Library Book Groups

The Book Bunch

Meets the 1st Tuesday of every month
7PM – 8PM at the Addison Public Library

2017

JANUARY 10

A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

FEBRUARY 7

Read any book by Ernest Hemingway
Come ready to discuss any title by Hemingway. Select from the library's multiple copies of Old Man and the Sea, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms or choose any other title.

MARCH 7

The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

APRIL 4

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
Rachel Joyce

A parallel story to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, in which the hero traveled the length of England on foot to say a final goodbye to Queenie Hennessy after receiving a surprise letter from her.  She now makes a journey of her own on paper in which she confesses long-buried truths about her past. This includes her modest childhood, her studies at Oxford, past heartbreak, her love for Harold Fry, her friendship with his son, and the devastating secret she has kept from Harold all these years. 

MAY 9

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford

Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has found the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were sent to internment camps during World War II.  This brings old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, when he knew Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. They developed a friendship and innocent love. When Keiko’s family was evacuated, their only hope was the war would end and that they would meet again.

JUNE 6

The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every day. Every day she flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. UNTIL TODAY when she sees something shocking. Now everything’s changed. Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Has she done more harm than good?

JULY 11

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Eveyone -- Especially Ourselves
Dan Ariely

A behavioral economist examines the contradictory forces that drive us to cheat and keep us honest, in this look at the way we behave. Cheating and dishonesty are ubiquitous parts of our national news cycle-and inescapable parts of the human condition. Drawing on original experiments and research, the author reveals-honestly-what motivates these irrational, but entirely human, behaviors.

AUGUST 1

Cozy Mystery discussion. Read any book of your choice and come ready to discuss.

SEPTEMBER 5

Quiet: The power of Introverts
Susan Cain

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.  In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so.

OCTOBER 3

Small Blessings
Martha Woodroof

A tale of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at a local bookshop, and the ten-year old son he never knew he had. Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he cares for his wife, Marjory, a fragile shut-in with neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom's brief affair a decade earlier. Then one evening things change when they meet Rose Callahan, the local bookstore's charming new hire. Soon after, Tom receives a letter from his former paramour, informing him he'd fathered a son who is heading Tom's way.  

NOVEMBER 7

My Name is Lucy Barton
Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

DECEMBER 5

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
Phaedra Patrick

Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. On the one-year anniversary of his wife’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam's possessions, he finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he's never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes him from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's secret life before they met.

Between the Lines

Meets the 3rd Monday of every month
10AM – 11AM at the Addison Park District
120 E. Oak St., Addison, IL 

2017

JANUARY 16

The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

FEBRUARY 20

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
Fredrick Backman

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

MARCH 20

Circling the Sun
Paula McLain

Transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle. Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly. Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain’s powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, and the tena-city of the human spirit.

APRIL 17

Girl Waits with Gun
Amy Stewart

Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared. 

MAY 15

Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missles to the Moon to Mars
Nathalia Holt

In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible. 

For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women--known as "human computers"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science.

JUNE 19

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Erik Larson

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. The Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

July 17

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Jamie Ford

Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has found the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were sent to internment camps during World War II.  This brings old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, when he knew Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. They developed a friendship and innocent love. When Keiko’s family was evacuated, their only hope was the war would end and that they would meet again.

July 17

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Jamie Ford

Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has found the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were sent to internment camps during World War II.  This brings old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, when he knew Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. They developed a friendship and innocent love. When Keiko’s family was evacuated, their only hope was the war would end and that they would meet again.

August 1 (Tuesday)

Cozy Mystery

Note date change in order to join the Addison Library Book Bunch for a joint discussion at an off-site location.

Read any food-related cozy mystery of your choice and come ready to discuss.

September 18

Miller’s Valley
Anna Quindlen

From the bestselling author of "Still life with bread crumbs." This story begins in the 1960s, and explores how Mimi  Miller comes of age, over and over again. As the years go by, the unthinkable starts to seem inevitable. Anna Quindlen's novel takes us through the changing eras of Mimi and her family, as secrets are revealed, and the heartbreaks of growing up and falling in love with the wrong man are overcome. In a small town on the verge of big change, a young woman unearths deep secrets about her family and unexpected truths about herself. For generations the Millers have lived in Miller’s Valley. Mimi Miller tells about her life with intimacy and honesty. As Mimi eavesdrops on her parents and quietly observes the people around her, she discovers more and more about the toxicity of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, the flaws of marriage, the inequalities of friendship and the risks of passion, loyalty, and love. Home, as Mimi begins to realize, can be “a place where it’s just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel content.” 

October 16

Brush Back
Sara Paretsky

V.I. Warshawski — the gritty P.I. who predates Lisbeth Salander and Stephanie Plum — returns in Sara Paretsky’s superb new novel. This time, the weathered investigator gets pulled into a case involving a former boyfriend’s mother who was convicted of  beating his sister to death. As the plot — about crooked politicians and construction contracts — unfolds, V.I. finds herself nearly drowning in memories of her old Chicago neighborhood and missing the friends who didn’t make it out. Over the series, V.I. has been growing progressively darker in mood, but throughout her bleakest times, work has always been her salvation. This new novel’s uncompromising feminist message about aging for women is to ignore the pain and hang on to what gives you purpose and identity

 

November 20

Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood

This look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.Offered may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter, when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now….

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force.

December

No discussion this month