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Book Discussions

The Manchester City Library is pleased to offer to our patrons two book discussion groups. Each group meets once per month at the Main Branch of the library on Pine Street. If you would like to participate, please pick up your copy of the assigned reading at the Circulation Desk. 

Click here to jump to the Brown Bag Book Club list!

Thursday Evening Book Discussion: Thursdays @ 7PM in the Hunt Room

Rules of CivilityRules of Civility, by Amor Towles. September 12, 2019

A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multimillionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and a single-minded widow. 2011. 335 p.

KooKooLand, by Gloria Norris. Biography. October 10, 2019KooKooLand

“… Written on the edge of a knife blade. Chilling, intensely moving and darkly funny. It cuts to the heart and soul of a troubled American family and announces a startlingly original voice.” Simon & Schuster. 2016. 355 p.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely FineEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. November 21, 2019
(rescheduled from November 14, 2019)

A socially awkward, routine-oriented loner teams up with a bumbling IT guy from her office to assist an elderly accident victim, forging a friendship that saves all three from lives of isolation and secret
unhappiness. 2017. 327 p.

A Tree grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. December 12, 2019A Tree grows in Brooklyn

Born in 1901 in the slums of Brooklyn, Francie Nolan has grown up under the burden of suffering that is the lot of the great city's poor. Romantic like her father, an Irish singing waiter, yet pragmatic like her mother, a housecleaner and fierce survivor, Francie uses her imagination and tenacity to thrive in the world in spite of these harsh conditions. 1947. 420 p.

Braiding sweetgrassBraiding sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Nonfiction. January 9, 2020

"As a leading researcher in the field of biology, Robin Wall Kimmerer understands the delicate state of our world. But as an active member of the Potawatomi nation, she senses and relates to the world through a way of knowing far older than any science. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she intertwines these two modes of awareness--the analytic and the emotional, the scientific and the cultural--to  ultimately reveal a path toward healing the rift that grows between people and nature." 2013. 390 p.

Becoming, by Michelle Obama. Biography. February 13, 2020Becoming

An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her
remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and
achievements in the White House. 2018. 426 p.

One hundred years of solitudeOne hundred years of solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez. March 12, 2020

The evolution and eventual decadence of a small South American town is mirrored in the family history of the Buendias. 1970. 422 p.

Where the crawdads sing, by Delia Owens. April 9, 2020Where the crawdads sing

Viewed with suspicion in the aftermath of a tragedy, a beautiful hermit who has survived for years in a
marsh becomes targeted by unthinkable forces. 2018. 370 p.

DublinersDubliners, by James Joyce. May 14, 2020

In this collection of masterful stories, steeped in realism, James Joyce creates an exacting portrait of his native city, showing how it reflects the general decline of Irish culture and civilization. 1926. 288 p.


Brown Bag Book Club: Last Tuesday of the month @12:15-1:30PM in the Hunt Room

September 24Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor’s life could be described as predictable until she meets Raymond from IT, described as bumbling and unhygienic. The unlikely pair save an elderly man who has fallen on the sidewalk. The three become friends and through their friendship manage to rescue each other. But in the end it is Raymond’s big heart that helps Eleanor find her way. Read it and find out how. Good Reads

KookoolandOctober 29
Kookooland, a memoir, by Gloria Norris

“… Written on the edge of a knife blade. Chilling, intensely moving and darkly funny. It cuts to the heart and soul of a troubled American family and announces a startlingly original voice.” Simon & Schuster

November 26Nora Webster
Nora Webster, by Colm Toibin

Widowed in her forties, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. Now she fears she may be sucked back into it.  Simon & Schuster

Little WomenDecember 31
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

The story of four devoted sisters, loosely based on the life of the author. Follow the sisters from innocent adolescence to sage adulthood with all the joy and sorrow of life in between. Nominated as a best-loved novel by the Great American Read on PBS.

January 28The song of Achilles
The song of Achilles, a novel, by Madeline Miller

If your copy of the Illiad has been gathering dust since high school, this book is a different twist on an old story. Prince Patroclus is exiled to the court of King Peleus where he meets the King’s son, Achilles. The two boys become friends. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper. Told against the backdrop of the Trojan War.  Good Reads.

The ThreatFebruary 25
The Threat: How the FBI protects America in the age of terror and Trump, by Andrew G.  McCabe

The mission of the FBI is to “…protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States. . .”   The Threat tells what the FBI is, how it works, and why it will endure as an institution of integrity that protects America.

March 31Killers of the flower moon
Killers of the flower moon: The Osage murders and the birth of the FBI, by David Grann

After being squeezed off nearly 400 million acres in Kansas in the early nineteenth century, the Osage settled in what became Oklahoma. A provision that “oil, gas coal and other minerals” would be owned by the tribe made the Osage very rich. However, between 1920 and 1924   mysterious illnesses followed by shooting deaths went unsolved by local law enforcement.   The case finally was solved through the intervention of a nascent FBI.   New York Times

An American marriageApril 28
An American marriage, by Tayari Jones

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are settling in to their life together when Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison for a crime Celestial knows he did not commit. “A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African American couple.”      Barack Obama

May 26Born a crime
Born a crime: stories from a South African childhood, by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah was born to a white Swiss father and a black African mother at a time when their union was a criminal act. Trevor was kept indoors during his earliest years to hide him from a government that could steal him away. A series of essays chronicles his and his mother’s lives through a damaged world in a dangerous time.   Good Reads

A tree grows in BrooklynJune 30
A tree grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith  

Dreaming big dreams in the land of opportunity is at the heart of this coming of age story set in Brooklyn in the early 1900’s. The Nolans are an immigrant family making their uncertain way. Their struggles and triumphs come alive through Francie, the resourceful and determined daughter, as she grows into womanhood.

Manchester City Library

405 Pine St
Manchester, NH 03104
(603) 624-6550

West Manchester Branch Library

76 North Main St
Manchester, NH 03102
(603) 624-6560

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