Book Club Meetings

Eclectic Book Club: The Johnstown Flood

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

At the end of the 1800s, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam.

Eclectic Book Club: How to Be Good

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

After more than 20 years of marriage and two children, Katie has had it: she's having an affair, feels intellectually dull and wishes her husband, David, would turn into a different person. Unfortunately for her, she gets her wish when David, a bitter, semi-employed intellectual who writes a column for a local newspaper subtitled "The Angriest Man in Holloway," becomes a secular saint. To spite her after an argument in which she suggests that they divorce, he goes to a dreadlocked faith-healer named DJ GoodNews.

Eclectic Book Club: Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

The British-born Fuller grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), losing three siblings to disease as her father fought in the Rhodesian civil war and her mother managed the farm. She approaches her childhood with reserve, leaving many stories open to interpretation while also maintaining a remarkable clarity about what really transpired in her homeland, in her own home, and in her head.

Eclectic Book Club: The Sparrow

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Emilio Sandoz, a brilliant Jesuit priest, seems like the perfect leader for the first expedition to an extraterrestrial culture. However, when Sandoz returns to Earth 20 years later as the mission's sole survivor, he is accused of unspeakable violence and depravity. Why? An extraordinary fiction debut, by paleoanthropologist Mary Doria Russell.

Eclectic Book Club: Seabiscuit

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

One of the greatest legends of the 20th century, Seabiscuit was a discarded, bottom-level runner who became a champion with the help of three men: a trainer, an owner, and a jockey. This is the spellbinding tale of how they did it.

Eclectic Book Club: God of Small Things

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2000 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Set in Kerala, India, in 1969, The God Of Small Things is the story of seven-year-old twins Rahel and Estha, born of a wealthy family and literally joined at the soul. Rahel and Estha are cared for by a host of compelling characters: their beautiful mother, Ammu, who has left a violent husband; their Marxist uncle, Chacko, still pining for his English wife and daughter who left him; their prickly grandaunt, Baby Kochamma, pickling in her virginity; and the volatile Veluth, a member of the Untouchable caste.

Eclectic Book Club: The Year the Lights Came On

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

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."

Eclectic Book Club: The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

John Crawford joined the Florida National Guard to pay for his college tuition, willingly exchanging one weekend a month and two weeks a year for a free education. But in autumn 2002, one semester short of graduating and newly married - in fact, on his honeymoon - he was called to active duty and sent to the front lines in Iraq. During the breaks between patrols, Crawford began writing nonfiction stories about what he and his fellow soldiers witnessed and experienced.

Eclectic Book Club: The Time Traveler's Wife

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

This clever and inventive tale works on three levels: as an intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a touching love story. Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with "Chrono Displacement" disorder; at random times, he suddenly disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future, usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him exclaiming that she'd known him all her life.

Eclectic Book Club: Cat's Eye

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Elaine Risley, a controversial painter, returns to the city of her youth for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, an artist, and a woman -- but above all she must seek release from her haunting memories.

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