Canton Seniors Book Discussion Group Reading List: 2019

The Canton Seniors Book Discussion Group meets on the fourth Thursday of every month from 2:00pm-3:00pm in the library's Friends' Activities Room. The books--in both regular and large print--for each discussion are provided and distributed the month prior. The December meeting is used to discuss what we've read throughout the year and enjoy tasty treats. Please join us in this welcoming, no registration-required book group!

January 24, 2019

Little women by 1832-1888 Louisa May Alcott
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.

February 28, 2019

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by 1948- Alexander McCall Smith
Also available in: audiobook | video | large print

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to "help people with problems in their lives." Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

March 28, 2019

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

For readers of Jon Krakauer and The Lost City of Z, a remarkable tale of survival and solitude--the true story of a man who lived alone in a tent in the Maine woods, never talking to another person and surviving by stealing supplies from nearby cabins for twenty-seven years. In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even in winter, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store food and water, to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothes, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed, but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of the why and how of his secluded life--as well as the challenges he has faced returning to the world. A riveting story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

April 25, 2019

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

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes year in, year out), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue each other from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

May 23, 2019

Kindred by Octavia E Butler

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

June 27, 2019

The Turner house by Angela Flournoy
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family. The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone--and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts--and shapes--their family's future. Already praised by Ayana Mathis as "utterly moving" and "un-putdownable," The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.

July 25, 2019

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

When Bee aces her report card she claims her reward, which is a trip to Antarctica, but her mother, Bernadette, disappears due to her intensifying allergy to Seattle and people in general, which has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands and Bee uses emails, invoices, school memos, private correspondence, and other evidence to try and understand why her mother has left.

August 22, 2019

The husband's secret by Liane Moriarty
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all-- she's an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But a letter is about to change everything, and not just for her-- Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia, or each other, but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband's secret.

September 26, 2019

Saints for all occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

A sweeping, unforgettable novel fromThe New York Timesbest-selling author ofMaine, about the hope, sacrifice, and love between two sisters and the secret that drives them apart. Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan--a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, privately preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora's favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister and cut off from the world, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago. A graceful, supremely moving novel from one of our most beloved writers,Saints for All Occasionsexplores the fascinating, funny, and sometimes achingly sad ways a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.

October 24, 2019

The atomic city girls by Janet Beard
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months—a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists, and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works and understands the end goal only too well, while her beautiful roommate Cici is on her own mission: to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows nothing of the government’s plans, only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind, at least for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June’s search for answers.

When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.

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.

December 26, 2019

Join us for chatting and togetherness as we recap our favorite (and least favorite!) books of 2019. 

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Comanche Captive by D. Laszlo Conhaim

Scott Renald is an Indian agent searching for white captives. Laura Little is a former captive seeking her Comanche-born son. They meet unexpectedly on the high plains. Touched by her story, Renald leads Laura's search while hostile tribesmen pursue them. Word of their predicament reaches Fort Sill, and agents are dispatched to grab her and recall him. Meanwhile, the army prepares for war with the Comanche. Circumstances propel all into a heart-wrenching and bloody conflict of competing loyalties and surprising discoveries against the scorched backdrop of the Staked Plain.

Also available in: print

"Be kind and have faith." Ella Troyer strives to abide by her mother's final words, although life in the small Amish town of Echo Creek isn't always easy. Her new stepmother, Linda, treats her coldly, and her two stepsisters, Drusilla and Anna, delight in gossip and laziness. After her father's death, Ella's stepsisters are free to attend youth singings while Ella stays at home to manage the household chores, rarely seeing another soul. Until one day, while running an errand, she has a chance meeting with a young Amish man from a nearby town. Drusilla and Anna are full of admiration for charming, affluent newcomer Johannes Wagler, and Linda hopes to ensnare him as a husband for one of her girls-- while keeping Ella out of the way. As for Hannes, he longs to catch another glimpse of the mysterious young woman who can sing so sweetly and bake the most delicious pie he's ever sampled. Now, with a little help from some unlikely sources, Ella dares to hope she might find her heart's dearest wishes-- for love, family, and a home of her own-- coming true at last.

Also available in: print

A poignant, evocative, and wonderfully gossipy account of the two sisters who represented style and class above all else--Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill--from the authors of Furious Love.

When sixty-four-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie's thirty-eight-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees--but nothing to her. "I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime," read Jackie's final testament. Drawing on the authors' candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the center of twentieth-century fashion, design, and style.

In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty--in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry--and both were talented artists. Both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father's favorite, and Lee, her mother's. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.

Murder on the Orient Express: a Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie is one of the author's most famous mysteries. The story was inspired by two real-life crimes and the author's own experience being stranded on the Orient Express during Christmas of 1931.

In the book, the dapper detective Hercule Poirot, for whom murder-solving is a precise, intellectual exercise, agrees to interview all aboard the famous train's Calais coach, hoping to find the killer of an American millionaire before the local police arrive.

