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 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, April 20 1:00pm, Board Room
The Underground Railroad: A Novel
by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.  From Amazon.


SCORE Business Book Club

This will be the SCORE Business Book Club’s last meeting. This club has read a variety of business books intended to help businesses and individuals. Open to all, visitors are welcome. The 2017 SCORE Business Club List

Thursday, April 27, 6:00pm, Staley Room
Discovering the Soul of Service: The Nine Drivers of Sustainable Business Success
by Leonard Berry

This wise and inspiring book by Leonard Berry, moves far beyond his pioneering work in services marketing and service quality to explain how great service companies meet their toughest challenge: sustaining long-term success.

In a world where customers regard flawless products as a given, service is the key differentiator between competitors in any field.

From Berry’s exacting study of fourteen mature, highly successful, labor-intensive companies comes an astonishing revelation: the single most important factor in building a lasting service business is not a matter of savvy business practice, but of humane values. In all fourteen award-winning companies — Bergstrom Hotels, The Charles Schwab Corporation, Chick-fil-A, The Container Store, Custom Research Inc., Dana Commercial Credit, Dial-A-Mattress, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Midwest Express Airlines, Miller SQA, Special Expeditions, St. Paul Saints, USAA, and Ukrop’s Super Markets — values-driven leadership connects with strategic focus, executional excellence, control of destiny, trust-based relationships, generosity, investment in employee success, acting small, and brand cultivation to drive customer satisfaction, innovation, and growth. Dedicating a chapter to each of these nine drivers, this book is the most far-reaching and insightful vision ever presented of the principles and step-by-step actions that continuously bring success to life in a company.

Berry’s comprehensive model reveals the soul that underlies the strategies and day-to-day operations of great service companies, guiding the thousands of daily decisions of individual employees. Clear, compelling, pathbreaking, Discovering the Soul of Service is essential reading for managers everywhere. 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, April 25, 1:00pm, Board Room
Dissent and the Supreme Court: Its Role in the Court’s History and the Nation’s Constitutional Dialogue
by Melvin Urofsky

In his major work, acclaimed historian and judicial authority Melvin Urofsky examines the great dissents throughout the Court’s long history. Constitutional dialogue is one of the ways in which we as a people reinvent and reinvigorate our democratic society. The Supreme Court has interpreted the meaning of the Constitution, acknowledged that the Court’s majority opinions have not always been right, and initiated a critical discourse about what a particular decision should mean and fashioning subsequent decisions—largely through the power of dissent.   Urofsky shows how the practice grew slowly but steadily, beginning with the infamous & now overturned case of Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) during which Chief Justice Roger Taney’s opinion upheld slaver and ending with the present age of incivility, in which reasoned dialogue seems less and less possible. Dissent on the court and off, Urofsky argues in this major work, has been a crucial ingredient in keeping the Constitution alive and must continue to be so. 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, May 3, 12:15 pm, Madden Auditorium
Speaker: Shirley Elkin
Book: Body Language 101: The Ultimate Guide to Knowing When People Are Lying, How They Are Feeling, What They Are Thinking
Author: David Lambert

Shirley, a retired teacher of Speech, English, General Semantics, and Debate will describe how Body Language 101 is a clear and helpful guide to observing human nonverbal communication both in the United States and around the world. We might be surprised to find out what our body and face are saying. School Library Journal called it one of the best books on the subject. Shirley is the current president of the Decatur Noon Kiwanis.


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, May 9, 6:30pm, Staley Room
Parker: The Hunter
by Richard Stark & Darwyn Cooke

You probably haven’t ever noticed them. But they’ve noticed you. They notice everything. That’s their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers’ work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack.

They’re thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They’re pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you’re planning a job, you want him in. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is the heister’s heister, the robber’s robber, the heavy’s heavy. You don’t want to cross him, and you don’t want to get in his way, because he’ll stop at nothing to get what he’s after.

Parker, the ruthless antihero of Richard Stark’s eponymous mystery novels, is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir.  Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose-style—and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency—Stark is a master of crime writing, his books as influential as any in the genre. The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of this series to print for a new generation of readers to discover—and become addicted to.

In The Hunter, the first volume in the series, Parker roars into New York City, seeking revenge on the woman who betrayed him and on the man who took his money, stealing and scamming his way to redemption. From Amazon.

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