Upcoming Events at The Bookworm

The author signings, in-house book clubs and other events shown below are free and open to the public.     

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

 Why buy books in your local independent bookstore?

  •  You may be about  to make a purchase you'll value for the rest of your life
  • You'll be shopping where you live
  • You'll be helping create local jobs
  • You might just find a book you never knew existed
  • You'll find great gifts for friends and family
  • You can talk to real people about books they know and love
  • You'll be part of your local book-loving community

 

 

Monday, August 20 / 6:30 | The Droids and Dragons Book Club will discuss Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Del Rey, $16.00). Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste. He works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. But he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow--and Reds like him--are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. 

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 22 / 6 p.m. |The Mysterious Readers Book Group will discuss Reckless Creed by Alex Kava (Putnam, $9.99). In Chicago, a young man jumps from his thirtieth-story hotel room; along the Missouri river, a hunter and his son stumble upon a lake whose surface is littered with snow geese, all of them dead; and in southern Alabama, Ryder Creed and his search-and-rescue dog Grace find the body of a young woman who went missing in the Conecuh National Forest...and it appears she filled her pockets with rocks and walked into the river. Before long Ryder Creed and FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell will discover the ominous connection among these mysterious deaths. What they find may be the most prolific killer the United States has ever known. 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, August 23 / 2 p.m. | Cather and Friends reads and discusses the work of Willa Cather, her contemporaries, and fellow Nebraskans.  Tea will be served, so bring your favorite cup. Please call 402-392-2877 to register or sign up at the store. Willa’s book for August discussion is Lucy Gayheart (Vintage, $15.00).   At the age of eighteen, Lucy Gayheart heads for Chicago to study music. She is beautiful and impressionable and ardent, and these qualities attract the attention of Clement Sebastian, an aging but charismatic singer who exercises all the tragic, sinister fascination of a man who has renounced life only to turn back to seize it one last time. Out of their doomed love affair--and Lucy's fatal estrangement from her origins--Willa Cather creates a novel that is as achingly lovely as a Schubert sonata. 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, August 23 / 6 p.m. | The Philosophy Book Discussion Group will continue their discussion of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder (Tim Duggan, $8.99). The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, August 25 / 10 a.m. | The American History Book Club will discuss Lincoln and the Democrats: The Politics of Opposition in the Civil War by Mark Neely Jr. (Cambridge University Press, $24.99). Lincoln and the Democrats describes the vexatious behavior of a two-party system in war and points to the sound parts of the American system which proved to be the country's salvation: local civic pride, and quiet nonpartisanship in mobilization and funding for the war, for example. While revealing that the role of a noxious 'white supremacy' in American politics of the period has been exaggerated - as has the power of the Copperheads - Neely revives the claim that the Civil War put the country on the road to 'human rights', and also uncovers a previously unnoticed tendency toward deceptive and impractical grandstanding on the Constitution during war in the United States.

 

 

 

Saturday, August 25 / 10 to 11:30 a.m. | Saturday Storytime at The Bookworm - The Children's Department will begin hosting Saturday Storytime on the last Saturday of the month beginning in August.  Helen Lykke-Wisler of the Millard Public Schools and Kim Dickhut from District 66 will be our first story readers.  Join us one and all. 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 26 / 1 p.m. | Amber Tambyln will sign Amy Man (Harper, $15.99). Amber Tamblyn's arresting novel offers a scathing portrait of American celebrity culture and the way in which it transmutes human tragedy into a vicious circus; victims are forgotten as likes and shares swirl, and 'news' becomes a squalid orgy, a lurid feast. Tamblyn takes every risk in this astonishing and innovative work, and succeeds, gloriously. 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, August 27 / 2 p.m. | The World War II Book Group will discuss Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler by Bruce Henderson (Morrow, $16.99). Sons and Soldiers begins during the rise of Hitler's Nazi party, as Jewish families choose to send their sons away to uncertain futures in America. Henderson describes how they were recruited into the U.S. Army and how their mastery of the German language and psychology was used to interrogate German prisoners of war. These young men knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured. Yet they leapt at the opportunity to be sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions that saved American lives and helped win the war. 

