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Everyone is Welcome!
Kent State Stark Library Book Club
Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Time: 5:15 p.m.
Meeting will be held in the Library.
They Go Together!
Swimming Lessons by
Publication Date: 2017-02-07
Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan. Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he's getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn't realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her. Scandalous and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a passionate and troubled marriage.
The Whole Town's Talking by
Publication Date: 2016-11-29
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is at her superb best in this fun-loving, moving novel about what it means to be truly alive. Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it's called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town's Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder's Our Town and Flagg's own Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways. Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. "Resting place" turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking. With her wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town's Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies. Praise for The Whole Town's Talking "[A] witty multigenerational saga . . . [Fannie] Flagg's down-home wisdom, her affable humor and her long view of life offer a pleasant respite in nerve-jangling times."--People "The Whole Town's Talking [is] Fannie Flagg at her best."--Florida Times Union "I could not put this book down and didn't want the tale to end. Fannie Flagg does it again; a great read you won't want to miss."--The Missourian "It's a sweeping, cinematic approach. . . . Flagg's gentle storytelling makes the novel an easy, comfortable read that will leave a reader thinking about life, love and loss"--Minneapolis Star Tribune "[Fannie Flagg] creates a world familiar in its reality and its hopes, and she displays her storytelling skills, ones that are enhanced by her humanity, her optimism and her big heart. . . . The Whole Town's Talking [is] a story of life's peaks, valleys and ordinary days--and a ringing affirmation of love, community and life itself."--Richmond Times-Dispatch "The Whole Town's Talking is warm and inviting. Flagg's Elmwood Springs novels are comfort reads of the best kind, warm and engaging without flash or fuss."--Miami Herald "Flagg's humor shines through as she chronicles their successes, disappointments, and even a mysterious murder or two. . . . The interwoven lives of these completely engaging characters twist and turn in unexpected ways, making this chronicle of a close-knit community a pleasure to read."--BookPage "[A] charming tale."--Booklist
Library Book Club Pick for April 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-01
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate. Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night. Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap. Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.
Also by Alice Hoffman
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by
Publication Date: 2014-02-18
Mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice Hoffman's The Museum of Extraordinary Things is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century. Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's "museum," alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River. The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father's Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as a tailor's apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman's disappearance and ignites the heart of Coralie. With its colorful crowds of bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists, New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling to unite Coralie and Eddie in a sizzling, tender, and moving story of young love in tumultuous times. The Museum of Extraordinary Things is Alice Hoffman at her most spellbinding.
Practical Magic by
Publication Date: 1995-06-13
Magic, fantasy, and love at first sight figure in this tale about 4 generations of Massachusetts sisters.
Illumination Night by
Publication Date: 2002-02-05
Beginning on the night of the Grand Illumination, a festival of lanterns held each summer on Martha's Vineyard, this novel is a modern chronicle of a marriage and a bittersweet exploration of an extraordinary passion. Illumination Night follows the lives of a young blond giant who is as beautiful as he is frightening; an old woman at the end of her life whose last mission is to save her granddaughter's soul; a family torn apart by a wife's fears and a husband's unrealized desires--and the high school girl who comes to Martha's Vineyard against her will, who steals husbands and cars, and who will bring everyone together in a web of yearning, sin, and ultimate redemption. Both riveting and reflective, this is a story of "parenthood and friendship, self-protection and generosity, dream and disillusionment" (Newsday) that brings to light the talent that has made Alice Hoffman an acclaimed bestselling author.
The Dovekeepers by
Publication Date: 2012-04-03
The Dovekeepers is Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing novel: “striking….Hoffman grounds her expansive, intricately woven, and deepest new novel in biblical history, with a devotion and seriousness of purpose” (Entertainment Weekly). Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.
More About the Author
Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay "Independence Day" a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel Aquamarine was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.