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Eclectic Book Club

Eclectic Book Club: Life of Pi

Date: 
Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Yann Martel
Title: 
Life of Pi

In his 16th year, Pi sets sail with his family and some of their menagerie to start a new life in Canada. Halfway to Midway Island, the ship sinks into the Pacific, leaving Pi stranded on a life raft with a hyena, an orangutan, an injured zebra and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. After the beast dispatches the others, Pi is left to survive for 227 days with his large feline companion on the 26-foot-long raft, using all his knowledge, wits and faith to keep himself alive. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Life of Pi

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Eclectic Book Club: A Girl Named Zippy

Date: 
Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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Author: 
Haven Kimmel
Title: 
A Girl Named Zippy

In this first book, Kimmel has written a love letter to her hometown of Mooreland, IN, a town with an unchanging population of 300 in America's heartland. Nicknamed "Zippy" for her energetic interpretation of a circus monkey, she could not be bothered to speak until she was three years old, and her first words involved bargaining with her father about whether or not a baby bottle was still appropriate. Her story is filled with good humor, fine storytelling, and acute observations of small town life. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: A Girl Named Zippy

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Eclectic Book Club: Cat's Eye

Date: 
Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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Author: 
Margaret Atwood
Title: 
Cat's Eye

Elaine Risley, a controversial painter, returns to the city of her youth for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, an artist, and a woman -- but above all she must seek release from her haunting memories. Disturbing, hilarious, and compassionate, Cat's Eye is a breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knot of her life. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Cat's Eye

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Eclectic Book Club: The Sparrow

Date: 
Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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Author: 
Mary Doria Russell
Title: 
The Sparrow

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Emilio Sandoz, a brilliant Jesuit priest, seems like the perfect leader for the first expedition to an extraterrestrial culture. However, when Sandoz returns to Earth 20 years later as the mission's sole survivor, he is accused of unspeakable violence and depravity. Why? An extraordinary fiction debut, by paleoanthropologist Mary Doria Russell. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: The Sparrow

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Eclectic Book Club: Dream Catcher

Date: 
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Margaret Salinger
Title: 
Dream Catcher

In her memoir Dream Catcher, Margaret Salinger, the daughter of writer and recluse J.D. Salinger, describes a childhood of unbelievable isolation and emotional stress, "lush with make-believe," "a world both terrible and beautiful ... that dangled between dream and nightmare on a gossamer thread." What she's describing, of course, is madness, first incipient and then in hothouse cultivation. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Dream Catcher

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Eclectic Book Club: Bel Canto

Date: 
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Ann Patchett
Title: 
Bel Canto

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening—until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Bel Canto

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Eclectic Book Club: Mountains Beyond Mountains

Date: 
Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Tracy Kidder
Title: 
Mountains Beyond Mountains

In his latest work, Pulitzer Prize winner Kidder (Among Schoolchildren; The Soul of a New Machine) turns his documentarian gaze on the life and work of Paul Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician who has spent much of the past 20 years transforming healthcare in the impoverished central plateau of Haiti. Part biography, part public health text, and part travelog, his book follows Farmer from his childhood in Florida and Harvard medical education to his establishment of the Haitian clinic Zanmi Lasante and current status as an international expert in treating communicable diseases, such as AIDS and tuberculosis. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Mountains Beyond Mountains

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Eclectic Book Club: The Secret Life of Bees

Date: 
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Sue Monk Kidd
Title: 
The Secret Life of Bees

Lily Owens, 14, is an emotionally abused white girl living with her cold, uncaring father on a peach farm in rural South Carolina. The memory of her mother, who was accidentally killed in Lily's presence when she was four, haunts her constantly. She has one of her mother's few possessions, a picture of a black Madonna with the words, Tiburon, South Carolina, written on the back. Lily's companion during her sad childhood has been Rosaleen, the black woman hired to care for her. Rosaleen, in a euphoric mood after the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, goes to town to register to vote and insults one of the town's most racist residents. After she is beaten up and hospitalized, Lily decides to rescue her and they go to Tiburon to search for memories of her mother. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: The Secret Life of Bees

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Eclectic Book Club: The Da Vinci Code

Date: 
Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Dan Brown
Title: 
The Da Vinci Code

Brown's latest thriller (after Angels and Demons) is an exhaustively researched page-turner about secret religious societies, ancient coverups and savage vengeance. The action kicks off in modern-day Paris with the murder of the Louvre's chief curator, whose body is found laid out in symbolic repose at the foot of the Mona Lisa. Seizing control of the case are Sophie Neveu, a lovely French police cryptologist, and Harvard symbol expert Robert Langdon, reprising his role from Brown's last book. The two find several puzzling codes at the murder scene, all of which form a treasure map to the fabled Holy Grail. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: The Da Vinci Code

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Eclectic Book Club: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Date: 
Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Mark Haddon
Title: 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order, and predictability shelter him from the messy wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher's carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor's dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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