Talking About Books

Meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 10:30 a.m.
At the Athens-Clarke County Library

The third Wednesday of the month, Talking About Books (TAB) Discussion Group, is made up of a diverse group of people, mostly retirees, who come together in the spirit of learning and friendship, to discuss literature, both fiction and non-fiction, classic and contemporary. Book choices are submitted throughout the year and voted on semi-annually by the group itself. Book choices are announced each month with time for purchase or PINES holds. Author biographies and discussion questions (when available) are provided. Anyone is welcomed to join us - all you need is a desire to read good literature and spend an hour in friendly conversation.

Please contact Sarah List at  slist@athenslibrary.org or 706-613-3650 to find out if the meeting will be virtual or in-person. 

Talking About Books - Athens

Transcendent Kingdom

May 18 Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Summary: "A novel about faith, science, religion, and family that tells the deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief, narrated by a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford school of medicine studying the neural circuits of reward seeking behavior in mice"--Provided by publisher.

Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. Even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith, and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised.-- adapted from jacket

The Future We Choose

April 20 The future we choose:the stubborn optimist’s guide to surviving the climate crisis by Christina Figueres 

Summary:  "In this cautionary but optimistic book, Figueres and Rivett-Carnac--the architects of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement--tackle arguably the most urgent and consequential challenge humankind has ever faced: the world's changing climate and the fate of humanity. In The Future We Choose, the authors outline two possible scenarios for the planet. In one, they describe what life on Earth will be like by 2050 if we fail to meet the Paris targets for carbon dioxide emission reduction. In the other, they describe what it will take to create and live in a carbon neutral, regenerative world. They argue for confronting the climate crisis head on, with determination and optimism. How we all of us address the climate crisis in the next thirty years will determine not only the world we will live in but also the world we will bequeath to our children and theirs. The Future We Choose presents our options and tells us, in no uncertain terms, what governments, corporations, and each of us can and must do to fend off disaster"-- Provided by publisher.

Miss Benson's Beetle

March 16 Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce 

Summary: "It is 1950. London is still reeling from World War II, and Margery Benson--a sensible schoolmarm and lonely spinster--is just trying to get through life. But one day, she reaches her breaking point, abandoning her job and her tidy, circumscribed life, to set out on an expedition to the other side of the world in search of an insect that may or may not exist: the golden beetle of New Caledonia, Margery's childhood obsession ever since her father gave her a book on cryptozoology right before he killed himself. The assistant Margery hires to accompany her, Enid Pretty, in her pink hat and pompom sandals, is not the companion she had in mind. But together they will find themselves drawn into an adventure that exceeds all expectations: a cross-ocean voyage to a remote island covered with dense jungle--the last place two proper British ladies would expect to find themselves. They must risk everything and break all the rules, but at the top of a mountain deep in the South Pacific they will discover their best selves. This is a charming, uplifting story about the power of belief in all its forms; it is an intoxicating adventure that explores what it means to be a woman; and it is a tender exploration of the transformative power of friendship"-- Provided by publisher.

The Three Mothers

February 16 The Three Mothers by Anna Malaika Tubbs

Summary: "In her groundbreaking and essential debut The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black motherhood by telling the story of the three women who raised and shaped some of America's most pivotal heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin's son James, about Alberta King's son Martin Luther, and Louise Little's son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them, who were all born at the beginning of the 20th century and forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women. Berdis, Alberta, and Louise passed their knowledge to their children with the hope of helping them to survive in a society that would deny their humanity from the very beginning--from Louise teaching her children about their activist roots, to Berdis encouraging James to express himself through writing, to Alberta basing all of her lessons in faith and social justice. These women used their strength and motherhood to push their children toward greatness, all with a conviction that every human being deserves dignity and respect despite the rampant discrimination they faced. These three mothers taught resistance and a fundamental belief in the worth of Black people to their sons, even when these beliefs flew in the face of America's racist practices and led to ramifications for all three families' safety. The fight for equal justice and dignity came above all else for the three mothers. These women, their similarities and differences, as individuals and as mothers, represent a piece of history left untold and a celebration of Black motherhood long overdue"-- Provided by publisher.

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