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, May 29 | Momaha Night Time Story Time will take a summer break for May, June and July.
Monday, June 1 / 6:30 p.m. | The I Should Have Read That in School classics group will discuss As You Like It by William Shakespeare (Modern Library, $8.00). This wisely funny comedy, which contains some of Shakespeare's loveliest poetry, contrasts a court's world of envy and rivalry with a forest's world of compassion and harmony. In the Forest of Arden, the banished young heroine, Rosalind, disguised as a gentleman farmer, encounters an extraordinary assemblage of characters, including a fool, a malcontent traveler, her own banished father, and the banished young man she loves. Romantic happiness triumphs, even as we laugh at the excesses of love, at the ways of court and countryside, indeed, at everything, in this masterpiece of comic writing.
Tuesday, June 2 / 1 p.m. | The Art Discussion Group will discuss The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World’s First Artists by Gregory Curtis (Anchor, $15.95). The Cave Painters is a vivid introduction to the spectacular cave paintings of France and Spain--the individuals who rediscovered them, theories about their origins, their splendor and mystery. Curtis makes us see the astonishing sophistication and power of the paintings and tells us what is known about their creators, the Cro-Magnon people of some 40,000 years ago. He takes us through various theories--that the art was part of fertility or hunting rituals, or used for religious purposes, or was clan mythology--examining the ways interpretations have changed over time. Rich in detail, personalities, and history, The Cave Painters is permeated with awe for those distant humans who developed--perhaps for the first time--both the ability for abstract thought and a profound and beautiful way to express it.
Tuesday, June 2 / 6:30 p.m. | The Killing Time Book Group will discuss Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart (Berkley, $7.99). Business is slow for Annie Darling’s mystery bookstore. To boost her sales, Annie decides to host a book signing for the island’s resident writer. During the signing, Gretchen Burkholt, a fellow volunteer at the local charity shop leaves Annie multiple voicemails about scandalous news she’s dying to share. So, when the event wraps up, Annie heads over to hear the latest scoop…only to find Gretchen dead on the floor, an axe by her side. Annie, with the help of her husband, Max, uncovers a mysterious plot involving an overturned kayak, a stolen motorboat, a troubled love affair, and a reckless teenager. Annie will have to keep her eyes peeled and use every trick in the book to track down a cold-blooded killer in the dead of winter.
Wednesday, June 3 / 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 June 6 / 10 a.m. | The U.S. Presidents group will discuss George W. Bush by James Mann (Times Books, $25.00). Republicans viewed him as a resolute leader who guided America through the September 11 attacks and retaliated in Afghanistan and Iraq, while Democrats saw him as an overmatched president who led America into two inconclusive wars that sapped the nation's resources and diminished its stature. When Bush left office amid a growing financial crisis, both parties were eager to move on. Mann sheds light on why George W. Bush made the decisions that shaped his presidency, what went wrong, and how the internal debates and fissures within his administration played out in such a charged atmosphere. He shows how and why Bush became such a polarizing figure in both domestic and foreign affairs, and he examines the origins and enduring impact of Bush's most consequential actions--including Iraq, the tax cuts, and the war on terror. In this way, Mann points the way to a more complete understanding of George W. Bush and his times.
Saturday, June 6 / 10 a.m. | Enjoy Oswald’s Super Dooper Storytime Adventures featuring stories, songs and fun with Oswold and Liam Chleborad. Visit facebook.com/OswaldsPuppetHangout for more information.
Sunday, June 7 / 1 p.m. | Kathleen O’Brien will sign Home Is Our Journey – The Sisters of Mercy of Omaha, 1960-2008, and Our Journey Together – The Sisters of Mercy of Omaha, 1929-1959. In October of 1864 seven Sisters of Mercy were sent to provide formal education to the Catholic people of Omaha. The needs stretched beyond the classroom and the sisters in those early years found themselves also assisting the orphaned, the homeless, the hungry, the poor and the ill. As the Nebraska foundation grew and more young women came to dedicate their lives to Mercy, the scope of the Order's influence widened. Because the needs and ills of God's people are diverse, the Sisters of Mercy work in a variety of ministries. They educate, counsel, conduct retreats and give spiritual direction, work on parish staffs, care for the ill, protect peoples' legal rights, assist the disabled, and run soup kitchens, shelters, and day care centers.
