Literary Giants Book Club

Literary Giants: Seabiscuit

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, June 9, 2003 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

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. (Club Rating: 7.9)

Literary Giants: Fahrenheit 451

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, October 27, 2008 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's classic, frightening vision of the future, firemen don't put out fires--they start them in order to burn books. Bradbury's vividly painted society holds up the appearance of happiness as the highest goal--a place where trivial information is good, and knowledge and ideas are bad.

Literary Giants: Magic Time

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, November 24, 2008 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm

After a terrorist bombing, New York Examiner columnist Carter Ransom returns to his Mississippi hometown. Carter's father has just retired there; his most famous case was presiding over Troy's national disgrace: the Shiloh Church bombing, in which four civil rights activists died in 1965, including a woman Carter loved. One man was convicted, but the instigator, KKK wizard Samuel Bohanon, went free.

Literary Giants: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, April 24, 2006 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.

Literary Giants: Age of Innocence

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, September 27, 2004 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Old New York was a society of ironclad traditions, but for Newland Archer, they were too restricting to simply accept. Here is Wharton's story of human passion and satiric observation, as compelling today as when it was first published This 1921 Pulitzer Prize winner is a comic, profoundly moving story of thwarted love in Old New York. As Newland Archer prepares to marry docile May Welland, the mysterious Countess Olenska enters the picture and Archer's world is never again the same. (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Literary Giants: Angle of Repose

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents' remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America's western frontier. Through the prism of one family, this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel illuminates the American present against the fascinating background of its past.

Literary Giants: Suite Française

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, January 26, 2009 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart.

Literary Giants: The Great Gatsby

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, March 27, 2006 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm

The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan has been acclaimed by generations of readers. Many consider The Great Gatsby the closest thing to the Great American Novel ever written. First published in 1925, it is the timeless story of Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby seeks to keep his illusion of Daisy as perfect alive. He uses his money, gained through illegal means, to do so, and uses his neighbor, Nick Carroway, to try to reach Daisy. The love of money as the root of evil is a pervading theme.

Literary Giants: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, August 30, 2004 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

"Uproariously funny" doesn't seem a likely description for a book on cadavers. However, Roach, a Salon and Reader's Digest columnist, has done the nearly impossible and written a book as informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty. In her droll, intimate voice, Roach conducts an oddly compelling, often hilarious forensic exploration of the strange lives of bodies postmortem.

Literary Giants: The Lovely Bones

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, April 28, 2003 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

On her way home from school on a snowy December day in 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon ("like the fish") is lured into a makeshift underground den in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer--the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey. (Club Rating: 6.5)

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