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Book Club Meetings

Eclectic Book Club: The Book Thief

Date: 
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Markus Zusak
Title: 
The Book Thief

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich during World War II. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. An unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.  Read more about Eclectic Book Club: The Book Thief

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Eclectic Book Club: Ladder of Years

Date: 
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Anne Tyler
Title: 
Ladder of Years

At 40, Delia Grinstead seems more likely to have an attack of anxiety, or of whimsy, than to become a runaway wife. Yet Delia's impulse to escape her disapproving physician husband and three surly children turns into an adventure that sweeps her from her staid Baltimore orbit into a new existence as Ms. Grinstead, spinster, in the Delaware community of Bay Borough. It's the unexamined life that's Delia's problem, and when she finally strips away layers of hurt, resentment, guilt and anger, she confronts her inner self and begins to deal with the chronic insecurity that has kept her childlike, flighty and dependent.  Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Ladder of Years

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Eclectic Book Club: Never Let Me Go

Date: 
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Kazuo Ishiguro
Title: 
Never Let Me Go

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it. Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Never Let Me Go

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Eclectic Book Club: Travels in the Scriptorium

Date: 
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Paul Auster
Title: 
Travels in the Scriptorium

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. As the day passes, various characters call on the man in his cell-vaguely familiar people, some who seem to resent him for crimes he can't remember-and each brings frustrating hints of his identity and his past. All the while an overhead camera clicks and clicks, recording his movements, and a microphone records every sound in the room. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Travels in the Scriptorium

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Eclectic Book Club: The Year the Lights Came On

Date: 
Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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Author: 
Terry Kaye
Title: 
The Year the Lights Came On

Colin Wynn is 11. The year is 1947, and in Colin's hometown of Emery, Georgia, Route 17 divides the community into the haves and the have-nots—those with and without electricity. This boundary creates a common bond among Colin and the other members of the Our Side Gang in their frequent confrontations with their affluent neighbors, the Highway 17 Gang. But then the Rural Electrification Administration brings electricity to the homes of the less privileged and Colin boasts that the wires will "knit us into the fabric of the huge glittering costume, Earth." Read more about Eclectic Book Club: The Year the Lights Came On

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Eclectic Book Club: Fallen

Date: 
Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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Author: 
David Maine
Title: 
Fallen

Their expulsion from the Garden is only the beginning: Eve and Adam have to find their way past recriminations and bitterness, to construct a new life together in a harsh land. But the challenges are many for the world’s first family. Soon they must discover how to be parents to one son who is everything they could hope for, and another who is sullen and difficult. In the background, always, is the incomprehensibility of God’s motives as He watches over their faltering attempts to build a life. In Fallen, David Maine has drawn a convincing, wryly observant, and enthralling portrait of a family--one driven (and riven) by passions, irrationality, and love. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Fallen

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Eclectic Book Club: Something Wicked this Way Comes

Date: 
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Ray Bradbury
Title: 
Something Wicked this Way Comes

The memorable story of two boys and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a "dark carnival" one Autumn midnight. How these two innocents save their souls, and the souls of the town, makes for compelling reading on timeless themes. What would you do if your secret wishes could be granted by the mysterious ringmaster Mr. Dark? Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Something Wicked this Way Comes

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Eclectic Book Club: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Date: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Khaled Hosseini
Title: 
A Thousand Splendid Suns

Afghan-American novelist Hosseini follows up his bestselling The Kite Runner with another searing epic of Afghanistan in turmoil. The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny through the lives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age 15 into marrying the 40-year-old Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal as she fails to produce a child. Eighteen later, Rasheed takes another wife, 14-year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation. Against a backdrop of unending war, Mariam and Laila become allies in an asymmetrical battle with Rasheed, whose violent misogyny -- "There was no cursing, no screaming, no pleading, no surprised yelps, only the systematic business of beating and being beaten" -- is endorsed by custom and law. Hosseini gives a forceful but nuanced portrait of a patriarchal despotism where women are agonizingly dependent on fathers, husbands and especially sons, the bearing of male children being their sole path to social status. His tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: A Thousand Splendid Suns

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Eclectic Book Club: Cold Comfort Farm

Date: 
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Stella Gibbons
Title: 
Cold Comfort Farm

In Gibbons's classic tale, first published in 1932, a resourceful young heroine finds herself in the gloomy, overwrought world of a Hardy or Bronte novel and proceeds to organize everyone out of their romantic tragedies into the pleasures of normal life. Flora Poste, orphaned at 19, chooses to live with relatives at Cold Comfort Farm in Sussex, where cows are named Feckless, Aimless, Pointless, and Graceless, and the proprietors, the dour Starkadder family, are tyrannized by Flora's mysterious aunt, who controls the household from a locked room. Flora's confident and clever management of an alarming cast of eccentrics is only half the pleasure of this novel. The other half is Gibbons's wicked sendup of romantic cliches, from the mad woman in the attic to the druidical peasants with their West Country accents and mystical herbs. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Cold Comfort Farm

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Eclectic Book Club: Thread of Grace

Date: 
Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Author: 
Mary Doria Russell
Title: 
Thread of Grace

"It is September 8, 1943, and fourteen-year-old Claudette Blum is learning Italian with a suitcase in her hand. She and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps toward Italy, where they hope to be safe at last, now that the Italians have broken with Germany and made a separate peace with the Allies. The Blums will soon discover that Italy is anything but peaceful, as seemingly overnight it becomes an open battleground among the Nazis, the Allies, resistance fighters, Jews in hiding, and ordinary Italian civilians trying to survive."

Mary Doria Russell sets her first historical novel against this dramatic background, tracing the lives of a handful of characters - a charismatic Italian resistance leader, a priest, an Italian rabbi's family, a disillusioned German doctor. Through them, she tells the little-known but true story of the vast underground effort of the Italian citizens who saved the lives of 43,000 Jews during the final phase of the war. The result of five years of meticulous research, A Thread of Grace is a novel of ideas and history. Read more about Eclectic Book Club: Thread of Grace

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