Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American dream and the new South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy's time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

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As one of America's leading geriatric psychiatrists, Dr. Marc Agronin sees both the sickest and the healthiest of seniors. He observes what works to make their lives better and more purposeful and what doesn't. Many authors can talk about aging from their particular vantage points, but Dr. Agronin is on the front lines as he counsels and treats elderly individuals and their loved ones on a daily basis. The latest scientific research and Dr. Agronin's first-hand experience are brilliantly distilled in The End of Old Age--a call to no longer see aging as an implacable enemy and to start seeing it as a developmental force for enhancing well-being, meaning, and  longevity. Throughout The End of Old Age, the focus is squarely on "So what does this mean for me and my family?" In the final part of the book, Dr. Agronin provides simple but revealing charts that you can fill out to identify, develop, and optimize your unique age-given strengths. It's nothing short of an action plan to help you age better by improving how you value the aging process, guide yourself through stress, and find ways to creatively address change for the best possible experience and outcome.

Don't just live longer- live better! Everyone wants to feel fitter, sexier, more energetic, more productive, and younger-but what if the solutions were already here? What if there were already ways to ease the negative effects of aging and prevent diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease from ever starting? What if we could translate all the exotic science and research breakthroughs of today into a practical plan that could help us win the war on aging? Here's the truth- We can. The Fountain is a sensible, comprehensive, and scientifically based anti-aging guide packed with essential information. With actionable advice, biting humor, and savvy insight, Dr. Rocco Monto, a top national health expert and board-certified orthopedic surgeon, explains why we age so poorly now and how the latest breakthroughs in science and medicine can help change this. Focusing on the four pillars of science, diet, exercise, and medicine, Dr. Monto's findings interlace the clinical and the cultural and suggest that simple choices provide profound results. Debunking long-held diet and fitness myths while highlighting safe, effective therapies backed by cutting-edge research, Dr. Monto includes the diet, supplements, exercise, mental training, and new medications to help us all live longer, happier, healthier, and more productive lives. Much more than a compilation of longevity research, The Fountain is an essential toolkit that will redesign lifestyles and forever transform the way we look at aging. As the book blends fascinating stories with new research findings, illustrations, infographics, and exclusive interviews, it also educates you on how aging really works and provides practical ways to hack the system.

The first book to open up a real conversation about aging. What has the experience of getting older felt like for you? It seems that life's milestones pass by in a flash: graduating from school, landing your first job, getting married, having kids. Most people look forward to these events and have some expectations about what each life milestone will be like. But what about when you get older? How can you continue to live fully in your sixties, seventies, and beyond? Linda K. Stroh and Karen K. Brees asked nearly one thousand older people about the challenges and joys of growing older and compiled their collective wisdom into this must-have book! Full of advice and stories from a wide variety of older people, Getting Real about Getting Older examines love, loss, and changing identities, and will help you take control of your concerns about aging and experience wisdom and joy as an older adult.

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

The White House is the home of the President of the United States, the most guarded, monitored, closely watched person in the world. So how could a U.S. President vanish without a trace? And why would he choose to do so? An unprecedented collaboration between President Bill Clinton and the world's bestselling novelist, James Patterson, The President is Missing is a breathtaking story from the pinnacle of power. Full of what it truly feels like to be the person in the Oval Office -- the mind-boggling pressure, the heartbreaking decisions, the exhilarating opportunities, the soul-wrenching power -- this is the thriller of the decade, confronting the darkest threats that face the world today, with the highest stakes conceivable.

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We're continuing to celebrate CPL's 30th anniversary and 30 years of reading great books for the Adult Contemporary Book Club. Here's what we read 30 years ago...

 

Motor City blue by Loren D Estleman

Private eye Amos Walker is a Vietnam veteran who was thrown out of the Police Academy for punching a fellow cadet. He’s a hard man in a ruined city, scratching out a living looking for lost things. 
Walker’s latest case comes by way of ex-mobster Ben Morningstar, who’s been living out his retirement in Phoenix while raising Maria, the daughter of a long-ago murdered friend. Only now, Maria is missing and the gangster needs Walker’s help. But the trail has gone cold—the only clue is a faded pornographic snapshot. Never one to give up, Walker witnesses the kidnapping of a former Vietnam friend and solves the murder of a young black labor leader while slugging his way to a solution. Fans of Raymond Chandler and Elmore Leonard’s crime fiction will find Estleman’s lean prose, retro style, and tough-guy hero irresistible.

The situation in Flushing by Edmund G Love

In a nostalgic, yet nimble telling of his boyhood in Flushing, Michigan, Edmund Love notes that he was born into a world that ceased to exist almost as soon as he entered it. "In the first twelve years of my life," he writes, "rural America was swept away as though it has been a picture on a blackboard that had suddenly been erased." The Situation in Flushing is a humorous portrait of a place and people that have vanished from the American scene. With his unique brand of satire, Love provides sharp and amusing insight into the events and personalities that shaped his youth.

