Book Club Meetings

Bailey Cove Evening: The Abstinence Teacher

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, September 11, 2008 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
Ruth Ramsey is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school. She believes that "pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is power." Ruth's daughter's soccer coach is Tim Mason, a former stoner and rocker whose response to hitting rock bottom was to reach out and be saved. Tim belongs to the Tabernacle, an evangelical Christian church that doesn't approve of Ruth's style of teaching and makes her the focus of a very public crusade. And Ruth, in turn, doesn't applaud the Tabernacle's mission to take its message outside its doors. But when a controversy on the soccer field pushes the two of them to actually talk, they are forced to look beyond their first impressions.
[check the catalog]

Bailey Cove Evening: Into the Wild

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, July 17, 2008 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
After graduating from college, Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave away his savings and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness. Four months later, he turned up dead. His diary, letters and two notes found at a remote campsite tell of his desperate effort to survive.
[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 Evening: Blood of the Prodigal

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Blood of the Prodigal by P. L. Gaus
With an unusual setting and a quiet tone, this mystery carries readers into the world of the Ohio Amish, where a bishop's grandson, Jeremiah, has disappeared. The boy had been living with the bishop and his family since his father was banished from the community 10 years earlier, just before Jeremiah's illegitimate birth to a local drug-addicted teenager. The bishop calls upon a local "English" (non-Amish) college professor to locate the boy, as he has reason to believe that Jeremiah is with his missing father for the summer. Eventually Jeremiah's father is found, shot to death, not far from the bishop's farm, but Jeremiah himself has not turned up. [check the catalog]

Bailey Cove Evening: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
"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. [check the catalog]

Bailey Cove Evening: The Kite Runner

Location: Bailey Cove Branch Library
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
"Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable, beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan nonetheless grow up in different worlds; Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara, member of a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When the Soviets invade and Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him." "The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship, betrayal, and the price of loyalty. It is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of fathers over sons - their love, their sacrifices, and their lies. Written against a backdrop of history that has not been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. But with the devastation, Khaled Hosseini also gives us hope: through the novel's faith in the power of reading and storytelling, and in the possibilities he shows for redemption." [check the catalog]

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]

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