The Bookworm has moved!
90th & Center Streets
2501 South 90th Street, Suite 111
Omaha, NE 68124
The Bookworm offers in-house book clubs that you can attend when the featured books fit your interests and schedule. Readers receive a 20% book club discount on the books selected for discussion. The Bookworm provides facilitators to help lead the discussions for many of the in-house book clubs. If you have suggestions for groups, or are willing to facilitate discussions, please let us know.
Friday, January 30 / 7 - 7:30 p.m. | Momaha Night Time Story Time for preschoolers, ages 1 – 5. Put the kids in their pajamas, bring along their favorite stuffed animal, and treat them to an early bedtime story. Expect a little singing, dancing and other fun activities. We’ll have the milk and cookies ready. See www.momaha.com for more information.
Saturday, January 31 / 1 p.m. | Alex Kava will sign Breaking Creed (Putnam, $26.95). | When Ryder Creed and one of his dogs are called in to search a commercial fishing vessel, they discover a secret compartment. But the Colombian cartels’ latest shipment isn’t drugs. This time, its cargo is human. To make matters worse, Creed helps one of the cartel’s drug mules escape—a fourteen-year-old girl who reminds him of his younger sister who disappeared fifteen years ago. Meanwhile, FBI agent Maggie O’Dell is investigating a series of murders—the victims tortured, killed, and dumped in the Potomac River. She suspects it’s the work of a cunning and brutal assassin, but her politically motivated boss has been putting up roadblocks. By the time she uncovers a hit list with Creed’s name on it, it might be too late. The cartel has already sent someone to destroy Creed and everyone close to him.
Monday, February 2 / 6:30 p.m. | The I Should Have Read That in School classics group will discuss The Short Stories of Langston Hughes (Hill & Wang, $17.00). This collection of forty-seven stories written between 1919 and 1963 showcases Langston Hughes's literary blossoming and the development of his personal and artistic concerns. Many of the stories assembled here have long been out of print, and others never before collected. These poignant, witty, angry, and deeply poetic stories demonstrate Hughes's uncanny gift for elucidating the most vexing questions of American race relations and human nature in general.
Tuesday, February 3 / 1 p.m. | The Art Discussion Group will discuss Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter by Patricia Albers (Knopf, $40.00). This first biography of renowned abstract expressionist painter Joan Mitchell (1925 1992) chronicles the artist's tortuous journey from her wealthy upbringing in Chicago to her defiant student days at Smith College, and as a young painter at the Art Institute of Chicago. Albers focuses on Mitchell's artistic life as a rising and respected New York School painter and her years in France from the late 1950s until her death, deftly balancing Mitchell's often difficult temperament with her artistic vision. Vibrantly written and carefully researched, including numerous interviews with Mitchell's former husband, friends, lovers, and colleagues, Albers constructs a fluid, energetic narrative of Mitchell's complicated life and work.
Wednesday, February 4 / Noon - 1 p.m. | What Are You Reading? book chat. Join us to chat about favorite reads, books that changed your life, or the book you just couldn’t put down. No need to make reservations--just come and enjoy a little conversation about books. Carol Lynch facilitates the discussions.
Saturday February 7 / 10 a.m. | The U.S. Presidents group will discuss Gerald R.Ford by Douglas Brinkley (Times, $25.00) When Gerald R. Ford entered the White House in August 1974, he inherited a presidency tarnished by the Watergate scandal, the economy was in a recession, the Vietnam War was drawing to a close, and he had taken office without having been elected. Most observers gave him little chance of success, especially after he pardoned Richard Nixon just a month into his presidency, an action that outraged many Americans, but which Ford thought was necessary to move the nation forward. Brinkley shows him to be a man of independent thought and conscience, who never allowed party loyalty to prevail over his sense of right and wrong.
Saturday February 7 | Local Author Day at The Bookworm!
Saturday February 7 / 1 p.m. | Rodger Gerberding will sign Come Now (Backwaters Press, $16.00). Rodger Gerberding reminds us of just how necessary the modernist’s dogged desire to employ everything in the world: philosophies, myths, ideologies, art, snippets of conversation, jokes, the detritus of popular culture, to lyric effect has been for denizens of the so-called information age. These poems reflect a probing intellect and an emotional candor that position Gerberding as a poet who is utterly convinced by the urgent need for poetry in our contemporary world, and one who sets out to remind us of the beauty that is produced when a gifted writer practices what he believes.
