PageTurners Book Club
Our PageTurners Book Club meets the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7:00pm in the library for a lively group discussion of a different book each month! Come every month, or just when the book interests you! Contact the library to reserve a copy of each month’s book.
The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies
Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 7:00pm
The Fortunes reimagines the traditional multigenerational novel through the lens of immigrant experience. The family institution is revered in Chinese culture, but the historical reality of Chinese Americans has seen family bonds denied, fragmented, or imperiled. The Fortunes uses this history from the bachelor society of the gold rush era to laws against interracial marriage to the recent wave of adopted baby girls to create a portrait of a community whose line of descent is broken, yet which has tenaciously persisted, as much through love as by blood. Through four lives a railroad baron’s valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor, Hollywood’s first Chinese movie star, a victim of a hate crime that mobilizes Asian Americans, and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoption–this novel captures and capsizes over a century of our history. These stories, three of which are inspired by real historical characters, examines the process of becoming not only Chinese American, but American.
A community survives as much through love as blood. Ah Ling, son of a prostitute and a white man, is sent from his homeland to make his way alone in California; he rises to valet for a powerful railroad baron and unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor. Anna May Wong, the first Chinese film star in Hollywood, is forbidden to kiss a white man on screen; she must find her place between two worlds and two cultures. The death of Vincent Chin, aspiring all-American, becomes the symbol for a community roused to action in the face of hatred. John Ling Smith, half-Chinese, visits China for the first time to adopt a baby girl; there he sees the long history of both cultures coming together in the spark of a new century.
New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 7:00pm
Starting his fifth school in five years, Osei Kokote, a diplomat’s son, hoping to survive his first day becomes friends with Dee, the most popular girl in school, but Ian is determined to destroy the budding friendship.
Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.
The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds – Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant ‘girlfriend’ Mimi – Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 7:00pm
One of the comedy world’s fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother–his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.
The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman
Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:00pm
It’s the early 1960s and Natalie Marx is stunned when her mother inquires about vacation accommodations in Vermont and receives a response that says, “The Inn at Lake Devine is a family-owned resort… Our guests who feel most comfortable here… are Gentiles.” When Natalie finagles an invitation to join a friend on vacation there, she sets herself upon a path that will inextricably link her adult life to this particular family and their once-restricted hotel.
It was not complicated, and, as my mother pointed out, not even personal: They had a hotel; they didn’t want Jews; we were Jews… It’s the early 1960s and Natalie Marx is stunned when her mother inquires about vacation accommodations in Vermont and receives a response that says, “The Inn at Lake Devine is a family-owned resort, which has been in continuous operation since 1922. Our guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles.” So begins Natalie’s fixation with the Inn and the family who owns it. And when Natalie finagles an invitation to join a friend on vacation there, she sets herself upon a path that will inextricably link her adult life into this peculiar family and their once-restricted hotel.
The Inn at Lake Devine will enchant readers with the beguiling voice, elegant charm, and deft storytelling that have been hallmarks of Elinor Lipman’s previous novels and have made her beloved by her fans. Her characters sparkle on the page and delight us with their wit and grace–even when anti-Semitism rears its head in Vermont and the tables are turned in the Catskills. Elinor Lipman is the undisputed master of the art of screwball comedy.