EAST LINE BOOK CLUB 2012-13
PLEASE BUY YOUR BOOKS AT EAST LINE BOOKS TO HELP US PAY THE RENT!
(If you choose not to buy the book here,
please donate $5 at the time of the book club meeting)
MANY THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!
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Most Book Club meetings take place on the last Tuesday of the month at East Line Books from 6:30-8 p.m. Check dates to be sure. Please take turns bringing refreshments. The bookshop will provide coffee, tea & bottled water. To sign up, please call East Line Books at 371-4151 or email RLDSR12@aol.com--or just come!!!
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 AT 6:30 P.M. (A special 2-book month!!)
From Publisher's Weekly
Weary, battle-hardened reflections on growing older infuse this latest collection of essays by novelist and former New York Times columnist Quindlen (Every Last One). Having chimed in copiously in previous memoirs on now familiar talking points such as raising children, finding life’s balance as a working mother, achieving marital harmony and doling out feminist lessons to three grown children, Quindlen has found one nut to polish in a gratifying sense of survival on her own terms. Now in her late 50s, having lived much longer than her mother, who died when Quindlen was 19, the author finds herself shocked to hear herself referred to as elderly, and no longer troubled by the realization that her sense of control over events is illusory. In essays such as “Generations” and “Expectations,” she is careful to pay homage to the women like her mother who grew up before the women’s movement and thus had fewer choices. Yet Quindlen sees much work still to be done, especially in breaking glass ceilings and in assumptions about women’s looks—including her own. Cocooned in her comfortable lifestyle between a New York City apartment and her country house, surrounded by accumulated “stuff” that is beginning to feel stifling, certain of her marriage-until-death and support of her BFFs, Quindlen holds for the most part a blithe, benign view of growing older. Yet in moments when she dares to peer deeper, such as at her Catholic faith or within the chasm of solitude left by children having left home, she bats away her platitudinous reassurances and approaches a near-searing honesty.
From Publisher's Weekly
Reading these succinct, razor-sharp essays by veteran humorist (I Feel Bad About My Neck), novelist, and screenwriter-director Ephron is to be reminded that she cut her teeth as a New York Post writer in the 1960s, as she recounts in the most substantial selection here, "Journalism: A Love Story." Forthright, frequently wickedly backhanded, these essays cover the gamut of later-life observations (she is 69), from the dourly hilarious title essay about losing her memory, which asserts that her ubiquitous senior moment has now become the requisite Google moment, to several flimsy lists, such as "Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again," e.g., "Movies have no political effect whatsoever." Shorts such as the several "I Just Want to Say" pieces feature Ephron's trademark prickly contrariness and are stylistically digestible for the tabloids. Other essays delve into memories of fascinating people she knew, such as the Lillian Hellman of Pentimento, whom she adored until the older woman's egomania rubbed her the wrong way. Most winning, however, are her priceless reflections on her early life, such as growing up in Beverly Hills with her movie-people parents, and how being divorced shaped the bulk of her life, in "The D Word." There's an elegiac quality to many of these pieces, handled with wit and tenderness.
Tuesday, October 30 at 6:30 P.M.From Publishers Weekly
IIn Ferris's remarkable second novel (after Then We Came to the End), a life of privilege comes to ruin as a result of a strange and mysterious illness. Attorney Tim Farnsworth thought he had recovered from a disorder that compels him to walk to the point of exhaustion. But now his walking disease has returned and shows no sign of going into remission. His wife, Jane, supportive beyond measure, does everything she can to keep Tim safe during his walks, including making routine midnight trips to pick him up. As the disorder takes increasing control over their lives, however, the sacrifices they make for each other drive them further apart. Ferris manages to inject a bizarre whimsy into a devastatingly sad story, with each of Tim's outings revealing a new aspect of his marriage. The novel's circular aspects, with would-be happy endings spiraling back into chaos and then descending further, integrate Ferris's themes of family, sickness, and the uncertain division between body and mind into a vastly satisfying and original book.
Tuesday, November 27 AT 6:30 P.M
From Publisher's Weekly
What looks like a consciously altruistic effort to encapsulate one woman's entire life into lessons for the benefit of womankind may be just that: after divulging every gruesome detail of her spiral into anorexia and subsequent self-discoveries in this memoir, Knapp died of breast cancer last June at age 42. Similar in tone to her previous Drinking: A Love Story, this work is candid and persuasive enough to reach many women with analogous problems. But it's more than one woman's tragic story; multitudinous interviews with women with eating disorders, excerpts from classic feminist texts and sociological statistics lend credence and categorize the book under cultural studies as much as self-help. Knapp hypothesizes that the feminists who came after the revolutionary 1960s, herself included, were stifled rather than empowered by the overwhelming choices before them. They gained "the freedom to hunger and to satisfy hunger in all its varied forms." Unfortunately, writes Knapp, size-obsessed fashion magazines and other social messages contradict a woman's right to desire, contributing to the rise in eating disorders and other illnesses. Knapp observes an aspect of the backlash against the feminist movement: when "women were demanding the right to take up more space in the world," they were being told by a still patriarchal society "to grow physically smaller." Though Knapp admits it's "easier to worry about the body than the soul," she hopes creating a dialogue about anorexia will enable all women to nourish both.