If you enjoy fast-paced mysteries like Murder on the Orient Express, then you may enjoy...

Also available in: audiobook

In 1914, a bold young American names Mary Russell meets a retired beekeeper in the English countryside. His name is Sherlock Holmes. And though many years have passed since he astonished Watson by solving Scotland Yard's most baffling crimes, the Great Detective is no fool. He instantly spots a fellow intellect in Mary. When his greatest enemy returns with a fiendishly resourceful plan for revenge, Holmes knows he faces the case of his lifetime - and that he needs Mary's help to solve it.

Also available in: audiobook

Nurse Hester Monk and her husband, William, commander of the Thames River Police, do desperate battle with two obsessed scientists who in the name of healing have turned to homicide. The monomaniacal Rand brothers--Magnus, a cunning doctor, and Hamilton, a genius chemist--are utterly ruthless in their pursuit of a cure for the fatal "white-blood disease." In London's Royal Naval Hospital annex, Hester is tending one of the brothers' dying patients--wealthy Bryson Radnor--when she stumbles upon three weak, terrified young children, and learns to her horror that they've been secretly purchased and imprisoned by the Rands for experimental purposes. But the Rand brothers are too close to a miracle cure to allow their experiments to be exposed. Before Hester can reveal the truth, she too becomes a prisoner. As Monk and his faithful friends--distinguished lawyer Oliver Rathbone and reformed brothel keeper Squeaky Robinson among them--scour London's grimy streets and the beautiful English countryside searching for her, Hester's time, as well as the children's, is quickly draining away.

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: November 29, 2018

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

After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year's Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son's inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel's favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed--by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster--Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.
 
The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Yet she finds herself falling in love with the stark beauty and subtle magic of the Scottish countryside. Gradually she comes to know the villagers, and the friendships she forms with two young women open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.
 
As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life's beauty and surprising possibilities

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Large Print book publishing in English began in 1964 in Leicester, England when Frederick Thorpe, a retired book and magazine distributor, decided to meet the needs of elderly poor-sighted readers by reprinting older classic books in editions about twice the physical size of the original book. The type inside was enlarged to about twice the size of the original printing. The books were given plain dust jackets with type only, color-coded to indicate categories like mysteries (black), general fiction (red), romances (blue), Westerns (orange) and so forth. These editions met the need but were difficult for frail elderly readers to handle because they were oversize. Source.

 

Here are just a few large print titles that are new to our shelves: 

Juror #3 [large print] by James Patterson
Also available in: print

Ruby Bozarth, a newcomer to Rosedale, Mississippi, is also fresh to the Mississippi Bar--and to the docket of Circuit Judge Baylor, who taps Ruby as defense counsel in a racially charged felony.

The murder of a woman from one of the town's oldest families has Rosedale's upper crust howling for blood, and the prosecutor is counting on Ruby's inexperience to help him deliver a swift conviction. Ruby's client is a college football star who has returned home after a career-ending injury, and she is determined to build a defense that will stick. She finds help in unexpected quarters from Suzanne, a hard-charging attorney armed to the teeth, and Shorty, a diner cook who knows more than he lets on.

Ruby never belonged to the country-club set, but once she nearly married into it. As news breaks of a second murder, Ruby's ex-fiancé, Lee Greene, shows up on her doorstep--a Southern gentleman in need of a savior. As lurid, intertwining investigations unfold, no one in Rosedale can be trusted, especially the twelve men and women impaneled on the jury. They may be hiding the most incendiary secret of all.

Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook

The #1 New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning authors are back with an electrifying new novel that will leave your heart racing. Kendra Michaels is reluctant to help the FBI with the most recent case they've brought to her...until she hears the details: The body was found just blocks away from Kendra's condo. The man was carrying an envelope with Kendra's name on it, and inside was an SD card with what appears to be an innocuous video of a wedding reception. And just one week before the attempted delivery of this mysterious video, the groom in the video was murdered. As the body count rises, Kendra joins forces with private investigator Jessie Mercado and agent-for-hire Adam Lynch as they discover that each victim played a part in convicting a serial killer years before. Someone has clearly taken up his mantle to exact a sadistic form of vengeance. But who is it? A family member? An old partner? Or is it possible that the wrong man was convicted and the serial killer himself has returned to continue his sick spree? In Double Blind, Iris and Roy Johansen deliver an emotional, gripping new entry in the bestselling Kendra Michaels series.

Large print is not just a bigger font size that makes reading accessible for the visually impaired. It’s also proven to improve letter and word recognition, aid reading comprehension, and increase feelings of confidence and satisfaction when reading. That makes it perfect for beginning or reluctant readers and ESL/ELL students. Large print books are an essential resource for any literacy program. Source.