Wednesday, June 10 / 6:30 p.m. | The Wednesday Bookworms will discuss Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Back Bay, $20.00). Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love--and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
Thursday, June 11 / 6 p.m. | Amiable Adult Readers Discussing Books Almost Always Read by Kids (Aardbaark) will discuss Every Day by David Levithan (Random House, $9.99). Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. There's never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It's all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with--day in, day out, day after day.
Saturday, June 13 / 1 p.m. | Jeff Barnes will sign Extra Innings: The Story of Modisett Ball Park ($15.00). Extra Innings: The Story of Modisett Ball Park is the tale of the panhandle town of Rushville, where two stingy brothers built a showpiece ball field, where professional baseball recruited a Nebraska kid who struck out Mantle, and where this “field of dreams” was restored as the best ballpark in western Nebraska.
Sunday, June 14 / 11 a.m. | The book group Books and Bagels will discuss The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $17.00). The story follows Hetty “Handful” Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. The Invention of Wings follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined.
Sunday, June 14 / 1 p.m. | Stephanie Grace Whitson will sign Daughter of the Regiment (Hachette, $15.00). As the mistress of her brother's Missouri plantation, Miss Elizabeth Blair has learned to play her part as the perfect hostess - and to not ask questions about her brother Walker's business affairs. When Walker's political aspirations lead him to organize the Wildwood Guard in support of the Confederacy - and to offer his plantation as the center of operations - Libbie must gracefully manage a house with officers in residence and soldiers camped on the lawn. But she is truly put to the test as the war draws ever closer to her doorstep, and she must find a way to protect the people who depend on her.
Tuesday, June 16 / 6:30 p.m. | The International Intrigue Book Group will discuss The Bone Man by Wolf Haas (Melville House, $14.95). Inexplicably, the most popular restaurant in this bucolic corner of Austria is a fried chicken joint. When human bones are found in the bone-grinder pile, the restaurant's manager hires PI Simon Brenner to investigate. Now she's gone missing. The case gets stranger as folks disappear at a disturbing clip and a soccer player's head is discovered in an equipment bag. Eventually Brenner realizes a soccer bribery scandal is probably connected to the bones in the restaurant. Needless to say, he hopes to solve the case without losing any bones himself.
Wednesday, June 17 / 1 p.m. | The Spring Pop-Up Discussion Group focusing on plants and flowers will discuss The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks by Amy Stewart (Algonquin, $19.95). Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries. Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history. This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.
Wednesday, June 17 / 6 p.m. | Jennifer Burge will sign The Devil Wears Clogs ($19.99). Her memoir reflects Jennifer's intellectual curiosity and wry sense of humor. A stranger in a land becoming increasingly hostile to Americans after the US decision to pursue war in Iraq, she must learn to adopt a balanced perspective of her native country. Jennifer leans on her professional strength and a heavy dose of sarcasm to navigate this unknown territory. Her faux pas are many before she begins to appreciate the true depth of the cultural divide. Jennifer contemplates that perhaps she must change and not an entire continent.
Thursday, June 18 / 6 p.m. | The World War II At Night Group will discuss Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937-1945 by Rana Mitter (Mariner, $15.95). In 1937, Chinese troops clashed with Japanese occupiers in the first battle of World War II. Joining with the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, China became the fourth great ally in a devastating struggle for its very survival. This gripping narrative focuses on a handful of unforgettable characters, including Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, and Chiang's American chief of staff, "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell. Mitter also recounts the sacrifice and resilience of everyday Chinese people through the horrors of bombings, famines, and the infamous Rape of Nanking. More than any other twentieth-century event, World War II was crucial in shaping China's worldview, making Forgotten Ally both a definitive work of history and an indispensable guide to today's China and its relationship with the West.
Thursday, June 18 / 6:30 p.m. | The As the Worm Turns Book Group will discuss the 2014 Omaha Reads selection, The Meaning of Names by Karen Gettert Shoemaker (Red Hen Press, $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. The author will lead the discussion.
Saturday, June 20 / 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Local Children’s Author Day – A full schedule will be available June 6.
