Book Clubs

Interested in joining a book club? The Decatur Public Library offers 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, December 12, 6:30pm, Staley Room
Black Hole
by Charles Burns

The setting: suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the outset that a strange plague has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) — but once you’ve got it, that’s it. There’s no turning back.

As we inhabit the heads of several key characters — some kids who have it, some who don’t, some who are about to get it — what unfolds isn’t the expected battle to fight the plague, or bring heightened awareness to it , or even to treat it. What we become witness to instead is a fascinating and eerie portrait of the nature of high school alienation itself — the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape.

And then the murders start.

As hypnotically beautiful as it is horrifying, Black Hole transcends its genre by deftly exploring a specific American cultural moment in flux and the kids who are caught in it- back when it wasn’t exactly cool to be a hippie anymore, but Bowie was still just a little too weird. To say nothing of sprouting horns and molting your skin… 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, December 21 1:00pm, Board Room
Chance Developments
by Alexander McCall Smith

From the bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series comes this splendid collection. Inspired by vintage photographs, these five lyrical stories capture the surprising intersections of love and friendship that alter life’s journeys.

A smiling girl leading a younger girl astride a pony, and a boy in a kilt on a tricycle beside them, gives rise to a story of a lifelong romance between the two riders. A dapper, roguish-looking man perching on a lady’s knee sparks the story of a ventriloquist and an animal handler who work in a circus, and who, under the most delightfully unexpected circumstances, fall in love. The image of a woman haloed by light in a train station becomes the lighthearted tale of a nun’s decision to leave the sisterhood and discover what the big city has to offer. Charming and poignant, this collection brims with the flourishes of grace and humor that could only come from the pen of Alexander McCall Smith. 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, December 26, 1:00pm, Board Room
The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery
by Sam Kean

Early studies of the human brain used a simple method: wait for misfortune to strike — strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, horrendous accidents — and see how victims coped. In many cases their survival was miraculous, if puzzling. Observers were amazed by the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed, altering victims’ personalities. Parents suddenly couldn’t recognize their own children. Pillars of the community became pathological liars. Some people couldn’t speak but could still sing.

In The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, Sam Kean travels through time with stories of neurological curiosities: phantom limbs, Siamese twin brains, viruses that eat patients’ memories, blind people who see through their tongues. He weaves these narratives together with prose that makes the pages fly by, to create a story of discovery that reaches back to the 1500s and the high-profile jousting accident that inspired this book’s title.* With the lucid, masterful explanations and razor-sharp wit his fans have come to expect, Kean explores the brain’s secret passageways and recounts the forgotten tales of the ordinary people whose struggles, resilience, and deep humanity made neuroscience possible.

*”The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons” refers to the case of French king Henri II, who in 1559 was lanced through the skull during a joust, resulting in one of the most significant cases in neuroscience history. For hundreds of years scientists have gained important lessons from traumatic accidents and illnesses, and such misfortunes still represent their greatest resource for discovery. 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, January 3, 12:15 pm, Madden Auditorium
Speaker: John Schirle
Book: City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp

Author: Ben Rawlence

Decatur Public Library’s own John Schirle from the Children’s Department will keep you riveted with his review of City of Thorns. Voted best book of 2016 by The Economist, this book is the timely story of the desperate lives  of nine individuals, and what life is really like in the refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya.

To the charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a ‘nursery for terrorists’; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, deep within the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud, sticks or plastic, its entire economy is grey, and its citizens survive on rations and luck. Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land, getting to know many of those who have come there seeking sanctuary. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education. In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Rawlence combines intimate storytelling with broad socio-political investigative journalism, doing for Dadaab what Katherinee Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers did for the Mumbai slums. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home. From Amazon.

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