2020 Book Group

 

Last Monday of the Month  at 6:00PM

The Raymond Village Library Book group has a wonderful selection for 2020.  We hope you can join us. The book group will allow you to read something you might not normally select. Read, unwind and have a discussion with friends new and old.

January 2020

The One-in-a-Million Boy

by Monica Woods

The story of your life never starts at the beginning.  So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who’s been sent to help her out every Saturday morning.  As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life.  One Saturday, the boy doesn’t show up.  Ona starts to think he’s not so special after all, but then his father arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son’s good deed – after his son’s death.  Ona is set to discover that the world can surprise us at any age.

February 2020

Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

by Kate Moore

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes headlines as the fresh face of beauty and as a new wonder drug.  Radium shines in the dark years of the First World War.  Hundreds of girls toil amidst the dust of the radium factories.  The glittering chemical covers their bodies; they light up the night like fireflies.  With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive, until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.  But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects.  The girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century and in a battle for worker’s rights.

 

March 2020

The Library Book

by Susan Orlean

On the morning of April 29th, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library.  The fire was disastrous, it reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than 7 hours.  By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more.  Investigators descended on the scene, but more than 30 years later, the mystery remains.  Did someone purposefully set fire to the library, and if so, who?  Orlean studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself, and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting the LAPL fire.  Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present.

 

April 2020

A Woman is No Man

by Etaf Rum

A novel by an Arab-American who takes us inside the lives of conservative Arab women living in America.  Eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors.  Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice.  Deya’s mother, Isra, also had no choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam.  Though Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman makes Deya question everything she was told about her past.

May 2020

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

This tale is narrated by a socially challenged genetics professor on a quest: to find true love.  Don Tillman has never been on a second date.  So when a friend tells him he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock.  Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone.  Don sets out to find the perfect partner.  She will be punctual and logical – most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late arriver.  Yet Rosie Jarman is all of these things.  She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent – and on a quest of her own.  An unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the geneticist to confront the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

June 2020

Educated: a memoir

by Tara Westover

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom.  Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”.  In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.  Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse.  The family was so isolated there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.  Then, Tara began to educate herself.  She taught herself enough to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she learned for the first time about world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement.  Her quest for knowledge transforms her.

 

July 2020

Harry’s Trees

by Jon Cohen

Harry Crane, lifelong lover of trees, works as an analyst in a treeless U.S. Forest Service.  When his wife dies, devastated, Harry makes his way to the remote woods of Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, to lose himself.  But fate intervenes in the form of a young girl named Oriana.  She , too, has lost someone-her father.  Oriana believes that Harry is the key to finding her way back to him.  As Harry agrees to help the girl, the unlikeliest of elements come together to create the biggest sensation ever to descend upon the Endless Mountains.

 

August 2020

Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a town on the North Carolina coast.  So, when Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the “Marsh Girl”.  Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home.  When two young men in town become intrigued by her, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.

 

September 2020

The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

Based on a real life reform school in Florida, this is the story of two boys sentenced to a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.  As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart.  He is “as good as anyone”.  Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reform school called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides training so that delinquent boys can become “honorable and honest men.”  In reality, The Nickel Academy is a horror.  Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr. King’s words.  His friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.  The boys’ fates will be determined by what they endure at The Nickel Academy.

 

October 2020

Everything I Never Told You

by Celeste Ng

A novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue.  But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

November 2020

How to Be a Good Creature

by Sy Montgomery

 Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animals – her friends – who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir on “What 13 Animals Taught Her About Otherness, Love, and the Heart of Our Humanity.”