Book Club Meetings

Eclectic Book Club: Like Water for Chocolate

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

The youngest daughter of a well-born rancher, Tita has always known her destiny: to remain single and care for her aging mother. When she falls in love, her mother quickly scotches the liaison and tyrannically dictates that Tita's sister Rosaura must marry the luckless suitor, Pedro, in her place. But Tita has one weapon left--her cooking. Esquivel mischievously appropriates the techniques of magical realism to make Tita's contact with food sensual, instinctual and often explosive. (Country of focus: Mexico)

Eclectic Book Club: Gilead

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Reverend John Ames of Gilead, Iowa, a grandson and son of preachers, now in his seventies, is afraid he hasn't much time left to tell his young son about his heritage. And so he takes up his pen, as he has for decades--he estimates that he's written more than 2,000 sermons--and vividly describes his prophetlike grandfather, who had a vision that inspired him to go to Kansas and make himself useful to the cause of abolition, and the epic conflict between his fiery grandfather and his pacifist father.

Eclectic Book Club: A Bend in the River

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man -- an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.

Eclectic Book Club: In Cold Blood

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

With the publication of this book, Capote permanently ripped through the barrier separating crime reportage from serious literature. As he reconstructs the 1959 murder of a Kansas farm family and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, Capote generates suspense and empathy.

Eclectic Book Club: The Stranger

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Story of a man who commits a pointless murder, in which the author asks if there is a God or just a cold indifferent universe.

Eclectic Book Club: Trial of True Love

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

The acclaimed author of The Society of Others returns with a beautifully crafted and intellectually stimulating novel about the nature of love, its elusiveness and, most of all, the universal human need to find it. Bron is a thirty-year-old writer living in London, a seemingly incurable heartbreaker and dodger of commitment. He is fascinated by the symbolist painter Paul Marotte and has made the artist the centre of a book he is writing about love at first sight.

Eclectic Book Club: The Kite Runner

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

"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.

Eclectic Book Club: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order, and predictability shelter him from the messy wider world.

Eclectic Book Club: Among Schoolchildren

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2002 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Christine Zajac teaches fifth grade in a racially mixed school in a poor district of Holyoke, Mass. About half of her students are Hispanic; many come from broken homes. Through Kidder's calmly detailed re-creation of Zajac's daily round, we come to know her students' fears and inmost strivings; we also share this teacher's frustrations, loneliness and the rush of satisfaction that comes with helping students learn. It's a tough job: in one social studies class, half the pupils can't name the country they live in.

Eclectic Book Club: In the Beauty of the Lilies

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Updike's 17th novel opens in 1910, just as Theodore Wilmot's father, a Presbyterian minister, suddenly loses his faith. His loss is visceral, and no amount of intellectualizing can deter him from his realization that he must leave the pulpit if he is to remain true to himself. Eighty years later, Theodore's grandson, a lost soul in the post-Vietnam War era who has found strange comfort in a radical religious cult, experiences his own catharsis, as the flames literally rage around him.

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