 

 

 

 

Monday, August 27 / 6 p.m. | Jason Heller will sign Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded (Melville House, $26.99). Jason Heller recasts sci-fi and pop music as parallel cultural forces that depended on one another to expand the horizons of books, music, and out-of-this-world imagery. He presents a generation of musicians as the sci-fi-obsessed conjurers they really were: from Sun Ra lecturing on the black man in the cosmos, to Pink Floyd jamming live over the broadcast of the Apollo 11 moon landing; from a wave of Star Wars disco chart toppers and synthesiser-wielding post-punks, to Jimi Hendrix distilling the "purplish haze" he discovered in a pulp novel into psychedelic song. Of course, the whole scene was led by David Bowie, who hid in the balcony of a movie theater to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey, and came out a changed man.

 

 

 

 

Monday, August 27 / 6:30 p.m. | The Books To Die For  Group will discuss The Outlander by Gil Adamson (Harper, $14.99). In 1903 Mary Boulton flees alone across the West, one heart-pounding step ahead of the law. At nineteen, she has just become a widow-and her husband's killer. As bloodhounds track her frantic race toward the mountains, she is tormented by mad visions and by the knowledge that her two ruthless brothers-in-law are in pursuit, determined to avenge their younger brother's death. Responding to little more than the primitive instinct for survival at any cost, she retreats ever deeper into the wilderness-and into the wilds of her own mind.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, August 28 / 6:30 p.m. | The Crime Through Time Book Group will discuss The Falcon at the Portal by Elizabeth Peters (Morrow, $14.99). In Egypt for the 1911 archaeological season, Amelia Peabody and her family are not anticipating trouble, but it finds them nonetheless. Their young friend David is accused of selling ancient artifacts, and it's up to the Emersons to expose the real culprit. But the body of an American discovered at the bottom of their excavation shaft and a child of mysterious antecedents are sparking twin crises that threaten to tear the family apart. Amelia brings her estimable powers of deduction to bear, but she might not survive long enough to unravel more than one perplexing puzzle--because suddenly someone is shooting bullets in her direction . . . and coming too close for comfort.

 

 

 

Saturday, September 1 / 10 a.m. | The Biography Discussion Group will discuss A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America's First Indian Doctor by Joe Starita (St. Martin’s, $17.99). Susan La Flesche Picotte received her medical degree in 1889--becoming the first Native American doctor in U.S. history. She earned her degree thirty-one years before women could vote and thirty-five years before Indians could become citizens in their own country. She acquired 1,244 patients scattered across 1,350 square miles of rolling countryside with few roads. Her patients often were desperately poor and desperately sick, with families scattered miles apart, whose last hope was a young woman who spoke their language and knew their customs. This is the story of an Indian woman who spent her life using a unique bicultural identity to improve the lot of her people--physically, emotionally, politically, and spiritually.

 

 

Monday, September 3 | The Bookworm will be closed in observance of Labor Day.

 


Wednesday, September 5 / 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.

 

 

