Start: 10:00 am
The U.S. Presidents group reads and discusses concise biographies of past presidents, their leadership abilities and how well their reputations have withstood the test of time. The biography for May is James Monroe by Gary Hary (Times Books, $22.00). Hart sees Monroe as a president ahead of his time, whose priorities and accomplishments in establishing America's "national security" have a great deal in common with chief executives of our own time. Monroe was at his core a military man. He joined the Continental Army at the age of seventeen and served with distinction in many pivotal battles. And throughout his career as a senator, governor, ambassador, secretary of state, secretary of war, and president, he never lost sight of the fact that without secure borders and friendly relations with neighbors, the American people could never be truly safe in their independence. As president he embarked on an ambitious series of treaties, annexations, and military confrontations that would secure America's homeland against foreign attack for nearly two hundred years.
Start: 3:00 pm
The Golden Sowers group will discuss The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (Hyperion, $9.99). Jason doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she’s his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids." What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong. Piper’s father has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on? Leo’s new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with tools. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.