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Fourth Thursday Book Club

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You're invited to attend our adult book discussions in 2014. The discussions are held at 1 p.m. in the meeting room on the 4th Thursday in January through October and the 3rd Thursday in November. There is no discussion in December. Discussions are held in the library conference room. Click the title or read on for the list of 2014 titles.

January 23, 2014
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
by Barack Obama

This book tells the story of Obama’s struggle to understand the forces that shaped him as the son of a black African father and white American mother—a struggle that takes him from the American heartland to the ancestral home in the village of Alego. Obama opens his story in New York, where he hears that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has died in a car accident. The news triggers a chain of memories as Obama retraces his family’s unusual histories. A searching meditation on the meaning of identity in America, Dreams from My Father is a     revealing portrait of an American leader.

February 27, 2014
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson, Rod Bradbury (Translator)

It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not…. Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, and makes his getaway. And so begins his unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, this book is a fun and feel-good book for all ages.

March 27, 2014
A Place Called Wiregrass
by Michael Morris

Erma Lee is on the run . . . Running from an abusive husband, from a mother who doesn't care -- never cared, and running from a soul-numbing factory job that has held her down her entire life ....  Erma Lee and her granddaughter, Cher, flee to the town of Wiregrass, Alabama, to escape the past and start over. Erma Lee forms an unlikely friendship with Miss Claudia, an elderly socialite who is hiding a few details about her own past. Life in Wiregrass is different for Erma Lee and Cher, for here they find mercy and promise -- until, that is, the day Cher's convict father arrives in town, forcing all three women to come to terms with buried secrets.

April 24, 2014
by Jane Austen

Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen's most adult heroine. Eight years before the story begins, she is happily betrothed to naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. One question remains: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?

Readers of Persuasion will discover that neither Jane Austen’s skill for delicate, ironic observations on social custom, love, and marriage nor her ability to apply a sharp focus lens to English manners and morals has deserted her in her final finished work.

May 22, 2014
The Shadow Patrol
by Alex Berenson

In 2009, the CIA's Kabul Station fell for a source who promised to lead it to Bin Laden, but instead he blew himself up, taking the station's most senior officers with him. Two years later, the station is still floundering, agents are dying, and the CIA's chiefs wonder if the unthinkable has happened, if the Taliban has infiltrated the station.

When they ask John Wells to investigate, he reluctantly agrees to return to the country where his career as an undercover operative began. There, he finds a vipers' nest of hostility and mistrust-and clues that hint at a drug-trafficking operation   involving the Agency, the military, and the Taliban. Americans are dying, and an American is responsible. Only John Wells stands in his way . . . for now.

June 26, 2014
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
by Helen Simonson

Edgecombe St. Mary, is a small English village filled with thatched cottages and a cast of characters. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired). Wry, courtly, opinionated, and endearing, he leads a quiet life valuing the proper things Englishmen have lived by for years: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. Then his brother's death sparks a friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?

July 24, 2014
Killer Ambition
by Marcia Clark

When the daughter of a billionaire Hollywood director is found murdered after what appears to be a kidnapping gone wrong, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and   Detective Bailey Keller find themselves at the epicenter of a combustible and high-profile court case. The investigation exposes layers of deceit including long-forgotten accusations of screenplay theft that left one man dead, launched huge movie careers and implicated some of the top names in the industry. Killer Ambition is a thrilling ride through the darker side of Tinseltown and a stunning courtroom drama with a brilliant insider's perspective.

August 28, 2014
The School of Essential Ingredients
by Erica Bauermeister

Reminiscent of Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate, this is a gorgeously written novel about life, love, and the magic of food. It follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian's Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America; and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer. Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students' lives. One by one the students are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of Lillian's food.

September 25, 2014
The Coroner's Lunch
by Colin Cotterill

Laos, 1975. The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else; the rest of the educated class has fled. He is expected to come up with the answers the party wants. But crafty and charming Dr. Siri is immune to bureaucratic pressure. At his age, he reasons, what can they do to him? And he knows he cannot fail the dead who come into his care without risk of incurring their boundless displeasure. Eternity could be a long time to have the spirits mad at you.

October 23, 2014
Books to Bridge Selection
(to be determined at a later date)

Books to Bridge the Region is a reading initiative encompassing seven Northwest Indiana counties: Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke.

November 21, 2014
Round table
Bring a book to share.

Everyone will have an opportunity to tell the group about their chosen book.