Saturday February 7 / 2 p.m. | Adrain Koesters will sign Many Parishes (Brickhouse Books, $15.00). Koesters' Many Parishes seem to smack the hard-ass contemporary world up against a deep spiritual sense, until we see they're one and the same. Koesters is able to write of men calling out to a ten-year old "spinster" to "come on down, sweetheart, I got something over here to show you," and allow us to feel in her small, frightened heart the identical anguish of soul as in the nun who's "divided from the principalities and goes in terror of them." These poems, like the nuns, "take things personally." They're lyrical confessions of the deepest griefs--abuse, divorce, doubt, and loneliness. They provide absolution, and positively joy, in their skillful and lucid singing.
Saturday February 7 / 3 p.m. | Joey Fehrman will sign his personal finance adventure novel Pirates of Financial Freedom ($24.99). This entertaining story teaches over 100 money lessons while empowering readers from ages 8 to 48 to take control of their financial destiny.
Saturday February 7 / 4 p.m. | Jennifer Slattery will sign When Dawn Breaks (New Hope, $15.99). As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution forces her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Sunday, February 8 / 11 a.m. | The book group Books and Bagels will discuss The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (Penguin, $17.00). Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker--a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry's brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father's money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma's research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction--into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist--but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.
Monday, February 9 / 6:30 p.m.| The Bookworm continues a pop-up discussion group discussing books about World War I. The February book is Paris at the End of the World: The City of Light During the Great War, 1914-1918 by John Baxter (Harper, $15.99). For four years, Paris lived under constant threat of destruction. And yet in its darkest hour, the City of Light blazed more brightly than ever. It's taxis shuttled troops to the front; its great railway stations received reinforcements from across the world; the grandest museums and cathedrals housed the wounded, and the Eiffel Tower hummed at all hours relaying messages to and from the front. At night, Parisians lived with urgency and without inhibition. Artists like Pablo Picasso achieved new creative heights. And the war brought a wave of foreigners to the city for the first time, including Ernest Hemingway and Baxter's grandfather, Archie, whose diaries he used to reconstruct a soldier's-eye view of the war years.
Wednesday, February 11 / 6:30 p.m. | The Wednesday Bookworms will discuss The Storied Life of A. J. Fikrey by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin, $14.95). A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has just died, in tragic circumstances. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.
Thursday, February 12 / 6 p.m. | Amiable Adult Readers Discussing Books Almost Always Read by Kids (Aardbaark) will discuss The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins, $7.99). Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
Sunday, February 15 / 12:30 p.m. | Dust off your old copy of Louisa May Alcott's classic, Little Women, and come discuss its story and its place in American Literature. Not only has Little Women been in print continuously for 150 years but its popularity has taken it to new heights on stage and screen. Plan to come to the Omaha Community Playhouse at 69th and Cass Streets on Sunday, February 15 at 12:30 p.m. for discussion, a backstage tour and to attend the matinee performance of Little Women, The Musical. The Omaha Community Playhouse is offering us the discounted group rate of $30 for adults and $20 for students. Young readers are welcome— how old were you when you first read Little Women? Please reserve tickets by February 5 with Ellen Scott at The Bookworm. For more information, contact Ellen Scott at email@example.com.
Tuesday, February 17 / 6:30 p.m. | The International Intrigue Book Group will discuss Eye for an Eye by Ben Coes (St. Martin’s, $9.99). When Dewey Andreas uncovers the identity of a mole embedded at a high level in Israel's Mossad, it triggers a larger, more dangerous plot. The mole was the most important asset of Chinese Intelligence, and the head of China's Ministry of State Security, Fao Bhang, responds to the discovery by placing a kill order on Dewey himself. Dewey is tracked to Argentina, where he is on vacation with his fiancee, Jessica Tanzer, a U.S. national security advisor. A top-level kill team is sent in quickly and quietly, but their attack fails to take him out. The collateral damage, however, is both horrifying and deeply personal. Now, with Chinese Intelligence on his trail, Dewey goes rogue in his quest for vengeance.
Wednesday, February 18 / 6 p.m. | The Louise Penny Discussion Group will continue with her eighth novel, The Beautiful Mystery (Minotaur, $15.99). No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace, prayer, and singing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as "the beautiful mystery." But when the renowned choir director is murdered, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between. The Beautiful Mystery is the winner of the 2012 Agatha Award for best novel, the 2013 Anthony Award for best novel and the 2013 Macavity Award for best novel.
