falwell-type ideals have been carried to extremes in the monotheocratic government. The resulting society is a feminist's nightmare: women are strictly controlled, unable to have jobs or money and assigned to various classes: the chaste, childless Wives; the housekeeping Marthas; and the reproductive Handmaids, who turn their offspring over to the "morally fit" Wives.

Eclectic Book Club: The Alchemist

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasures found within.

Eclectic Book Club: The Color Purple

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Winner of the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, this unforgettable portrait of a young black girl, her friends, family, and lovers is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life. Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her.

Eclectic Book Club: Girl With a Pearl Earring

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place in this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings. Girl with a Pearl Earring is the story of 16-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius, even as she herself is immortalized in canvas and oil.

Eclectic Book Club: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person -- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.

Eclectic Book Club: Like Water for Chocolate

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

The youngest daughter of a well-born rancher, Tita has always known her destiny: to remain single and care for her aging mother. When she falls in love, her mother quickly scotches the liaison and tyrannically dictates that Tita's sister Rosaura must marry the luckless suitor, Pedro, in her place. But Tita has one weapon left--her cooking. Esquivel mischievously appropriates the techniques of magical realism to make Tita's contact with food sensual, instinctual and often explosive. (Country of focus: Mexico)

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