Diabetes is a growing national health crisis. It's a serious disease where the body's ability to regulate blood glucose is impaired. There's no cure, but it can be managed through diet, exercise, and medication to control blood sugar levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 100 million Americans are living with diabetes or are pre-diiabetic (a condition if untreated leads to type 2 diabetes). Diabetes can be prevented. See your doctor to learn how to reduce your risk. Here are some new resources in the collection to help you with diabetes management. 

Dr. Jason Fung forever changed the way we think about obesity with his best-selling book, The Obesity Code. Now he has set out to do the same for type 2 diabetes. Today, most doctors, dietitians, and even diabetes specialists consider type 2 diabetes to be a chronic and progressive disease--a life sentence with no possibility of parole. But the truth, as Dr. Fung reveals in this paradigm-shifting book, is that type 2 diabetes is reversible. Writing with clear, persuasive language, he explains why conventional treatments that rely on insulin or other blood-glucose-lowering drugs can actually exacerbate the problem, leading to significant weight gain and even heart disease. The only way to treat type 2 diabetes effectively, he argues, is proper dieting and intermittent fasting--not medication.

Prediabetes can be scary, but it's also an opportunity--an opportunity to "reset," to improve your health, and to get yourself in better shape than ever. Let Prediabetes: A Complete Guide show you how! Nearly 10 million people in the United States have been told by their doctor that they have prediabetes, with tens of millions more estimated to have prediabetes and not know it. In fact, the latest numbers from the CDC suggest that nearly 1 in 3 adults currently have either prediabetes or diabetes. These are alarming numbers, and finding out that you are that one out of three can be even more alarming. Shock, denial, and confusion are not uncommon reactions. But there is a flipside to learning you have prediabetes. It's scary, but it also means you've caught the condition just in time, before it's too late. Prediabetes does not mean you will develop diabetes. There are actions you can take to improve your health. Prediabetes: A Complete Guide, will reveal to you in detail what these actions are are and empower you to find the healthy eating and lifestyle changes that work best for you to help you achieve your health goals.

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Considering adding a furry friend to your family? Give a second chance to a dog looking for a forever home. Visit the local rescue shelters in our area such as the Happy Days Dog and Cat Rescue or the Michigan Humane Society. Once you've adopted your forever friend, check out these inspiring books about rescued shelter dogs!

When Cara felt her teenaged children slipping away and saw an empty nest on the horizon, she decided the best way to fill that void was with dogs--lots of them--and so her foster journey began.In 2015, her Pennsylvania farm became a haven for Operation Paws for Homes. There were the nine puppies at once, which arrived with less than a day's notice; a heart- worm positive dog; a deeply traumatized stray pup from Iraq; and countless others who just needed a gentle touch and a warm place to sleep. Operation Paws for Homes rescues dogs from high-kill shelters in the rural south and shuttles them north to foster homes like Cara's on the way to their forever homes.What started as a search for a good dog, led to an epiphany that there wasn't just one that could ll the hole left in her heart from her children gaining independence--she could save dozens along the way. The stories of these remarkable dogs-- including an eighty-pound bloodhound who sang arias for the neighbors--and the joy they bring to Cara and her family (along with a few chewed sofa cushions) fill the pages of this touching and inspiring new book that reveals the wonderful rewards of fostering.When asked how she can possibly say goodbye to that many loveable pups, Cara says, "If I don't give this one away, I can't possibly save another." Filled with humanity and hope, Another Good Dog will take the reader on an journey of smiles, laughs, and tears--and lead us to wonder how many other good dogs are out there and what we can do to help. 

Bodie, mystery mix rescue pup, is on death row in a Los Angeles dog shelter, having been abandoned by his owner. Belinda, a heartbroken woman, is in a heap on the floor of her vintage apartment, having been dumped by the man of her dreams. Two lost souls ready to find a new life--together. Belinda falls in love with Bodie the moment he plants his furry butt on her bare, flip-flopped foot. Soon, the two embark on a 2,000-mile West Coast road trip, taking in spectacular Big Sur, a pack run in the wilds of Oregon, afternoon tea at Doris Day's dog-loving hotel in Carmel, a fragrant encounter with the creator of Kennel No.5 furfume, and a bar stop in a small town near San Francisco where a dog was elected mayor and served for thirteen years . . .

On their soul-searching adventure, Belinda and Bodie cruise along California State Route 1, one of the most iconic highways in America, heading towards Portland, Oregon--repeatedly voted one of the most dog-friendly cities in America. Join Belinda and Bodie on this feelgood road trip, and you, too, will feel the wind in your hair and a wag in your tail! 

The president of Planned Parenthood recounts her life as an activist.For decades, Richards has been at the forefront of anti-war, civil rights, labor, and women's issues; as she demonstrates, activism and the desire to work for the common good run in her family. Her father was a labor attorney and environmentalist, and her mother, Ann Richards, was a fierce fighter for women's rights who became governor of Texas. 