2 p.m. | Rebecca Gomez will sign What About Moose? (Atheneum, $17.99). An overly bossy moose ends up learning the value of teamwork while building a treehouse with friends. This rhyming book will prove quite interactive as it implores kids to say along "But what about you, Moose!"
Monday, June 22 / 2 p.m. | The World War II Book Group will discuss The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by Willian Shirer. (Simon & Schuster, $29.99). Famed foreign correspondent and historian Shirer spent five and a half years sifting through the vast paperwork behind Hitler's drive to conquer the world to bring this definitive record of one of the most frightening chapters in the history of mankind. “One of the most important works of history of our time”-The New York Times. Discussion will be continued in the July meeting.
Tuesday, June 23 / 6:30 p.m. | The Crime Through Time Book Group will discuss The Snake Stone by Jason Goodwin (Picador, $16.00). When a French archaeologist arrives in 1830s Istanbul determined to track down a lost Byzantine treasure, the local Greek communities are uncertain how to react. Yashim Togalu, who brilliantly solved the mysterious murders in The Janissary Tree, is once again enlisted to investigate.
Wednesday, June 24 / 6 p.m. | After reading all Louise Penny’s books, the Louise Penny group has become the Mysterious Readers Group and will next read the works of Donna Leon. The June book is Death in a Strange Country (Grove, $15.00). Early one morning Commissario Guido Brunetti of the Venice Police confronts a grisly sight when the body of a young man is fished out of a fetid canal. All the clues point to a violent mugging, but for Brunetti the motive of robbery seems altogether too convenient. When something is discovered in the victim's apartment that suggests the existence of a high-level conspiracy, Brunetti becomes convinced that somebody is taking great pains to provide a ready-made solution to the crime.
Thursday, June 25 / 6:30 p.m. | The Enquiring Minds Group will discuss Marine Biology: A Very Short Introduction by Philip Mladenov (Oxford University Press, $11.95). Mladenov provides a comprehensive overview of marine biology, offering a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs, and from shoreline mollusks to deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Mladenov also looks at a number of factors that pose a significant threat to the marine environment and to many of its life forms-threats such as overfishing, coastal development, plastic pollution, oil spills, nutrient pollution, the spread of exotic species, and the emission of climate changing greenhouse gases. Throughout the book he successfully weaves around the principles of marine biology a discussion of the human impacts on the oceans and the threats these pose to our welfare.
Saturday, June 27 / 10 a.m. | The Civil War Book Group has broadened its scope to become the American History Book Club, focusing on the 1760 to 1900 time period. The June book is Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence by Joseph Ellis (Vintage, $15.95). The summer months of 1776 witnessed the most consequential events in our country's founding. While the thirteen colonies came together and agreed to secede from the British Empire, the British were dispatching the largest armada ever to cross the Atlantic to crush the rebellion in the cradle. The Continental Congress and the Continental Army were forced to make decisions on the run, improvising as history congealed around them. Ellis meticulously examines the figures in this propitious moment, including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Britain's Admiral Lord Richard and General William Howe. He weaves together the political and military experiences as two sides of a single story, and shows how events on one front influenced outcomes on the other.
Saturday, June 27 | Local Authors Day
12 p.m. | Peggy Williams will sign Look Up ($14.99). The book Look Up shows how clouds speak without saying a word (example, the alphabet). Clouds are a small part of the heavens which declare the glory of God.
1 p.m. | Shandy Loberg will sign Surviving Life: How to Turn Nightmares into Dreams ($12.99). The darkest moments in our lives are generally faced alone; no one can save us in those moments but God and ourselves. But God does place people in our lives to support us on our journeys through the dark times. I share my story in this book to do just that-help people on their own journeys of darkness. Through my story, I hope to tell others how to face the demons in their own nightmares, conquer them, and thrive emotionally, spiritually, and physically in spite of them.
2 p.m. | Britny Cordera will sign Wingmakers ($17.00). Wingmakers combines Britny Cordera's lyric and prose poems with David Burton's illustrations to create an imaginative world of animal lore. Through the eyes of the muse, Urania, and the creatures of the air embodied within the constellations--dove, owl, dragon, thunderbird, phoenix, and others--each poem related stories and invokes the wisdom of our mythological pasts. The animals in Cordera's constellations share the wonders, frailties, and concerns of humans. This enchanting book of poetry, poetic prose, and art invites readers to view the constellations and our human life from new perspectives.
