Book Club Meetings

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.

Eclectic Book Club: Bee Season

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Nine-year-old Eliza Naumann feels like the dullest resident of a house full of intellectuals--her older brother, Aaron, is an overachiever; her mother, Miriam, is a lawyer; and her father, Saul, is a self-taught scholar and a cantor at the community synagogue. She surprises herself and the rest of the Naumanns when she discovers a rare aptitude for spelling, winning her school and district bees with a surreal surge of mystical insight, in which letters seem to take on a life of their own.

Eclectic Book Club: Out of America

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2000 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

In this powerful book, Keith B. Richburg takes the reader on an extraordinary journey that sweeps from Somalia to Rwanda to Zaire and finally to South Africa. He shows how he came to terms with the divide within himself: between his African racial heritage and his American cultural identity. (Continent of focus: Africa)

Eclectic Book Club: Travels in the Scriptorium

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

An old man awakens, disoriented, in an unfamiliar chamber. With no memory of who he is or how he has arrived there, he pores over the relics on the desk, examining the circumstances of his confinement and searching his own hazy mind for clues. Determining that he is locked in, the man-identified only as Mr. Blank-begins reading a manuscript he finds on the desk, the story of another prisoner, set in an alternate world the man doesn't recognize. Nevertheless, the pages seem to have been left for him, along with a haunting set of photographs.

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: When the Emperor Was Divine

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

This heartbreaking, bracingly unsentimental debut describes in poetic detail the travails of a Japanese family living in an internment camp during World War II, raising the specter of wartime injustice in bone-chilling fashion. After a woman whose husband was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy sees notices posted around her neighborhood in Berkeley instructing Japanese residents to evacuate, she moves with her son and daughter to an internment camp, abruptly severing her ties with her community.

Eclectic Book Club: A Girl Named Zippy

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

In this first book, Kimmel has written a love letter to her hometown of Mooreland, IN, a town with an unchanging population of 300 in America's heartland. Nicknamed "Zippy" for her energetic interpretation of a circus monkey, she could not be bothered to speak until she was three years old, and her first words involved bargaining with her father about whether or not a baby bottle was still appropriate. Her story is filled with good humor, fine storytelling, and acute observations of small town life.

Eclectic Book Club: The Poisonwood Bible

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

The novel follows an evangelical Baptist minister's family to the Congo in the late 1950s, entwining their fate with that of the country during three turbulent decades. Nathan Price's determination to convert the natives of the Congo to Christianity is, we gradually discover, both foolhardy and dangerous, unsanctioned by the church administration and doomed from the start by Nathan's self-righteousness. Fanatic and sanctimonious, Nathan is a domestic monster, too, a physically and emotionally abusive, misogynistic husband and father.

Eclectic Book Club: Under the Tuscan Sun

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

Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people. She brings the lyrical voice of a poet, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer to invite readers to explore the pleasures of Italian life and to feast at her table.

Eclectic Book Club: Never Let Me Go

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it. Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

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