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Literally Speaking

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Literally Speaking 2017

Literally Speaking Titles Archive 2004-2011 | 2012 Titles | 2013 Titles | 2014 Titles | 2015 Titles | 2016 Titles

Pope JoanJanuary 17

Pope Joan
by Donna Woolfolk Cross
Fiction 2009

Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn. When her brother is brutally killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak–and his identity–and enters the monastery of Fulda. As Brother John Anglicus, Joan distinguishes herself as a great scholar and healer. Eventually, she is drawn to Rome, where she becomes enmeshed in a dangerous web of love, passion, and politics. Triumphing over appalling odds, she finally attains the highest office in Christendom–wielding a power greater than any woman before or since. But such power always comes at a price . . .

The Sculptor July 18

The Sculptor
by Scott McCloud
Graphic Novel 2015

David Smith is giving his life for his art--literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier! This story is about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface.

 

HomegoingFebruary 21
Homegoing

by Yaa Gyasi
Fiction 2016

Gyasi’s debut novel begins with the stories of two half-sisters from different villages in Ghana, one married off to a British slaver on the Gold Coast and one sold into slavery.  This sprawling epic traces the families from generation to generation through three hundred years of history and shows the legacy of slavery from very different perspectives.

 

Stones from the RiverAugust 15
Stones from the River

by Ursula Hegi
Fiction 1994

Trudi Montag is a Zwerg—a dwarf—short, undesirable, different, the voice of anyone who has ever tried to fit in. Eventually she learns that being different is a secret that all humans share—from her mother who flees into madness, to her friend Georg whose parents pretend he’s a girl, to the Jews Trudi harbors in her cellar. After becoming the librarian, Trudi meticulously archives secrets, stories, and history, all of which become her source of power when the townspeople allow Jews to be mistreated during World War II.

The Little Red ChairsMarch 21
The Little Red Chairs

by Edna O’Brien
Fiction 2016

The remote Irish village of Cloonoila seldom has visitors, so when self proclaimed healer and sex therapist Vladimir Dragan arrives from the Balkans and settles there, he disrupts the quiet stasis of village life with his mysticism and worldliness.  The restless but married Fiona McBride is drawn into an unsettling relationship with him.  These already tenuous circumstances take a far darker shift when it is revealed that Dragan is a Serbian war criminal and his disgrace ascribes to her.  With no other choices available to her, Fiona haltingly enters a new life where possibility of redemption exists, but is in no way certain.  

The SympathizerSeptember 19
The Sympathizer

by Nguyen, Viet Thanh
Fiction 2015

The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

 

 

But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the PastApril 18

But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past
by  Chuck Klostermann
Nonfiction 2016

How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? View our world through the lens of those who will soon consider it the distant past. Author Chuck Klostermann, known for his sharp wit and unique outlook, talks to today's leading visionaries to a see how we live now, once "now" has become "then".

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianOctober 17
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie
YA Fiction 2007

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Through a diary format, readers learn about the realities that Junior faces : poverty, discrimination, alcoholism, and cultural barriers. Despite the heaviness of those topics, Junior's witty humor is laugh out loud funny and his resilience of spirit brings hope.

Underground Airlines May 16

Underground Airlines
by Helene Wecker
Fiction 2013

It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred. A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." A mystery to himself, Victor suppresses his memories of his childhood on a plantation, and works to infiltrate the local cell of an abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines. Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, but he discovers secrets at the core of the country's arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the LusitaniaNovember 21
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

by Erik Larson
Nonfiction 2015

Dead Wake is the fascinating story of the sinking of the Lusitania that sparked shifting opinions on American involvement in World War I.  Larson brings to life the people involved in this story, from the President, to the passengers and crew aboard the Lusitania, to the Commander of the U-boat that fired the torpedoes on that fateful day.  Larson writes history with the drama and suspense of a novel.

How To Be BothJune 20

How To Be Both
by Ali Smith
Fiction 2014

A story of two perspectives: Georgia, a 16-year-old girl in contemporary England, and Francesco del Cossa, an Italian 15th century painter whose work Georgia’s mother greatly admired. Both lose their mother at a young age, and learn the pain and joy of early friendship. Two distinct takes on youth, art, and death. Two different editions were published—you may end up reading Georgia’s story first, or Francesco’s.

December - No Program!