Eclectic Book Club

Eclectic Book Club: White Teeth

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Hapless Archibald Jones fights alongside Bengali Muslim Samad Iqbal in the English army during WWII, and the two develop an unlikely bond that intensifies when Samad relocates to Archie's native London. Smith traces the trajectory of their friendship through marriage, parenthood and the shared disappointments of poverty and deflated dreams, widening the scope of her novel to include a cast of vibrant characters: Archie's beautiful Jamaican bride, Clara; Archie and Clara's introspective daughter, Irie; Samad's embittered wife, Alsana; and Alsana and Samad's twin sons, Millat and Magid.

Eclectic Book Club: Ishmael

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

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.

Eclectic Book Club: Bicycle Days

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2000 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

When Alec Stern arrives in Japan, he discovers a land of opportunity. For only in Tokyo could an impressionable young man fresh out of college find, in one stroke, a new job, a new family, and a society that lavishes attention on Japanese-speaking gaijin. Yet, even as Alec claims a place in this new world, he is haunted by memories of the one he left behind—a world once infinitely secure but which disintegrated with the breakup of his parents' marriage. (Country of focus: Japan)

Eclectic Book Club: The Well and the Mine

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

In 1931 Carbon Hill, a small Alabama coal-mining town, nine-year-old Tess Moore watches a woman shove the cover off the family well and toss in a baby without a word. For the Moore family, focused on helping anyone in need during the Great Depression, the apparent murder forces them to face the darker side of their community and question the motivations of family and friends. For parents, it's a time when a better life for the children means sacrificing health, time, and every penny that can be saved. For a miner, returning home after work is a possibility, not a certainty.

Eclectic Book Club: Tender At The Bone

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that "food could be a way of making sense of the world. . . . If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were." Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told.

Eclectic Book Club: The Bookseller of Kabul

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

After living for three months with the Kabul bookseller Sultan Khan in the spring of 2002, Norwegian journalist Seierstad penned this astounding portrait of a nation recovering from war, undergoing political flux and mired in misogyny and poverty. As a Westerner, she has the privilege of traveling between the worlds of men and women, and though the book is ostensibly a portrait of Khan, its real strength is the intimacy and brutal honesty with which it portrays the lives of Afghani living under fundamentalist Islam.

Eclectic Book Club: Uncle Tom's Cabin

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Harriet Beecher Stowe was appalled by slavery, and she took one of the few options open to nineteenth century women who wanted to affect public opinion: she wrote a novel, a huge, enthralling narrative that claimed the heart, soul, and politics of pre-Civil War Americans. It is unabashed propaganda and overtly moralistic, an attempt to make whites - North and South - see slaves as mothers, fathers, and people with (Christian) souls. In a time when women might see the majority of their children die, Harriet Beecher Stowe portrays beautiful Eliza fleeing slavery to protect her son...

Eclectic Book Club: Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

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.

Eclectic Book Club: Girls at War & Other Stories

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Twelve stories by the internationally renowned novelist which recreate with energy and authenticity the major social and political issues that confront contemporary Africans on a daily basis. (Country of focus: Nigeria)

Eclectic Book Club: Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Sampath Chawla is born into a family slightly off kilter, to a mother not quite like her neighbors, in a town not quite like other towns. After years of failure at school, failure at work, it does not seem as if Sampath is going to amount to much. Then Sampath climbs up a guava tree in search of a life of peaceful contemplation -- and becomes famous as a hermit. Written with rich humor and an eye for the eccentric, this is a magical tale of a world gone slightly mad.

Syndicate content