Thursday, February 19 / 6 p.m. | The World War II At Night Group will discuss Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Random House, $16.00). In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
Thursday, February 19 / 6:30 p.m. | The As the Worm Turns Book Group will discuss Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman by Sara James Mnookin (Harper, $35.00) With delightful remembrances from celebrities, designers, and highly regarded fashion insiders--from Manolo Blahnik, Marc Jacobs, and Vera Wang to Joan Rivers, Susan Lucci, and Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen--Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman also features a foreword by fashion writer Holly Brubach, as well as art and photography from major advertising campaigns and original vintage sketches created by Bergdorf at the collection presentations of designers such as Lanvin, Chanel, and Balenciaga. This is an essential book for anyone who loves fashion, the thrill of a sumptuous shopping experience, and wonderful stories told by and about the famous. Nancy Rips will lead the discussion.
Saturday, February 21 / 1 p.m. | Suzanne Smith Arney will sign Her Art/Herself - Profiles of 56 Women Who Make Art Matter ($35.00). This is a history as well as a guide to the current art scene as most of the artists interviewed still live and work in the Omaha area. It can be taken as a handbook to artists and art work generally, revealing the hows and whys of artists’ motivations, approaches, processes, and techniques. Arney has added a preface and short essays that comment on and update the original profiles. The book also includes forewords by Janet L. Farber, Director, Schrager Collection of Contemporary Art, and by John Rogers, Owner/Director, Gallery 72.
Sunday, February 22 / 1 p.m. | Monya Nogg will sign Age is Just a Number and Mine is Unlisted. Nogg has worked in film, TV and stage for decades, but don't write her off as old. She's a world traveler - owned 23 horses - did makeup for Buzz Aldrin and Oprah Winfrey - was production coordinator on Superbowl commercials, films for Disney's Epcot and Hallmark to name a few.
Monday, February 23 / 2 p.m. | The World War II Book Group will discuss Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy by Eri Hotta (Vintage, $16.95). When Japan launched hostilities against the United States in 1941, argues Eri Hotta, its leaders understood they were entering a war they were almost certain to lose. Hotta shows us a Japan eager to avoid war but fraught with tensions with the West, blinded by reckless militarism couched in traditional notions of pride and honor, tempted by the gambler's dream of scoring the biggest win against impossible odds and nearly escaping disaster before it finally proved inevitable. We see a dysfunctional political system in which military leaders reported to both the civilian government and the emperor, creating a structure that facilitated intrigues and stoked a jingoistic rivalry between Japan's army and navy. Hotta peels back seventy years of historical mythologizing to expose Japanese leaders torn by doubt in the months preceding the attack, more concerned with saving face than saving lives, finally drawn into war as much by incompetence and lack of political will as by bellicosity.
Tuesday, February 24 / 6:30 p.m. | The Crime Through Time Book Group will discuss The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by George Simenon (Penguin, $10.00). A first ink drawing showed a hanged man swinging from a gallows on which perched an enormous crow. And there were at least twenty other etchings and pen or pencil sketches that had the same leitmotif of hanging. On the edge of a forest: a man hanging from every branch. A church steeple: beneath the weathercock, a human body dangling from each arm of the cross. Below another sketch were written four lines from Francois Villon's Ballade of the Hanged Men. On a trip to Brussels, Maigret unwittingly causes a man's suicide, but his own remorse is overshadowed by the discovery of the sordid events that drove the desperate man to shoot himself.
Friday, February 27 / 7 - 7:30 p.m. | Momaha Night Time Story Time for preschoolers, ages 1 – 5. Put the kids in their pajamas, bring along their favorite stuffed animal, and treat them to an early bedtime story. Expect a little singing, dancing and other fun activities. We’ll have the milk and cookies ready. See www.momaha.com for more information.
Saturday, February 28 / 10 a.m. | The Civil War Book Group will discuss Lamplight by Tommy Nocerino (Xlibris, $19.99). The War between the States has taken a turn. The Confederacy, after victory upon victory, is beginning to fall. New York City is also torn. Large numbers of copperheads, Southern sympathizers, are growing impatient with the war dragging on and the fear of freed blacks coming up to the city to take their jobs. A Union officer, disenchanted with the handling of the war and its fighting men, resigns his commission as a cavalryman to take a job as a detective with the Metropolitan Police force of Manhattan. Hired to catch the killer of a police captain, he stumbles into attempts to destroy the great city, unaware that a larger more hideous plan lurks. The circle of his investigation revolves around a young spiritualist. Gaining notoriety with New York’s upper class, she preys on the misfortunes of others by communicating with the dead. Is she involved in the murder? She is also in with a group of ruthless people determined to take the city with the help of Confederate spies who will stop at nothing to succeed. What terrible plan awaits this great city? Can it be stopped?
