Canton Seniors Book Discussion Group: January 23, 2020

The collector's apprentice : a novel by 1951- Barbara A. Shapiro
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | e-video

It's the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris--broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fiancé, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a Frenchwoman named Vivienne Gregsby, and sets out to recover her father's art collection, prove her innocence--and exact revenge on George. When the eccentric and wealthy American art collector Edwin Bradley offers Vivienne the perfect job, she is soon caught up in the Parisian world of post-Impressionists and expatriates--including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse, with whom Vivienne becomes romantically entwined. As she travels between Paris and Philadelphia, where Bradley is building an art museum, her life becomes even more complicated: George returns with unclear motives . . . and then Vivienne is arrested for Bradley's murder.

Upcoming sessions

Thursday, January 23 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Friends' Activity Room

Thanksgiving is around the corner and with it comes a season of family togetherness, warmth, joy, delicious foods, and (according to the titles below) maybe some murder. 

::cue dramatic music::

Ideally, your family time next week will include mountains of mashed potatoes versus mountains of motives, but look below for books that include both.

The angels' share by 1953- Ellen Crosby

Ellen Crosby pours up another corking mystery with The Angels' Share, an intriguing blend of secret societies, Prohibition bootleg wine, and potentially scandalous documents hidden by the Founding Fathers, all of which yield a vintage murder. When Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party for friends and neighbors at Hawthorne Castle, an honest-to-goodness castle owned by the Avery family, the last great newspaper dynasty in America and owner of the Washington Tribune, she doesn't expect the festive occasion to end in death. During the party, Prescott Avery, the 95-year old family patriarch, invites Lucie to his fabulous wine cellar where he offers to pay any price for a cache of 200-year-old Madeira that her great-great-uncle, a Prohibition bootlegger, discovered hidden in the US Capitol in the 1920s. Lucie knows nothing about the valuable wine, believing her late father, a notorious gambler and spendthrift, probably sold or drank it. By the end of the party Lucie and her fiancé, winemaker Quinn Santori, discover Prescott's body lying in his wine cellar. Is one of the guests a murderer? As Lucie searches for the lost Madeira, which she believes links Prescott's death to a cryptic letter her father owned, she learns about Prescott's affiliation with the Freemasons. More investigating hints at a mysterious vault supposedly containing documents hidden by the Founding Fathers and a possible tie to William Shakespeare. If Lucie finds the long-lost documents, the explosive revelations could change history. But will she uncover a three hundred-year-old secret before a determined killer finds her?

Raspberry danish murder by 1943- Joanne Fluke
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-video

Thanksgiving has a way of thawing the frostiest hearts in Lake Eden. But that won't be happening for newlywed Hannah Swensen Barton, not after her husband suddenly disappears. Still, she throws herself into a baking frenzy for the sake of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving-themed treats while endless holiday orders pour into The Cookie Jar. Hannah even introduces a raspberry Danish pastry to the menu, and P.K., her husband's assistant at KCOW-TV, will be one of the first to sample it. But instead of taking a bite, P.K., who is driving Ross's car and using his desk at work, is murdered. Was someone plotting against P.K. all along or did Ross dodge a deadly dose of sweet revenge?

A number of books written by seasoned authors were released in November. Check out the titles below to see what's new in the Large Print collection.

Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1942, where the commandant immediately notices how beautiful she is. Forcibly separated from the other women prisoners, Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly taken, equals survival. When the war is over and the camp is liberated, freedom is not granted to Cilka: She is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a Siberian prison camp. But did she really have a choice? And where do the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was send to Auschwitz when she was still a child? In Siberia, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she meets a kind female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing and begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions. Confronting death and terror daily, Cilka discovers a strength she never knew she had. And when she begins to tentatively form bonds and relationships in this harsh, new reality, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love. From child to woman, from woman to healer, Cilka's journey illuminates the resilience of the human spirit--and the will we have to survive.

Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically. The leader, and soon Alice's greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who's never asked a man's permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. What happens to them—and to the men they love—becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they're committed to their job—bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives. Based on a true story rooted in America's past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope. At times funny, at others heartbreaking, this is a richly rewarding novel of women's friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

Canton Seniors Book Discussion Group: December 26, 2019

Please join us for laughter, warm drinks, and treats for our end of the year recap of our most loved (and hated!) books of the year. As a group, we read a number of interesting titles in 2019--come enjoy an hour with us and tell us what you thought. Bring a snack to share, and we hope to see you there!

Upcoming sessions

Thursday, December 26 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Friends' Activity Room

The large print titles published in October revealed books written not only by popular authors, but also new titles on relevant non-fiction topics such as the Me Too movement, the benefits of therapy, and how we interact with strangers. 

Also available in: print | audiobook

A senior partner at a prestigious New York law firm, Kate Morgan couldn't be prouder of her three grown children. Tamara, Anthony, and Claire all went to great schools, chose wonderful career paths, and would have made their father proud. A single mother for years after the death of her husband, Kate keeps a tight rein on her family, her career, and even her own emotions, never once asking herself if she truly knows her children . . . or if her hopes for them are the right ones, and what they want. She is about to find out. During one hectic summer in Manhattan, Kate's world turns upside down. One child has been keeping an astonishing secret while another confesses to an equally shocking truth. A wonderful match and picture-book wedding are traded for a relationship that shakes Kate to her core. A totally inappropriate love affair and an out-of-wedlock baby complete the chaos. Challenged as a mother and as a successful independent woman herself, Kate struggles to keep up with a dizzying and escalating chain of events, and begins to realize that she has a part to play in the chaos. Because Kate too has kept secrets from her children. Sometimes the surprising choices our children make are the right ones . . . better than what we wanted for them. More often than not, parenting is about letting go of our dreams and embracing theirs.

Also available in: audiobook

"This is a random universe," Reacher says. "Once in a blue moon things turn out just right." This isn't one of those times. Reacher is on a Greyhound bus, minding his own business, with no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. Then he steps off the bus to help an old man who is obviously just a victim waiting to happen. But you know what they say about good deeds. Now Reacher wants to make it right. An elderly couple have made a few well-meaning mistakes, and now they owe big money to some very bad people. One brazen move leads to another, and suddenly Reacher finds himself a wanted man in the middle of a brutal turf war between rival Ukrainian and Albanian gangs. Reacher has to stay one step ahead of the loan sharks, the thugs, and the assassins. He teams up with a fed-up waitress who knows a little more than she's letting on, and sets out to take down the powerful and make the greedy pay. It's a long shot. The odds are against him. But Reacher believes in a certain kind of justice . . . the kind that comes along once in a blue moon. 

In 1988 the average gallon of milk cost $1.89, a dozen eggs was .65 cents, and pork chops were .40 a pound. And while eggs and milk are staples, what about exciting new food items...such as very sugary drinks! 

 

Below is a list of foods introduced in 1988:

 

McChicken by McDonald's

While the McChicken was originally introduced in 1980, its sales were disappointing. However fresh on the heels of the success of the McNuggets, the McChicken was re-introduced years later and found its tasty, breaded way into the hearts of consumers.

 

Lunchables by Oscar Meyer

Originally designed as a way for Oscar Meyer to sell more bologna and other lunch meat, the handily packaged Lunchable was introduced to Seattle markets in 1988. However, as a shift in attention changed concerning childhood obesity, the Lunchable quickly came under fire. Geoffrey Bible, former C.E.O. of Philip Morris (prior owner of Kraft Foods), remarked that he read an article that said: "If you take Lunchables apart, the most healthy item in it is the napkin."

 

Powerade by The Coca-Cola Company

In 1988 Powerade became the official drink of the Olympics. Powerade's main competition is Gatorade, which is manufactured by PepsiCo. Sadly, recent numbers show that Gatorade controls three-quarters of the market. 

