Books Plus

What is Books Plus?

It's a once-a-month discussion group which meets at the library to talk about a wide range of books and issues. Books and other media, both fiction and non-fiction, are the springboards for discussing new trends, social issues, genres, best sellers, foreign authors, etc. Each month, the group focuses on one or more books (chosen in advance). A volunteer leads the discussion.

When? Where?

The group usually meets on the first Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. in program room 2B at the downtown public library. Registration is not required.

Who can be a leader?

Anyone who is interested in books and wants to share that interest with others. Arrangements will be made a few months in advance with the discussion leader and the title(s) selected for the meeting.

Refreshments

Refreshments provided by the Friends of the Library.

Don't forget that we are always looking for volunteer Discussion Leaders.

 


Next at Books Plus

Sundays at 2 p.m. in Program Room 2B

June 1
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
Discussion Leader: Dory Lynch

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"From her deeply human characters to her comical dialogue to her meticulous plotting, Atkinson is working at the very top of her game. An audacious, thought-provoking novel from one of our most talented writers."

July 13
A Place in Time by Wendell Berry
Discussion Leader: Luann Dillon

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Meet the Port William, Kentucky membership. A Place in Time collects stories of the residents of the imaginary town of Port William, from 1864 to 1991. All the major families are represented, the Catletts, the Coulters and the Branches. If you are new to Port William, you will meet some unforgettable characters, if you are an old acquaintance, then renew your friendship through these stories.

 

August 3
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon
Discussion Leader: Ryan Stacy

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Set in the spring before 9/11, Bleeding Edge follows Maxine Tarnow, an “unflappable, wise-cracking, Beretta-toting, and Jewish” fraud investigator and Manhattan mother, on a dizzying and sprawling case.

 

September 7
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Discussion Leader: Dory Lynch

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"The miraculous arrival of a child in the life of a barren couple delivers profound love but also the seeds of destruction. Moral dilemmas don’t come more exquisite than the one around which Australian novelist Stedman constructs her debut." - Kirkus Reviews
 

Previous Books Plus selections:

May 4
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
Discussion Leader: Ryan Stacy

Woman Upstairs

 

 

 

 

 

"Basically, Nora is furious with herself: for failing to commit to being an artist, for settling for life as a third-grade teacher in Cambridge, Mass., for lacking the guts even to be openly enraged[…] Messud persuasively plunges us into the tortured psyche of a conflicted soul whose defiant closing assertion inspires little confidence that Nora can actually change her ways. Brilliant and terrifying." - Kirkus


April 6
Embrace the New: 21st Century Poetry
Discussion Leader: Dory Lynch

National Poetry Month

 

 

 

 

 

Discover what's new in the world of poetry. We'll look at current trends, how the Internet has popularized and changed poetry, and what forms are currently hot in American poetry. Also, we’ll share a list of new poets to discover and old favorites who are still composing excellent work. Bring a poem to share that you have recently discovered.

March 2
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Discussion Leader: Luann Dillon

Gone Girl

 

 

 

 

 

"Gillian Flynn's third novel is both breakneck-paced thriller and masterful dissection of marital breakdown...wickedly plotted and surprisingly thoughtful, this is a terrifically good read." - Boston Globe

 

February 2
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
Discussion Leader: Sarah Bowman

Twelve Tribes of Hattie

 

 

 

 

 

"Stunning. . . . Mathis writes with blazing insight into the complexities of sexuality, marriage, family relationships, backbone, fraudulence, and racism in a molten novel of lives racked with suffering yet suffused with beauty."—Booklist

December 1, 2013
Holiday Tea and Open House

We invite all readers and discussion members to enjoy holiday refreshments and exchange book talk and suggestions of favorites for book clubs. We'll provide lists of recommended books and share some resources for helping to choose your next read.

 

November 3, 2013
The Last Chinese Chef  by Nicole Mones
Discussion Leader: Sarah Bowman

 

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Join us to discuss Nicole Mones' most recent book, The Last Chinese Chef, before she comes to Bloomington to speak at the Buskirk Chumley theater as part of the Friends of the Library's free author event - Culture and the Power of Words on Saturday, November 16 at 7:00 p.m.

October 6, 2013
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children  by Ransom Riggs
Discussion Leader: Luann Dillon

 

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"Riggs's atmospheric first novel concerns 16-year-old Jacob, a tightly wound but otherwise ordinary teenager who is 'unusually susceptible to nightmares, night terrors, the Creeps, the Willies, and Seeing Things That Aren't Really There.' When Jacob's grandfather, Abe, a WWII veteran, is savagely murdered, Jacob has a nervous breakdown, in part because he believes that his grandfather was killed by a monster that only they could see. Nearly 50 unsettling vintage photographs appear throughout, forming the framework of this dark but empowering tale. It's an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters." - Publisher's Weekly

September 8, 2013
Sweet Tooth  by Ian McEwan
Discussion Leader: Dory Lynch

 

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"Serena Frome is a smart, attractive, Cambridge-educated young woman who is recruited by her older lover for the MI5 intelligence agency. Spydom is, of course, fraught with betrayal, and Serena is not immune to that common pitfall. McEwan readers can rest assured that, in common with its predecessors, this novel has a greatly compelling story line braced by the author’s formidable wisdom about—well, the world.." - BookList

August 4, 2013
These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy Turner
Discussion Leader: Luann Dillon

These is my words

 

 

 

 

 

Using her ancestress' memoirs, Turner paints a vivid picture of homesteading in the Arizona Territories and how Sarah had to learn to cope with hardship.

July 7, 2013
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Discussion Leader: Dory Lynch

Pilgrimage

 

 

 

 

 

"A novel of deep beauty and wisdom about the human condition; Harold, a deeply sympathetic protagonist, has much to teach us. A great novel; essential reading for fans of literary fiction." - Library Journal

June 2, 2013
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail  by Cheryl Strayed
Discussion Leader: Sarah Bowman

Wild

 

 

 

 

 

"Smart, funny, and often sublime, Wild has something for everyone - a fight for survival in the wilderness, a bad girl's quest for redemption - all in the hands of a brilliant and evocative writer." - Chelsea Cain

May 5, 2013
Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Discussion Leader: Luann Dillon

Forgotten Garden

 

 

 

 

 

From 1913 to today, from England to Australia and back again, generations of a family keep their secrets guarded and their gardens locked.

April 7, 2013
National Poetry Month: Little Songs: Exploring the Sonnet
Discussion Leader: Dory Lynch

National Poetry Month

 

 

 

 

 

For over five hundred years, poets have written enduring sonnets about love, friendship, death, and nature. In only fourteen lines, authors have shared their views of the world. From Shakespeare and Petrarch to modern poets such as Billy Collins, Rita Dove, and Carol Ann Duffy, the sonnet has continued to amaze and inspire. In honor of National Poetry Month please come explore the kind of poem that Dante Gabriel Rossetti called the "moment's monument." If you don't like the tight rhyming structure of the old sonnets, we will include some contemporary ones in modern language. Please bring a poem to share—a favorite of yours—either a sonnet or one in another format that you love.