Monday, March 2 / 6:30 p.m. | The I Should Have Read That in School classics group will discuss To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf ($10.99). To the Lighthouse is considered the epitome of high modernism, that by abandoning the traditional narration (he said, she said-as told by the narrator), transforms the genre with the new technique of stream of consciousness. The text focuses on the Ramsays, their friends and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920.The novel contains three sections. In the first we see the Ramsays and their friends spending an afternoon and evening in the Isle of Skye. The second section is an interlude of ten years which memorializes not only the great beauty that was Mrs. Ramsay, but also the house and its surroundings. The third section shows how the family and friends have changed as they make a final visit ten years later, and how they feel when they finally reach the lighthouse.
Tuesday, March 3 / 1 p.m. | The Art Discussion Group will discuss Lee Krasner: A Biography by Gail Levin (Morrow, $16.99). Lee Krasner is best known as the artist-wife of Jackson Pollock, the renowned abstract expressionist painter. Yet in this first full-length account of her colorful life, Krasner emerges as a significant artist who deserves her place in the twentieth century's cultural lexicon. Art historian Gail Levin probes Krasner's relationship with Pollock, examining how this strong woman struggled to meet the challenges of their poverty, as well as her husband's alcoholism and extramarital affair, all the while encouraging his art. Drawing on new sources and numerous personal interviews--including with Krasner herself--Levin has written a dynamic and moving portrait of a brilliant woman, a most welcome work that recovers Krasner's voice and allows us to understand how her life intersected with and informed her art.
Wednesday, March 4 / Noon - 1 p.m. | What Are You Reading? book chat. Join us to chat about favorite reads, books that changed your life, or the book you just couldn’t put down. No need to make reservations--just come and enjoy a little conversation about books. Carol Lynch facilitates the discussions.
Wednesday, March 4 / 6 p.m. | Jennifer Chiaverini will sign Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule (Dutton, $26.95). In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom's abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony. Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress's closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia's eyes to the world. The Grants vowed never to be separated, but as Ulysses rose through the ranks--becoming general in chief of the Union Army--so did the stakes of their pact. During the war, Julia would travel, often in the company of Jule and the four Grant children, facing unreliable transportation and certain danger to be at her husband's side. Yet Julia and Jule saw two different wars. While Julia spoke out for women--Union and Confederate--she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind Union lines. Upon the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule claimed her freedom and rose to prominence as a businesswoman in her own right.
Saturday March 7 / 10 a.m. | The U.S. Presidents group will discuss Jimmy Carter by Julian E. Zelizer (Times, $23.00). Jimmy Carter rose to national power through mastering the strategy of the maverick politician. But running as an outsider was easier than governing as one, as Zelizer shows in this examination of Carter's presidency. Once in power, Carter faced challenges sustaining a strong political coalition, as he focused on policies that often antagonized key Democrats, whose support he desperately needed. By 1980, Carter stood alone in the Oval Office as he confronted a battered economy, soaring oil prices, American hostages in Iran, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Carter's unpopularity enabled Ronald Reagan to achieve a landslide victory, ushering in a conservative revolution. But during Carter's post-presidential career, he has emerged as an important voice for international diplomacy and negotiation, remaking his image as a statesman for our time.
Sunday, March 8 / 11 a.m. | The book group Books and Bagels will discuss the 2014 Omaha Reads selection, The Meaning of Names by Karen Gettert Shoemaker (Red Hen, $15.95). Stuart, Nebraska is a long way from the battlefields of Western Europe, but it is not immune to the horrors of the first Great War for Peace. Like all communities, it has lost sons and daughters to the fighting, with many more giving themselves over to the hatred only war can engender. Set in 1918 in the farm country at the heart of America, The Meaning of Names is the story of an ordinary woman trying to raise a family during extraordinary times. Estranged from her parents because she married against their will, confronted with violence and prejudice against her people, and caught up in the midst of the worst plague the world has ever seen, Gerda Vogel, an American of German descent, must find the strength to keep her family safe from the effects of a war that threatens to consume the whole world.
Monday, March 9 / 6:30 p.m. | The pop-up discussion group discussing books about World War I will conclude with Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger (Penguin, $17.00). A memoir of astonishing power, savagery, and ashen lyricism, Storm of Steel illuminates not only the horrors but also the fascination of total war, seen through the eyes of an ordinary German soldier. Young, tough, patriotic, but also disturbingly self-aware, Jünger exulted in the Great War, which he saw not just as a great national conflict but-more importantly-as a unique personal struggle. Leading raiding parties, defending trenches against murderous British incursions, simply enduring as shells tore his comrades apart, Jünger kept testing himself, braced for the death that will mark his failure. Published shortly after the war's end, Storm of Steel was a worldwide bestseller.
