Evening Book Discussion Club

At the Lavonia-Carnegie Library

The Summer Before the War

The Summer Before the War Book Cover

Monday, October 23, 2017, 6:00 p.m.

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson: East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England's brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha's husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won't come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master. When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking -- and attractive -- than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing. But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha's reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war. - Publisher

A Torch Kept Lit

Bookcover

Monday, September 25, 2017, 6:00 p.m.

A Torch Kept Lit by William F. Buckley, Jr.: A unique collection of eulogies of the twentieth century's greatest figures, written by conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. and compiled by National Review and Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen. In a half-century on the national stage, William F. Buckley Jr. achieved unique stature as a polemicist and the undisputed godfather of modern American conservatism. He knew everybody, hosted everybody at his East 73rd Street maisonette, skewered everybody who needed skewering, and in general lived life on a scale, and in a swashbuckling manner, that captivated and inspired countless young conservatives across that half-century. Among all of his distinctions, which include founding the conservative magazine National Review and serving as host on the long running talk show Firing Line, Buckley was a master of that most elusive of art forms: the eulogy. Buckley drew on his unrivaled gifts in what he liked to call 'the controversial arts' to mourn, celebrate, or seek eternal mercy for the men and women who touched his life and the nation; to conjure their personalities, recall memorable moments, herald their greatness; or to remind readers of why a given individual, even with the grace that death can uniquely confer, should be remembered as evil. At all points, these remembrances reflect Buckley's singular voice, with its elegant touch and mordant humor, and lend to the lives of the departed a final tribute consistent with their own careers, lives, and accomplishments. Of the more than 200 eulogies located in Buckley's vast archive of published works, A Torch Kept Lit collects the very best, those remembering the most consequential lives (Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan), the most famous to today's readers (Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Jacqueline Onassis, Princess Diana), those who loomed largest in the conservative movement (Milton Friedman, Russell Kirk), the most accomplished in the literary world (Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, William Shawn), the most mysterious (Soviet spy Alger Hiss, CIA spymaster Richard Helms), and those most dear to WFB (his wife and parents). - Publisher

The Path Between the Seas

Bookcover

Monday, August 28, 2017, 6:00 p.m.

The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough: The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a story of astonishing engineering feats, tremendous medical accomplishments, political power plays, heroic successes, and tragic failures. Applying his remarkable gift for writing lucid, lively exposition, McCullough weaves the many strands of the momentous event into a comprehensive and captivating tale. - Publisher

The Cantaloupe Thief

Bookcover

Monday, June 26, 2017, 6:00 p.m.

The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson Moore: A murder mystery set in NE Georgia, USA, and featuring a reporter, Branigan Powers, who is commissioned to investigate a cold case, an unsolved murder of a wealthy widow ten years previously. She enlists the help of Malachi Ezekiel Martin, a homeless man who is both a possible suspect and a possible sleuth: the idea being that homeless people get overlooked, and hence see things that are concealed from the rest of the population. This is the first in an intended series of novels featuring Branigan, Malachi, and Branigan's friend Liam, who runs a shelter for the homeless. - Publisher

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