Book Groups

May Book Groups

 

Pageturner’s Book Group

The Prague Sonata
by Bradford Morrow

Monday, May 14, 11AM

From the critically acclaimed author Bradford Morrow, a literary quest novel that travels from Nazi-occupied Prague to turn-of-the-millennium New York as a young musicologist seeks to solve the mystery behind an eighteenth-century sonata manuscript

Music and war, war and music―these are the twin motifs around which Bradford Morrow, recipient of the Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has composed his magnum opus, The Prague Sonata, a novel more than a dozen years in the making.

In the early days of the new millennium, pages of a worn and weathered original sonata manuscript―the gift of a Czech immigrant living out her final days in Queens―come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. To Meta’s eye, it appears to be an authentic eighteenth-century work; to her discerning ear, the music rendered there is commanding, hauntingly beautiful, clearly the undiscovered composition of a master. But there is no indication of who the composer might be. The gift comes with the request that Meta attempt to find the manuscript’s true owner―a Prague friend the old woman has not heard from since the Second World War forced them apart―and to make the three-part sonata whole again. Leaving New York behind for the land of Dvořák and Kafka, Meta sets out on an unforgettable search to locate the remaining movements of the sonata and uncover a story that has influenced the course of many lives, even as it becomes clear that she isn’t the only one after the music’s secrets.

Magisterially evoking decades of Prague’s tragic and triumphant history, from the First World War through the soaring days of the Velvet Revolution, and moving from postwar London to the heartland of immigrant America, The Prague Sonata is both epic and intimate, evoking the ways in which individual notes of love and sacrifice become part of the celebratory symphony of life.

Books are available at the Circulation Desk.

 
 
 
 

 

June Book Groups

 

Pageturner’s Book Group

Night Comes to the Cumberlands
by Harry M. Caudill

Monday, June 11, 11AM

At the start of the 1960s the USA was unquestionably the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world.

Yet despite its prosperity and influence there were areas of the country which seemed to have been forgotten.

In 1962 Harry Caudill, a lawyer and legislator, decided to shine a light upon the appalling conditions which he witnessed in Eastern Kentucky.

His introduction lays out the issues which he saw before him: A million Americans in the Southern Appalachians live in conditions of squalor, ignorance and ill health which could scarcely be equaled in Europe or Japan or, perhaps, in parts of mainland Asia.

Caudill begins with the history of region, from its first settlements through to the Civil War, the feuds that erupted between violent neighbors, the emerging lumber trade and the advent of the coal industry, before uncovering the devastation of the depression, the effects of massive environmental damage and the ever continuing decline into poverty and despair for many of the inhabitants.

Books are available at the Circulation Desk.
 
 
 

All Over the Page Book Group

Goodbye, Vitamin
by Rachel Khong

Monday, June 25, 11AM

Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice.

Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she’d realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth’s father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.

Books are available at the Circulation Desk.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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