Wednesday, March 11 / 6:30 p.m. | The Wednesday Bookworms will discuss Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago (Mariner, $15.95). What happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death? On the first day of the new year, no one dies, causing consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration--flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home--families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots. Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small "d, " became human and were to fall in love?
Thursday, March 12 / 6 p.m. | Amiable Adult Readers Discussing Books Almost Always Read by Kids (Aardbaark) will discuss Yaqui Delgado Wants To Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (Candlewick, $7.99). One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn't even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she's done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn't Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn't kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she's never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy's life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away?
Tuesday, March 17 / 6:30 p.m. | The International Intrigue Book Group’s book has not yet been selected.
Thursday, March 19 / 6 p.m. | The World War II At Night Group will discuss Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers Who Turned The Tide in the Second World War by Paul Kennedy (Random House, $16.00). Kennedy provides a new and unique look at how World War II was won. Engineers of Victory is a fascinating nuts-and-bolts account of the strategic factors that led to Allied victory. Kennedy reveals how the leaders' grand strategy was carried out by the ordinary soldiers, scientists, engineers, and businessmen responsible for realizing their commanders' visions of success. The story of World War II is often told as a grand narrative, as if it were fought by supermen or decided by fate. Here Kennedy uncovers the real heroes of the war, highlighting the creative strategies, tactics, and organizational decisions that made the lofty Allied objectives into a successful reality. In an even more significant way, Engineers of Victory has another claim to our attention, for it restores "the middle level of war" to its rightful place in history.
Thursday, March 19 / 6:30 p.m. | The As the Worm Turns Book Group will discuss After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story by Michael Hainey (Scribner,$16.00). Hainey was a boy of six when his father, a bright and shining star in the glamorous, hard-living world of 1960s Chicago newspapers, died under mysterious circumstances. His tragic absence left behind not only a young widow and two small sons but questions about family and truth that would obsess Michael for decades. Years later, Michael undertakes a risky journey to uncover the true story about what happened to his father. Prodding reluctant relatives and working through a network of his father's old colleagues, Michael begins to reconcile the father he lost with the one he comes to know. At the heart of his quest is his mother, a woman of courage and tenacity--and a steely determination to press on with her life. A universal story of love and loss and the resilience of family, After Visiting Friends is the account of a son who goes searching for his father, and in the journey discovers new love and admiration for his mother. Barry Combs will lead the discussion.
Monday, March 23 / 2 p.m. | The World War II Book Group will discuss Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 by Max Hastings (Vintage, $17.95). One of our finest military historians gives us a magnificent, single-volume history of the entire conflict. Through his strikingly detailed stories of everyday people--of soldiers, sailors and airmen; British housewives and Indian peasants; SS killers and the citizens of Leningrad--Hastings provides a singularly intimate portrait of the world at war. Remarkably informed and wide-ranging, Inferno is both elegantly written and cogently argued. Above all, it is a new and essential understanding of one of the greatest and bloodiest events of the twentieth century. Discussion will continue in the April meeting.
Tuesday, March 24 / 6:30 p.m. | The Crime Through Time Book Group will discuss The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (Mariner, $15.95). The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon--all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where "the most interesting things happen at night.”
Wednesday, March 25 / 6 p.m. | The Louise Penny Discussion Group will continue with her ninth novel How the Light Gets In (Minotaur, $15.99). Christmas is approaching but shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn't spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna's friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?
Friday, March 27 / 7 - 7:30 p.m. | Momaha Night Time Story Time for preschoolers, ages 1 – 5. Put the kids in their pajamas, bring along their favorite stuffed animal, and treat them to an early bedtime story. Expect a little singing, dancing and other fun activities. We’ll have the milk and cookies ready. See www.momaha.com for more information.
Saturday, March 28 / 10 a.m. | The Civil War Book Group will discuss Mathew Brady: Portrait of a Nation by Robert Wilson (Bloomsbury, $18.00). Mathew Brady's attention to detail, flair for composition, and technical mastery helped establish the photograph as a thing of value. In the 1840s and '50s, he photographed such dignitaries as Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Dolley Madison, Horace Greeley, the Prince of Wales, and Jenny Lind. But it was during the Civil War that Brady's photography became an epochal part of American history. The Civil War was the first war in history to leave a detailed photographic record, and Brady knew better than anyone the dual power of the camera to record and excite, to stop a moment in time and preserve it. More than ten thousand war images are attributed to the Brady studio. But while Brady accompanied the Union army to the first major battle at Bull Run, he was so shaken by the experience that throughout the rest of the war he rarely visited battlefields except well before or after a major battle, instead sending teams of photographers to the front.