Eclectic Book Club

Eclectic Book Club: The Sparrow

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

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.

Eclectic Book Club: Seabiscuit

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

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.

Eclectic Book Club: God of Small Things

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

Set in Kerala, India, in 1969, The God Of Small Things is the story of seven-year-old twins Rahel and Estha, born of a wealthy family and literally joined at the soul. Rahel and Estha are cared for by a host of compelling characters: their beautiful mother, Ammu, who has left a violent husband; their Marxist uncle, Chacko, still pining for his English wife and daughter who left him; their prickly grandaunt, Baby Kochamma, pickling in her virginity; and the volatile Veluth, a member of the Untouchable caste.

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: Cat's Eye

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

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.

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: 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.

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