This exciting book group combines two of our favorite things: reading and eating! We meet on the third Tuesday of each month from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. Just bring the book, your lunch and be ready for a great discussion. Coffee, tea, and dessert will be provided by the library, plus something extra that is inspired by the book.
Copies of each book are available to check out at the preceding month’s meeting. (September's book may be picked up after August 9th.) Sign-up is requested, as space is limited. Call 978-468-5577.
Titles are subject to change if needed.
September 18, 2012
Leaving Van Gogh
Carol Wallace brilliantly navigates the mysteries surrounding the master artist’s death, relying on meticulous research to paint an indelible portrait of Van Gogh’s final days—and the friendship that may or may not have destroyed him. Telling Van Gogh’s story from an utterly new perspective—that of his personal physician, Dr. Gachet, specialist in mental illness and great lover of the arts—Wallace allows us to view the legendary painter as we’ve never seen him before. In our narrator’s eyes, Van Gogh is an irresistible puzzle, a man whose mind, plagued by demons, poses the most potentially rewarding challenge of Gachet’s career.Also available on playaway (audiobook).
October 16, 2012
The Union Quilters
In 1862, the men of Water's Ford, Pennsylvania, rally to President Lincoln's call while Dorothea Granger marshals her friends to "wield their needles for the Union." Meanwhile, Anneke Bergstrom hides the shame she feels for her husband's pacifism; gifted writer Gerda Bergstrom takes on local Southern sympathizers in the pages of the Water's Ford Register; and Constance Wright struggles to help her husband gain entry to the Union Army-despite the color of his skin. As the women work, hope, and pray, the men they love confront loneliness, boredom, and danger on the battlefield. But the women of the sewing circle also forge a new independence that will forever alter the patchwork of life in the Elm Creek Valley.
Also available on playaway (audiobook).
November 20, 2012
The Red Garden
A self-proclaimed love letter to Massachusetts, The Red Garden is a compilation of linked short stories revolving around the town of Blackwell. From the day Blackwell is founded, it becomes a town like no other. Whether the death of a small girl, the planting of an apple orchard, or the fish-like woman who stalks the shores of the Eel River, each story introduces a character we come to know intimately. Each glimpse into their lives is, albeit brief, entirely whole and endearing.
Also available on CD (audiobook) and in downloadable form as an ebook (Kindle and EPUB) and audiobook (WMA).
December 18, 2012
The Buddha in the Attic
A gorgeous novel by the celebrated author of When the Emperor Was Divine that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago. In eight unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journeys by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; from their experiences raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the deracinating arrival of war. Once again, Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel about identity and loyalty, and what it means to be an American in uncertain times.
January 15, 2013
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
After Harold Fry, a married retiree, finds out that an old love is in the hospital, he pens a quick reply and heads to the corner mailbox. Then a chance encounter convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person, and that if he walks the six hundred miles from Kingsbridge to the hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed, she will live.
February 19, 2013
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
A first novel about alchemy, magic and witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. Connie Goodwin has just passed her doctoral oral exam in colonial American history at Harvard, and she looks forward to working with her mentor, Professor Manning Chilton, on breaking new ground in her dissertation. While cleaning up the house of her recently deceased grandmother, she finds an antique key with a tiny scroll bearing the cryptic words "Deliverance Dane." Ever the good historian, Connie begins to track down the name, and eventually finds allusions to a "Physick Book": a manual of medicine used by knowledgeable women in the colonial era, but also a book of spells. The volume seems ever more elusive as Connie's desire grows stronger to track it down. She's also feeling some uncomfortable pressure from Professor Chilton, who seems to want the book as badly as Connie...
March 19, 2013
The Kingmaker’s Daughter
The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker,” Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.
April 16, 2013
The Second Empress
After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon's power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.
Also available on CD (audiobook).
May 21, 2013
A Hundred Flowers
Tsukiyama’s new novel takes place in 1958 and its title comes from Chairman Mao’s 1957 declaration of openness: “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.” Set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, it follows the struggles of Kai Ying to safeguard her family when her teacher husband is arrested and sent to a "reeducation" labor camp for criticizing the Communist Party.