Wednesday Afternoon Book Group

  • Wednesday Afternoon Book Group

Our Wednesday Afternoon Book Groups meets on the last Wednesday of every month from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm in the Fireplace Room. We read both fiction and nonfiction.  Copies of each title are available at the Circulation Desk approximately one month prior to each meeting. Downloadable and audio editions are also made available whenever possible. New members are always welcome.

Registration is not required for in-person meetings, but is appreciated! Please register for each meeting separately, using our online calendar.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

FEBRUARY 28

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce

When Queenie Hennessy is told she has days to live she sends a letter on pink paper in which she bids goodbye to Harold Fry. It is a letter that inspires an unlikely walk, a cast of well-wishers, and the examination of many lives unlived. But there is a second letter, a longer, quieter more complicated letter which she will never send. It is this letter, the one we did not know about in The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which reveals the shocking and beautiful truth of Queenie’s life.

MARCH 27

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

In the tradition of Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club and Rick Bragg’s All Over But the Shouting, Jeannette Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric and severely misguided family. The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family’s nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.

APRIL 24

Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini

A fictionalized account of the friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln and her dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave.

MAY 29

The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man by David Von Drehle

A veteran Washington journalist recounts his long friendship with Charlie White, the centenarian next door who, sharing his good and meaningful life, mastered survival strategies that reflect thousands of years of human wisdom as his sense of adventure guided him through a century of upheaval.

JUNE 26

The Lost Manuscript by Cathy Bonidan

Anne-Lise Briard is surprised to discover an unpublished manuscript in a hotel nightstand in Brittany. She’s quickly entranced by the brief but passionate love affair contained within its pages and, after she’s finished reading, she feels compelled to send the manuscript to an address written in the margins, hoping to reunite the work with its author. In reply, she receives a note from Sylvestre Fahmer, who lost the manuscript when it was still a half-finished work in progress on a trip to Montreal in 1983. Intrigued by the mystery of who could have completed the story, Anne-Lise and Sylvestre search for the second author. Together with Anne-Lise’s childhood friend, Maggy, and William, an international poker player they meet along the way, they retrace the manuscript’s path across Europe through correspondence with the people who have read it, uncovering the way the novel has affected the lives and loves of its readers.

JULY 31

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

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.

AUGUST 28

The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain

When Kayla Carter’s husband dies in an accident while building their dream house, she knows she has to stay strong for their four-year-old daughter. But the trophy home in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new development in sleepy Round Hill, North Carolina, will always hold tragic memories. When she is confronted by an odd, older woman telling her not to move in, she almost agrees. It’s clear this woman has some kind of connection to the area…and a connection to Kayla herself. Kayla’s elderly new neighbor, Ellie Hockley, is more welcoming, but it’s clear she, too, has secrets that stretch back almost fifty years. Is Ellie on a quest to right the wrongs of the past? And does the house at the end of the street hold the key?

SEPTEMBER 25

Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby

Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. The essays in this collection draw on the raw, hilarious particulars of Irby’s new life. Wow, No Thank You. is Irby at her most unflinching, riotous, and relatable.

OCTOBER 30

Marmee by Sarah Miller

In 1861, Margaret March, with her husband serving as an army chaplain, finds the comfort and security of her four daughters resting on her shoulders alone as she faces financial hardships, secrets, and tragedy, in this revealing retelling of Little Women from the perspective of the beloved matriarch known as Marmee.

NOVEMBER 27

Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared–Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor.

DECEMBER 18

The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray

A collector of objects, Amy Ashton, who believes it is easier to love things than people, finds her solitary existence interrupted when a new family moves in next door with two young boys–one of whom has a collection of his own.

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