Book Club Meetings

Eclectic Book Club: Save Me, Joe Louis

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

At its outset, Macrae, a Tennessee hillbilly with an artistic bent, goes AWOL from the army and is wandering the streets of Manhattan, broke and alone. A chance encounter with a streetwise, small-time mugger propels him into a life of crime and ever-increasing violence. Unlike his companion, however, Macrae retains a sense of guilt that ultimately enables him to secure a kind of redemption--with the help of a woman he has known since childhood and a final, necessary act of personal violence.

Eclectic Book Club: The Secret Life of Bees

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Lily Owens, 14, is an emotionally abused white girl living with her cold, uncaring father on a peach farm in rural South Carolina. The memory of her mother, who was accidentally killed in Lily's presence when she was four, haunts her constantly. She has one of her mother's few possessions, a picture of a black Madonna with the words, Tiburon, South Carolina, written on the back. Lily's companion during her sad childhood has been Rosaleen, the black woman hired to care for her.

Eclectic Book Club: All the King's Men

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

A classic novel about American politics. Set in the 1930s, this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel traces the rise and fall of demagogue Willie Stark, a fictional character based on the real-life Huey Long of Louisiana.

Eclectic Book Club: All over But the Shoutin'

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

This haunting, harrowing, and gloriously moving recollection of a life on the American margin tells the story of Rick Bragg, who grew up dirt poor in Alabama, and who became a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times.

Eclectic Book Club: Cold Comfort Farm

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

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.

Eclectic Book Club: The Bluest Eye

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Morrison's debut novel, The Bluest Eye, explores the impact of racism and poverty on adolescent Pecola Breedlove. Surrounded by images of white icons--Shirley Temple, Mary Jane, and the classic family from Dick and Jane readers--Pecola is tormented by both her family and peers. Alcoholism, rape, and humiliation drive her into the relative safety of madness where she finally finds the only bit of self-worth, believing her eyes are truly the bluest.

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: Fahrenheit 451

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Guy Montag is a book-burning fireman undergoing a crisis of faith. His wife spends all day with her television "family," imploring Montag to work harder so that they can afford a fourth TV wall. Their dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his next-door neighbor Clarisse, a young girl thrilled by the ideas in books, and more interested in what she can see in the world around her than in the mindless chatter of the tube. When Clarisse disappears mysteriously, Montag is moved to make some changes, and starts hiding books in his home.

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.

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