Book Club Meetings

Bailey Cove Evening: The Devil in the White City

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Larson's ambitious, engrossing tale of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 focuses primarily on two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect who was the driving force behind the fair, and Henry H. Holmes, a sadistic serial killer working under the cover of the busy fair. [check the catalog]

Bailey Cove Evening: The Italian Secretary

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr
Mycroft Holmes, an advisor to the ailing queen Victoria, summons his famous brother and Dr. Watson to Edinburgh to investigate the puzzling murders of two of the Queen's aides. Because the men had been working on the renovation of the royal palace of Holyrood, Sherlock recounts to Watson the story of David Rizzio, "the Italian secretary" who had been butchered by supporters of Queen Elizabeth in front of Mary, Queen of Scots, in Holyrood. Using the spectral history of the Italian secretary and making some pragmatic deductions, the duo close on the killers' deadly plot against the royal family. [check the catalog]

Bailey Cove Evening: Freakonomics

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt
Levitt and Stephen Dubner dub the material in this work "freakonomics" because Levitt uses analytical tools from economics to address a range of questions that, at first glance, might seem to be far removed from the discipline of the "dismal science." They consider questions such as how to determine if teachers are aiding in students' cheating on standardized tests, the impact of information asymmetry on the operation of the Ku Klux Klan, how the organizational structure of crack gangs resemble other businesses, and the influence of parents on child development. [check the catalog]

Bailey Cove Evening: Dark Star Safari

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances. Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people. [check the catalog]

Bailey Cove Evening: Nickel and Dimed

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor. (Henry Holt and Co.) [check the catalog]

Bailey Cove Evening: American Gods

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The intriguing premise of Gaiman's tale is that the gods of European yore, who came to North America with their immigrant believers, are squaring off for a rumble with new indigenous deities: "gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon." [check the catalog]

Bailey Cove Classics: Troilus and Criseyde

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Monday, April 2, 2007 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm

The tragedy of Troilus and Criseyde is one of the greatest narrative poems in English literature. Set during the siege of Troy, it tells how the young knight Troilus, son of King Priam, falls in love with Criseyde, a beautiful widow. Brought together by Criseyde's uncle, Pandarus, the lovers are then forced apart by the events of war, which test their oaths of fidelity and trust to the limits.

Bailey Cove Classics: Picture of Dorian Gray

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2006 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm

A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception, or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent.

Bailey Cove Classics: Leaves of Grass

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Monday, December 3, 2007 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm

When Leaves of Grass was first published in 1855 as a slim tract of twelve untitled poems, Walt Whitman was still an unknown. But his self-published volume soon became a landmark of poetry, introducing the world to a new and uniquely American form. The "father of free verse," Whitman drew upon the cadence of simple, even idiomatic speech to "sing" such themes as democracy, sexuality, and frank autobiography.

Bailey Cove Classics: Rubáiyát

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Monday, March 5, 2007 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Rubáiyát means "quatrains" in the Persian language. This verse form was popularized in Edward Fitzgerald's translation of the collection of Persian verses known as the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam. In fact, Rubáiyát is a common shorthand name for this collection.

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