Book Club Meetings

Eclectic Book Club: Uncle Tom's Cabin

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Harriet Beecher Stowe was appalled by slavery, and she took one of the few options open to nineteenth century women who wanted to affect public opinion: she wrote a novel, a huge, enthralling narrative that claimed the heart, soul, and politics of pre-Civil War Americans. It is unabashed propaganda and overtly moralistic, an attempt to make whites - North and South - see slaves as mothers, fathers, and people with (Christian) souls. In a time when women might see the majority of their children die, Harriet Beecher Stowe portrays beautiful Eliza fleeing slavery to protect her son...

Eclectic Book Club: Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Since the early 1970s, when studies of testosterone first gained wide public attention, this principal male sex hormone has taken the rap for a range of characteristics or behaviors, including low intelligence, rape, and road rage. The truth is both remarkably more complex and more interesting scientifically.From prehistory to the present, testosterone has played a significant role in the development of human society as well as in romantic, marital, and parental relationships. It affects women as well as men in such areas as language ability, cognition, and spatial orientation.

Eclectic Book Club: Girls at War & Other Stories

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Twelve stories by the internationally renowned novelist which recreate with energy and authenticity the major social and political issues that confront contemporary Africans on a daily basis. (Country of focus: Nigeria)

Eclectic Book Club: Tender At The Bone

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

At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that "food could be a way of making sense of the world. . . . If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were." Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told.

Eclectic Book Club: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

A poignant tale of childhood and the ties of family, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn will transport the reader to the early 1900s where a little girl named Francie dreamily looks out her window at a tree struggling to reach the sky.

Eclectic Book Club: Reading Lolita in Tehran

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi's living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Eclectic Book Club: Slaughterhouse-Five

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

Eclectic Book Club: In a Sunburned Country

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Bryson tackles Australia, basing his views of this unique continent on a tour he took of the entire country--something few people, including Australians, have ever done. It's all here: the convict history, the love/hate affair with England, the vastness, and Australia's most fascinating inhabitants (apart from koalas)--its colorful, quirky people. Bryson has a gift for making common things seem exceptional; everything from cricket to politics to place names is described in a manner that both educates and entertains. (Country of focus: Australia)

Eclectic Book Club: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

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

When Kingsolver and her family move from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they take on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally produced diet, paying attention to the provenance of all they consume. "Our highest shopping goal was to ... know the person who grew it. Often that turned out to be ourselves as we learned to produce what we needed, starting with dirt, seeds, and enough knowledge to muddle through. Or starting with baby animals, and enough sense to refrain from naming them."

Eclectic Book Club: The Color Purple

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Winner of the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, this unforgettable portrait of a young black girl, her friends, family, and lovers is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life. Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her.

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