December & January:
Survival, Resilience, Redemption: Veterans’ Stories
Saturday, January 12th
Event Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, Program Rooms A-D
This event will feature a panel of local veterans moderated by Saratogian reporter and author, Paul Post. The panel will include local author Dan Riley, a World War II Navy veteran who served aboard USS LSM 256 that was anchored off the coast of Okinawa just before the war ended. The moderated discussion will touch on themes in Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, the book chosen by the community for this year’s community read.Additional highlights include a color guard from the Saratoga National Cemetery and a sing-along of WWII songs led by Diane Payette. Profoundly moving, entertaining, and interesting, the kick-off begins our four-month celebration of the community’s 2013 Two Towns – One Book winner !Light refreshments will be served by the FOL Hospitality Committee.This program is appropriate for teens and adults.
Tuesday, February 26 at 6:30 P.M
From Publisher's Weekly
Lively likes historians. Her most famous novel on this side of the Atlantic, the Booker Prize-winning Moon Tiger, told the story of a popular historian; her latest narrates the quest of a "landscape historian" in search of what Proust called "lost time": the living past of his dead wife. Glyn Peters, a famous British archeologist, discovers a compromising photograph of his wife, Katherine Targett, sealed in an envelope in a closet at home. Peters specializes in excavating the long defunct gardens, buried fields and covered-over roads of the British landscape. Reverting to professional habits, he treats Kath's infidelity as a sort of archeological dig. The photo depicts Kath and Nick Hammond, the husband of Kath's sister, Elaine, surreptitiously holding hands on some outing, with Elaine and Mary Packard, Kath's best friend, in the background. Glyn decides to interview this cloud of witnesses, beginning with Elaine. Elaine is a successful, and somewhat cold, landscaper; Nick, her polar opposite, is a man one degree away from being a Wodehouse dilettante. Lively, who is never shy of letting us know her opinion of her characters (like Trollope), makes her disapprobation of Nick plain. Elaine, after learning of the affair, kicks Nick out. He takes refuge with Polly, their daughter, in London, and goes rapidly downhill. Glyn, meanwhile, has searched out Nick's ex-business partner, Oliver Watson, who took the photograph, and Mary Packard. Lively is always a discerning, keenly intelligent writer. This, for instance, is how she describes, in three irrevocable words, Elaine's pregnancy: "She is pregnant: heavy, hampered, irritable." Unfortunately, Kath, a demon-haunted beauty with little depth, remains unconjurable. Her insubstantiality and the much-foreshadowed nature of her death, not revealed until late in the novel, drains this story of its full emotional impact.
Tuesday, March 26 AT 6:30 P.
offers a transformative experience to anyone open to it, for the simple reasons that it is not heavy-handed propaganda, not eat-your-peas social analysis, but an adventure story, a tale of suffering and redemption, almost biblical in its simplicity, the trials of a good man who believes in God and happens to have a canoe. Anyone who cares about America, where it is going and where it almost went, before it caught itself, will want to read this thrilling, heartbreaking, wonderful book.” —Neil Steiberg, Chicago Sun-Times
“Zeitoun is a riveting, intimate, wide-scanning, disturbing, inspiring nonfiction account of a New Orleans married couple named Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun who were dragged through their own special branch of Kafkaesque (for once the adjective is unavoidable) hell after Hurricane Katrina. . . . [It’s] unmistakably a narrative feat, slowly pulling the reader into the oncoming vortex without literary trickery or theatrical devices, reminiscent of Mailer’s Executioner’s Song but less craftily self-conscious in the exercise of its restraint. Humanistic, that is, in the highest, best, least boring sense of the word.” —James Wolcott, Vanity Fair
Tuesday, April 30 at 6:30 PM
From Kirkus Book Reviews
The author of popular theatrical hits, Autumn Crocus, etc., has produced a first novel, a gentle, genteel story of English eccentrics, kindly Americans, and an artless, unworldly background that has no current feel. The story is told in diary form by Cassandra, middle child of novelist Mortmain. At the moment, the family is stale-mated—the father refusing to write, the stepmother able to pose only once in a while, Rose, beautiful and despairing of meeting anyone eligible to marry, even their friend, the librarian, can offer no solution. Rose wishes on a devil—and two Americans, Simon and Neil, appear, lost en route to the property Simon has inherited. They are fascinated by the whole unlikely thing—the old castle, the girls, the identity of Mortmain, whose one great novel Simon knew. Both girls determine that Simon shall be Rose's—and almost too late, with Rose in London shopping for her wedding, Cassandra realizes that it is Simon she loves, while Rose loves Neil. There's charm here—there's a gay, English spotting of humor that makes the romance and the slight story almost a natural for the Thirkell followers—for enthusiasts of the Jane Austen tradition. Literary Guild selection for November will give it the necessary impetus. And the crying need for clean and pleasant romance will find a measure of answer here.