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Everyone is Welcome!
Kent State Stark Library Book Club
Thursday, December 1st, 2016
Time: 5:15 p.m.
Meeting will be held in the Library.
A-Z Penguin Drop Caps Series
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
#1 New York Times Bestseller The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives. One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another. Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.
Small Great Things by
Publication Date: 2016-10-11
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from Jodi Picoult. "[Picoult] offers a thought-provoking examination of racism in America today, both overt and subtle. Her many readers will find much to discuss in the pages of this topical, moving book."--Booklist (starred review) Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family--especially her teenage son--as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others--and themselves--might be wrong. With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion--and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game. Praise for Small Great Things "Small Great Things is the most important novel Jodi Picoult has ever written. . . . It will challenge her readers . . . [and] expand our cultural conversation about race and prejudice."--The Washington Post "A novel that puts its finger on the very pulse of the nation that we live in today . . . a fantastic read from beginning to end, as can always be expected from Picoult, this novel maintains a steady, page-turning pace that makes it hard for readers to put down."--San Francisco Book Review "A gripping courtroom drama . . . Given the current political climate it is quite prescient and worthwhile. . . . This is a writer who understands her characters inside and out."--Roxane Gay, The New York Times Book Review "I couldn't put it down. Her best yet!"--New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman "A compelling, can't-put-it-down drama with a trademark [Jodi] Picoult twist."--Good Housekeeping "It's Jodi Picoult, the prime provider of literary soul food. This riveting drama is sure to be supremely satisfying and a bravely thought-provoking tale on the dangers of prejudice."--Redbook "Jodi Picoult is never afraid to take on hot topics, and in Small Great Things, she tackles race and discrimination in a way that will grab hold of you and refuse to let you go. . . . This page-turner is perfect for book clubs."--Popsugar
Library Book Club Pick for April 2016
Before the Fall by
Publication Date: 2016-05-31
From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics' Choice, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller of the year. On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage. Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.
Also by Noah Hawley
The Good Father by
Publication Date: 2012-03-20
An intense, psychological novel about one doctor's suspense-filled quest to unlock the mind of a suspected political assassin: his twenty-year old son. As the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He lives a contented life in Westport with his second wife and their twin sons--hard won after a failed marriage earlier in his career that produced a son named Daniel. In the harrowing opening scene of this provocative and affecting novel, Dr. Allen is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot at a rally, and Daniel is caught on video as the assassin. Daniel Allen has always been a good kid--a decent student, popular--but, as a child of divorce, used to shuttling back and forth between parents, he is also something of a drifter. Which may be why, at the age of nineteen, he quietly drops out of Vassar and begins an aimless journey across the United States, during which he sheds his former skin and eventually even changes his name to Carter Allen Cash. Told alternately from the point of view of the guilt-ridden, determined father and his meandering, ruminative son, The Good Father is a powerfully emotional page-turner that keeps one guessing until the very end. This is an absorbing and honest novel about the responsibilities--and limitations--of being a parent and our capacity to provide our children with unconditional love in the face of an unthinkable situation.
Other People's Weddings by
Publication Date: 2004-05-01
Laurie is a wedding photographer who has photograph more than a thousand weddings over the last ten years. One morning, when wakes up and wonders what happened to all those couples. She starts making calls. Some of them are still together. Others have split up. She begins a photography project to document what happens to love after the wedding. She photographs widowers and divorcees, homewreckers and stalkers. She is still photographing weddings, and at one of them she meets a man who has sneaked into the proceedings. A crasher. They share a spark, a few moments of powerful chemistry, and then he's gone. Later, at home, she finds pictures of him at eleven other weddings she's photographed and wonders if his propensity to crash weddings is sweet or creepy. She starts looking for him at every wedding she photographs. When she finally sees him again, a romance begins between them. Through her courtship, glimpses of her past emerge-her own first marriage and divorce, the things she is trying to get over, to get past, that threaten her new relationship. Her past makes her a ghost at all the weddings she photographs. Before the book is over, she has to tear down all the walls she has built.
A Conspiracy of Tall Men by
Publication Date: 1998-06-23
In this remarkably smart and totally absorbing literary thriller, Noah Hawley cracks through our last remaining illusions about life in America to expose the dark, eccentric paranoia that thrives at its center. Linus Owen is a professor of conspiracy theory at Modesto College in San Rafael, California. He teaches, among other things, a graduate-level class on JFK and gives seminars on magic bullet theories and how the symbols on the dollar bill reveal the presence of a secret government leading the world toward biblical Armageddon. Recently, Linus's marriage has had its problems, so his wife, Claudia, has taken a few days off to visit her mother in Chicago, leaving Linus to wander his empty house alone. But if Claudia is in Chicago, how is it that two FBI agents can show up at Linus's office and tell him that she has been killed in a plane crash on her way from New York to Brazil? And why did a man named Jeffrey Holden, the vice president of a major pharmaceuticals company, buy her ticket and die beside her on the plane? Enlisting the aid of Edward and Roy, his friends and fellow conspiracy theorists, who help him sort through disinformation from federal authorities, Linus begins an investigation that will ultimately bring all three men to the heart of the American desert and to the realization that what they thought was the truth is really something far more sinister. Crackling with energy and style, populated by gritty, off-beat characters all harboring their own hidden agendas,A Conspiracy of Tall Menprovides a fast-paced, literate look into the ominous rebirth of American nervousness.
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