Book Club Meetings

Eclectic Book Club: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

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.

Eclectic Book Club: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff...

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years -- except Biff, the Messiah's best bud. Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny.

Eclectic Book Club: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Sijie's unnamed 17-year-old protagonist and his best friend, Luo, are bourgeois doctors' sons, and so condemned to serve four years in a Chinese re-education camp. Only their ingenuity helps them to survive. The two friends are good at storytelling, and the village headman commands them to put on "oral cinema shows" for the villagers. When another city boy leaves the mountains, the friends steal a suitcase full of forbidden books he has been hiding, knowing he will be afraid to call the authorities.

Eclectic Book Club: Mountains Beyond Mountains

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

In his latest work, Pulitzer Prize winner Kidder (Among Schoolchildren; The Soul of a New Machine) turns his documentarian gaze on the life and work of Paul Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician who has spent much of the past 20 years transforming healthcare in the impoverished central plateau of Haiti.

Eclectic Book Club: Chang & Eng

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Born in the Kingdom of Siam in 1811, the twins are joined together at the chest by a seven-inch-long ligament that contains a part of their stomach, the only organ they share. Apart from this band of flesh, they are completely separate individuals with different personalities and needs. The author gracefully confronts the complicated issues of race, gender, infidelity, and identity, as well as the notion of what is normal.

Eclectic Book Club: Tara Road

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2000 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Ria lived on Tara Road in Dublin with her dashing husband, Danny, and their two children. She fully believed she was happily married, right up until the day Danny told her he was leaving her to be with his young, pregnant girlfriend. By a chance phone call, Ria meets Marilyn, a woman from New England unable to come to terms with her only son's death and now separated from her husband. The two women exchange houses for the summer with extraordinary consequences, each learning that the other has a deep secret that can never be revealed. (Country of focus: Ireland)

Eclectic Book Club: Something Wicked this Way Comes

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

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?

Eclectic Book Club: Fight Club

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Palahniuk's darkly funny first novel tells the story of a godforsaken young man who discovers that his rage at living in a world filled with failure and lies cannot be pacified by an empty consumer culture. Relief for him and his disenfranchised peers comes in the form of secret after-hours boxing matches held in the basements of bars. Fight Club is the brainchild of Tyler Durden, who thinks he has found a way for himself and his friends to live beyond their confining and stultifying lives. But in Tyler's world there are no rules, no limits, no brakes.

Eclectic Book Club: Lying Awake

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

It's 1997, and Sister John of the Cross, a Carmelite nun in a monastery just outside Los Angeles, seeks treatment for epilepsy, although the remedy threatens to diminish her formidable spiritual powers. The Carmelites place heavy emphasis on prayer, and over the years this discipline has helped Sister John to develop miraculous visionary gifts. When severe headaches precipitate a collapse that requires medical intervention, Sister John finds the process starkly juxtaposed against her centuries-old traditions.

Eclectic Book Club: Bel Canto

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening—until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage.

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