According to mental health therapist and social justice activist Storm (cofounder, former executive director, Home Alive), most people don't have the tools they need to create and articulate effective boundaries, nor do they know how to enforce the boundaries they do set. Storm emphasizes the nature of boundary setting, particularly among vulnerable groups such as people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and women, defining along the way topics of power and privilege and the connections between individual and community safety.

America is more polarized than ever. Whether the issue is Donald Trump, healthcare, abortion, gun control, breastfeeding, or even DC vs Marvel, it feels like you can't voice an opinion without ruffling someone's feathers. In today's digital age, it's easier than ever to build walls around yourself. You fill up your Twitter feed with voices that are angry about the same issues and believe as you believe. Before long, you're isolated in your own personalized echo chamber. And if you ever encounter someone outside of your bubble, you don't understand how the arguments that resonate so well with your peers can't get through to anyone else. In a time when every conversation quickly becomes a battlefield, it's up to us to learn how to talk to each other again.

Is your life upside down if you forget your phone or misplace it? How much time do you think you spend on your electronic devices such as your phone, your ipad, your laptop? Mobilstatistics recently reported that the average person spends 90 minutes a day on his/her phone. That adds up to 23 days a year and 3.9 years over a lifetime of staring at a screen. Need to disconnect? Check these books out first!

Do you find yourself reaching for your phone first thing in the morning? All day long? Right before you go to sleep? You just might be addicted to it. Price has provided a manual for breaking addiction to your smartphone or any other wireless mobile device (jokingly, if slightly disturbingly, referred to as WMD). In the first part of the book, Price lays out the multiple ways this addiction can be harmful and result in anything from poor sleep to adult-onset ADHD. Probably most commonly, the devices commandeer our attention, keeping us from being present in the moment while also curtailing our productivity and creativity. The second half of the book is a 30-day guide to breaking up with your phone. Starting with downloading a usage-tracking app and ending with a 24-hour phast (phone fast), Price lays out a comprehensive, step-by-step solution to spending less time with your phone and more time doing the things you love. The style doesn't make for riveting reading, but as a self-help manual, this does the trick.

Kardaras, an addictions expert and professor of neuroscience, uses scientific studies and examples from his own practice to show the addictive powers of electronic gaming and social media, calling them electronic cocaine. He cites cases about teens who are avid gamers losing touch with reality and tests showing that attention and memory are shrinking in school children. Although not completely against the computer (he admits to writing his book electronically), his main concerns are the effects games have on the developing brains of younger users and the explosion of electronics in education. The constant reward seeking and escalating challenges cause an increase in dopamine, which translates into addiction, leading Kardaras to speculate on links to ADHD and waning sensory awareness as well as the influence of cyberbullying on rising crime and suicide rates. His tone is conversational rather than threatening, and his commonsense suggestions for combating this epidemic (public awareness, full disclosure by tech companies, emphasis on critical thinking in schools) are reassuring. Kardaras' eye-opening study is sure to spark discussions among parents and educators

The Adult Contemporary Book Discussion Group is currently celebrating our 30th year at the library reading and discussing great books. Some of the books we've read have either become movies or tv series. Here's our list of some of our current titles from page to screen! Interested in joining our group? We meet every 3rd Monday at 7:00 PM in the Community Room! 

Also available in: video

The Robinas have shared a wonderful life for more than sixty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from cancer and John has Alzheimer's. Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed "down-on-their-luck geezers" kidnap themselves from the adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives and steal away from their home in suburban Detroit on a forbidden vacation of rediscovery. With Ella as his vigilant copilot, John steers their '78 Leisure Seeker RV along the forgotten roads of Route 66 toward Disneyland in search of a past they're having a damned hard time remembering. Yet Ella is determined to prove that, when it comes to life, you can go back for seconds—even when everyone says you can't.

Also available in: video

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

September is Happy Cat Month and that means if you don't already indulge your cat or cats all the time, September is the designated month for learning to keep your kitty happy and healthy! Here's some resources to get you started or inspire you to interact with your cat in new and inspiring ways! 

Catnip : a love story by 1933- Michael Korda

With the imagination of a writer and the eye of an artist, Michael Korda doodled on the backs of old manuscripts in his tackroom while his wife, Margaret, was out riding. They loved and acquired cats--a habit written about previously in their book, Cat People--and the few in residence at this time would serve as inspiration for the drawings. These are no ordinary cat illustrations, though. Korda's cats read newspapers and books; go ice skating in the small country town where they live; comfort Margaret's horse, Monty, after a stressful vet visit; sell fried mice at the Farmer's Market, and undertake (on paper, at least) whatever fanciful endeavors their keeper conjures up.  The result is a collection of magical pieces, filled with joy, that represent a year in the life of a couple in love with one another, and certainly with their cats.

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