Upcoming Events at The Bookworm

April is National Poetry Month, a month for sharing and enjoying poetry. See www.poets.org for more information.


Tuesday, April 15 / 6:30 p.m. The International Intrigue Book Group will discuss Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey (Random House, $15.00). A young woman has been found dead under suspicious circumstances. Detective Inspector Darko Dawson is fluent in the local language, so he's the right man for the job, but the local police are less than thrilled with an outsider's interference. For Dawson, this sleepy corner of Ghana is rife with emotional land mines: an estranged relationship with the family he left behind twenty-five years earlier and the painful memory of his own mother's inexplicable disappearance. Armed with remarkable insight and a healthy dose of skepticism, Dawson soon finds his cosmopolitan sensibilities clashing with age-old customs, including a disturbing practice in which teenage girls are offered to fetish priests as trokosi, or Wives of the Gods.

Wednesday, April 16 The Bookworm will sell books at a Holland Lecture at the First Unitarian Church featuring Richard Wolff, author of Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to do About It. See www.firstuuomaha.org or call (402) 345-3039 for more information.

Thursday, April 17 / 6 p.m. The World War II At Night Group will discuss Hitler’s Charisma: Leading Millions Into the Abyss by Laurence Rees (Vintage, $17.00). At the age of twenty-four, in 1913, Adolf Hitler was eking out a living as a painter of pictures for tourists in Munich. Nothing marked him in any way as exceptional, but he did possess certain distinguishing characteristics: a capacity to hate, an inability to accept criticism, and a massive overconfidence in his own abilities. He was a socially and emotionally inadequate individual without direction, from whence came a sense of personal mission that would transform these weaknesses and liabilities into strengths—certainties that would provide him not only with a sense of identity, but of purpose in a communal enterprise. This is the focus of Laurence Rees’s social, psychological, and historical investigation into a personality that would end up articulating the hopes and dreams of millions of Germans.

Thursday, April 17 / 6:30 p.m. The As the Worm Turns Book Group will discuss Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel and Bret Witter (Back Bay, $17.00). At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis. Lee Myers will facilitate the discussion.

Thursday, April 17 World Book Night - Givers who have signed up at the World Book Night website will be to pick up their books to be handed out on World Book Night on April 23. See www.us.worldbooknight.org  for more information

Friday, April 18 / 6:30 p.m. GET LIT with Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre is off this week 

Saturday, April 19 / 10:30 a.m. Saturday Morning Story Time with Mr. Scott! On Saturday mornings Scott Kurz from the Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre will make stories come alive with dramatic reading from books suitable for ages 3 to 8. The theme for each Saturday will be announced via Brigit email and at Brigit’s website www.bsbtheatre.com. It’ll always be free and it’ll always be fun!

Monday, April 21/ 6 p.m. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus will sign Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists (Asymmetrical, $16.99). What if everything you ever wanted isn't what you actually want? Millburn thought he had everything anyone could ever want. Until he didn't anymore. Blindsided by the loss of his mother and his marriage in the same month, Millburn started questioning every aspect of the life he had built for himself. Then, he accidentally discovered a lifestyle known as minimalism and embraced simplicity. In the pursuit of looking for something more substantial than consumption and the broken American Dream, he jettisoned most of his material possessions, paid off debt, and walked away from his six-figure career. So, when everything was gone, what was left? Not a how-to book but a why-to book, Everything That Remains is the touching, surprising story of what happened when one young man decided to let go of everything and begin living more deliberately.

Tuesday, April 22/ 6:30 p.m. The Crime Through Time Book Group will discuss Bullet for a Star by Stuart Kaminsky (Mysterious Press, $12.99). It's been four years since security guard Toby Peters got fired from the Warner Brothers lot for breaking a screen cowboy's arm. Since then he's scratched out a living as a private detective--missing persons and bodyguard work, mostly--but now his old friends, the Warners, have a job for him. Someone has mailed the studio a picture of Errol Flynn caught in a compromising position with a very young girl. Although Flynn insists it's a fake, the studio is taking no chances. Toby is to deliver the blackmailer $5,000 and return with the photo negative. It should be simple, but Flynn, a swashbuckler on and off the screen, has a way of making things complicated. Though he isn't impressed by movie stars, if Toby Peters isn't careful he may end up dying for one.

Wednesday, April 23/ 6 p.m. Patrick Hicks will sign The Commandant of Lubizec: A Novel of the Holocaust and Operation Reinhard (Steerforth, $16.00). After the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, millions of Jews were forced into ghettos. Death camps were built and Operation Reinhard with a goal of killing all the Jews in Poland was set into motion. The Commandant of Lubizec is a account of a death camp that never actually existed but easily could have in the Nazi state. Told in a documentary style, it explores the atmosphere of a death camp. It describes what it was like to watch the trains roll in, and it probes into the mind of its commandant. How could he murder thousands of people each day and then go home to laugh with his children? This is not only an unflinching portrayal of the machinery of the gas chambers; it is also a story of rebellion and survival; a story of life amid death.

