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Literally Speaking

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Literally Speaking 2018 Downtowns lunch time book discussion Tuesdays 12:10 to 1 P M Downtown Central Library West Room 1 Lafayette Square

Previous Literally Speaking

A Gentleman in MoscowJanuary 15

A Gentleman in Moscow
 

By Amor Towles
Fiction 2016

In 1922, Count Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in the grand Metropol hotel, after he is convicted as an “unrepentant aristocrat” by a Bolshevik tribunal.  He is stripped of his wealth and must live in a 100 square foot attic room, while some of the most tumultuous times in Russian history unfold outside the hotel’s doors.

The Best We Could DoJuly 16

The Best We Could Do

by Thi Bui
Graphic Novel 2017

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

The color of law : a forgotten history of how our government segregated AmericaFebruary 19

The color of law : a forgotten history of how our government segregated America

by Richard Rothstein
Nonfiction 2017

Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history.

When She Woke August 20

When She Woke

by Hillary Jordan
Fiction 2011

When She Woke, tells the story of a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed―their skin color is genetically altered to match the class of their crimes―and then released back into the population to survive as best they can. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a path of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith.

 

 

PachinkoMarch 19

Pachinko

by Min Jin Lee​
Fiction 2017

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

 

 

There ThereSeptember 17

There There

by Tommy Orange
Fiction 2018

As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will to perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.

Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s AddictionApril 16

Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction

by David Sheff
Nonfiction 2008

What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first warning signs: the denial, the three a.m. phone calls—is it Nic? the police? the hospital? His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every treatment that might save his son. And he refused to give up on Nic.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death October 15

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

by Caitlin Doughty
Nonfiction 2017

Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Here to Eternity is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America. In rural Indonesia, she watches a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body, which has resided in the family home for two years. In La Paz, she meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and in Tokyo she encounters the Japanese kotsuage ceremony, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones’ bones from cremation ashes. With boundless curiosity and gallows humor, Doughty vividly describes decomposed bodies and investigates the world’s funerary history. 

We Have Always Lived in the CastleMay 21

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

by Shirley Jackson
Fiction 1962

Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate.

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the WorldNovember 19

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

by Mark Kurlansky
Nonfiction 1997

Mark Kurlansky brings to life the cod itself: its personality, habits, extended family, and ultimately the tragedy of how the most profitable fish in history is today faced with extinction and tells a story that brings world history and human passions into captivating focus.

Far From YouJune 18

Far From You

by Tess Sharpe
YA Fiction 2014

Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice. The first time, she's fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that'll take years to kick. The second time, she's seventeen, and it's no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina's murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery. After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. 

December - No Program!