3 p.m. | T. J. Rourke will sign The Walls of Wind and Fire ($19.95). Two great legends — past their time, lost on a Quest of a Thousand Years — stumble upon a lost realm. There they discover forgotten terrors, quirky gods, sinister agents, ancient wonders — and the brutal conflict underlying all of them — revealing the truth behind nine words older than spacetime.
4 p.m. | Michael Tan Creti will sign The Great Crowd: A Love Story about a Large Urban Parish ($18.99). Founded in 1885, All Saints Episcopal Church has continued to succeed as a religious community deeply enmeshed in the life of the city. It was from the beginning a distinctly urban parish and, as change came for the city, underwent its changes, including a major relocation of its facility. In the author's telling, the story becomes a critical tool for understanding how a Christian community works and for providing a basis for a critical assessment of the purpose and meaning of religious community in American life.
5 p.m. | Chad Bishoff will sign Surviving Puberty: Erecting Your Future and Making the Breast Decisions ($18.95). It's rare that a person comes into contact with their former self as they are going through the difficult years of puberty. But author Chad Bishoff shares his own journey through his raw, sometimes hilarious-and often surprisingly profound-journal entries as a preteen boy. Surviving Puberty explores Bishoff's shocking realization of how those thoughts and experiences shaped and changed him as an adult.
Wednesday, July 1 / 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.
Monday, July 6 / 6:30 p.m. | The I Should Have Read That in School classics group will discuss The Illiad by Homer (Penguin, $14.00). Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode of the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his conflict with his leader Agamemnon. Interwoven in the tragic sequence of events are powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, the besieged city of Ilium, the feud between the gods, and the fate of mortals. Discussion will continue in the August meeting.
Tuesday, July 7 / 1 p.m. | The Art Discussion Group will discuss The Modern Art Invasion: Picasso, Duchamp, and the 1913 Armory Show That Scandalized America by Elizabeth Lunday (Lyons, $19.95). New York City transformed from provincial backwater to vibrant epicenter of the art world, entirely triggered by the Armory Show, the most important art exhibit in U.S. history. Held at Manhattan's 69th Regiment Armory in 1913, the show brought modernism to America in an unprecedented display of 1300 works by artists including Picasso, Matisse, and Duchamp, A quarter of a million Americans visited the show; most couldn’t make sense of what they were seeing. The Armory Show went on to Boston and Chicago and its effects spread across the country. Lunday tells the story of the exhibition from the perspectives of organizers, contributors, viewers, and critics. Brimming with fascinating and surprising details, the book takes a fast-paced tour of life in America and Europe, peering into Gertrude Stein s famous Paris salon, sitting in at the fabulous parties of New York socialites, and elbowing through the crowds at the Armory itself.
Tuesday, July 7 / 6 p.m. | Rinker Buck will sign The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey (Simon & Schuster, $28.00). Told with humor and heart, this is a major work of participatory history: an epic account of traveling the entire 2,000-mile length of the Oregon Trail for the first time in a century the old-fashioned way, in a covered wagon with a team of mules. Buck also relates the rich history of the trail, the people who made the migration, and its significance to the country. This book was partially inspired by a covered wagon trip across PA that Buck's father took his eleven kids on in 1958. It was a magical experience for Rinker who was seven at the time, and when he sets out to cross the Oregon Trail he brings along his extremely colorful brother Nick, and Nick's loveable Jack Russell Terrier, Olive Oyl, as a way of reconnecting with family and finally addressing the haunting loss of his father years earlier.
Tuesday, July 7 / 6:30 p.m. | The Killing Time Book Group will discuss An Eye for an Eye by T. Frank Muir (Soho, $9.99). Six corpses have appeared in the cobbled back streets of St. Andrews in recent times, all known spousal abusers who suffered the same gruesome fate: stabbed to death in the left eye. But with no new leads left to explore, detective Andy Gilchrist is forced off the case. What is the significance of the left eye? Gilchrist can’t seem to focus on anything else, and with his career and his reputation on the line, he vows to catch the killer even if it means he must do it alone.
