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March Books for Lunch Discussion

Books for Lunch is back at the Library on the second Tuesday of every month from 12:30 – 2:00. The parameters of this long-standing book club (around eleven years now) are designed to allow everyone interested to participate without pressure. That means we don’t discuss a particular book that the whole group has read. Instead, we each talk about what we’ve been reading and whether we’d recommend it and why. This has allowed us to develop interesting reading lists over the years. And if we have a month we just didn’t read, no problem. See what others have read. That’s why it’s called the “no obligation” book club.

Here’s a short list of what we’ve been reading lately. Bill continues reading about the Holocaust, this time a biographical account called Eva’s Story by Eva Schloss. The book isn’t new (2010) but it is compelling. It certainly shows the difficulty in such circumstances of knowing whom to trust. Each such account adds something to the historical picture.

Cathy read The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This one has been popular in our group and is still on my reading list. People Magazine said it “feels like what you might get if TV’s The Good Place collided with Where’d You Go, Bernadette” and allows us to imagine changing worlds. (And if you missed it, consider reading the Bernadette book.) Cathy was also in the mood for a cozy mystery, Dying for Chocolate, by Diane Mott Davidson.

Joe, like a number of us, is a fan of Donna Leone’s Guido Brunetti series and enjoyed another in the series. But the one that really captivated me that Joe discussed was Margaret Atwood’s nonfiction book, Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. This book from 2002, is derived from six l

ectures on writing Atwood gave at Cambridge University. I have to read this one.

Sharon Bark added to the non-fiction list with Christopher MacDougal’s Running with Sherman. Sherman is a rescue donkey in bad shape when MacDougal adopted him. He decided mentally Sherman needed a job and they both trained for a difficult race where people and donkeys run together, the World Championship of races of people with donkeys. We could all stand a little heart-warming story. (We can always count on Sharon for a surprise book. I wrote down “rescue dog” first and had to be corrected.)

Judy read historical fiction by Paul Maier, Pontius Pilate, giving a more sympathetic view than usual and painting Pilate as a guy who was between the proverbial rock and a hard place when it came to difficult decisions. Her explanation made sense.

Beth read Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman and agrees with the assessment that Gorman is surely her generation’s Maya Angelou. We will all be hearing from Gorman much more.

Kathy especially enjoyed the book Leonardo DaVinci by Walter Isaacson. She felt he brought DaVinci to life and fosters an appreciation of the exhaustive research DaVinci did on the smallest detail of his creations. Kathy pointed out DaVinci was as much scientist as artist.

Pam is reading The Dockporter (and now I’ve started it) by Dave McVeigh, the first book in the fiction series “Mackinac Island

.” It is light reading about the men who forever have transported baggage by bicycles from the ferries to the hotels and homes on the island. I can say the writing is clever and good, the book is fun – and the author is coming to the library in May. Stay tuned!

Finally, last week also saw the start of what will take shape as a more traditional book club where everyone has read the same book and comes together to discuss it. We had 24 of us meeting in the early evening (5:30) discussing the Michigan Read book of the year, The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell, and it was a wonderful experience. We had several groups with lively discussions. The verdict? We really liked this book. We look forward to planning a few of these discussions each year. Stay tuned for announcements.

See you at the Library!

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