Meets the third Thursday of every month at 11:00 AM
Coffee and pastries are provided, but feel free to bring nibbles to share.
Thursday, June 15
A ground-breaking meditation on war and the choices it forces us to make, told from the point of view of three characters on both sides of the fighting lines during the war in Iraq.
The Kite Runner meets The Things They Carried in this explosive debut which maps the blurred lines between good and bad, soldier and civilian victor and vanquished.
It is April 2003. American forces have taken Baghdad and are now charged with winning hearts and minds. But this vital tipping point is barely recognized for what it is, as a series of miscalculations and blunders fuels an already-simmering insurgency intent on making Iraq the next graveyard of empires.
In dazzling and propulsive prose, Texan author Brian Van Reet explores the lives on both sides of the battle lines: Cassandra, a nineteen-year-old gunner on an American Humvee who is captured during a deadly firefight and awakens in a prison cell; Abu Al-Hool, a lifelong mujahedeen beset by a simmering crisis of conscience as he struggles against enemies from without and within, including the new wave of far more radicalized jihadists; and Specialist Sleed, a tank crewman who goes along with a "victimless" crime, the consequences of which are more awful than any he could have imagined.
Depicting a war spinning rapidly out of control, destined to become a modern classic, Spoils is an unsparing and morally complex novel that chronicles the achingly human cost of combat.
Thursday, July 20
The coming-of-age story about a girl seeking acceptance from anyone but herself.
While exploring specific issues around weight, 13 Ways also speaks to the universal experience of growing up: the brutal angst of being a teenager, the feeling of alienation from one's own body, the struggle for self-acceptance, the search for a fulfilled life. The nonfiction hook of women and body image will attract readers and help us get more attention for 13 Ways. Readers, along with journalists, feminists and bloggers, will want to discuss the issues this book explores.
Mona Awad is "a strikingly original and strikingly talented new voice."* A graduate of Brown's MFA program and a current Ph.D. candidate at the University of Denver, she has been published in McSweeney's and elsewhere. She has worked in numerous bookstores including The King's English in Salt Lake City, where she spent a year as the events coordinator.
Thursday, August 17
From the author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society comes this unforgettable historical novel based on the founding of the country’s first sororities
Illinois, 1881: Whitsitt College sophomore Beth Carrington has two goals to fulfill by the time she graduates: obtain a medical degree, and establish a women’s fraternity, Beta Xi Beta, that will help young women like herself to connect with and support one another while attending the male-dominated Whitsitt.
Neither is an easy task. The sole female student in the physicians’ program, Beth is constantly called out by her professors and peers for having the audacity not to concentrate on a more “fitting” subject like secretarial studies. Meanwhile, secret organizations are off-limits, and simply by crowding together in a dank basement room and creating a sense of camaraderie, she and her small group of fraternity sisters risk expulsion.
In order to have the fraternity recognized, she knows she needs help. She turns to the most powerful student on campus: senior Grant Richardson, Iota Gamma fraternity president and the scion of a Whitsitt family—a man she’s only acquainted with because of her longstanding friendship with his fraternity brother Will Buchannan. Staunchly traditional, Grant doesn’t see the purpose of this women’s organization, but captivated by Beth, he agrees to give her a helping hand. What she doesn’t know is how many will stop at nothing to keep her burgeoning organization out of the record books—and who she can actually trust along the way.
As Beth fights for her beloved Beta Xi Beta to be recognized, she will uncover deep secrets about the college and those who surround her, and will have to put both love and friendship on the line so that history can be made.