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Literary Giants Book Club

Literary Giants: The Thirteenth Tale

Date: 
Monday, July 30, 2012 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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ISBN: 
9780743298032
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Author: 
Diane Setterfield
Title: 
The Thirteenth Tale

Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny. Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness -- featuring the beautifu land willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves. Read more about Literary Giants: The Thirteenth Tale

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Literary Giants: The Greater Journey

Date: 
Monday, June 25, 2012 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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ISBN: 
9781416571766
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Author: 
David McCullough
Title: 
The Greater Journey

From two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough comes the inspiring, enthralling--and until now, untold--story of the American painters, writers, sculptors, and doctors who journeyed to Paris between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work, fell in love with the city, and changed America with what they achieved. After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greater journey in the City of Light. That they achieved so much for themselves and their country profoundly altered American history. As David McCullough writes, "Not all pioneers went west." Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band. Another was Charles Sumner, who enrolled at the Sorbonne because of a burning desire to know more about everything. There he saw black students with the same ambition he had, and when he returned home, he would become the most powerful, unyielding voice for abolition in the U.S. Senate, almost at the cost of his life. Writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James were all "discovering" Paris, marveling at the treasures in the Louvre, or out with the Sunday throngs strolling the city's boulevards and gardens. "At last I have come into a dreamland," wrote Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Tom's Cabin had brought her. Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, three great American artists, flourished in Paris, inspired by French masters and the city itself. McCullough tells this sweeping, fascinating story with power and intimacy, bringing us into the lives of remarkable men and women. The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece. Read more about Literary Giants: The Greater Journey

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Literary Giants: South of Broad

Date: 
Monday, April 30, 2012 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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ISBN: 
9780385344074
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Author: 
Pat Conroy
Title: 
South of Broad

Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered-and shadowed-by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of high school outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina's dark legacy of racism and class divisions, these friends will endure until a final test forces them to face something none of them are prepared for. Spanning two turbulent decades, South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest: a masterpiece from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.

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Literary Giants: In the Garden of Beasts

Date: 
Monday, May 21, 2012 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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ISBN: 
9780307914576
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Author: 
Erik Larson
Title: 
In the Garden of Beasts

In this readable narrative, author Larson (The Devil in the White City, Thunderstruck) offers a real-life, eyewitness perspective inside the Nazi hierarchy as Hitler came to power. William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered professor from Chicago, became the first US ambassador to Hitler's Germany in 1933. Dodd, his wife, their son, and their 24-year-old daughter Martha lived in Germany for about five years. Drawing on Martha's diaries and letters, much of the book centers on Martha's romantic affairs with high-ranking Nazi officials and her eventual heroism as she realized Hitler's true character. Meanwhile, her father William Dodd informed the US State Department of increasing Jewish persecution, with little response from the State Department. The book sheds light on why it took so long for the world to recognize the threat posed by Hitler. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Literary Giants: A Visit from the Goon Squad

Date: 
Monday, March 26, 2012 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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ISBN: 
9780307477477
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Author: 
Jennifer Egan
Title: 
A Visit from the Goon Squad

Working side-by-side for a record label, former punk rocker Bennie Salazar and the passionate Sasha hide illicit secrets from one another while interacting with a motley assortment of equally troubled people from 1970s San Francisco to the post-war future. Read more about Literary Giants: A Visit from the Goon Squad

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Literary Giants: The Warmth of Other Suns

Date: 
Monday, February 27, 2012 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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ISBN: 
9780679763888
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Author: 
Isabel Wilkerson
Title: 
The Warmth of Other Suns: the epic story of America's great migration

Presents an epic history that covers the period from the end of World War I through the 1970s, chronicling the decades-long migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West through the stories of three individuals and their families. Read more about Literary Giants: The Warmth of Other Suns

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Literary Giants: The Imperfectionists

Date: 
Monday, January 30, 2012 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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ISBN: 
9780385343664
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Author: 
Tom Rachman
Title: 
The Imperfectionists

Preoccupied by personal challenges while running a struggling newspaper in Rome, an obituary writer confronts mortality, an eccentric publisher obsesses over his dog, and other staff members uncover the paper's founding by an impulsive millionaire. Read more about Literary Giants: The Imperfectionists

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Literary Giants: Packing for Mars

Date: 
Monday, November 28, 2011 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
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ISBN: 
9780393339918
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Author: 
Mary Roach
Title: 
Packing for Mars

Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a spacewalk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout from space? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the Space Shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth. Read more about Literary Giants: Packing for Mars

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Literary Giants: Wuthering Heights

Date: 
Monday, October 31, 2011 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm
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ISBN: 
9781593081287
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Author: 
Emily Bronte
Title: 
Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë’s only novel, Wuthering Heights remains one of literature’s most disturbing explorations into the dark side of romantic passion. Heathcliff and Cathy believe they’re destined to love each other forever, but when cruelty and snobbery separate them, their untamed emotions literally consume them.

Set amid the wild and stormy Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights, an unpolished and devastating epic of childhood playmates who grow into soul mates, is widely regarded as the most original tale of thwarted desire and heartbreak in the English language. Read more about Literary Giants: Wuthering Heights

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Literary Giants: American Pastoral

Date: 
Monday, August 29, 2011 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm
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ISBN: 
9780375701429
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Author: 
Philip Roth
Title: 
American Pastoral

A former athletic star, devoted family man, and owner of a thriving glove factory, Seymour "Swede" Levov finds his life coming apart during the social disorder of the 1960s, when his beloved daughter turns revolutionary terrorist out to destroy her father's world. Read more about Literary Giants: American Pastoral

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