 

Teddy Grahams by Nabisco

These delightful, bear shaped grahams (complete with belly button) were also introduced 1988. When first introduced, Teddy Grahams were available in honey, cinnamon, fruit punch, and chocolate flavors. Teddy Grahams sold more than $150 million worth in its first year. Take that, Oreo.

 

Diet Mountain Dew by PepsiCo

First introduced in 1986 as "Sugar-Free Mountain Dew," PepsiCo changed its name to Diet Mountain Dew and re-released it in 1988. Mountain Dew Code Red and Amped Energy Drink followed later. 

 

Pepsi Wild Cherry by PepsiCo

1988 was clearly a banner year for healthy drinks produced by PepsiCo. Its name, logo, and taste have been slightly modified over the years, but Pepsi Wild Cherry is considered a regular, permanent product.

The mysteries and thrillers published in 1988 have had some staying power. The list below shows titles that are still of interest today, over 30 years later.

Everyone is stymied when two of Pickax's most prominent citizens are found murdered in their home. But even more puzzling to Qwill is Koko's sudden and unaccountable attraction to rubber cement.

Lightning by 1945- Dean R. (Dean Ray) Koontz
Also available in: audiobook

In the midst of a raging blizzard, lightning struck on the night Laura Shane was born. And a mysterious blond-haired stranger showed up just in time to save her from dying. 

Years later, in the wake of another storm, Laura will be saved again. For someone is watching over her. Is he the guardian angel he seems? The devil in disguise? Or the master of a haunting destiny beyond all time and space?

On Tuesday the National Book Foundation unveiled the finalists for the 2019 National Book Awards. There are five finalists in each of the following categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People's Literature. The winners of the Award will be announced on November 20.

See below for the Finalist titles available at the library.

 

Trust exercise : a novel by 1969- Susan Choi
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving "Brotherhood of the Arts," two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed--or untoyed with--by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley.

The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school's walls--until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true--though it's not false, either. It takes until the book's stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place--revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence.

As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Susan Choi's Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, and about friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults. 

Sabrina & Corina : stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving "Brotherhood of the Arts," two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed--or untoyed with--by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley.

The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school's walls--until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true--though it's not false, either. It takes until the book's stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place--revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence.

As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Susan Choi's Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, and about friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults. 

Canton Seniors Book Discussion Group: November 21, 2019

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

 

It isn't paranoia if it's really happening. Anna Fox lives alone-- a recluse in her New York City home, drinking too much wine, watching old movies... and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move next door: a father, a mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble-- and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this gripping Hitchcockian thriller, no one and nothing are what they seem.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

September marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. As the seasons change, the library continues to keep new large print titles rolling in. Below are just a few of the new titles available to help you stay cozy.

Also available in: print | e-book | e-audiobook

In 1942,  the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was on the front lines. To "set Europe ablaze," in the words of Winston Churchill, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was forced to do something unprecedented: recruit women as spies. Thirty-nine answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France.

In D-Day Girls, Sarah Rose draws on recently de­classified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the thrilling story of three of these remarkable women. There's Andrée Borrel, a scrappy and streetwise Parisian who blew up power lines with the Gestapo hot on her heels; Odette Sansom, an unhappily married suburban mother who saw the SOE as her ticket out of domestic life and into a meaningful adventure; and Lise de Baissac, a fiercely independent member of French colonial high society and the SOE's unflap­pable "queen." Together, they destroyed train lines, ambushed Nazis, plotted prison breaks, and gathered crucial intelligence--laying the groundwork for the D-Day invasion that proved to be the turning point in the war.

Rigorously researched and written with razor-sharp wit, D-Day Girls  is an inspiring story for our own moment of resistance: a reminder of what courage--and the energy of politically animated women--can accomplish when the stakes seem incalculably high.

The testaments [large print] by 1939- Margaret Atwood
Also available in: print | audiobook

More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
 
Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.
 
As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

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