Wednesday, July 8 / 6:30 p.m. | The Wednesday Bookworms will discuss Comet’s Tale: How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life by Steve Wolf (Algonquin, $14.95). Comet’s Tale is a story about a friendship between two former winners, both a little down on their luck, who together stage a remarkable comeback. A former hard-driving attorney, Steven Wolf has reluctantly left his job and family and moved to Arizona for its warm winter climate. There he is drawn to a local group that rescues abused racing greyhounds. Although he can barely take care of himself because of a spinal condition, Wolf adopts Comet, an elegant cinnamon-striped racer. Or does Comet adopt Wolf? In Comet’s Tale we follow their funny and moving journey as Wolf teaches Comet to be a service dog. With her boundless enthusiasm and regal manners, Comet attracts new friends to Wolf’s isolated world. And finally, she plays a crucial role in restoring his health, saving his marriage, and broadening his definition of success.
Thursday, July 9 / 6 p.m. | Amiable Adult Readers Discussing Books Almost Always Read by Kids (Aardbaark) will discuss Anomaly by Tonya Kuper and Control by Lydia Kang. The authors will be invited.
Saturday July 11 / 10 a.m. | The U.S. Presidents group will become the Biography Discussion Group and discuss Eleanor: The Years Alone by Joseph Lash (Norton, $15.95). Lash, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and National Book Award-winning writer of Eleanor and Franklin, turns to the seventeen years Eleanor Roosevelt lived after FDR's death in 1945. Already a major figure in her own right, Roosevelt gained new stature with her work at the United Nations and her contributions to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She continued her activism on behalf of civil rights, as well as her humanitarian work, which led President Harry Truman to call her the First Lady of the World. Lash has created an extraordinary portrait of an extraordinary person.
Sunday, July 12 / 11 a.m. | The book group Books and Bagels will discuss All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner, $17.00). Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks. When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's great uncle lives. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
Sunday, July 12 / 1 p.m. | Kira Gale will sign Meriwether Lewis: The Assassination of an American Hero and the Silver Mines of Mexico ($24.95). This new full-length biography of Meriwether Lewis is presented within the context of the turbulent times of the early American Republic. After Thomas Jefferson’s election, Lewis lived in the White House as his confidential aide. In 1803, he left the White House as the leader of an elite army unit to reinforce America’s claim to the Pacific Northwest. When he returned, Jefferson appointed him governor of Louisiana Territory based in St. Louis with orders to remove followers of Aaron Burr from positions of power and influence. Within two years Meriwether Lewis was dead at the age of 35, killed by an assassin’s bullets in 1809. This biography of Lewis offers a very different interpretation of his character and achievements, supporting the idea that, if he had lived, Lewis was in line to become president of the United States. It presents a detailed account of his activities as a loyal Jefferson supporter, presidential aide, leader of a continental expedition, and governor of Louisiana Territory.
Thursday, July 16 / 6 p.m. | The World War II At Night Group will discuss Patton, Montgomery, Rommel: Masters of War by Terry Brighton (Three Rivers, $17.00). Brighton presents a study of the land war in the North African and European theaters, as well as their chief commanders--three men who also happened to be the most compelling dramatis personae of World War II. He illuminates the personal motivations and historical events that propelled the three men's careers: how Patton's, Montgomery's, and Rommel's Great War experiences helped to mold their style of command--and how, exactly, they managed to apply their arguably megalomaniacal personalities (and hitherto unrecognized political acumen and tact) to advance their careers and strategic vision. Opening new avenues of inquiry into the lives and careers of three men, Brighton answers numerous lingering and controversial questions.
Thursday, July 16 / 6 p.m. | Steven Hendricks will sign Little Is Left to Tell ($16.00). Readers enter a narrative rabbit hole through bedtime stories that Mr. Fin, a man with dementia, conjures for his long-lost son. Virginia the Wolf writes her last novel to lure her daughter home. A rabbit named Hart Crane must eat words to speak, while passing zeppelins drop bombs. Mr. Fin tries to read the past in marginalia and to rebuild his son from boat parts. The haunting fables in this lyrical first novel trace the fictions that make and unmake us.
Saturday, July 18 / 11 a.m. | Cynthia Swanson will sign The Bookseller (Harper, $25.99). Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped. Then the dreams begin. Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted but it only exists when she sleeps. Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn? As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?
