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Literally Speaking 2015

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

Night Film by Marisha PesslJanuary 20

Night Film
by Marisha Pessl
Fiction 2013   

Night Film centers on a father-daughter relationship, beginning with the death of famed, cult-film director Stanislas Cordova’s daughter. A reporter, who lost his job while originally investigating Cordova, can't resist his need to uncover the real story of the daughter’s death. Though the structure is classic noir, Pessl delivers lifelike horror with glimpses, in the form of faux Web sites, of the secretive Stanislas, his films, and his fans. The author does wonderful work giving the reporter reason to question the cause of Ashley's death, and readers will be torn between logic and magic.

BoxersSaintJuly 21

Boxers AND Saints
by Gene Luen Yang
Graphic Novels 2013

Boxers & Saints is an innovative two volume graphic novel that depicts the opposing sides of China's Boxer Rebellion. In volume one, Little Bao leads a rebellion against the "foreign devils" who terrorized his village and harnesses the powers of ancient Chinese gods. In the second volume, as the Boxer Rebellion gains momentum, Vibiana must decide whether to abandon her Christian friends or to commit herself fully to Christianity. This graphic novel tackles big questions about culture, faith, and identity and refuses to offer simple answers.



I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou February 17

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou           
Non-Fiction [1969]

In this modern American classic Maya Angelou recounts her early childhood of abandonment and abuse.  Through her experiences and love of literature, Angelou learns to overcome the racism and trauma she faces and find her true inner voice and strength in this coming-of-age story.


Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen OyeyemiAugust 18

Boy, Snow, Bird
by Helen Oyeyemi
Fiction 2014

Boy Snow Bird freely reworks the Snow White fairy tale. Young Boy finds safety in marriage to widower Arturo, and loves Arturo’s daughter Snow.  But when Boy and Arturo have a daughter together, hidden secrets are revealed.  Boy banishes the lovely and innocent Snow. Boy tackles questions of identity and beauty in a loosely constructed, 3 part form.

The Martian by Andy WeirMarch 17

The Martian
by Andy Weir
Fiction 2014

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Gutenberg’s Apprentice by Alix ChristieSeptember 15

Gutenberg's Apprentice
by Alix Christie     
Fiction 2004

Set against the panorama of the 15th century craft guilds, church hierarchy, plagues and peasant superstitions young scribe Peter Schoeffer is forced to apprentice with the mad genius, Johann Gutenberg. The drama of family finance, loyalty, politics, cultural transformation, and the creation of the Gutenberg Bible fuse together into this historical novel of process and society on the verge of the Renaissance.



Nothing to Envy	 by Barbara Demick	April 21

Nothing to Envy      
by  Barbara Demick
Non-Fiction 2009

A remarkable view into North Korea, as seen through the lives of six ordinary citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. An Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, in which radio and television dials are welded to the one government station, and where displays of affection are punished, Nothing to Envy brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

Behind the Gates of Gomorrah by Stephen SeagerOctober 20

Behind the Gates of Gomorrah
by Stephen Seager 
Non-Fiction 2014

Behind the Gates of Gomorrah is an insider’s account of Gorman State Hospital, California’s largest psychiatric hospital. The book affords an inside look at a facility to which few people have ever had access. Assigned to work with mass murderers, serial killers and real life Hannibal Lecters, Seager’s gripping account of his time at the hospital blends memoir with a narrative science, explaining both the aberrant mind and his own.


Mink River by Brian DoyleMay 19

Mink River
by Brian Doyle
Fiction 2010

Neawanaka is no ordinary town on the coast of Oregon. There lives a man that can sense others' pain from a distance, a policeman addicted to opera, a talking crowing, and a river that confesses its thoughts. There are loves and losses, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, beers and berries, rain and pain, mud and laughter. The stories of the residents of the town are woven with Native American folklore, Irish storytelling, odes to nature, and a bit of the fantastical.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker KlineNovember 17

Orphan Train
by Christina Baker Kline      
Fiction 2013

A troubled 17 year-old foster child performs her community service by cleaning out the attic of an elderly woman.  As they sort through old trunks and boxes, and move between past and present, they discover a common bond and unexpected friendship.  Kline’s novel is based on a little-known piece of American history of the treatment and welfare of abandoned or orphaned children. 


Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi AdicheJune 16

Half a Yellow Sun
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
Fiction 2006

In 1960’s Nigeria, an academic and his household work for the creation of a free Biafran state.  When Biafra secedes, the terrible civil war that ensues changes them, and their countrymen, profoundly.  Adichie’s rich characters and compelling scenes create a story that engage equally on a personal and historical level.

December - No Program!