Wednesday, April 23 The Bookworm will be at the Town Hall Lecture featuring Jeffrey Toobin. His two most recent books are The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, and The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court. See www.omahatownhall.org for more information.

Wednesday, April 23 The day celebrated as Shakespeare’s birth and death date is also now known as World Book Night. Books will be handed out free all over the country to people who may be least expecting it by specially designated Book Givers. If you did not sign up to do this for 2014, make it a priority for 2015. See www.us.worldbooknight.org  for more information

Thursday, April 24 Poem in Your Pocket Day 2014. On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. See www.poets.org for more information.

Friday, April 25 / 6:30 p.m. GET LIT with Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre! Friday evenings actors will give vivid voice to animate readings that traverse all the genres of literature. The readings will run less than an hour, and will be followed by some sprightly discussion for those in the mood. Designed as an informal but satisfying after-supper interlude, it will deliver a whimsical and unique wind-down from the work week/wind-up for the weekend. The selections will be announced a week in advance via Brigit email and at Brigit’s website www.bsbtheatre.com.

Friday, April 25 / 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, April 26 / 10 a.m. The Civil War Book Group will discuss Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border by Jonathan Earle (University Press of Kansas ($19.95). Long before the first shot of the Civil War was fired at Fort Sumter, violence had already erupted along the Missouri-Kansas border--a recurring cycle of robbery, arson, torture, murder, and revenge. This multifaceted study brings together fifteen scholars to expand our understanding of this vitally important region, the violence that besieged it, and its overall impact on the Civil War. Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri blends political, military, social, and intellectual history to explain why the region's divisiveness was so bitter and persisted for so long. It defines both what united and divided the men and women who lived there and how various political disagreements ultimately disintegrated into violence.

Friday and Saturday, April 25-26 2014 Nebraska Book Festival at the Thompson Alumni Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. For information on activities and participating authors and poets see www.bookfestival.nebraska.gov/2014 or call 402-472-5076.

Saturday, April 26 / 10:30 a.m. Saturday Morning Story Time with Mr. Scott! On Saturday mornings Scott Kurz from the Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre will make stories come alive with dramatic reading from books suitable for ages 3 to 8. The theme for each Saturday will be announced via Brigit email and at Brigit’s website www.bsbtheatre.com. It’ll always be free and it’ll always be fun!

Saturday, April 26 / 1 p.m. Carey Harrison will sign Justice (Dr. Cicero, $15.00). Miri, a Jewish girl from London marries an Italian communist nobleman, but her safety is threatened when Mussolini's Fascist government begins deporting Jews to the death camps. Miri escapes to England, leaving her son in her husband's hands. Local politics takes a hand in their fate, however, with terrible consequences. When the war ends, Miri returns to a devastated Italy, seeking a reckoning. If needs be, revenge. 

Saturday, April 26 The Bookworm will sell books at a Compassion Omaha Healing Art Center event featuring authors Carey Harrison and Dr. Richard White. See www.omahahealingarts.com or call 402-345-5078 for more information.

Sunday, April 27 / 1 p.m. Stew Magnuson will sign The Last American Highway: A Journey Through Time Down U.S. Route 83: The Dakotas (Court Bridge, $19.99). Descending 1,885 miles down the center of the United States from Westhope, North Dakota, to Brownsville, Texas, is U.S. 83, one of the oldest and longest of the federal highways that hasn't been replaced by an Interstate. Stew Magnuson takes readers on a trip down the road and through the history of the Northern Great Plains. The famous and the forgotten are found in stories he discovers in the Dakotas. Explorers Pierre de la Verendrye, Lewis & Clark, Jedediah Smith, are all encountered along with Chief Spotted Tail of the Brule Lakotas, TV sensation Lawrence Welk and rodeo superstar Casey Tibbs. The murderers, settlers, ballplayers and rail barons from yesteryear meet today's truckers, oil rig workers and ghost towns inhabitants as Magnuson launches his own Voyage of Discovery in a beat-up 1999 Mazda Protege.  The Last American Highway is a love poem to the natural beauty of the prairie and the fascinating people-both past and present-found along the road.

Monday, April 28 / 2 p.m. The World War II Book Group will discuss Thunder Below!: The USS Barb Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II by Eugene Fluckey (University of Illinois Press, $22.95). Under the leadership of Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II and changed forever the way submarines stalk and kill their prey. Fluckey has drawn on logs, reports, letters, interviews, and a recently discovered illegal diary kept by one of his torpedomen. He uses archival documents from the Japanese Navy to give its version of events. Surface-cruising, diving only to escape, Luckey Fluckey relentlessly patrolled the Pacific, driving his boat and crew to their limits. Thunder Below! is a first-rate, true-life, inspirational story of the courage and heroism of ordinary men under fire.