Tuesday, September 4 / 6:30 p.m.  | The Killing Time Book Group will discuss The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards (Poisoned Pen, $14.95). Oxford historian and TV personality Daniel Kind and his lover, Miranda, buy Tarn Cottage--once home to an autistic youth suspected of murder--in Brackdale, a place so remote that the dead had to be carried out over the peaks on pack animals along the ancient Coffin Trail. When the unsolved murder case is reopened, Brackdales skeletons begin to rattle. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 5 / 6 p.m.  | Local author John Beecham will sign Saving Emily Dickinson: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Story ($17.00). April 22nd-23rd, 2044: twin coronal mass ejections shear off the earth’s upper atmosphere, turning North America into an irradiated wasteland.  Late September, 2046: As humanity fights extinction, London Yardley ekes out an existence on the plains of Nebraska with her reclusive father, her inventive little brother, and a golden retriever mix named Emily Dickinson. Despite her father’s warnings not to leave the perimeter, London has begun to cycle the country roads late at night, desperate to escape the isolation and pointlessness of her life.  Not until pirates steal Emily Dickinson does she begin to map those roads, setting out on a quest that will put her on a collision course with evil. 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 6 / 6:30 p.m. | The Notable Novellas group will discuss Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Borton, $14.95).  Jean Rhys ingeniously brings into light one of fiction's most fascinating characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. This mesmerizing work introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr. Rochester. Rhys portrays Cosway amidst a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 9 / 11 a.m. | The Books and Bagels book group will continue their discussion of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central, $15.99), with discussion continuing in September. In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant-and that her lover is married-she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 9 / 1 p.m. | Ron McDole will sign The Dancing Bear: My Eighteen Years in the Trenches of the Afl and NFL (University of Nebraska Press, $29.95). From the early sixties to the late seventies, defensive end Ron McDole experienced football's golden age from inside his old-school, two-bar helmet. During an eighteen-year pro career, McDole--nicknamed "The Dancing Bear"--played in over 250 games, including two AFL Championships with the Buffalo Bills and one NFL Championship with the Washington Redskins. McDole traces his life from his four years at the University of Nebraska to his long, accomplished professional career. He recounts the days when a pro football player needed an off-season job to pay the bills and teams had to drive around in buses to find a city park in which to practice. The old AFL and NFL blitz back to life through McDole's straightforward stories of time when the game was played more for love and glory than for money.

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 10 / 6:30 p.m. | The Lit Wits Group will discuss The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle (Ace, $16.00). The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. So she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch--and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 12 / 6:30 p.m. | The Wednesday Bookworms will discuss The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (New Press, $27.95).  Legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control--relegating millions to a permanent second-class status--even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."  

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 13 / 6 p.m. | Amiable Adult Readers Discussing Books Almost Always Read by Kids (Aardbaark) will discuss The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (Delacorte, $18.99). Natasha's a girl who believes in science and facts. Daniel has always been a good son and good student. But when he sees Natasha he forgets all that and believes there's something extraordinary in store for both of them. 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 13 / 6 p.m. | The Philosophy Book Discussion Group will discuss Aristotle: The Desire to Understand by Jonathan Lear (Cambridge University Press, $34.99). This is a philosophical introduction to Aristotle, and Professor Lear starts where Aristotle himself started. He introduces us to the essence of Aristotle's philosophy and guides us through all the central Aristotelian texts--selected from the Physics, Metaphysics, Ethics, Politics and the biological and logical works. The book is written in a direct, lucid style that engages the reader with the themes in an active and participatory manner. It will prove a stimulating introduction for all students of Greek philosophy and for a wide range of others interested in Aristotle as a giant figure in Western intellectual history. 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, September 15 / 3 p.m. | The Literature by People of Color Group will discuss Radical Hope: Ethics on the Face of Cultural Devastation by Jonathan Lear (Harvard University Press, $21.50). Using the available anthropology, the history of the Crow Indian tribes during their confinement to reservations, and drawing on philosophy and psychoanalytic theory, Lear explores the point at which people face the end of their way of life--a philosophical inquiry into a peculiar vulnerability that goes to the heart of the human condition. 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 16 / 1 p.m. | Dana Bowman will sign How to Be Perfect Like Me (Central Recovery Press, $16.95). Dana Bowman can't escape the lure of perfectionism--like so many people today--trying to be a flawless wife, mother, and person in recovery. When Dana experiences a short-lived relapse during the Christmas holiday, she has the startling realization that recovery is not only about the alcohol. Dana reflects on how we live in a society of excess, always pushing ourselves to do it all. However, it doesn't take her long to realize that self-care and getting over herself is the key to happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 19 / 2 p.m. | A Read Around the World Pop Up Group will meet for three months. The September book for discussion is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central, $15.99). In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant-and that her lover is married-she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. 

