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Eclectic Book Club

Eclectic Book Club: Slaughterhouse-Five

Date: 
Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Kurt Vonnegut
Title: 
Slaughterhouse-Five

Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Slaughterhouse-Five

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Eclectic Book Club: Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers

Date: 
Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
James McBride Dabbs
Title: 
Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers

Since the early 1970s, when studies of testosterone first gained wide public attention, this principal male sex hormone has taken the rap for a range of characteristics or behaviors, including low intelligence, rape, and road rage. The truth is both remarkably more complex and more interesting scientifically.From prehistory to the present, testosterone has played a significant role in the development of human society as well as in romantic, marital, and parental relationships. It affects women as well as men in such areas as language ability, cognition, and spatial orientation. Interweaving intimate case histories with first hand scientific research, Heroes, Rogues and Lovers engagingly explains the animal within us all, revealing testosterone's function in human evolution and its role in surprising links between animal and human behaviors. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers

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Eclectic Book Club: Ishmael

Date: 
Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Daniel Quinn
Title: 
Ishmael

The unnamed narrator is a disillusioned modern writer who answers a personal ad ("Teacher seeks pupil. . . . Apply in person.") and thereby meets a wise, learned gorilla named Ishmael that can communicate telepathically. The bulk of the book consists entirely of philosophical dialogues between gorilla and man, on the model of Plato's Republic. Through Ishmael, Quinn offers a wide-ranging if highly general examination of the history of our civilization, illuminating the assumptions and philosophies at the heart of many global problems. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Ishmael

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Eclectic Book Club: The Wanting Seed

Date: 
Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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Author: 
Anthony Burgess
Title: 
The Wanting Seed

A lighthearted, quirky look at the often-dreary world of dystopic novels from the author of A Clockwork Orange. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: The Wanting Seed

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Eclectic Book Club: Holding On

Date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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Author: 
David Isay
Title: 
Holding On

Holding On by David Isay & Harvey Wang
The 50 individuals profiled in this delightful collection all were interviewed by Isay on his National Public Radio series The American Folklife Radio Project. Most of his subjects are older people who are dreamers, devoting themselves to such pursuits as creating religious grottoes, castles, bells and centers for dinosaur sculptures; conducting businesses, such as opera houses or bars, in ghost towns; or following unusual careers, for example, marriage brokering and restoring mannequins. There are those whose lifework has not been exotic, such as a country doctor who still charges a dollar for an office visit, a hat blocker and a sheepherder. But Isay approaches them all open-mindedly and sympathetically, and his warm commentary is supplemented by Wang's superb photos. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Holding On

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Eclectic Book Club: The Poisonwood Bible

Date: 
Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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Author: 
Barbara Kingsolver
Title: 
The Poisonwood Bible

The novel follows an evangelical Baptist minister's family to the Congo in the late 1950s, entwining their fate with that of the country during three turbulent decades. Nathan Price's determination to convert the natives of the Congo to Christianity is, we gradually discover, both foolhardy and dangerous, unsanctioned by the church administration and doomed from the start by Nathan's self-righteousness. Fanatic and sanctimonious, Nathan is a domestic monster, too, a physically and emotionally abusive, misogynistic husband and father. He refuses to understand how his obsession with river baptism affronts the traditions of the villagers of Kalinga, and his stubborn concept of religious rectitude brings misery and destruction to all. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: The Poisonwood Bible

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Eclectic Book Club: Bee Season

Date: 
Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Myla Goldberg
Title: 
Bee Season

Nine-year-old Eliza Naumann feels like the dullest resident of a house full of intellectuals--her older brother, Aaron, is an overachiever; her mother, Miriam, is a lawyer; and her father, Saul, is a self-taught scholar and a cantor at the community synagogue. She surprises herself and the rest of the Naumanns when she discovers a rare aptitude for spelling, winning her school and district bees with a surreal surge of mystical insight, in which letters seem to take on a life of their own. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Bee Season

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Eclectic Book Club: Seabiscuit

Date: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Laura Hillenbrand
Title: 
Seabiscuit

One of the greatest legends of the 20th century, Seabiscuit was a discarded, bottom-level runner who became a champion with the help of three men: a trainer, an owner, and a jockey. This is the spellbinding tale of how they did it. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Seabiscuit

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Eclectic Book Club: A Prayer for Owen Meany

Date: 
Tuesday, July 30, 2002 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
John Irving
Title: 
A Prayer for Owen Meany

In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys - best friends - are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen, after that 1953 foul ball, is extraordinary and terrifying. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: A Prayer for Owen Meany

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Eclectic Book Club: Gal

Date: 
Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Ruthie Bolton
Title: 
Gal

Gal is the true story of a young black woman. The author, who writes pseudonymously in order to protect the privacy of her family and friends, was born in 1961 and raised in the South. Her early life was bleak and unpromising. After years of sadistic abuse from the twisted man she knew as 'Daddy,' she seemed to be headed along a bumpy path. Despite setbacks, Gal managed to complete high school. After further difficulties with drugs, alcohol, and men, she was finally able to turn her life around through the love and support of her second husband and his extended family. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Gal

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