Literature

City Island Library the Second Monday of the Month at 10:30 

2019

October 14–-“Pachinko by Korean-American author Min Jin Lee. This is an epic historical novel following a Korean family who eventually migrates to Japan.  This character-driven tale features a large ensemble of characters who become subjected to issues of racism and stereotypes, with historical origins in the 20th-century experiences with Japan. Susan Jano will lead the discussion.
November 11—“Where the Crawdads Sing”by Delia Owens.  For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the N.C. coast.  So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh she calls home.  Karen Burkhalter will lead the discussion.
December 9—“The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the L.A. Public Library.  As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm.  The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours.  Mary Sines will lead the discussion.
2020
January 13—“There There” Is the first novel by Cheyenne and Arapaho author Tommy Orange.  The book explores the themes of Native peoples living in urban spaces, and issues of ambivalence and complexity related to Native’ struggles with identity and authenticity.  Elviria LaBarre will lead the discussion.
February 10—“Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide” by Tony Horwitz.   Horwitz retraces Frederick Law Olmsted, (the great 19th century landscape architect, best know for designing New York’s Central Park) through his travels in the South.  Horwitz rightly prides himself on being a curious and empathetic freestyle conversationalist- a gift that Olmsted apparently shared.  Traveling south and west by car, steamboat, and even mule in advance of the 2016 primary season, Horwitz wants to gauge what Olmsted called “the drift of things” in America.  Susan Bayley will lead the discussion.
March 9—“The Woman’s Hour by Elaine Weiss.  The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political victories in American history: the down and dirty campaign to get the last state to ratify the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote.  Anyone interested in the history of our country’s ongoing fight to put its founding values into practice, would be well-served by ready this book.  Susan Bayley will lead the discussion
April 13—“The Bad Ass Librarian”  By Joshua Hammer.  To save ancient Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven, in this fast-paced narrative that is part intellectual history, part geopolitical tract, and part out-and-out thriller.  Ellen O’Shaughnessy will lead the discussion.
May 11—“Kingdom of the Blind” A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.  By Louise Penny.  When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Surete du Quebec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will.  Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors had never met the elderly woman either.  MaryAnn Sines will lead the discussion.
June 8—” A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win WW II”  By Sonia Purnell.  In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission; “She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies.  We must find and destroy her.”  The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive.  She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and –despite her prosthetic leg– helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.  Dianne Pickar will lead the discussion.
July 13—“The Darwin Affair”    by Tim Mason  This book begins with a bang, London June 1860, an assassination attempt is made on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  The shooter, who’s arrested, is mentally ill, but quickly it begins to appear the man is just a tool of a conspiracy-one connected to the controversy over the new ideas of the naturalist Charles Darwin.  Eliviria LaBarre will lead the discussion.
August 10—“The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki  This historical novel is the story of Franz Joseph and the woman he marries, Elizabeth, whose nickname is CICI.  This is a sweeping story about this segment of the 19th century and about how women were treated by, in some instance their own relatives.  Dianne Pickar will lead the discussion.