Eclectic Book Club

Eclectic Book Club: Bee Season

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

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.

Eclectic Book Club: Out of America

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2000 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

In this powerful book, Keith B. Richburg takes the reader on an extraordinary journey that sweeps from Somalia to Rwanda to Zaire and finally to South Africa. He shows how he came to terms with the divide within himself: between his African racial heritage and his American cultural identity. (Continent of focus: Africa)

Eclectic Book Club: Travels in the Scriptorium

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

An old man awakens, disoriented, in an unfamiliar chamber. With no memory of who he is or how he has arrived there, he pores over the relics on the desk, examining the circumstances of his confinement and searching his own hazy mind for clues. Determining that he is locked in, the man-identified only as Mr. Blank-begins reading a manuscript he finds on the desk, the story of another prisoner, set in an alternate world the man doesn't recognize. Nevertheless, the pages seem to have been left for him, along with a haunting set of photographs.

Eclectic Book Club: The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

John Crawford joined the Florida National Guard to pay for his college tuition, willingly exchanging one weekend a month and two weeks a year for a free education. But in autumn 2002, one semester short of graduating and newly married - in fact, on his honeymoon - he was called to active duty and sent to the front lines in Iraq. During the breaks between patrols, Crawford began writing nonfiction stories about what he and his fellow soldiers witnessed and experienced.

Eclectic Book Club: The Time Traveler's Wife

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

This clever and inventive tale works on three levels: as an intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a touching love story. Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with "Chrono Displacement" disorder; at random times, he suddenly disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future, usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him exclaiming that she'd known him all her life.

Eclectic Book Club: A Girl Named Zippy

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

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.

Eclectic Book Club: The Poisonwood Bible

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

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.

Eclectic Book Club: Under the Tuscan Sun

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people. She brings the lyrical voice of a poet, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer to invite readers to explore the pleasures of Italian life and to feast at her table.

Eclectic Book Club: Never Let Me Go

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it. Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

Eclectic Book Club: A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

The swimming pool of the Mille-Collines hotel is a magnet for a motley group of Kigali residents: aid workers, Rwandan bourgeoisie, expatriates and prostitutes. Among these patrons is the hotel waitress, Gentille, a beautiful Hutu often mistaken for a Tutsi, who has long been admired by Bernard Valcourt, a foreign journalist. As the two slide into a love affair and prepare for their wedding, we see the world around them coming apart as the Hutu-led genocide against the Tutsi people begins.

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