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 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, February 28, 1:00pm, Board Room
How the Post Office Created America: A History
by Winifred Gallagher

A masterful history of a long underappreciated institution, How the Post Office Created America examines the surprising role of the postal service in our nation’s political, social, economic, and physical development.

The founders established the post office before they had even signed the Declaration of Independence, and for a very long time, it was the U.S. government’s largest and most important endeavor—indeed, it was the government for most citizens. This was no conventional mail network but the central nervous system of the new body politic, designed to bind thirteen quarrelsome colonies into the United States by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen—a radical idea that appalled Europe’s great powers. America’s uniquely democratic post powerfully shaped its lively, argumentative culture of uncensored ideas and opinions and made it the world’s information and communications superpower with astonishing speed.

Winifred Gallagher presents the history of the post office as America’s own story, told from a fresh perspective over more than two centuries. The mandate to deliver the mail—then “the media”—imposed the federal footprint on vast, often contested parts of the continent and transformed a wilderness into a social landscape of post roads and villages centered on post offices. The post was the catalyst of the nation’s transportation grid, from the stagecoach lines to the airlines, and the lifeline of the great migration from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It enabled America to shift from an agrarian to an industrial economy and to develop the publishing industry, the consumer culture, and the political party system. Still one of the country’s two major civilian employers, the post was the first to hire women, African Americans, and other minorities for positions in public life.

Starved by two world wars and the Great Depression, confronted with the country’s increasingly anti-institutional mind-set, and struggling with its doubled mail volume, the post stumbled badly in the turbulent 1960s. Distracted by the ensuing modernization of its traditional services, however, it failed to transition from paper mail to email, which prescient observers saw as its logical next step. Now the post office is at a crossroads. Before deciding its future, Americans should understand what this grand yet overlooked institution has accomplished since 1775 and consider what it should and could contribute in the twenty-first century.

Gallagher argues that now, more than ever before, the imperiled post office deserves this effort, because just as the founders anticipated, it created forward-looking, communication-oriented, idea-driven America. 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, March 1, 12:15 pm, Madden Auditorium
Speaker: Rosemarie King-Grindy
Book: A Great Reckoning
Author: Louise Penny

#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny pulls back the layers to reveal a brilliant and emotionally powerful truth in her latest spellbinding novel.

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.

Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.

And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.

Everywhere Gamache turns, he sees Amelia Choquet, one of the cadets. Tattooed and pierced. Guarded and angry. Amelia is more likely to be found on the other side of a police line-up. And yet she is in the academy. A protégée of the murdered professor.

The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, and his possible involvement in the crime. The frantic search for answers takes the investigators back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own horrific secrets.

For both Amelia Choquet and Armand Gamache, the time has come for a great reckoning. From Amazon.

Rosemarie King-Grindy is an English professor at Richland Community College, and an avid mystery reader.


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.

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