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 17 / 6:30 | The Droids and Dragons Book Club will discuss Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw (Dark Horse, $12.99). A dark comedy about the one apocalypse no one predicted. We were prepared for an earthquake. We had a flood plan in place. We could even have dealt with zombies. Probably. But no one expected the end to be quite so... sticky. Or strawberry-scented. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 20 / 6:00 p.m. | Marie Lu will sign Wildcard (Putnam, $18.99). Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo's new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she's always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side. Determined to put a stop to Hideo's grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone's put a bounty on Emika's head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn't all that he seems--and his protection comes at a price. Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?  

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 20/ 6 p.m. | The World War II At Night Group will discuss Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II by Jeffrey Cox (Osprey, $14.95). Few events have ever shaken a country in the way that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor affected the United States. After the devastating attack, Japanese forces continued to overwhelm the Allies, attacking Malaya with its fortress of Singapore, and taking resource-rich islands in the Pacific - Borneo, Sumatra, and Java - in their own blitzkrieg offensive. Allied losses in these early months after America's entry into the war were great, and among the most devastating were those suffered during the Java Sea Campaign, where a small group of Americans, British, Dutch, and Australians were isolated in the Far East - and directly in the path of the Japanese onslaught. It was to be the first major sea battle of World War II in the Pacific.

 

 

 

Thursday, September 20 / 6:30 p.m. | The As the Worm Turns Book Group will discuss Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home by Jessica Fechtor (Plume, $16.00). At 28, Jessica Fechtor was happily immersed in graduate school and her marriage, and thinking about starting a family. Then one day, she went for a run and an aneurysm burst in her brain. She nearly died. She lost her sense of smell, the sight in her left eye, and was forced to the sidelines of the life she loved. Jessica's journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as she was able to stand at the stovetop and stir. There, she drew strength from the restorative power of cooking and baking. Written with intelligence, humor, and warmth, Stir is a heartfelt examination of what it means to nourish and be nourished. Woven throughout the narrative are 27 recipes for dishes that comfort and delight. Betsy Von Kerens will facilitate the discussion. 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, September 22 / 10 a.m. | Omaha author Paula Wallace will sign her newest picture book, Mr. Reginald and the Bunnies (Pomegranate, $17.95). Spend the day with three rambunctious bunnies as they romp through the quiet life of their uncle, Mr. Reginald—who likes things just so—and his perfectly tidy neighbor, Mrs. Paddock. Full of sweet mischief, the youngsters bumble and tumble while the adults mumble and grumble through a chaotic spring holiday. With whimsical illustrations and read-aloud giggles galore, Mr. Reginald and the Bunnies celebrates childhood (bunny slippers for everyone!) while gently reminding us that sometimes it’s okay when things are not just so.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, September 22 / 10 a.m. | The American History Book Club will discuss Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade (Sentinel, $9.99). When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, pirates from North Africa's Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new country could afford. As a diplomat and then as secretary of state, Jefferson had tried to work with the Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco) and found it impossible to negotiate with people who believed their religion justified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy--at least not while easy money could be made by extorting the Western powers. So President Jefferson moved beyond diplomacy and sent the U.S. Navy's new warships and a detachment of Marines to blockade Tripoli--launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America's journey toward future superpower status.

 

 

 

Sunday, September 23 / 1 p.m. | William Kent Krueger will sign Desolation Mountain (Atria, $26.00). When Stephen O'Connor experiences the vision of a great bird shot from the sky, he knows something terrible is about to happen. The crash of a private plane on Desolation Mountain in a remote part of the Iron Lake Reservation, which kills a United States senator and most of her family, confirms Stephen's worst fears. Stephen joins his father, Cork O'Connor and a few Ojibwe men from the nearby Iron Lake reservation to sift through the smoldering wreckage when the FBI arrives and quickly assumes control of the situation. As he initiates his own probe, Cork O'Connor stumbles upon a familiar face in Bo Thorson, a private security consultant whose unnamed clients have hired him to look quietly into the cause of the crash. In that far north Minnesota County, Cork, Stephen, and Bo attempt to navigate a perilous course. Roadblocked by lies from the highest levels of government, uncertain who to trust, and facing growing threats the deeper they dig for answers, the three men finally understand that to get to the truth, they will have to face the great menace, a beast of true evil lurking in the woods--a beast with a murderous intent of unimaginable scale.  