 

Here are just a few new large print titles that are new to our shelves:

Every Breath [large print] by Nicholas Sparks
Also available in: print

Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she's been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family's cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.
Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother's early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.

Illuminating life's heartbreaking regrets and enduring hope, EVERY BREATH explores the many facets of love that lay claim to our deepest loyalties--while asking the question, How long can a dream survive?
 

"I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen," Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest--when we are, as she puts it, "doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over-caffeinated"--the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. "All truth is paradox," Lamott writes, "and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change." That is the time when we must pledge not to give up but "to do what Wendell Berry wrote: 'Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.'"

In this profound and funny book, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward.

Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious, Almost Everything is the book we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.

The acclaimed author of the phenomenal Sookie Stackhouse novels, Charlaine Harris introduces a Southern librarian whose bookish bent for murder gets her involved in real-life mysteries.

Real Murders--

Georgia librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden belongs to a club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. But after she finds a member dead, killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss, Roe has to uncover the person behind a terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects-or potential victims.

A Bone to Pick--

When a deceased acquaintance names Roe as heir to a substantial estate, which includes money, jewelry-and a house complete with a skull hidden in a window seat-Roe concludes that the elderly woman has purposely left her a murder to solve. She must identify the victim and figure out which one of Jane's ordinary-seeming neighbors is a murderer-without putting herself in deadly danger.

The Detroit Radio Information Service (DRIS) is southeast Michigan's Radio Reading/Audio Information service for people with disabilities. It is a service of WDET 101.9FM and Wayne State University.

 

DRIS broadcasts 8,760 hours of continuous audio information programming a year, helping to offset the impact of vision loss and the inability to hold or comprehend print. DRIS engages local volunteer readers and offers the verbatim readings of more than 100 local and national newspapers and magazines a week. Special interest materials include this week's grocery and department store ads, senior citizen issues, hobbies, and literature. Rehabilitation programs focus on topics like adjustment, employment, education, and legislation.​

 

DRIS broadcasts its programming over a private, closed-circuit radio signal. Specially built radio receivers are loaned free of charge to qualified applicants.

 

Any person, who is unable to see, hold, or comprehend conventional printed matter because of a disability, including a learning disability, may apply to use DRIS.

Author Alexander McCall Smith's popular series the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency features the character Mma Precious Ramotswe from Botswana. Precious is a detective who feels that solving mysteries is more than just solving an individual's problem--it is about understanding people and their ins and out.

If you enjoy an engaging mystery with lively and interesting characters, then you may enjoy...

Pardonable lies by Jacqueline Winspear

A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world. In accepting the assignment, Maisie finds her spiritual strength tested, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche. The mission also brings her together once again with her college friend Priscilla Evernden, who served in France and who lost three brothers to the war―one of whom, it turns out, had an intriguing connection to the missing Ralph Lawton.

Working with her retired CIA friend John Farrell, Mrs. Pollifax must smuggle a manuscript out of Jordan, a document that encodes the shocking truth of Saddam Hussein's reign.

Hardly are the two airborne when the coils of Middle Eastern intrigue begin to unwind. Mrs. Pollifax's seatmate is not the affable Arab businessman he pretends to be. It is not imagination that persuades Mrs. P. that wherever they go, she and Farrell are followed. To elude their pursuers in such a politically volatile country isn't easy. In fact, it can be downright deadly. . . .

The 360s of the Library's non-fiction collection encompasses a wide variety of subjects. Volunteerism, healthcare, elder care, homelessness, gun control, environmental concerns, organized crime, fraud, and crimes and trials are just a few of the topics that can be found on the shelf. 

 

Below is a sampling of new titles purchased for the collection.

In Bad Advice, Paul A. Offit shares hard-earned wisdom on the dos and don’ts of battling misinformation. For the past twenty years, Offit has been on the front lines in the fight for sound science and public heath. Stepping into the media spotlight as few scientists have done―such as being one of the first to speak out against conspiracy theories linking vaccines to autism―he found himself in the crosshairs of powerful groups intent on promoting pseudoscience. Bad Advice discusses science and its adversaries: not just the manias stoked by slick charlatans and their miracle cures but also corrosive, dangerous ideologies such as Holocaust and climate-change denial. Written with wit and passion, Offit’s often humorous guide to taking on quack experts and self-appointed activists is a must-read for any American disturbed by the uptick in politicized attacks on science

Olivia and Mia Flores are married to the highest level drug traffickers ever to become US informants. Their husbands worked with--and then brought down--El Chapo, as well as dozens of high-level members of the Mexican cartels. They had everything money could buy: luxury cars, huge houses, and expensive jewelry--but they chose to give it all up when they cooperated with the US government. They knew that life was about more than wealth; it was about love, family, and doing what's right. CARTEL WIVES is a love story, a "Married to the Mob" story, an insider's look into the terrifying but high-flying empire of the new world of drugs, and, finally, the story of a major DEA and FBI operation.

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