Tuesday, July 21 / 6:30 p.m. | The International Intrigue Book Group will discuss An Easy Thing by Paco Ignacio Taibo (Poisoned Pen, $14.95). An Easy Thing introduces readers to Taibo's human and world-weary protagonist, independent detective Hector Belascoaran Shayne. In this debut outing, our hero, who possesses an insatiable appetite for Coca Cola and cigarettes, tackles three cases simultaneously: a killing in a corrupt factory; the deadly threats against a former porn starlet's teenage daughter; and, strangely, the search for Emiliano Zapata, folk hero and leader of the Mexican Revolution, rumored to be alive and hiding out in a cave outside Mexico City. Combining black comedy, social history and a touch of surrealism, Paco Taibo's wonderfully idiosyncratic detective novels are admired the world over and are particularly popular in Europe and in the Spanish-speaking world.
Wednesday, July 22 / 6 p.m. | The Mysterious Readers Group will discuss Donna Leon’s third novel, Dressed for Death by (Grove, $15.00). Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti's hopes of escaping the sweltering heat of Venice in August for a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in a field in Marghera--a body so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable. The victim appears to be a transsexual prostitute. Brunetti searches Venice--including the red-light district--for someone who can identify the corpse, but he is met with a wall of silence. Then he receives a phone call promising tantalizing information, provided he meets with the caller under a bridge outside of town in the middle of the night. This dangerous rendezvous leads to more senseless murders, but despite the danger, Brunetti remains determined to uncover the truth.
Thursday, July 23 / 6:30 p.m. | The Enquiring Minds Group will discuss Nothing: A Very Short Introduction by Frank Close (Oxford University Press, $11.95). What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space--"nothing"--exist? To answer these questions, eminent scientist Frank Close takes us on a lively and accessible journey that ranges from ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research, illuminating the story of how scientists have explored the void and the rich discoveries they have made there. Readers will find an enlightening history of the vacuum: how the efforts to make a better vacuum led to the discovery of the electron; the ideas of Newton, Mach, and Einstein on the nature of space and time; the mysterious aether and how Einstein did away with it; and the latest ideas that the vacuum is filled with the Higgs field. The story ranges from the absolute zero of temperature and the seething vacuum of virtual particles and anti-particles that fills space, to the extreme heat and energy of the early universe.
Saturday, July 25 / 10 a.m. | The Civil War Book Group will broaden its scope to become the American History Book Club, focusing on the 1760 to 1900 time period. The July book is Mr. and Mrs. Madison's War: America's First Couple and the War of 1812 by Hugh Howard (Bloomsbury, $18.00). The War of 1812 remains the least understood of America's wars. Neither side gained a clear triumph, but in truth it was our second War of Independence, settling once and for all that America would never again submit to Britain. It featured humiliating disasters - Washington was attacked, the White House burned - and stirring successes, like the Battle of Lake Erie, one of the greatest naval victories in American history. Here Howard brings a forgotten conflict alive, and offers a vivid portrait of two key figures at its center, President James Madison and his courageous First Lady, Dolley.
Monday, July 27 / 2 p.m. | The World War II Book Group will continue its discussion of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich:A History of Nazi Germany by Willian Shirer. (Simon & Schuster, $29.99). Famed foreign correspondent and historian Shirer spent five and a half years sifting through the vast paperwork behind Hitler's drive to conquer the world to bring this definitive record of one of the most frightening chapters in the history of mankind.” One of the most important works of history of our time”-The New York Times.
Tuesday, July 28 / 6:30 p.m. | The Crime Through Time Book Group will discuss The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis (Minotaur, $15.99). Flavia Albia is the adopted daughter of Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina. From her mother, she learned how to blend in at all levels of society; from her father, she learned the tricks of the private informer trade. Hired to help investigate a fatal accident, she finds herself stuck with a truly awful person for a client and facing a well-heeled, well-connected opponent. That is, until her client unexpectedly dies under what might be called "suspicious circumstances." While this is not a huge loss for society, it is a loss for Flavia Albia's pocket. Even worse, it's just one of a series of similar deaths for which she now finds herself under suspicion. Before things go from abysmal to worse, Flavia must sort out what is happening.