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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

Literally Speaking Titles Archive 2004-2011 | 2012 Titles | 2013 Titles | 2014 Titles | 2015 Titles | 2016 Titles | 2017 Titles

The HumansJanuary 16

The Humans
by Matt Haig
Fiction 2013

The alien comes to Earth from Vonnadoria, an almost incomprehensibly advanced world; he comes with a sinister purpose, both to destroy and to collect information, hoping to rob human beings of their future. Assuming the person of Professor Andrew Martin, a celebrated mathematician who has made a dangerous discovery, he sets coldly and calculatedly to work. But there is a problem: though disgusted at first by humans, whom he regards as motivated only by violence and greed, he gradually comes to understand that humans are more complex than that, and, most dangerous to his mission, he discovers music, poetry, and . . . love. Becoming increasingly sympathetic to humans, he will ultimately do the unthinkable. . .

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustJuly 17

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
by Claire North
Fiction 2014

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.



Between the World and MeFebruary 20

Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Nonfiction 2015

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?


Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied HospitalAugust 21
Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital
by David Oshinksy
Nonfiction 2016

Bellevue Hospital, on New York City's East Side, occupies a colorful and horrifying place in the public imagination: a den of mangled crime victims, vicious psychopaths, assorted derelicts, lunatics, and exotic-disease sufferers. In its two and a half centuries of service, there was hardly an epidemic or social catastrophe—or groundbreaking scientific advance—that did not touch Bellevue. David Oshinsky chronicles the history of America's oldest hospital and in so doing also charts the rise of New York to the nation's preeminent city, the path of American medicine from butchery and quackery to a professional and scientific endeavor, and the growth of a civic institution. 

Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First LadyMarch 20

Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady
by Susan Quinn​
Fiction 2016

Few know of Eleanor Roosevelt's decades-long relationship with Lorena "Hick" Hickok, an Associated Press reporter assigned to cover her in the early years of F.D.R.'s presidency. Though previous biographies have marginalized or disregarded this relationship, Quinn's biography delves deeply into the letters and other records to illustrate a powerfully rich love story that affected the world directly and indirectly.

The Hate U GiveSeptember 18
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
YA Fiction 2017

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a white police officer. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

HabibiApril 17

by  Craig Thompson
Graphic Novel 2011

Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. Their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection. At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.

Everything I Never Told YouOctober 16

Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng
Fiction 2014

In a small Ohio town, teenage Lydia vanishes.  Later found to be drowned, her disappearance exposes tensions that have long been suppressed by her Chinese American family.  Ng uses rich characterization to strong effect in this literary thriller.





A Farewell to Arms May 15

A Farewell to Arms 
by Ernest Hemingway
Fiction 1929

Set against the historical and geographical background of World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for an English nurse.  Considered one of the finest novels to come out of WWI, it is at its heart a gentle love story.​

A Prayer for Owen MeanyNovember 20
A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving
Fiction 1989

In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.

The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World's FairJune 19

The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World's Fair
By Margaret Creighton
Nonfiction/Local History 2016

 In 1901 Buffalo hosted the infamous Pan-American Exposition, a World’s Fair meant to launch the new century and showcase the achievements of the Western Hemisphere.  Millions were expected to visit the “Rainbow City” of stunning colors, electric lights, innovative pavilions, and the thrills of the Midway.  But the promoters and spectators little suspected that an assassin stalked the fairgrounds, waiting for President William McKinley to arrive.

December - No Program!