 

 

 

Monday, September 24 / 2 p.m. | The World War II Book Group will discuss Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century by Alastair Horne (Harper, $16.99). From the 1905 Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War, to Hitler's 1941 bid to capture Moscow, to MacArthur's disastrous advance in Korea, to the French downfall at Dien Bien Phu, Horne shows how each of these battles was won or lost due to excessive hubris on one side or the other. Horne provides a meticulously detailed analysis of the ground maneuvers employed by the opposing armies in each battle. He also explores the strategic and psychological mindset of the military leaders involved to demonstrate how devastating combinations of human ambition and arrogance led to overreach. Making clear the danger of hubris in warfare, his insights hold resonant lessons for civilian and military leaders navigating today's complex global landscape.

 

 

 

Monday, September 24 / 6:30 p.m. | The Books To Die For  Group will discuss The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster, $16.00). Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux is deployed to New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. There is no law, no order, no sanctuary for the infirm, the helpless, and the innocent. Bodies float in the streets and lie impaled on the branches of flooded trees. In the midst of an apocalyptical nightmare, Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city. 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 25 / 6:30 p.m. | The Crime Through Time Book Group will discuss The Wicked Boy: An Infamous Murder in Victorian London by Kate Summerscale (Penguin, $17.00). In 1895, Robert Coombes (age 13) and his brother Nattie (age 12) were seen spending lavishly around the docklands of East London The boys told neighbors their mother was visiting family, but their aunt was suspicious. When she eventually forced the brothers to open the house to her, she found the badly decomposed body of their mother. Robert and Nattie were arrested for matricide and sent for trial. Robert confessed to having stabbed his mother, but his lawyers argued that he was insane. Nattie struck a plea and gave evidence against his brother. The judge sentenced the thirteen-year-old to detention in Broadmoor, the most infamous criminal lunatic asylum in the land. Broadmoor turned out to be the beginning of a new life for Robert--one that would have profoundly shocked anyone who thought they understood the Wicked Boy. 

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 26 / 6 p.m. |The Mysterious Readers Book Group selection is pending.

 

 

Thursday, September 27 / 6 p.m. | The Philosophy Book Discussion Group will continue their discussion of Aristotle: The Desire to Understand by Jonathan Lear (Cambridge University Press, $34.99). This is a philosophical introduction to Aristotle, and Professor Lear starts where Aristotle himself started. He introduces us to the essence of Aristotle's philosophy and guides us through all the central Aristotelian texts--selected from the Physics, Metaphysics, Ethics, Politics and the biological and logical works. The book is written in a direct, lucid style that engages the reader with the themes in an active and participatory manner. It will prove a stimulating introduction for all students of Greek philosophy and for a wide range of others interested in Aristotle as a giant figure in Western intellectual history. 

 

 

 

Saturday, September 29 / 10 a.m. | The American History Book Club will discuss Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade (Sentinel, $9.99). When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, pirates from North Africa's Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new country could afford. As a diplomat and then as secretary of state, Jefferson had tried to work with the Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco) and found it impossible to negotiate with people who believed their religion justified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy--at least not while easy money could be made by extorting the Western powers. So President Jefferson moved beyond diplomacy and sent the U.S. Navy's new warships and a detachment of Marines to blockade Tripoli--launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America's journey toward future superpower status. 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 30 / 1 p.m. | Todd Robinson and Miles Waggener will sign Mass for Shut-Ins ($16.00, Backwaters Press). The poems in Mass for Shut-Ins are galloping and all-at-once pensive. There's always risk with a touch of ego and humanity. The emotional range of a single poem can go from hilarity to remorse to bravado. These poems speak to being human and alive and work with both vivid imagery and philosophical ruminations. These poems, in love with language and enthralled by various longings, will bemuse and beguile readers as they register the Peruvian heights and abyssal depths of a life lived without moderation. Mass for Shut-Ins is a lament for wounded love, a celebration of recovery, an elegy for innocence, and an ode to hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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