Book Clubs

Interested in joining a book club? The Decatur Public Library offers 5 different book clubs and you can drop in any time! You do not have to the read the book to attend discussions, but you will want to.

 

DPL Graphic Novel Club

The Club meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm in the Staley room. This club reads a variety of Graphic Novels written primarily for adults. The 2017 Graphic Novel Club List.

Tuesday, March 14, 6:30pm, Staley Room
City of Glass
by Paul Karasik & David Mazzucchelli

‘It was a wrong number that started it …’ Chosen as one of the ‘100 Most Important Comics of the Century’, Faber is proud to publish the graphic novel City of Glass for the first time in the UK. As Art Spiegelman explains in his new introduction, David Mazzucchelli and Paul Karasik ‘created a strange doppelganger of the original book’ and ‘a breakthrough work.’ Paul Auster’s Edgar Award-nominated masterwork has been astonishingly transformed into a new visual language. From Amazon.


DPL Book Club

The Club meets the third Thursday of each month at 1:00pm in the board room. This club reads a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. The 2017 Book Club List

Thursday, March 16 1:00pm, Board Room
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
by J. D. Vance

The author will be speaking at Decatur Public Library in April!

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country. From Amazon.


SCORE Business Book Club

This club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:00pm in the Staley Room. This club reads a variety of business books intended to help businesses and individuals. Open to all, visitors are always welcome. The 2017 SCORE Business Club List

Thursday, March 23, 6:00pm, Staley Room
Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want
by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

Each of us has but one life to live on this earth. What we do with it is our choice. Are we drifting through it as spectators, reacting to our circumstances when necessary and wondering just how we got to this point anyway? Or are we directing it, maximizing the joy and potential of every day, living with a purpose or mission in mind?

Too many of us are doing the former–and our lives are slipping away one day at a time. But what if we treated life like the gift that it is? What if we lived each day as though it were part of a bigger picture, a plan? That’s what New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt and executive coach Daniel Harkavy show us how to do: to design a life with the end in mind, determining in advance the outcomes we desire and path to get there. In this step-by-step guide, they share proven principles that help readers create a simple but effective life plan so that they can get from where they are now to where they really want to be–in every area of life. From Amazon.


DPL Non-Fiction Book Club

The Club meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 1:00pm in the board room. This club reads
non-fiction only. The 2017 Non-Fiction Book Club List

Tuesday, March 28, 1:00pm, Board Room
The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future
by Gretchen Bakke

America’s electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It’s not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources–solar, wind, and other alternatives–the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to re-imagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values. It’s a project which forces visionaries to work with bureaucrats, legislators with storm-flattened communities, moneymen with hippies, and the left with the right. And though it might not yet be obvious, this revolution is already well under way.

Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America’s energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. The grid, she argues, is an essentially American artifact, one which developed with us: a product of bold expansion, the occasional foolhardy vision, some genius technologies, and constant improvisation. Most of all, her focus is on how Americans are changing the grid right now, sometimes with gumption and big dreams and sometimes with legislation or the brandishing of guns.

The Grid tells–entertainingly, perceptively–the story of what has been called “the largest machine in the world”: its fascinating history, its problematic present, and its potential role in a brighter, cleaner future. From Amazon.


Books Between Bites

BBB is organized by the Friends of the Decatur Public Library and is not a standard book club. There is a speaker that comes in to present about a book or topic. They meet the first Wednesday of each month at 12:15pm in the Madden Auditorium.

Wednesday, April 5, 12:15 pm, Madden Auditorium
Speaker: McKenzie Sauer and Benjamin Viette
Book: Hillbilly Elegy: Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
Author: J. D. Vance

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country. From Amazon.

Millikin Students, McKenzie Sauer and Benjamin Viette, have been best friends on campus for the last three years. Both student leaders and members of the Student Senate, they are both passionate about social justice.

McKenzie is a senior Communication major from Sheridan, IL. McKenzie serves as a peer mentor and President of Student Senate. McKenzie is passionate about human services and has led the program Box City on campus where Millikin students experience homelessness for one night.

Ben is a junior theatre major from Belvidere, IL. Ben is also a peer mentor and is involved is many theatre related projects, including the Shakespeare Corrected program, which brings theatre into the Women’s Correctional Facility here in Decatur.

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